# Physics

## Undergraduate Courses

### PH 101X. FRONTIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN PHYSICS

Cat. I.

This is a seminar based course intended for students that seek to understand the

breadth of activities, opportunities, and career pathways that are available to students in areas related to physics. Students at any academic level considering PH as a major, both those who are decided as well as those who are undecided, should enroll in PH 101x. The class meets once a week during the fall semester (A & B terms). This course will not substitute for a PH course in the distribution requirements.

### PH 1110. General Physics—Mechanics

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

Introductory course in Newtonian mechanics. Topics include: kinematics of motion, vectors, Newtons laws, friction, work-energy, impulse-momentum, for both translational and rotational motion. Students may not receive credit for both PH 1110 and PH 1111.

### PH 1111. Principles of Physics—Mechanics

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

An introductory course in Newtonian mechanics that stresses invariance principles and the associated conservation laws. Topics include: kinematics of motion, vectors and their application to physical problems, dynamics of particles and rigid bodies, energy and momentum conservation, rotational motion. Students may not receive credit for both PH 1111 and PH 1110.

### PH 111X. STUDIO PHYSICS-MECHANICS

Cat. I

Introductory course in Newtonian mechanics taught in a blended studio format. Topics include: kinematics of motion, vectors, Newton's laws, friction, work-energy, impulse-momentum, for both translational and rotational motion. Recommended background: concurrent study of MA 1021. Students may not receive credit for PH 111X and PH 1110 or PH 1111. The recommended follow on physics course is PH 1120.

### PH 1120. General Physics—Electricity and Magnetism

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

An introduction to the theory of electricity and magnetism. Topics include: Coulombs law, electric and magnetic fields, capacitance, electrical current and resistance, and electromagnetic induction. Students may not receive credit for both PH 1120 and PH 1121.

### PH 1121. Principles of Physics—Electricity and Magnetism

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

An introduction to electricity and magnetism, at a somewhat higher mathematical level than PH 1120. Topics include: Coulombs Law, electric fields and potentials, capacitance, electric current and resistance, magnetism, and electromagnetic induction. Students may not receive credit for both PH 1121 and PH 1120.

### PH 112X. STUDIO PHYSICS - ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM

Introductory course in Electricity and Magnetism.

Topics include: Coulomb’s law, electric field and potential, capacitors, potential difference and current electricity, magnetic fields produced by current-carrying conductors, electromagnetic induction-Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws and their applications.

Recommended background: concurrent study of MA 1021. Students may not receive credit for both PH 112X and PH 1120 or PH 1121.

### PH 1130. Modern Physics

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

An introduction to the pivotal ideas and developments of twentieth-century physics. Topics include: special relativity, photoelectric effect, X-rays, Compton scattering, blackbody radiation, DeBroglie waves, uncertainty principle, Bohr theory of the atom, atomic nuclei, radioactivity, and elementary particles.

### PH 1150. Introductory Physics of Living Systems

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course introduces a selection of physics topics (Thermodynamics, Optics, Fluid Dynamics, Waves, and Atomic and Nuclear Physics) that are critical to students pursuing degrees in Life Sciences, Pre-Med, and Pre-Health.

### PH 115X. INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS OF LIVING SYSTEMS

This course introduces a selection of physics topics (Thermodynamics, Optics, Fluid Dynamics, Waves, and Atomic and Nuclear Physics) that are critical to students pursuing degrees in Life Sciences, Pre-Med, and Pre-Health.

Recommended Background: General Physics - Mechanics (PH1110) or Principles of Physics - Mechanics (PH1111), General Physics Electricity and Magnetism (PH1120) or Introductory Physics – Electricity and Magnetism (PH1121), completion or concurrent study of Calculus I (MA 1021) or Calculus II (MA 1022)

### PH 2101. Principles of Thermodynamics

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

The course provides fundamental preparation for any specialized application of thermodynamics. The material covered includes a general description of large number systems, states, canonical state variables, state functions, response functions, and equations of state. Focus will be given to the physical meanings of free-energies, enthalpy, chemical potential, and entropy. Connections will be made to equilibrium states, reversible versus irreversible processes, phases and phase transformation, as well as the arrow of time as applied across disciplines.

### PH 2201. Intermediate Mechanics I

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course emphasizes a systematic approach to the mathematical formulation of mechanics problems and to the physical interpretation of the mathematical solutions. Topics covered include: Newtons laws of motion, kinematics and dynamics of a single particle, vector analysis, motion of particles, rigid body rotation about an axis.

### PH 2202. Intermediate Mechanics II

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course is a continuation of the treatment of mechanics started in PH 2201. Topics covered include: rigid-body dynamics, rotating coordinate systems, Newtons law of gravitation, central-force problem, driven harmonic oscillator, an introduction to generalized coordinates, and the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulation of mechanics.

### PH 2301. Electromagnetic Fields

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

Introduction to the theory and application of electromagnetic fields, appropriate as a basis for further study in electromagnetism, optics, and solid-state physics. Topics: electric field produced by charge distributions, electrostatic potential, electrostatic energy, magnetic force and field produced by currents and by magnetic dipoles, introduction to Maxwells equations and electromagnetic waves.

### PH 2501. Photonics

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

An introduction to the use of optics for transmission and processing of information. The emphasis is on understanding principles underlying practical photonic devices. Topics include lasers, light emitting diodes, optical fiber communications, fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, planar optical waveguides, light modulators and photodetectors. Recommended background is PH 1110, PH 1120, PH 1130 and PH 1140 (or their equivalents). This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 2502. Lasers

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

An introduction to the physical principles underlying lasers and their applications. Topics will include the coherent nature of laser light, optical cavities, beam optics, atomic radiation, conditions for laser oscillation, optical amplifiers (including fiber amplifiers), pulsed lasers (Q switching and mode locking), laser excitation (optical and electrical), and selected laser applications. Recommended background is PH 1110, PH 1120, PH 1130 and PH 1140 (or their equivalents). This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 2510. Atomic Force Microscopy

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

Atomic force microscopes (AFMs) are instruments that allow three-dimensional imaging of surfaces with nanometer resolution and are important enabling tools for nanoscience and technology. The student who successfully completes this course will understand the functional principles of AFMs, be able to run one, and interpret the data that are collected. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter. Some sections of this course may be offered as Writing Intensive (WI).

### PH 2520. Introduction to Astrophysics

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

A selective study of components of the universe (the solar system, stars, nebulae, galaxies) and of cosmology, based on astronomical observations analyzed and interpreted through the application of physical principles, and organized with the central purpose of presenting the latest understanding of the nature and evolution of the universe. Some topics to be covered include the Big Bang & Inflation; Stellar Behavior & Evolution; White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, & Supernovae; Black Holes; Dark Matter & Dark Energy. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 2540. Solar Systems

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

This course covers physics of the solar system and exo-planetary systems. Topics introduced will include the sun, moons and planets; the interplanetary space environment; gravitational interplay, planet atmospheres, surfaces and interiors; interplanetary travel, exploration and habitation; challenges of terraforming, comparison of planetary environments to Earths biosphere; and the conditions required to support life. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 2550. Atmospheric and Space Environments

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course introduces the ambient atmospheric and space environments encountered by aerospace vehicles. Topics include: the sun and solar activity; the solar wind; planetary magnetospheres; planetary atmospheres; radiation environments; galactic cosmic rays; meteoroids; and space debris.

### PH 2601. Photonics Laboratory

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

This course provides an experimental approach to concepts covered in Photonics (PH 2501), Lasers (PH 2502), and Optics (PH 3504). Through a series of individually tailored experiments, students will reinforce their knowledge in one or more of these areas, while at the same time gaining exposure to modern photonics laboratory equipment. Experiments available include properties of optical fibers, optical fiber diagnostics, optical communications systems, properties of photodetectors, mode structure and threshold behavior of lasers, coherence properties of laser light, characterization of fiber amplifiers, diffraction of light, polarization of light, interferometry. No prior laboratory background is expected. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 2651. Intermediate Physics Laboratory

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course offers experience in experimentation and observation for students of the sciences and others. In a series of subject units, students learn or review the physical principles underlying the phenomena to be observed and the basis for the measurement techniques employed. Principles and uses of laboratory instruments including the cathode-ray oscilloscope, meters for frequency, time, electrical and other quantities are stressed. In addition to systematic measurement procedures and data recording, strong emphasis is placed on processing of the data, preparation and interpretation of graphical presentations, and analysis of precision and accuracy, including determination and interpretation of best value, measures of error and uncertainty, linear best fit to data, and identification of systematic and random errors. Preparation of high-quality experiment reports is also emphasized. Representative experiment subjects are: mechanical motions and vibrations; free and driven electrical oscillations; electric fields and potential; magnetic materials and fields; electron beam dynamics; optics; diffractiongrating spectroscopy; radioactive decay and nuclear energy measurements. Students who have received credit for PH 2600 or PH 3600 may not receive credit for PH 2651.

### PH 3206. Statistical Physics

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

An introduction to the basic principles of thermodynamics and statistical physics. Topics covered include: basic ideas of probability theory, statistical description of systems of particles, thermodynamic laws, entropy, microcanonical and canonical ensembles, ideal and real gases, ensembles of weakly interacting spin 1/2 systems.

### PH 3301. Electromagnetic Theory

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

A continuation of PH 2301, this course deals with more advanced subjects in electromagnetism, as well as study of basic subjects with a more advanced level of mathematical analysis. Fundamentals of electric and magnetic fields, dielectric and magnetic properties of matter, quasi-static time-dependent phenomena, and generation and propagation of electromagnetic waves are investigated from the point of view of the classical Maxwells equations.

### PH 3401. Quantum Mechanics I

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course includes a study of the basic postulates of quantum mechanics, its mathematical language and applications to one-dimensional problems. The course is recommended for physics majors and other students whose future work will involve the application of quantum mechanics. Topics include wave packets, the uncertainty principle, introduction to operator algebra, application of the Schroedinger equation to the simple harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration and potential wells.

### PH 3402. Quantum Mechanics II

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

This course represents a continuation of PH 3401 and includes a study of three-dimensional systems and the application of quantum mechanics in selected fields. Topics include: the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, spin, perturbation theory and examples of the application of quantum mechanics in fields such as atomic and molecular physics, solid state physics, optics, and nuclear physics.

### PH 3501. Relativity

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

This course is designed to help the student acquire an understanding of the formalism and concepts of relativity as well as its application to physical problems. Topics include the Lorentz transformation, 4-vectors and tensors, covariance of the equations of physics, transformation of electromagnetic fields, particle kinematics and dynamics. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 3502. Solid State Physics

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

An introduction to solid state physics. Topics include: crystallography, lattice vibrations, electron band structure, metals, semiconductors, dielectric and magnetic properties. This course will be offered in 2022-23, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 3503. Nuclear Physics

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

This course is intended to acquaint the student with the measurable properties of nuclei and the principles necessary to perform these measurements. The major part of the course will be an introduction to the theory of nuclei. The principal topics will include binding energy, nuclear models and nuclear reactions. The deuteron will be discussed in detail and the nuclear shell model will be treated as well as the nuclear optical model. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 3504. Optics

Cat II (offered at least every other Year).

This course provides an introduction to classical physical optics, in particular interference, diffraction and polarization, and to the elementary theory of lenses. The theory covered will be applied in the analysis of one or more modern optical instruments. This course will be offered in 2021-22, and in alternating years thereafter.

### PH 350X. OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF SOLIDS

The course will cover the optical physics of solid state materials, including the classical description of optical propagation and reflectivity, quantum treatment of absorption and luminescence, and excitonic effects. The phenomena will be illustrated by discussing the optical properties of insulators, semiconductors, metals, as well as their nanostructures. The course will conclude with a brief introduction to nonlinear optics.

Recommended background: A basic understanding of electricity and magnetism (PH1121 or equivalent), and introduction to quantum mechanics (at level of a modern physics course, PH1130) is recommended.

### PH 4201. Advanced Classical Mechanics

Cat I (offered at least 1x per Year).

A review of the basic principles and introduction to advanced methods of mechanics, emphasizing the relationship between dynamical symmetries and conserved quantities, as well as classical mechanics as a background to quantum mechanics. Topics include: Lagrangian mechanics and the variational principle, central force motion, theory of small oscillations, Hamiltonian mechanics, canonical transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi Theory, rigid body motion, and continuous systems. This is a 14-week course.

### PH 443X. INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM INFORMATION

This course is an introduction to the basic ideas of quantum information. Topics covered will include qubits or two-state quantum systems, physical realizations of qubits, the formalism for treating small numbers of qubits, entanglement and non- locality, gate operations on qubits, the circuit model of quantum computation and some simple quantum algorithms.

Recommended background: Students should have mathematical preparation in ordinary differential equations, vector and tensor analysis, complex variables and linear algebra. In addition, they should have taken an undergraduate course in quantum mechanics (at the level of PH3401 at WPI).

## Graduate Courses

### MPE 510. Classical Mechanics

Broad coverage emphasizing interconnections of a mechanical description of the universe utilizing both algebraic and calculus language at a level appropriate for secondary school educators. Topics include: vectors and vector manipulation to describe motion, Newtons laws of motion; work and energy concepts; energy and momentum conservation laws; models of forces and interactions; generalized coordinates and momentum; overview of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations.

### MPE 520. Electrodynamics

Broad coverage at the appropriate level emphasizing interconnections of the electromagnetic interactions in the universe utilizing both algebraic and calculus language at a level appropriate for secondary school educators. Topics include: electro and magnetostatics and dynamics, boundary-value problems; Maxwells equations; overview of electromagnetic properties of matter and wave propagation (radiation).

### MPE 530. Modern Physics

Broad coverage of the three central areas of modern physics that emphasize the wonder and interconnections at the conceptual level appropriate for secondary school educators. Topics include: Quantum Physics (postulates, Schrodinger and Dirac formalisms, implications and interpretations), Special and Introduction to General Relativity (the four-vector, space-time, invariants, time dilation and length contraction), and Thermo/Statistical Physics (macroscopic variables, equation of state, state functions, response functions, microscopic variables, statistical approach, ensembles, the partition function).

### MPE 540. Differential Equations in Nature

Emphasizes connections and interconnections with the mechanical, electromagnetic, and modern areas as well as mathematical areas of oscillations, waves, and optics utilizing differential equations at a level appropriate for secondary school educators. Topics include: Free, damped, and driven-damped oscillations, waves, Doppler Effect, optics, interference and diffraction. Examples are drawn from a wide range of physical phenomena to illustrate each concept. To develop this content, homogeneous and non-homogeneous differential equations of the first and second order will be employed. Thick contextual meaning will be drawn to support mathematical foundation and vice versa to allow for deeper authentic learning.

### MPE 550. Computational Methods in Physics

Topics are chosen to illustrate various numerical techniques useful for educators and students to illustrate physics concepts and develop a sense of physical intuition through simulations and modeling. It is not intended to be a course on numerical methods; rather it will be aimed at the application of numerical methods to physical models. Various programming languages/ platforms are utilized in each example to highlight the general nature and to provide choices matching students programming backgrounds.

### MPE 560. Experimental Methods in Physics

Hands-on methods of physically testing concepts and models of the universe. Technology is utilized but general methods accessible to barely outfitted lab environments are stressed. Topics covered are in a series of subject units, the physical principles underlying the phenomena to be observed and the basis for the measurement techniques employed is reviewed. Principles and uses of standard laboratory instruments (oscilloscopes, meters for frequency, time, electrical and other quantities, lock-in amplifiers, etc.) are stressed. In addition to systematic measurement procedures and data recording, strong emphasis is placed on processing of the data, preparation and interpretation of graphical presentations, and analysis of precision and accuracy, including determination and interpretation of best value, measures of error and uncertainty, linear best fit to data, and identification of systematic and random errors. Preparation of high-quality experiment reports is also emphasized. Representative experiment subjects are: mechanical motions and vibrations; free and driven electrical oscillations; electric fields and potential; magnetic materials and fields; electron beam dynamics; optics; diffractiongrating spectroscopy; radioactive decay and nuclear energy measurements.

### MPE 572. Physics Research Experience for Teachers

Provides educators with hands-on research experience either in the research programs in Physics at WPI or other venues but under the oversight of the physics faculty. The goal is to support the active involvement of educators in research in order to translate their research experience into new classroom activities and build long term collaborative relationships between the researcher(s), educator(s), and potentially the educator (s) students. Research activities can range from experimental to theoretical to computational and can involve multiple educators and/or their students with some expectation that the activity may lead to a publication.

### MPE 574. Physics for Citizens and Leaders

Emphasizes physics concepts and connections to society. Educators will explore and understand the important connections between society and the relevant physics concepts and their context. The goal is for the educator to be able to apply critical thinking of the application of physics to important societal issues. Topics can range from energy options, climate change, technology assessment and risk, ethical use of science.

### MPE 576. Physics in Popular Culture

Covers myths and misconceptions of physics in popular culture (i.e., movies, books, TV, web, etc.). The goal of this independent study is for the educator to be able to identify how the representation of physics in popular media perpetuates important myths and misconceptions that impact reasoning and critical thinking, sometimes in a profoundly negative way. Emphasis is placed on utilizing these representations as teaching/learning moments for the specific relevant physical concepts.

### NSE 510. Introduction to Nuclear Science and Engineering

This introductory course provides an overview of the field of nuclear science and engineering as it relates to nuclear power and nuclear technologies. Fundamental concepts relevant to nuclear systems are introduced, including radioactivity, radiation interaction phenomena, chain reaction physics, and transport in engineering materials. Nuclear reactor physics and design concepts are introduced with focus on light water fission reactors. A survey of advanced nuclear technologies and applications is provided.

### NSE 515. Radiation Biology

This course will introduce the student to fundamental concepts in radiation biology. Initially, theories will be developed concerning the effects of radiation exposure on basic biological systems, such as a virus or a cell. These theories will be based on our knowledge of radiation interaction mechanisms at the atomic/molecular level coupled with our knowledge of cell biology. Once developed, these theories will be compared against experimental observations and expanded to include cellular kinetic responses to radiation. Focus will then shift from the simple cell to more complex biological organisms. Ultimately, the student will be expected to appreciate the practical aspects and consequences of human radiation exposure and to properly apply this information in a radiation safety or medical physics environment.

### NSE 520. Applied Nuclear Physics

This course introduces engineering and science students to the fundamental topics of nuclear physics for applications, basic properties of the nucleus, nuclear radiations, and radiation interactions with matter. The course is divided into four main sections: (1) introduction to elementary quantum mechanics, (2) nuclear and atomic structure, (3) nuclear decays and radiation, and (4) nuclear matter interactions and nuclear reactions.

### NSE 530. Health Physics

This course builds on fundamental concepts introduced in NSE 310 and applies them to key topics in health physics and radiation protection. Health physics topics include man-made and natural sources of radiation, dose, radiation biology, radiation measurement, and radiation safeguards. Radiation protection concepts are explored as they apply to existing and advanced nuclear power generators, including reactor safety, nuclear waste and byproducts, regulatory constraints, and accident case studies.

### NSE 540. Nuclear Materials

This course applies fundamental materials science concepts to effects on materials in harsh nuclear environments. An overview is provided on environments, special nuclear materials, and constraints in materials selection. Relationships are developed between nuclear effects on crystal structure, microstructure, degraded material performance, and bulk properties of engineering and electronic materials. Case studies provide examples of enhancements induced my multiple harsh environments and mitigation through material design hardening.

### NSE 550. Reactor Design, Operations, and Safety

This course provides a systems engineering view of commercial nuclear power plant technology. Power plant designs and their evolutions are studied, ranging from early to modern generation light water reactors, as well as advanced designs families, such alternate moderator and breeder reactors. Critical aspects of conventional power reactor designs are explored in detail, including steam supply, reactor core, control, and protection systems. Plant operational characteristics are studied, including reactor dynamics, control, feedback, and fuel cycle management. Critical power plant safety aspects of the design and operations are explored and reinforced with lessons learned from major power generator accidents scenarios (including Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Daiichi).

### NSE 560. Nuclear Instrumentation

This course provides the operating principles and applications of nuclear radiation detection systems, including detector theory, electronic signal processing, and measurement and data reduction techniques. Students will learn to use ion chambers, proportional counters, Geiger Mueller counters, scintillators, and high-purity germanium detectors to detect alpha, beta, gamma, x-ray, and other radiations.

### NSE 570. Diagnostic Medical Physics

Students will be introduced to the fields of diagnostic medical imaging with a focus on the fundamental imaging physics. Basic concepts, including: matter and energy, x-ray production, and photon interactions, will lead to topics in x-ray generation, nuclear magnetic resonance, and sound-wave propagation. The course will then focus on the different diagnostic imaging modalities including X-ray radiography, Computed Tomography, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Gamma Scintillation, and ultrasound imaging.

### NSE 580. Radiation Therapy Physics

Students will learn the theory, practice, and application of radiation oncology and therapy. Using the basic concepts of matter and energy, the production of x-rays, and photon interactions in tissue, the student will be introduced to linear accelerator (LINAC) physics, radiation treatment planning, and photon and electron dosimetry. In addition, this course will cover topics of current interest in radiation therapy such as: intensity-modulated radiation therapy, calibration of electron and photon beams, brachytherapy, hyper-fractionation therapy, and charged particle therapy.

### NSE 585. Medical Ethics and Responsible Conduct

This material is intended to cover ethical issues in clinical medicine, scientific research, and in the professional conduct of the medical physicist. The term ethics is used here in the sense of a permissible standard of conduct for members of a profession.

### NSE 589. Medical Professionalism and Ethics

This material is intended to cover ethical issues in clinical medicine, scientific research, and in the professional conduct of the medical physicist. The term ethics is used here in the sense of a permissible standard of conduct for members involved with the medical and research fields.

### PH 548. Fundamentals of Sensors

The course offers an overview of basic sensor physics and technologies to provide practical working knowledge of sensors. The course will include basic sensor operating principles, the physics of sensors, electrical interfacing to sensors, measurement principles, and applications. A wide range of sensors could be covered, such as temperature, photonic, acoustic, chemical, biological, electromagnetic, pressure, position and motion sensors. There will also be a laboratory component to the course.

### PH 561. Atomic Force Microscopy

Atomic force microscopes (AFMs) are instruments that allow three-dimensional imaging of surfaces with nanometer resolution and are important enabling tools for nanoscience and technology. The student who successfully completes this course will understand the functional principles of AFMs, be able to run one, and interpret the data that are collected. The recommended background for this course is a bachelors degree in science or engineering. Students who have successfully completed PH 2510, the undergraduate version of this course, may not earn credit for PH 561.

### PH 562. Fundamentals of Biological Physics

The course will cover the fundamental concepts of biological physics. The main objective is to learn how to apply the principles of physics, methods of mathematical analysis and computational modeling to complex biological systems and develop a better understanding. The approach will be truly interdisciplinary, bringing concepts from statistical physics, classical mechanics, cell biology, chemistry and biochemistry. Topics covered include: biology by the numbers: time and length scales, mechanical and chemical equilibrium in the living cell, entropy in biology, two-state systems and cooperative binding, random walks and the structure of macromolecules, architecture of the cytoskeleton, biological membranes, modeling of fluids, statistical view of biological dynamics, life in crowded environments, rate equations and dynamics in the cell, dynamics of molecular motors.

### PH 563. Introduction to Experimental Methods in Biophysics

The course will overview the biophysical experimental techniques which are used in the study of the structure and function of biological systems at the cellular and molecular level. The main objectives are to understand the principles of most common biophysical technics and to learn essential skills to perform lab research in biophysics. Topics covered include: light microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, image processing, electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction and protein structure determination, NMR, spectroscopy, calcium measurements, resonance energy transfer, patch-clamp, optical tweezers, rheological characterization of soft materials, molecular force measurements, proportional-integral-derivative automation, protein expression, and design of DNA plasmid. Students will gain hands-on experience on cutting-edge biophysical techniques and will receive training on data collection, data analyzation, and scientific report writing.

### PH 571. Biophysics/ Soft Condensed Matter Journal Club

Students interested in Biophysics/ Soft Condensed Matter read journal articles, prepare presentations and give short talks, engage in critical discussion, and provide feedback to fellow students. The objectives of the course are for students to learn about current topics in the broad area Biophysics/ Soft Condensed Matter and biotechnology and to improve their professional skills.

### PH 572. Nanoscience Journal Club

Students interested in nanoscience read journal articles, write abstracts, give short talks, engage in critical discussion, and provide feedback to fellow students. The objectives of the course are for students to learn about current topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology and to improve their professional skills.

### PH 580. Graduate Seminar

Students attend Physics Colloquia by WPI faculty and invited scientists on current research topics in different areas of physics. They discuss results and ideas presented in those talks. In addition, students give presentations on their research or on problems of current interest to physics community. The course therefore will provide opportunities for students to develop their presentation skills, broaden their perspectives and provide networking opportunities. All full-time physics graduate students are required to register and attend.

### PH 585. Scientific Writing and Proposal Development

This course will cover key elements of writing successful grant or fellowship proposals, as well as manuscripts. The topics that will be covered will include project development, identification of funding agencies or journals, proposal and manuscript writing and editing, as well as aspects of the submission and review process. Students will be expected to develop a proposal, and participate in reviews. Students are expected to complete this course prior to taking the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam in Physics.

### PH 598. Directed Research

A directed and coherent program of research that, in most cases, will eventually lead to thesis or dissertation research. This is also used for Directed Research Rotation (for 3 credit hours) for first year students who have not yet taken the Qualifying Examination in order to explore the available research opportunities.