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Welcome to Berkeley's Physics Club!

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SPS@Berkeley

The Society of Physics Students is a professional, national organization for all students interested in physics. We are the chapter at University of California - Berkeley. We do fun projects, promote and discuss physics, tour lab facilities, and connect with professors and their research. We also support an FAQ to answer questions about physics courses and the physics major, and we will produce a course guide soon. Check them out! Any questions, comments, or feedback? Email us at ucbsps@gmail.com. Interested in getting involved? Subscribe to our mailing list

Important Links:
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Mission Statement

The Society of Physics Students is an organization dedicated to physics-related ideas and cutting-edge research. We encourage and assist students interested in physics to develop the knowledge, competence, enthusiasm, and social responsibility that are essential to the advancement of physics; stimulate interest in advanced study and research in physics; develop collegiality among physics students and faculty members; promote public interest in physics; and provide liaison between students and the member societies of the American Institute of Physics.

Download club constitution: text, pdf



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Members

Administration

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Events

Upcoming Events

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Guides

Physics

H7C: Optics and Modern Physics

Prerequisites: Math 1AB, 53, (54), Physics (7AB)

Format: 4 units; 3hr lecture, 1hr discussion, 3hr lab every other week, problem set each week

Grading: B+ average, 2 midterms, final, problem sets, labs, class participation (clickers) optional, varies by professor

Topics: review of EM (Maxwell's equations, wave equation, Poynting vector), propagation of light (reflection, refraction, transmission, absorption), geometric optics (mirrors, lenses, images), interference (double slit, thin film, diffraction), special relativity (transformations, simultaneity, collisions), quantum physics (thermodynamic origins, Bohr model, Schrodinger Equation), special topics (atomic, nuclear, condensed matter, particle, cosmology)

Textbooks: Hecht (terrible), Tipler (bad)

Study-aides: Past tests (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/physics/), quantum (http://oyc.yale.edu/sites/default/files/notes_quantum_10.pdf, http://plus.maths.org/content/schrodingers-equation-action), Lee Fall 2013 Notes (https://drive.google.com/a/berkeley.edu/folderview?id=0B8W9MdlVeKI3Q0FVZ3V1NXIzVDg&usp=sharing) [spelling warning], hyperphysics, Alison's Topics/Review TBD

Comments: N/A

110A:Electromagnetism and Optics

Prerequisites: Physics 7A, Physics 7B, Physics 7C, Math 53

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading: B average, 1-2 midterms, final, assignments.

Topics: Review of vector calculus. Electrostatics (Coulomb's law, Gauss's law, electric potential, work & energy, capacitors). Solving Laplace's equation (Image charges, Separation of variables, multipole expansion). Electric fields in matter (Dielectrics, Polarization, Displacement field). Magnetostatics (Lorentz force law, Biot-Savart law, Ampere's law, Vector potential). Magnetic fields in matter (Magnetization, Auxiliary field). Electrodynamics (Ohm's law, Faraday's law, Inductance, Solving DC circuits, Maxwell equations) Conservation laws (Continuity equation, Poynting's theorem, Maxwell stress tensor). EM waves (Fresnel equations)

Textbooks: Griffiths - Introduction to Electrodynamics (good)

Study-aides: Study Aides: past tests (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/physics/), Professor Qiu's Website (http://physics.berkeley.edu/research/qiu/teaching/110a/110a.htm)

Comments: N/A

111BSC:Basic Semiconductor Circuits

Prerequisites: Physics 7A, Physics 7B, Physics 7C, Math 53, Math 54

Format: 3 units; 8 hr lab, 3 hr lecture; 1 lab report on most weeks

Grading: A- average, final project, lab reports

Topics: Linear Circuits (Thevenin’s Theorem, Input/Output Impedance, RLC circuits [high/low pass filters, resonating circuits]), Circuit Simulations (Multisim software) , Diodes (diode characteristics, rectifiers, LED, Zener diode, equilibrium analysis, perturbation analysis), JFETS (JFET transistor characteristics, small signal transconductance and source-resistance model, current sources, source followers, voltage amplifiers, differential amplifiers, attenuators, modulators), Op Amps (Golden rules, feedback, comparator, follower, current source, inverting, non-inverting, differential and summing amplifiers, current to voltage converter, negative impedance converter, gyrator, oscillator, non-idealness of op-amps), LabVIEW programming (using VI’s, Data Acquisition), Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog conversion (Nyquist Theorem, converters), Signal Processing and Control (fourier transforms, signal recovery, PID controller)

Textbooks: Horowitz,Hill - The Art of Electronics (good reference, class covers only a fraction of its contents)

Study-aides:http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~phylabs/bsc/

Comments: There are 12 (including final project) lab reports. Out of that only 5 are full reports and require > 7 hours to write up. The rest are either short reports, which take ~4 hours to finish, or notebook submissions which take < 1 hr to finish. Make sure you start early on the full reports. A good way to save time in the lab is to read the lab manual carefully, including the exercises, before coming to the lab.

112: Introduction to Statistical and Thermal Physics

Prerequisites: Physics 7A, Physics 7B, Physics 7C, Math 53, Math 54

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading: B average, 1-2 midterms, final, assignments.

Topics: Statistics (Poisson distribution, Indistinguishability). Thermodynamics (Processes, 1st and 2nd law, heat capacity, efficiency & Carnot engines, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution) Classical statistical mechanics(Boltzmann's definition of entropy, microcanonical ensemble, chemical potential, canonical ensemble, paramagnet model, Gibbs factor & Gibbs sum [Grand canonical ensemble], Equipartition theorem). Quantum Statistical mechanics (Blackbody radiation,Stefan's law, Debye specific heat, Ideal Fermi gas, Chandrasekhar limit, Ideal Bose gas, Bose-Einstein Condensate), Phase transitions(Ising model, Mean field theory, Critical exponents, Landau theory of phase transitions)

Textbooks: Kittel - Thermal Physics (moderate)

Study-aides: past tests (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/physics/)

Comments: N/A

137A:Quantum Mechanics

Prerequisites: Physics 7A, Physics 7B, Physics 7C, Math 53, Math 54, Math 110

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading: B average, 1-2 midterms, final, assignments.

Topics: Topics: Failure of classical physics. Wave function (probability, normalization, wave particle duality, wave packets, wave function in momentum space, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle). Schrodinger's equation (Stationary states, Ehrenfest Theorem, potential step, well, barrier, delta function, harmonic oscillator, raising and lowering operators). Formalism (Operators & eigenfunctions, Dirac notation, matrix representation, Hermitian, unitary, projection operators, commutators, generalized uncertainty principle) Schrodinger in spherical polar coordinates(Orbital angular momentum, spherical harmonics, general angular momentum & spin, spin 1/2 systems & Pauli matrices, addition of angular momentum, radial solution, Hydrogen atom)

Textbooks: Griffiths - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (good) or Bransden & Joachain - Quantum Mechanics (good)

Study-aides: past tests (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/physics/), Bound states in different types of potentials (http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/bound-states)

Comments: N/A

137B:Quantum Mechanics

Prerequisites: Physics 7A, Physics 7B, Physics 7C, Math 53, Math 54, Physics 137A, Math 110

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading: B average, 1-2 midterms, final, assignments.

Topics: Identical Particles (two-particle wavefunctions, bosons, fermions), time-independent perturbation theory (degenerate theory, non-degenerate theory, fine structure, spin-orbit coupling, energy level corrections of hydrogen atom, Zeeman effect), Variational Principle, WKB approximation (classical region approximation, tunneling, connection formulas), time-dependent perturbation theory (two-level systems, sinusoidal perturbations, emission and absorption of radiation, Einstein's A and B coefficients, selection rules), adiabatic approximation (adiabatic theorem, berry's phase), Scattering (Classical and Quantum scattering theory, partial wave analysis, Born ap

Textbooks: Griffiths - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (good) or Bransden & Joachain - Quantum Mechanics (good)

Study-aides: past tests (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/physics/), notes (http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~jemoore/p137b/p137b.html)

Comments: N/A

141A:Solid State Physics

Prerequisites: Physics 7A, Physics 7B, Physics 7C, Math 53, Math 54, Physics 137A, (Physics 137B), Physics 112

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading: B+ average, 1-2 midterms, final, assignments.

Topics: Crystal Structure (periodic array of atoms, types of lattice), wave diffraction (reciprocal lattice, scattered wave amplitude, Brillouin zones, fourier analysis of basis), crystal binding (inert gases crystals, ionic crystals, covalent crystals, metals, hydrogen bond, elastic constants), phonons (vibrations of crystals with monoatomic and diatomic basis, quantization of elastic wave , phonon momentum, inelastic phonon scattering, phonon heat capacity, phonon thermal conductivity), free electron fermi gas (energy levels 1/2/3D, effect of temperature, heat capacity, electrical conductivity of electron gas, motion in magnetic field, thermal conductivity of metals), energy bands (nearly free electron model, bloch functions, kronig-penney model, crystal momentum of electron, central equation and approximate solutions, band gap, metals and insulators), semiconductors (holes, effective mass, bloch oscillator, intrinsic carriers, chemical potential, doping, p-n junctions, band bending, diodes), tight binding, plasmons and polaritons (screening, dielectric function, plasma optics, polariton dispersion)

Textbooks: Introduction to Solid State Physics - Kittel (okay for review, not great for explanations), Solid State Physics - Ashcroft and Mermin (excellent for explanations)

Study-aides: past tests (only one) (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/physics/), practice problems (harder than standard problems) solid state physics: problems and solutions - Mihaly and Martin

Comments: N/A

Suggested Course Sequence

Courses in yellow are required prerequisites for the physics major.

Courses in blue denote required upper division courses for the physics major

Courses in red are upper division elective courses which delve more deeply into specialized fields.

Math

55:Discrete Mathematics

Prerequisite s: None

Format: 4 units; 3 hour lecture per week; 1 hour discussion; Problem set due every week.

Grading: B- average; 2 in-class midterms; 1 final exam.

Topics: (Logic and Proofs) - Propositional Logic, Predicates and Quantifiers, Rules of Inference, Introduction to Proofs. (Basic Structures) - Sets, Functions, Sequences, Summations, and Cardinality of Sets. (Number Theory and Cryptography) - Divisibility, Modular Arithmetic, Promes, Greatest Common Divisors, Congruences, and Cryptography. Strong/Structural Induction, Well-Ordering, and Recursion. (Counting) - Basics of Counting, Pigeonhole Principle, Permutations, Combinations, and Binomial Coefficients. (Discrete Probability) - Probability Theory, Bayes’ Theorem, Expected Value and Variance. Generating Functions, Inclusion-Exclusion, Chinese Remainder Theorem, and Euclidean algorithm. (Graphs) - Directed Graph, Bipartite Graphs, Adjacency Matrices, Undirected Graphs, Isomorphism, Euler and Hamilton Paths.

Textbooks: Discrete Mathematics and its Applications (Custom for UCB), 7th Edition by Kenneth Rosen (good)

Study-aides: N/A

Comments: For this class, make sure you understand all the material and definitions by heart, that way it is a lot easier to do proofs. Also, be sure you know how to do the different kinds of algorithms, such as the Chinese Remainder Theorem. The exams are mostly half proofs and half computational.

110:Linear Algebra

Prerequisites:Math 53, Math 54, and Math 55.

Format: 4 units; 3 hour lecture per week; 1 hour discussion; Problem set due each week.

Grading:B average, 1-2 in-class midterms, 1 final exam.

Topics: (Vector Spaces) - Subspaces, Intersection, Sum, and Direct Sum. (Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces) - Span, Linear Independence, Bases, and Dimension. (Linear Maps) - Null Space, Ranges, Rank, Matrices, and Invertibility. (Polynomials) - Degree, Real Coefficients, and Complex Coefficients. (Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors) - Invariant Subspaces, Upper Triangular Matrices, and Diagonal Matrices. (Inner Product Spaces) - Inner Products, Norms, Orthonormal Bases, Orthogonal Projections, Minimization Problem, Linear Functional, and Adjoints. (Operators on Inner Product Spaces) - Self Adjoint, Normal Operators, Spectral Theorem. (Operators on Complex Vector Spaces) - Generalized Eigenvectors, Characteristic Polynomial, Minimal Polynomial, and Jordan Form.

Textbooks: Linear Algebra Done Right by Sheldon Axler (Good)

Study-aides: N/A

Comments: Since this is a proof-based class, you need to know all the definitions and theorems by heart. That way, when you are taking the exam, you can quickly jot down all the relevant information to a problem/proof to help you formulate an answer. The best way to learn the material is by explaining to other people in your own words the importance of a theorem, etc. For the weekly problem set, work together with a group of people, that way if you can discuss your approach to the problems and get feedback.

128A

Prerequisites:Math 53, Math 54

Format: 4 units; 3 hour lecture per week; 1 hour discussion; Problem set due each week + occasional programming assignments and quizzes.

Grading:B average, 1-2 in-class midterms, 1 final exam.

Topics:Preliminaries and error analysis (round-off errors, computer arithmetic, algorithms and convergence), solutions of equations in one variable (bisection method, fixed-point iteration, Newton's method, accelerating convergence, zeros of polynomials, Muller's method), Interpolation and polynomial approximation (Lagrange polynomial, Neville's method, divided differences, hermite interpolation, cubic spline interpolation), Numerical differentiation (richardson's extrapolation), Numerical integration (composite integration, Romberg integration, adaptive quadrature methods, gaussian quadrature), Initial value problems for ordinary differential equations (theory, Euler's method, higher-order Taylor methods, Runge-Kutta methods, Runge-Kutta-Fehlberg methods, multistep methods, higher-order equations, systems of differential equations, stability, stiff differential equations), Linear systems (pivoting strategies, linear algebra, matrix inversion, determinant of matrix, matrix factorization)

Textbooks: Numerical Analysis - Burden and Faires

Study-aides: Notes and sample code (http://persson.berkeley.edu/128A/), past exams (https://tbp.berkeley.edu/students/exams/math/128A/)

Comments: N/A

Astronomy

C10 (L&S C70U): Introduction to Astronomy

Prerequisites:None!

Format:4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading:B+ average, 2 in-class midterms, 1 final exam, lab activities.

Topics:

Textbooks: The Cosmos, 4th Edition, Pasachoff

Study-aides: N/A

Comments: Lecture is webcasted for convenience and because the course is overenrolled (800 students for a 700-person auditorium).

160: Stellar Physics

Prerequisites: Physics 110A, Physics 110B or Physics 137A, Physics 137B, (Physics 112), Astro 7A, Physics 7C

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 1 hr discussion. Problem set each week

Grading:B average, 1-2 midterms, final, homework, programming assignments (depends on professor).

Topics: Review of basic astrophysics (Blackbody radiation, flux, magnitudes, Boltzmann equation, Saha equation, HR diagrams). Stellar formation (Hydrostatic equilibrium, Virial theorem, Jeans criterion, Free-fall time). Radiative transfer (Opacity, Optical depth, radiative transfer equation, Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium). Stellar atmospheres (Absorption & Emission lines, Broadenings). Stellar modelling(Equations of stellar structure, Energy transports, Polytropes & Lane-Emden equation). Nucleosynthesis. Degenerate stars(White dwarfs Chandrasekhar limit, Gamow peak, Black holes, Schwartzschild metric) Textbooks: Leblanc - Stellar Astrophysics (moderate).

Textbooks: The Cosmos, 4th Edition, Pasachoff

Study-aides: Professor Quataert's site (Fall 2011): http://astro.berkeley.edu/~eliot/Astro160/160.html Professor Marcy's site (Fall 2013): http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/astro160/

Comments: N/A