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Physics 500 Classical Mechanics

I. Survey of elementary principles

1. Mechanics of a particle
2. Mechanics of a system of particles
3. DAlembert principle and Lagranges equations
II. Variational principles
1.Hamiltons principle
2.Calculus of variations
3.Conservation theorems
III. The central force problem
1.Two-body problems and the equivalent one-body problem
2.The Kepler problem and planetary motion
3.Conserved quantities in the Kepler problem: the Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector
4.Scattering by a central force
5.The three-body problem with applications to the Sun-Earth-Moon system
6.Lagrange points of the Sun-Earth system and space exploration
IV. Rigid body motion
1.Rotations and orthogonal transformations
2.Euler angles and rotation matrices as elements of the Lie group SO(3)
3.Infinitesimal rotations and their generators as elements of the Lie algebra so(3)
4.Mechanics of rotating systems. The Coriolis effect and satellite motion
5.Eulers equations of motion
6.The heavy symmetrical top and gyroscopes
7.Precession and wobbling of the Earth
V. Oscillations
1.The eigenvalue equation
2.Normal modes
3.Applications to vibrations of molecules
4.Forced vibrations
VI. Special theory of relativity
1.Basic postulates
2.Lorentz transformations
3.The addition formula and Thomas precession
4.Covariant formulation
5.Relativistic collisions
6.Relativistic forces and their difficulties. Lagrange formulation.
VII. Hamilton formulation
1.Hamiltons equations
2.Hamiltons formulation of relativistic mechanics
3.Principle of least action
VIII. Canonical transformations
1.Equations of canonical transformations
2.Symplectic approach to canonical transformations
3.Poisson brackets and relation to commutators in quantum mechanics

4.Dynamic symmetry groups in classical mechanics.

IX. Hamilton-Jacobi theory
1.Hamilton-Jacobi equations
2.Action-angle variables
X. Classical chaos
1.Periodic motion
2.Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser theorem
4.Chaotic trajectories and Liapunov exponent
5.Poincare maps
6.Henon-Heiles Hamiltonian
7.Fractals and dimensionality
XI. Continuous systems
1.The Lagrangean formulation for continuous systems
2.The Hamiltonian formulation for continuous systems
3.Strings and membranes

502 Electrodynamics
Electrostatics: Gauss' law, potential, Poisson eq, surface charge, Green's function with
boundary values, capacitance
Techniques for boundary value problems in electrostatics: method of images, separation
of variables, orthogonal functions, Fourier series and integrals, spherical coordinates,
spherical harmonics, Legendre functions, Bessel functions, Green's function in spherical
polars, multipole expansions
Dielectrics and boundary value problems
Magnetostatics: vector potential, magnetic moment, torque, permeability, boundary
conditions on B and H, boundary value problems
Faraday's law, induction, energy in magnetic field, quasistatic fields
Maxwell equations, gauge choices, retarded solutions, Poynting theorem
Lorentz transformation of fields, 4-tensor notation for Maxwell equations
Plane EM waves, polarization, plane interfaces, dispersion of waves, Kramers-Kronig
relation, causality
Waveguides, TEM, TE, TM waves, cavities, losses, Q factor
Spherical waves, radiating systems, multipole expansions, vector spherical harmonics
Why the sky is blue (Rayleigh scattering)

506 Mathematical Methods of Physics

General information
1. Classes
We meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 to 10:15 in SPL 56.
2. Syllabus
This course provides a broad survey of mathematical techniques and methods
used in advanced physics. The focus is on mathematical tools that will be show up
frequently in other classes you take, and in your future careers as research
My aim is to cover (most of) the following topics:

Infinite Series
Vector and tensor analysis
Complex analysis
Dierential equations
Sturm-Liouville Theory and Orthogonal Functions
Greens Functions
Integral transforms and Special functions
Calculus of variations
Group theory

3. Literature
The text for the course is Arfken & Weber, Mathematical Methods for
Physicists, 6th edition. It should be available at the Yale bookstore and at
amazon.com or bn.com. Useful reference books are:
Gradshteyn and Ryzhik, Table of Integrals, Series, and Products
Abramowitz and Stegun, Handbook of Mathematical Functions
Other useful textbooks on mathematical physics include (you do not need to own
these for this course):
Morse and Feshbach, Methods of Theoretical Physics (a little old, but a
Bender and Orszag, Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and
Engineers (excellent resource for approximate techniques, WKB etc)
Schey, Div, grad and curl and all that (a simple introduction to vector
The bibliography of Arfken contains further references.

Note that the problem sets will all include full statements of the problems (rather
than the edition dependent problem numbers) any recent edition of Arfken
should be sucient for a student taking this course.
4. Homework
This is the most important part of the course. You have mastered the material only
if you are able to solve the problems. A certain amount of collaboration on the
homework is permitted, but make sure you understand what you are turning in.
Late homeworks will only be accepted one week after the due date, so dont get
behind. The homework will contribute 40% to your grade.
5. Exams
There will be a midterm and a final exam, contributing 20% and 40%,
respectively, to your grade. The midterm is scheduled for October 18, in the
regular lecture timeslot. The exams are closed book, with no calculators or other
mechanical and electronic aids permitted.
6. Website
Problem sets and useful links will be posted on the course website at
classes.yale.edu. I aim to provide advance notice of the material in each lecture
(and pointers to the relevant sections of the textbook) on the website and via
7. Computers
Some homework problems will require a numerical solution. I assume everyone
has access to a computer. You can solve the numerical problems using any
algorithm or software package you prefer. Please include a printout of the
notebook / source code used to generate the results, or email me a copy.

Physics 508 Graduate Quantum Mechanics I

I. Quantum kinematics and dynamics (configuration space vs. Hilbert space,
wave function vs. state vector; Postulates of QM)


II. Simple 1-d problems (free particle, delta function potential, stepwise

III. Simple harmonic oscillator (spectrum and eigenfunctions, raising &

lowering operators, coherent states, uncertainty, squeezed states)


IV. Path integrals (equivalence to TDSE, instanton tunneling) and Classical

limit (Hamiltons principle, Hamilton-Jacobi equation, Ehrenfests theorem)


V. Angular momentum, symmetries.


VI. Spin, the Bloch sphere, addition of angular momentum


VII. Charged particle in a magnetic field (conjugate momentum, Landau levels,

Aharanov-Bohm effect)


IX. Time independent perturbation theory, WKB, Variational methods


512 Statistical Physics I

1. Thermodynamics
1.1 Thermodynamic equilibrium, the First Law of thermodynamics
1.2. The Second Law of thermodynamics, Carnot cycle, the absolute temperature, entropy
1.3 Relations between derivatives of thermodynamic quantities
1.4 Thermodynamic potentials
1.5 The Third Law of thermodynamics
2. Classical Statistical Mechanics
2.1 The postulate of classical statistical mechanics, Liouvilles theorem, and the ergodic
2.2 Microcanonical ensemble and derivation of thermodynamics
2.3 Equipartition theorem, ideal gas, Gibbs paradox
3. The Gibbs Distribution
3.1 Canonical and Grand Canonical Ensembles
3.2 Fluctuations in equilibrium
4. Quantum Statistical Mechanics
4.1 Postulates and foundations, density matrix, canonical and grand-canonical ensembles
4.2 The Third Law of thermodynamics revisited
4.3 The limit of Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution
5. Ideal classical and quantum gases
5.1 Monoatomic and polyatomic classical gases
5.2 Fermi gas
5.3 Bose gas
6. Non-ideal gases
6.1 Classical and Degenerate Plasma
6.2 Lowest-order virial expansion for a classical gas
7. Phase equilibrium
7.1 Phase equilibrium
7.2 Critical point
7.3 Van der Waals equation of state
7.4 Equilibrium in chemical reactions

8. Intro to continuous phase transitions

8.1 Symmetry breaking, order parameter
8.2 Landau functional, specific heat jump, effect of external field
Recommended texts:
1. Statistical Mechanics, K. Huang (Wiley, New York, 1987).
2. Statistical Mechanics, R.K. Pathria (Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, 1996).
3. Statistical Physics, 3rd ed., Part I, L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, Volume 5 of Course
of Theoretical Physics (Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, 1999).
Other useful texts:
1. Equilibrium Statistical Physics, M. Plischke and B. Bergersen (World Scientific,
Singapore, 1994) (this is a more advanced text).
2. Statistical Thermophysics, H.S. Robertson (Prentice Hall, New York, 1993).
Recommended texts in thermodynamics:
1. Thermodynamics and an introduction to Thermostatistics, H.B. Callen (Wiley, New
York, 1985).
2. Thermodynamics, E. Fermi (Dover, New York, 1956).

608a Quantum Mechanics II

1) Time-independent approximation methods
(periodic potential, WKB, Variational)
2) Pictures of quantum dynamics
Schr., Heis., Dirac pictures; exactly solvable time-dep. Hamiltonians
3) Time- dependent perturbation theory
Dyson series, Fermis golden rule, adiabatic/sudden limits, Landau-Zener
4) Symmetrization
5) Scattering
Partial waves, Born approx., Wigner thresholds
6) Dirac equation
7) Light-matter interactions
Second quantization, multi-photon interference and correlations
8) Measurement theory