Beautiful Physics





Howard Georgi (Department of Physics)
Freshman Seminar 26E 4 credits (fall term) Enrollment: Limited to 12

There are a number of physical phenomena that are both subjectively beautiful and mathematically subtle. Participants will explore a few of these phenomena (including the Kelvin wake and the rainbow) to develop a precise mathematical description of the most important effects. They will consider whether it is possible to communicate the crux of the physics without all the mathematical detail. Participants should have both a strong physics and mathematics background and good verbal skills. Participants with less mathematical background may be considered if they have a strong background in the Arts.

Note: Satisfactory participation in the quantitative aspects of the seminar will prepare students to test out of the theoretical component of the Physics 15c requirement for the Physics, and the Chemistry and Physics concentrations (although concentrators will still have to take the 15c PSI lab).

See also: Fall 2022