Course Overview

Course Description

This course focuses on several major unanswered questions in physics. Topics include the dark matter and dark energy, cosmic rays, neutrino oscillations, back holes and gravitational waves, quantum information and cryptography, control of ultracold matter, atomic clocks, superfluidity and superconductivity.

Prerequisites: PHYS 207

Recommended reading

There is no course textbook. Recommended reading will be listed in advance of the lectures on the course web site. Additional reading links will be listed, including more advanced material particulary recommended for honor students. Direct access links to journal articles should work while using UD network. When accessing journal articles off campus, access specific journal through UD library webpage (login required).

Instructor Information

Research Fields
Theoretical atomic physics and the search for physics beyond the standard model of elementary particles
Marianna Safronova's Research web site

Click on the link more information:
Project A
Project B
Honor student talks

List of questions and sometimes problems will be given most weeks. You do not have to turn it in and it will not be graded.

There will be three midterms, on March 5, April 9 and May 14. All exams will be during regular class hours. There will be no final exam. The exams will only contain questions/problems from the homeworks.

Course Policies & Grading

Course Policies

Late assignments
Only excused absences are eligible for submitting project paper late. If you miss an exam or are unable to submit paper on time due to an excused absence you have to notify me by e-mail as soon as possible. If you anticipate a conflict ahead of time, then you should let me know in advance that you will or may be absent.  University policies ( ) outline the criteria for an excused absence.

Academic Honesty
Student Guide to University Policies: Code of Student Conduct

Exam Grading Policy
Unless noted otherwise, problems and questions are graded on the 3 point scale described below.

3 points
The question is answered correctly.
Problem is solved correctly and correct answer is obtained.
2 points
The question is mostly answered correctly, but some mistake is made or answer is incomplete.
Substantial portion of the solution, which is in the direction of the correct answer is given or complete (in principle correct) solution is given but some mistake is made which lead to incorrect answer.
1 point
Some attempt to answer the question is demonstrated.
An attempt to solve the problem has been made and an understanding of how such problem may be solved is demonstrated (some work in the direction of the correct solution is present).
0 points
No answer to the question is provides or answer is incorrect.
No solution is provided or no understanding of how such problem may be solved is demonstrated.

Course Grade, Regular section

The grade is determined as follows:
Percentage Assigned
Midterm 1
Midterm 2
Midterm 3
Project A or B

Course Grade, Honor section

The grade is determined as follows:
Percentage Assigned
Midterm 1
Midterm 2
Midterm 3
Project B

Rough guidelines for letter grade ranges are listed below.

93 - 100
90 - 92
87 - 89
83 - 86
80 - 82
75 - 79
70 - 74
65 - 69
60 - 64
56 - 59
51 - 55
< 50