Enrollment for Physics 198, Section 005: From Quasars to Quarks (FQ2Q) is now open! FQ2Q is a 2-unit, P/NP DeCal course intended for (prospective) physics majors. This is a class about physics at all (length) scales - beginning with a very blurry snapshot of the entire universe as a homogeneous, featureless entity, week by week, we'll “increase the resolution” and “zoom in” to a new length scale, from galaxies to planets to people to cells to atoms and beyond. At each level, we'll encounter unique phenomena, but also explore similarities and connections between scales.
At its heart, this course is motivated by a simple question: what is a particle? Although it is easy to think of fundamental particles like quarks or electrons, the answer is really dependent on the context: for example, in many cosmological simulations, the “particles” are individual galaxies, each with masses upwards of 10^40 kg and intricate substructure that is completely (reasonably) neglected! The choice of what constitutes a “particle” isn't just a trivial simplification either-- as we'll see, general relativity, classical mechanics, and quantum mechanics define “particles” very differently, but they all still work equally exceptionally well in their respective regimes.
Students should have taken or be concurrently enrolled in Physics 5A or 7A, and some familiarity with Math 53/54 content (multivariable calculus and introductory linear algebra) is recommended but not required. If you are unsure of whether you meet these prerequisites or have other enrollment concerns, please feel free to reach out to the facilitators (email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your options. Enrollment is limited to ~20 students, so sign up soon if you’re interested!
Class #: 33409