Physics 8805.01 Nuclear Few- and Many-Body Physics
Autumn, 2014

General Information about 8805.01 Many-Body Physics

Course working title:
Nuclear Few- and Many-Body Physics
There is no text that covers the relevant material with the methods and viewpoint we want to use (Achim Schwenk and I will be writing such a text). So we'll primarily use my lecture notes, supplemented by lectures notes by others and readings from some standard texts. All materials will be available from the main 8805 webpage.
The first-year graduate courses (quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, statistical mechanics in particular; electromagnetic will help but is not essential). Previous exposure to field theory is not assumed. Talk to Prof. Furnstahl if you're concerned about your preparation.
The focus will be on modern nonrelativistic few-body and many-body (mostly many-fermion) theory applied to low-energy nuclear systems (with connections to QCD and cold atom systems). It will be in the spirit of Fetter and Walecka's classic many-body text but updated to include path integral, effective field theory (EFT), and renormalization group (RG) methods. We will also discuss how to implement modern many-body techniques computationally (but not how to write programs). We will build on the course materials from an intensive three-week course on "Nuclear Forces and their impact on structure, reactions and astrophysics" taught by Prof. Achim Schwenk and me in summer 2013 at the Institute for Nuclear Theory in Seattle, with added material on the many-body aspects. There are links to the schedule, lecture notes and slides (and videos!), and discussion questions and exercises. The pace and depth of coverage will be adjusted as we go based on feedback from the class.
Instructional Philosophy:
The structure of the course will be based on the observation that "active learning" is more effective than straight lectures during which you are passively listening. As we all know from experience, you really learn the physics when you do problems and discuss the underlying concepts (or, even more so, when you have to teach it!). So the most important part will be discussions and actual problem solving among the participants and the instructor. To make this possible, we will dedicate some of the class time to discussion questions (and we will try "flipping" some lectures so you look at them as videos and we do discussion questions and exercises in class), and students will be highly encouraged to discuss and work on assignments with each other. The plan is to facilitate this with an online student-driven question-and-answer system in the spirit of StackExchange (although this is not working yet). The assignments will range from two-minute problems to advanced exercises for the experts. Some of the exercises are designed to lead the student to go back over particular lecture material to make sure it is understood while others extend the lecture and still others introduce topics not yet touched upon. To avoid the assignments from becoming major time sinks, we do not attempt to develop the type of problem-solving skills that require students to struggle over individual problems for many hours. Rather, the idea is to guide students rather explicitly but let them fill in details. This is facilitated by having hints available so that the discovery process is quicker.
Prof. Richard Furnstahl
office: M2048 PRB
phone: 292-4830 (office) or 847-4026 (home)
Class meets MW from 11am-12:30pm in PRB M2035 (middle conference room). Make-up (or optional supplementary classes) will be scheduled as we go.
Office Hours:
By appointment or just drop by Prof. Furnstahl's office (M2048). Prof. Furnstahl will be in M2035 for 30 minutes before and after the lecture for additional questions or discussion.
Assigned discussion questions and exercises [100%]
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[OSU Physics] [College of Arts and Sciences] [Ohio State University]
Physics 8805 Course Information.
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