Course Description Information:
Special Topics Courses:
Computational methods are of ever increasing importance, playing a key role in many frontiers of physics from galaxy formation at the largest length scales to making accurate simulations of complex materials and modeling the subatomic realm. Students in this class will learn to formulate physics problems in a manner suitable for computation, select or devise an appropriate algorithm, implement maintainable programs and visualize and interpret the results from both a numerical and physics perspective. They will learn these skills through a novel project based approach by solving a variety of problems connected to other physics classes and research.
This class welcomes both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students should have taken Physics 13 and one class in Physics numbered above 13 as well as Comp 11 or Math 50 or be able to demonstrate equivalent programming experience. Graduate students should enroll in 194 and will be expect to complete a more substantial final project. All prospective students must register with the instructor’s permission. Priority will be given to junior and senior students.
Cosmology for the Curious
Prof. Alexander Vilenkin
PHY 0007 TRF 12:00 – 12:50 pm
Explores recent developments in cosmology. Big bang and cosmic inflation; dark matter and dark energy; cosmic strings and extra dimensions; anthropic reasoning and the multiverse. The questions to be addressed include: How did the universe begin? How will it end? Why is it expanding? Are there parallel worlds? Because of remarkable recent progress in cosmology, we now have answers to these questions that we have some reason to believe.
Prerequisite: No background in physics or math is assumed beyond elementary high school math..
This course is applicable to the Natural Sciences Distribution Requirement, but not towards any major or minor in Physics or Astronomy.
Professor Alex Vilenkin is one of the world’s leading figures in theoretical cosmology, the author of more than 230 papers and an inventor of the theory of the “multiverse” – that ours is just one of a constantly growing infinity of universes. He is the author of Many Worlds in One, a popular exposition of current cosmological ideas, and he has appeared on PBS’s Nova and been profiled in many popular science magazines.
“totally blew my mind.”
“An awesome experience learning from a brilliant professor … I LOVED it.”
“In one word FASCINATING.”