Profile of <span>Chris Herdman</span>
Office
McCardell Bicen Hall 526
Tel
(802) 443-5060
Email
cherdman@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Spring '21: Tues. 3-4PM, Thur. 2-3PM, Fri. 1:30-2:30PM and by appointment
Additional Programs
Physics

Courses Taught

Course Description

Symmetry in the Physical World
Beyond the familiar symmetry of human-made objects, there are fundamental symmetries that underlie the laws of nature. In this course we will explore how these symmetries impact the nature of matter and forces. We will investigate the life and ideas of Emmy Noether, the 20th century mathematician who formulated our modern understanding of symmetry in physics. Our discussions will touch on a wide range of physical concepts, including the principle of conservation of energy, the Big Bang, superconductivity, and the recently discovered Higgs particle. Our readings and discussions will be based on historical and scientific texts and popular science books.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

CW, SCI

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Course Description

Electricity and Magnetism
The physical principles of electricity and magnetism are developed with calculus and applied to the electrical structure of matter and the electromagnetic nature of light. Practical topics from electricity and magnetism include voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, inductance, and AC and DC circuits. Laboratory work includes an introduction to electronics and to important instruments such as the oscilloscope. (PHYS 0109, MATH 0122) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

DED, SCI

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Course Description

Relativity and Quantum Physics
This course probes a number of areas for which classical physics has provided no adequate explanations. Topics covered include Einstein's special relativity, quantization of atomic energy levels and photons, the atomic models of Rutherford and Bohr, and wave-particle duality. (PHYS 0109; PHYS 0110 concurrent or prior; MATH 0122) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020

Requirements

DED, SCI

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Course Description

Computational Physics
The laws of physics provide a beautiful mathematical framework for describing the universe. Yet it’s rare that exact solutions to the resulting equations can be found with pen and paper. In this course we will explore a range of powerful computational methods that allow us to solve physical problems, primarily using the Python programming language. Applications of these methods will include problems in Newtonian mechanics, electricity and magnetism, statistical and thermal physics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. No prior experience with programming is required. Students who meet the prerequisites for PHYS 0325 must register for that course instead. (Not open to students who have taken PHYS 0230 or PHYS 0202, or CSCI 0145 or CSCI 0150) (PHYS 0109; MATH 0122)

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

DED, SCI

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Course Description

Computational Physics
The laws of physics provide a beautiful mathematical framework for describing the universe. Yet it’s rare that exact solutions to the resulting equations can be found with pen and paper. In this course we will explore a range of powerful computational methods that allow us to solve physical problems, primarily using the Python programming language. Applications of these methods will include problems in Newtonian mechanics, electricity and magnetism, statistical and thermal physics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. No prior experience with programming is required. (PHYS 0109; MATH 0122)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

DED, SCI, WTR

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Course Description

Computational Physics
The laws of physics provide a beautiful mathematical framework for describing the universe. Yet it’s rare that exact solutions to the resulting equations can be found with pen and paper. In this course we will explore a range of powerful computational methods that allow us to solve physical problems, primarily using the Python programming language. Applications of these methods will include problems in Newtonian mechanics, electricity and magnetism, statistical and thermal physics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. Prior programming experience or physics coursework at 200 level is required to enroll in this course; students without this background may be eligible to enroll in PHYS 0225 (not open to students who have taken PHYS 0230). (PHYS 0109 and MATH 0122 and PHYS 0202 or CSCI 0145 or CSCI 0150 or equivalent).

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

DED, SCI

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Course Description

Analytical Mechanics
An intermediate-level course in the kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid body motion. The topics will include: analysis and application of Newton's law of mechanics; the concepts of work, energy, and power; energy conservation; momentum and momentum conservation; torque, angular momentum, and angular momentum conservation; oscillatory motion; and central-force motion. Lagrange's and Hamilton's formulations of classical mechanics will be introduced with emphasis placed on developing problem-solving strategies and techniques. (PHYS 0109 and PHYS 0212) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

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Course Description

Quantum Mechanics
A fundamental course in quantum mechanics aimed at understanding the mathematical structure of the theory and its application to physical phenomena at the atomic and nuclear levels. Topics include the basic postulates of quantum mechanics, operator formalism, Schrödinger equation, one-dimensional and central potentials, angular momentum and spin, perturbation theory, and systems of identical particles. (PHYS 0202 and PHYS 0212; MATH 0200 recommended) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Independent Study and Special Topics
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Project
Independent research project incorporating both written and oral presentations.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

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Course Description

Senior Research and Thesis
Independent research in the fall, winter, and spring terms culminating in a written thesis (two units total). (Approval required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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