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Welcome to Berkeley's Society of Physics Students!

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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 at the bottom of this page to give advice about physics courses and the physics major, and we have a course guide at the bottom of the page. We are a student group acting independently of the University of California. We take full responsibility for our organization and this web site. Any questions, comments, or feedback or interested in getting involved? Email us at ucbsps@gmail.com. Interested in getting involved? Subscribe to our mailing list by emailing ucbsps@gmail.com State your name and any email you want to get subscribed.

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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


SPS Snack Shack Menu: click here

Hidden Picture: click here

Bay Area Science Festival picture: click here (must log in to facebook first)

Tutor Physics Next Semester

Become an L & S peer advisor!click here

ALS Tour sign upclick here

RSVP for a conversation with Roger Falcone, president of APSclick here

RSVP for a conversation with Austin Hedeman, quality physics instructorclick here

SPS vs UAS Ping Pong Tournament interest formclick here

Your feedback is requested, several SPS officers will be meeting with the Physics Department's Equity and Inclusion Committee either this week or next. We want your voice to be represented in this space, and created an anomymous feedback from through which you can submit any input. We will be discussing the climate for women, under-represented minorities, LGBTQ folks, and disabled students in our department. You are encouraged to share anything you feel to be important that is in any way relevant to equity and inclusion.RESPOND HERE

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Events

Upcoming Events

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Past Events

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Guides

You can consult the official Berkeley Course Guide for Physics here

Physics

5A:Introductory Mechanics and Relativity

Prerequisites: Math 1A; Math 1B(concurrent) or equivalent

Format: 3 units; 3 hr lecture, 2 hr discussion.

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

Topics: The vast majority of this course is about mechanics but in a very challenging way. The last two weeks is special relativity. Use of calculus and vector algebra is emphasized. Topics include Kinematics, dynamics, work and energy, rotational motion, oscillations, some fluids. The questions on problem sets and exams will be significantly harder than the ones you see on Physics C AP. Recommended for intended physics, astrophysics, engineering physics majors who have AP Physics C background.

Textbooks: Kleppner, An introduction to mechanics (textbook might vary based on professor)

Comments: This course is relativily new, first offered Fall 2016

5B:Introductory Electromagnetism, Waves, and Optics

Prerequisites: Physics 5A or 7A(consult with advisor) and Math 53(concurrent)

Format: 3 units; 3 hr lecture, 2 hr discussion.

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

Topics: The vast majority of this course is about electricity and magnetism but in a very challenging way. The last three weeks is waves and optics. Use of multivariable calculus and vector algebra is emphasized. Topics include Electric fields and potential, circuits, magnetism and induction, waves, light propagation, relection, refraction and interference. The questions on problem sets and exams will be significantly harder than the ones you see on Physics C AP. Recommended for intended physics, astrophysics, engineering physics majors who have AP Physics C background and took 5A.

Textbooks: Purcell, Electricity and Magnetism (textbook might vary based on professor)

Comments: This course is relativily new, first offered Spring 2017

5BL:Introduction to Experimental Physics I

Prerequisites: Physics 5A or 7A, and 5B or 7B(concurrent)

Format: 2 units; 2 days of lab every week, 2.5 hours each.

Grading: B+ average, 1 quiz, the rest is labs.

Topics: This course is required for physics/astrophysics major if you choose to take the 5 series. It is recommended that one take this course concurrent with 5B. The first one-third of the course is about printing out about 15 pages of paper your instructor provided and filling them out as yyou do the lab. The other two-third of the course is split between mechanics and E & M labs and you will write up lab reports on a lab notebook. One person from each lab group (of 3) will be randomly selected to get graded on their work. The person's grade will become every group member's grade.

Textbooks: None

Comments: This course is relativily new, first offered Spring 2017

5C:Introductory Thermodynamics and Quantum Mechanics

Prerequisites: Physics 5A and 5B or 7A and 7B(consult with advisor, 5 and 7 series topics are different) and Math 54 or Physics 89(concurrent)

Format: 3 units; 3 hr lecture, 2 hr discussion.

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

Topics: About half of the course is Thermodynamics, half quantum mechanics. Which comes first depends on the professor. Use of calculus and linear algebra is emphasized. Topics include Temperature, kinetic theory, entropy; particle/wave duality, Schrodinger equation, hydrogen atom, applications of quantum mechanics. Recommended for intended physics, astrophysics, engineering physics majors who took Physics 5A and 5B previously.

Textbooks: A.P. French Introduction to Quantum Physics(M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series) and Blundell, Concepts in Thermal Physics (textbook might vary based on professor)

Comments: This course is very new, first offered Fall 2017

5CL:Introduction to Experimental Physics II

Prerequisites: Physics 5A and 5B and 5BL or 7A and 7B, and 5C or 7C(concurrent)

Format: 2 units; 2 days of lab every week, 2.5 hours each.

Grading: B+ average, based on labwork, attendance, 1 final project

Topics: This course is required for physics/astrophysics major if you choose to take the 5 series. It is recommended that one take this course concurrent with 5C and already took 5BL. In addition to writing up lab reports on a lab notebook a group also has to submit an online (latex) lab report (which is graded heavier). One person from each lab group (of 3) will be randomly selected to get graded on their work. The person's grade will become every group member's grade. Majority of the 5CL is about optics and some labs about thermodynamics, photoelectric effect. Each group will do a final project and presentation of a lab of their choice (within the topic of modern physics)

Textbooks: None

Comments: This course is relativily new, first offered Fall 2017

77:Introduction to Computational Techniques in Physics

Prerequisites: Math 1A or equivalent and Physics 5A or 7A(concurrent)

Format: 3 units; 2 hr lecture, 2 hr workshop/lab.

Grading: varies instructor to instructor, based on attendance, programming homework, and final project.

Topics: This course is recommended for physics majors because it teaches you python skills specifically for physics research. Topics include how to program visualization, statistics and probability, regression, numerical integration, (Monte Carlo) simulation, data modeling, function approximation, algebraic systems.

Textbooks: None (textbook might vary based on professor)

Comments: This course is relativily new (slightly older than 5A)

89:Introduction to Mathematical Physics

Prerequisites: Math 1A; Math 1B or equivalent and Math 53

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture, 2 hr discussion.

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

Topics: This course is similar to Math 54 but designed for physics majors. Any student who majors in physics must take this course. Topics include Complex numbers, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, Fourier series and transform methods, introduction to partial differential equations, introduction to tensors. You will need all these mathematical tools for the upper division physics courses.

Textbooks: Boas, Mathematical Methods in the physical scineces (textbook might vary based on professor)

Comments: This course is relativily new, pioneered by Austin Hedeman

110A:Electromagnetism and Optics

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC or 7ABC and 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

111A:Basic Semiconductor Circuits

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC,5BL,5CL or 7ABC, Math 53, Math 54 or Physics 89

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

Grading: B+ 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 5ABC or 7ABC, Math 53, Math 54 or Physics 89

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 5ABC or 7ABC, Math 53, Math 54 or Phyisics 89. Some people take Physics 5C concurrently with 137A

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 5ABC or 7ABC, Math 53, Math 54 or Physics 89, Physics 137A

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 5ABC or 7ABC, Math 53, Math 54 or Physics 89, 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.

Take both Physics 89 and Math 54 if you are majoring in Math too. physics majors are required to take Physics 89 (instead of math 54).

Physics 89's prerequisite is Math 53. Either the 5 or 7 series satisfy physics or astrophysics majors.

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.

You should consult the official Berkeley course guide for Math here

Math

53:Multivariable Calculus

Prerequisites:Math 1A,1B or equivalent.

Format: 4 units; 3 hour lecture per week; 3 hour discussion

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

Topics:Parametric equations and polar coordinates. Vectors in 2- and 3-dimensional Euclidean spaces. Partial derivaties. Multiple integrals. Vector calculus. Theorems of Green, Gauss, and Stokes. This course required for Physics Major

Textbooks: Stewart Math 53 custom edition

Study-aides: N/A

Comments:

54:Multivariable Calculus

Prerequisites:Math 1A,1B or equivalent.

Format: 4 units; 3 hour lecture per week; 3 hour discussion

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

Topics:Basic Linear Algebra; matrix arithmetic and determinants. Vector spaces; inner product spaces. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors; orthogonality, symmetric matrices. Linear second-order differential equations; first-order systems with constant coefficients. Fourier series, application to partial differential equations.

Textbooks: Differential Equations(Quick Study Academic)

Study-aides: N/A

Comments:

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: Numerical Analysis

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

You should consult the Berkeley course guide for Astronomy here

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:This course is for non astronomy/physics physical science majors to explore astronomy and to also fullfill the physical science breadth. If a student takes 7A or 7B he/she will not get any credit for this course. Topics include structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the universe, quasars, pulsars, black holes, extraterrestrial communication.

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).

7A: Introduction to Astrophysics

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC and 5BL,5CL or 7AB and Math 1A and 1B or equivalent

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture and 1 hr lab

Grading:B average, homework, exam

Topics: Offered only in Fall. This is the first part of an overview of astrophysics, with an emphasis on the way in which physics is applied to astronomy. This course deals with the solar system and stars, while 7B covers galaxies and cosmology. Solar system topics include orbital mechanics, geology of terrestrial planets, planetary atmospheres, and the formation of the solar system. The study of stars will treat determination of observations, properties and stellar structure, and evolution. The physics in this course includes mechanics and gravitation; kinetic theory of gases; properties of radiation and radiative energy transport; quantum mechanics of photons, atoms, and electrons; and magnetic fields.

Textbooks:Caroll, An Introduction to modern astrophysics 2nd edition

Study-aides:

Comments: N/A

7B: Introduction to Astrophysics

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC,5BL,5CL or 7ABC and Math 1A,1B or equivalent

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture,1 hr lab

Grading:B+ average, homework, exam

Topics: Offered only in Spring. This is the second part of an overview of astrophysics, which begins with 7A. This course covers the Milky Way galaxy, star formation and the interstellar medium, galaxies, black holes, quasars, dark matter, the expansion of the universe and its large-scale structure, and cosmology and the Big Bang. The physics in this course includes that used in 7A(mechanics and gravitation; kinetic theory of gases; properties of radiation and radiative energy transport; quantum mechanics of photons, atoms, and electrons; and magnetic fields) and adds the special and general theories of relativity.

Textbooks:

Study-aides:

Comments: N/A

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).

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

161: Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology

Prerequisites: Physics 110A and Physics 110B, Physics 112(concurrent)

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

Grading:B+ average, 1-2 midterms, final, homework

Topics: Offered only in Spring. Elements of general relativity. Physics of pulsars, cosmic rays, black holes. The cosmological distance scale, elementary cosmological models, properties of galaxies and quasars. The mass density and age of the universe. Evidence for dark maater and dark energy and concepts of the early universe and of galaxy formation. Reflections on astrophysics as a probe of the extrema of physics.

Textbooks: Ryden, Introduction to cosmology

Study-aides:

Comments: N/A

162: Planetary Astrophysics

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC or 7ABC and Math 53, Math 54 or Physics 89

Format: 4 units; 3 hr lecture

Grading:B+ average, presentations, homework, (final exam)

Topics: Offered only in Fall. Physics of planetary systems, both solar and extra-solar. Star and planet formation, radioactive dating, small-body dynamics and interaction of radiation with matter, tides, planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres. High-quality oral presentations required.

Textbooks: Lissauer, Fundamental Planetary Science: Physics, Chemistry and habitability

Study-aides:

Comments: N/A

120: Optical and infrared astronomy laboratory

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC or 7ABC and Math 54 or Physics 89

Format: 4 units; 4 hr laboratory 1 hr lecture

Grading:B+ average, 4-6 experiments

Topics: Offered only in Fall. This course requires four to six experiments such as: accurate position and brightness measurements of stars; laboratory exploration of the characteristics of two-dimensioonal charge-coupled devices and infrared detectors; measurement of the distance, reddening, and age of a star cluster; measurement of the Stokes parameters and linear polarization of diffuse synchrotron and reflection nebulae; measurement of the period and pulse shape of the Crab pulsar using Fourier techniques. Professional telescopes will be used such as those at Leuschner and Lick Observatory. There is an emphasis on error analysis, software development in the IDL language, and high-quality written reports.

Textbooks: None

Study-aides:

Comments: N/A

121: Radio Astronomy Laboratory

Prerequisites: Physics 5ABC or 7ABC and Math 53, Math 54 or Physics 89 and Astro 7A-7B, Physics 110B recommended

Format: 4 units; 4 hr discussion 1 hr lecture

Grading:A- average, lab reports

Topics: Offered only in Spring. Several basic laboratory experiments that concentrate on microwave electronics and techniques; construction of receiving, observing, and data analysis systems for two radoastronomical telescopes, a single-dish 21-cm line system and a 12-GHz interferometer; use of these telescopes for astronomical observing projects including structure of the Milky Way galaxy, precise position measurement of several radio sources, and measurement of the radio brightness distributions of the sun and moon with high angular resolution. There is a heavy emphasis on digital data acquisition, software development in the IDL language, and high-quality written reports.

Textbooks: None

Study-aides:

Comments: N/A