Course Description




Physics is the study of the fundamental and emergent structures that make up the world. It studies the motions and mechanics of these structures and their components, such as the behaviors of gases or the motions of electrons. It relies heavily on advanced mathematics and on complex experimentation, and it intersects with many other fields such as mathematics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering.

Physics began in earnest with Newton, but since then we have been to the moon and measured the ripples in spacetime made by ancient stars. The aim is both innovation and understanding. Applied physics is closest to engineering, and aims at creating new technologies. Experimental physics aims instead at probing the limits of our theories. Theoretical physics aims to unify and explain the results of our past experiments, and to predict the outcomes of future experiments.

Core Curriculum

The core topics introduce the field of physics and give students the skills and understanding to choose and pursue their interests in the specialized topics. On completing the core, students will be able to independently read the historical and academic literature. The core topics are:

  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Complex Analysis
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Differential Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Classical Field Theory
  • Tensor Calculus
  • Special Relativity
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Computer Programming
  • Laboratory Work


Specializations should be discussed with the Director of Studies. On completing specializations, students will be able to independently read advanced literature and conduct a final project in that topic. Some suggested specializations are:

  • Data Analysis
  • Advanced Quantum Mechanics
  • Groups and Symmetries
  • Optics
  • Astrophysics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Cosmology
  • Planetary Science
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Quantum Computing
  • Geophysics
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics
  • Complex Networks
  • Information Theory
  • Medical Physics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Gravitation Physics
  • Plasma Physics
  • String Theory
  • Gauge Theory
  • Quantum Electrodynamics
  • Quantum Chromodynamics
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Standard Model

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