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Complete Undergraduate Physics Syllabus

by waterfall
Tags: physics, syllabus, undergraduate
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waterfall
#1
Mar1-12, 05:58 PM
P: 381
Does anyone know of a site that enumerates ALL the subjects an undergraduate physics course cover from freshman to last year (which includes common subjects like English, Literature, Economics, etc.)? I'd like to have an idea what subjects are included and especially what kinds of math are taught for example. Does it vary in different universities? Thanks.
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Vanadium 50
#2
Mar1-12, 06:10 PM
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Of course it varies by university. How could it not?

Every university's catalog (nearly all of which are online) has their degree requirements by major.
Jorriss
#3
Mar1-12, 06:39 PM
P: 1,042
There's absolutely no way to give a rounded off picture of GE's.

For physics however, this is fairly standard.

3-4 semesters of general physics

LD Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra

1 semester UD classical mechanics.
1 semester UD Classical E&M
1 semester quantum mechanics
1-2 labs, usually with one that really just comes down to circuits and electronics
1 semester statistical thermal physics
1 semester mathematical methods


But at this point almost anyone would take a second semester of all those courses if offered + physics electives.

http://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/courses/PHYS.html Here's a random course catalog.

waterfall
#4
Mar1-12, 07:11 PM
P: 381
Complete Undergraduate Physics Syllabus

Quote Quote by Jorriss View Post
There's absolutely no way to give a rounded off picture of GE's.

For physics however, this is fairly standard.

3-4 semesters of general physics

LD Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra

1 semester UD classical mechanics.
1 semester UD Classical E&M
1 semester quantum mechanics
1-2 labs, usually with one that really just comes down to circuits and electronics
1 semester statistical thermal physics
1 semester mathematical methods


But at this point almost anyone would take a second semester of all those courses if offered + physics electives.

http://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/courses/PHYS.html Here's a random course catalog.
You mean they don't include General Relativity or Quantum Field Theory?
Nabeshin
#5
Mar1-12, 07:14 PM
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Quote Quote by waterfall View Post
You mean they don't include General Relativity or Quantum Field Theory?
GR courses tend to be elective upper division classes, while QFT classes at an undergraduate level are pretty unheard of (given that you should probably take a grad level QM course first).

Usually there will be a sequence up through upper division quantum, E&M, thermo, and mechanics, which is usually complete (or almost complete) by the end of the junior year. After this, there is often a requirement to take a few courses beyond this, but the choice of which is up to the student (GR, condensed matter, particle physics, or some more application based courses, to name a few).
waterfall
#6
Mar1-12, 07:18 PM
P: 381
Quote Quote by Jorriss View Post
There's absolutely no way to give a rounded off picture of GE's.

For physics however, this is fairly standard.

3-4 semesters of general physics

LD Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra

1 semester UD classical mechanics.
1 semester UD Classical E&M
1 semester quantum mechanics
1-2 labs, usually with one that really just comes down to circuits and electronics
1 semester statistical thermal physics
1 semester mathematical methods


But at this point almost anyone would take a second semester of all those courses if offered + physics electives.

http://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/courses/PHYS.html Here's a random course catalog.
So undergraduate physics math only cover LD Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra?

Just for comparisons, what math subjects graduate courses offer that differ from the undergraduate?
HallsofIvy
#7
Mar1-12, 07:23 PM
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Except for, perhaps, partial differential equations, there don't tend to be many math courses for graduate physics courses. (Well, maybe "tensor theory" but that is typically taught as part of a general relativity course rather than a mathematics differential geometry course.)
waterfall
#8
Mar1-12, 07:34 PM
P: 381
Quote Quote by HallsofIvy View Post
Except for, perhaps, partial differential equations, there don't tend to be many math courses for graduate physics courses. (Well, maybe "tensor theory" but that is typically taught as part of a general relativity course rather than a mathematics differential geometry course.)
Are graduate courses the same as taking Ph.Ds? About there not being many math courses in graduate or Ph.D. courses. Then where did those physicists who wrote those papers at arxiv learn all those math? You mean the maths there are just composed of LD Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra and partial differential equations?
Jorriss
#9
Mar1-12, 07:51 PM
P: 1,042
Quote Quote by waterfall View Post
You mean they don't include General Relativity or Quantum Field Theory?
As already mentioned, GR is generally an UD elective IF offered by the school. Otherwise it is a graduate course and most physics UG do not experience any GR.

QFT is too advanced for UG. If you're lucky, you'll see a taste of relativistic quantum in the tail end of a third quarter or second semester. I actually do not know of any schools with UG QFT.

Quote Quote by waterfall View Post
So undergraduate physics math only cover LD Calculus, differential equations, linear algebra?

Just for comparisons, what math subjects graduate courses offer that differ from the undergraduate?
Those are the core courses required. Through out ones bachelors you'll acquire more. You'll learn a good amount of complex analysis, tensor calculus, calculus of variations, a lot more differential equations methods, etc. But those are generally learned in physics courses.

Every graduate program has a mathematical methods (although it might be built into graduate E&M or classical course) that will cover advanced methods of complex analysis, asymptotics, etc. From there, some graduate programs have specialized courses perhaps in group theory, topological methods, etc.


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