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PHYS 494 A: Seminar on Current Problems in Physics

Meeting Time: 
T 2:30pm - 4:20pm
PAA A114
Paul Wiggins

Syllabus Description:


Prof. Paul A. Wiggins
Department of Physics
University of Washington
Physics and Astronomy Building, room B409

Office Hours:

Office hours will be Wednesday 3:00-4:00pm, PAB B409. 


Class meeting times and location:

Tuesday 2:30-4:20 pm in PAA A114


Goals of the course:

• Explore a research topic in physics in depth

• Learn to give a cogent talk

• Learn to write a scientific paper

• Learn how to interact with your colleagues on a scientific topic during class discussion

• Learn about many interesting topics in modern physics through student presentations


Course structure:

• Select a research topic in physics

• Submit a research proposal abstract

• Do literature research on your topic (after your abstract has been approved)

Give an in-class talk.

     • The talk format will be 10/2 minutes for the presentation/questions. 

     • See resource on how to give a presentation here.

• Prepare a scientific research paper on your chosen topic. 

     • Draft manuscript 

     • Final manuscript 


Course grade:

There is no final exam. 0.0 will be given to anyone not completing both their paper and presentation.


General advice:

• Participation in class discussions is required and hence you should attend.

• You are encouraged to attend the Physics Colloquium, Mondays at 4 pm in room A102. The colloquia intended to be understandable talks about topics at the forefront of physics. Here is the Physics Colloquium schedule .

Start your longer assignments early (report and presentation).  These always takes longer than expected. The quality of your research will depend on the depth and breadth of the paper you read and understood. This preparation will take most of your time but may excite your scientific curiosity.

Begin preparing your paper as early as possible.


Lecture syllabus:

10/2 Introduction to Research 
10/9 Abstract, Title and Capitalization
10/16 Figures and captions
10/23 Statistics
10/30 Presentations
11/6 How to write a paper I
11/13 How to write a paper II
11/20 Class presentations I
11/27 Class presentations II
12/4 Class presentations III


11/20 Presentations:

Li, Arthur
Bennett, Francesca Giulia
Bergen, Dylan
Eronimous, Maxwell A
Filbert, Alexander
Kim, Eric Byung
Kusardi, Steven Henry

11/27 Presentations:

Nguyen, Randy Hien
Raj, Lavini
Seth, Shubhankar
Smith, Derek
Son, Eli
Swanson, Thomas Carter
Van, Jimmy Vo

12/04 Presentations:

Xie, Mengbo
Xu, Zhonghao
Yu, Yilei
Zhang, Kun
Zhang, Ruijie
Zheng, Yuze
Catalog Description: 
Supervised, independent study of topics (chosen by faculty in charge) of current interest in physics. Written and oral presentations summarizing work accomplished are required. Offered: A.
GE Requirements: 
Natural Sciences (NSc)
Section Type: 
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:09pm