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1) Classical Mechanics (Core) 

Course No.: PHY-204.5

Instructor: Prof. Samriddhi Sankar Ray

Venue: Online

Class timings: Wednesday 03:40 to 05:30 pm & Saturday 02:00 to 3:30 pm

First meeting: 22nd January 2022

Course description: 

1. Recap:

  • Recap of Newton's laws and their consequences - System of point masses, Rigid Bodies
  • Classical driven-dissipative systems

2. Lagrangian Formulation:

  • Principle of least action
  • Noether's Theorem, Symmetries - Small Oscillations, Applications
  • Euler Angles - Tops

4. Hamiltonian formulation:

  • Liouville's Theorem
  • Action-Angle variables
  • Hamilton-Jacobi Equations
  • 1D Flows and Bifurcation
  • 2D Flows, Limit Cycles, Bifurcations
  • Chaos: Lorenz Systems, Fixed Points, Attractors, and Fractals - KAM theory (time permitting)
  • Landau Lifshitz course on theoretical physics: Vol 1: Classical Mechanics 
  • Classical Mechanics by Herbert Goldstein, Charles P. Poole, John L. Safko

Other books/references especially for the last topic will be given in class periodically.

Evaluation40% Assignments + 30% Mid Semester exam  + 30% End SemesterExam


2) Lab Course (Core) 

Course No.: PHY-108.5

Instructor: Prof. Abhishek Dhar & Prof. Mahesh Bandi

Venue: Via Zoom for first and second experiments and subsequently in J C Bose Lab

Class timings: Mondays 02:00-03:30

First meeting: 17th January 2022

       Course description: 

        List of experiments:

  1. Surfactant spreading and fracture of interfacial particle rafts
  2. Structure factor of disordered particle configurations
  3. Measurement of Seebeck and Peltier coefficients.
  4. Random Resistor Network


  1. (60%) Written report and presentation for each experiment
  2. (20%) Participation in discussions
  3. (10%) Ability to achieve open-ended goals of the experiment
  4. (10%) Final quiz: at the end of the final experiment each student will be individually quizzed on all experiments, for their understanding of the various concepts/ideas discussed throughout the term.     


3) Advanced Classical Electromagnetism (Core) 

Course No.: PHY-207.5

Instructor: Prof. R. Loganayagam

Venue: Online

Class timings:Tuesday/Thursday : 11:30 - 13:00 Hrs; Tutorials on Saturday : 11:30 - 13:00 Hrs 

First meeting: Monday (16:00 - 19:00 Hrs), 24th January 2022

Course description: [PDF]

Course evaluation: The grading policy will be based on the following weightage :

– Assignments: 35% for PhD students, 40% for I.PhD students

– Midterm Exam: 30%

– End term Exam: 30%

– Term paper (a thorough review of a topic in electromagnetism not covered in the textbooks mentioned below. I will send in a list of term paper suggestions later.): 5% Extra credit (Compulsory for PhD Students)

Note that Assignments form a central part of this course since one of the main aims of this course is to train students to solve problems


4) Geometry and Topology in Physics (Topical) 

Course No.: PHY-403.5

Instructor: Prof. Joseph Samuel 

Venue: Online

Class timings: 11:00-12:30 Mondays and 04:00- 05:30 Tuesdays

First meeting: 11:00 am, 10th January 2022

       Course description: 

Prerequisites: Advanced Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, (all at the level of Landau and Lifshitz), complex analysis, some basic knowledge of group theory.

Textbooks: There are no fixed textbooks for the course. We will be drawing on many sources from the published literature and the internet. We will draw on standard texts like Nakahara and Nash and Sen for some parts of the course. We will also have student reviews of important papers towards the end of the course.
Structure of the course: The course will cover a number of applications of geometry and topology in the context of physical examples. The emphasis will be on the examples rather than on rigour. This course will be complementary to mathematics courses on geometry and topology. Exposure to such courses will be helpful, but not a prerequisite to follow the course.

What students will gain from the course: an appreciation of the commonality between different areas of physics; the unifying nature of geometric and topological ideas in physics. An opportunity to 
develop and hone their presentation skills in a friendly environment. 

How the course will achieve its goals: We will take specific examples of systems from different areas of physics and analyse them from a geometric perspective. Make connections wherever possible between the different examples. The course will start with simple examples and graduate to more advanced ones. The choice of examples will depend on the feedback I get from the students. 

Assessment: Assessments will be based on assignments (50%) and term paper presentations (50%) by the students. Students have to choose from a list of classic papers (one paper per student) and make a presentation to the class.  

It is not presently clear if the pandemic will permit in-person classes. We hope that the situation will improve. If this does not happen, classes will be conducted online. In this case, students taking the course will be required to have a good internet connection. 
If you need help in this regard, please contact the ICTS and consult your appointment letter for more details. 


5) Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics (Topical) 

Course No.: PHY-422.5

Instructor: Prof. Abhishek Dhar and Prof. Anupam Kundu

Venue: Online

Class timings: Wednesdays and Fridays 11:00-12:30  

First meeting: 21st January 2022

Course description: 

  1. Random walks including method of generating functions and the first passage problem.
  2. Basics of stochastic processes and Markov processes.
  3. Brownian motion, classical and quantum Langevin equations.
  4. Path integral approaches and Fokker Planck equations.
  5. Correlation Functions and Spectral Densities; the Wiener-Khintchine theorem; light spectra; noise in a gravitational-wave detector.
  6. Linear response theory and fluctuation dissipation relations.
  7. Interacting particle systems: Glauber dynamics and Monte-Carlo simulations

The course will be aimed at understanding formalism through examples.

Requirements: Students should have a solid basic knowledge of statistical physics and quantum physics.

Assessment:  Assignment (50%) + Examination (50%)


  1. Stochastic processes in physics and chemistry: van Kampen
  2. Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics: Noelle Pottier
  3. Random Walks and random environment: Barry D. Hughes (some relevant chapters)
  4. Stochastic processes in physics and astronomy, S. Chandrasekhar
  5. Brownian Functionals in physics and computer science, S. N. Majumdar
  6. Blandford and Thorne: Classical Physics: Chapter on Random Processes

Other relevant references will be provided during the course.


6) Quantum Field Theory (Topical) 

Course No.: PHY-481.5

Instructor: Prof. Suvrat Raju

Venue: Online

Class timings: Tuesdays and Thursdays 02:00-03:30

First meeting: 20th January 2022

Course description: This is an intermediate-level quantum field theory (QFT) course. It is designed to introduce students to QFT but also cater to students who have had some previous exposure to the object. So we will start with the basics of QFT but also seek to cover some advanced material.

Syllabus: The need for fields; Canonical quantization of fields; Particles; Perturbation theory; Feynman diagrams; Properties of the S matrix; Renormalization; Functional Methods; Gauge theories; New methods for scattering amplitudes.

1) Introduction to quantum field theory, Peskin and Schroeder
2) Quantum Theory of Fields vol I and vol II, Weinberg

References to additional textbooks and notes will be provided during the lectures.

Course evaluation: Grades will be calculated using 75% assignments + 25% final exam.        


7) Open Quantum Systems (Topical) 

Course No.: PHY-405.5

Instructor: Prof. Manas Kulkarni 

Venue: Online

Class timings: Wednesdays and Fridays 04:00-05:30

First meeting: 19th January 2022

Course description: 

Prerequisites: Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics


  1. General formalism and various approaches for Open Quantum Systems
  2. Damped Quantum Harmonic Oscillator and multi-level systems
  3. Exact results for Spin Boson Model (Dephasing) and some generalizations
  4. Integrability of Jaynes-Cummings and quantum Rabi models
  5. Driven-Dissipative Quantum Systems and applications
  6. Hermitian and Non-Hermitian Dicke Model: Chaos and Connections to Random Matrix Theory
  7. Matrix Product States for Open Quantum Many-Body Systems


Below are some suggested references. I will also be making additional notes.

  1. Howard Carmichael, Statistical Methods in Quantum Optics 1. Master Equations and Fokker-Planck Equations (Springer)
  2. Girish S. Agarwal, Quantum Optics (Cambridge University Press)
  3. Heinz-Peter Breuer and Francesco Petruccione, The theory of open quantum systems (Oxford University Press)
  4. Marlan O. Scully and M. Suhail Zubairy, Quantum optics (Cambridge University Press)
  5. Fritz Haake, Sven Gnutzmann, Marek Kuś, Quantum signatures of chaos (Springer)
  6. Simulation methods for open quantum many-body systems, Hendrik Weimer, Augustine Kshetrimayum, and   Román Orús, Rev. Mod. Phys. 93, 015008  (2021)

Term paper (report + presentation) topics

Below are suggested topics for term paper (report + presentation). The suggested references for each of them will be updated. Students will need to finalize a topic (latest by February 23rd, 2022), make a report and then give a presentation (at the end of the semester). 

  1. Circuit-QED with non-trivial lattice geometry and connectivity
  2. Parity-Time Symmetric Systems and exceptional points
  3. Opto-mechanical Systems
  4. Symmetries and spectral properties of Liouvillians

Grading Policy

Homework – 40 %
Term paper (report and presentation) – 30 %
Final Exam – 30 %


8) Physics of Living Matter (Topical) 

Course No.: PHY-411.5

Instructor: Prof. Vijay Krishnamurthy and Dr. Archishman  

Venue: Online [Zoom link will be sent separately]

Class timings: 10:00-11:30, Tuesday and Thursday 

First meeting: 10:00 am, 25th January 2022


Course description: 

This course will give an introduction to stochastic processes, self-organized pattern formation, active matter, spin models, and dynamical systems by giving biological examples at various different scales. Prior knowledge of biology is not necessary but familiarity with differential equations and a first course in statistical physics are requisites.         

Fill out this Google Form before 17th Jan 2022.


9) Introduction to Numerical Relativity (Topical) 

Course No.: PHY-499.5

Instructor: Dr. Prayush Kumar  

Venue: Online

Class timings: Wednesday 2:00-3:30 pm / Thursday 3:45-5:00 pm

First meeting: 19th January 2022


Course description:

Reading course based primarily on Baumgarte & Shapiro's book: "Numerical Relativity: solving Einstein's equations on the Computer". Following chapters in order, followed by additional readings:

1.  General Relativity preliminaries

2.  The 3+1 decomposition of Einstein's equations

4.  Choosing coordinates: lapse and shift

3.  Constructing initial data

12. Binary black hole initial data

11. Recasting the evolution equations

13. Binary black hole evolution

7.  Locating black hole horizons

6.2 Numerical Methods: Finite Difference

6.3 Numerical Methods: Spectral

A1. Numerical Methods: Discontinuous Galerkin

A2. Assignment: Literature Review of advanced topic

A3. Assignment: Evolve scalar waves in curved spacetime using open-source NR codes

Format: Two sessions a week each of 90 minutes with students presenting. Interim problems for tutorials, review assignments for advanced topics.

Evaluation: The final grade will be based on the following components:


10) Algorithmic Art and Visualization (Topical)

Course No.: PHY-433.5

Instructor: Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof. Samriddhi Sankar Ray  

Venue: Online

Class timings: Monday 4:00-5:30 pm

First meeting: February 25, 2022

Course description:

This is an Introductory (to Intermediate) course on Algorithmic Art, which shall cover the basics of designing drawing algorithms. The course consists of 7 hands-on coding sessions using the open-source platform Processing, which shall focus on different drawing methods, building complexity and introducing randomness in the drawing process for unique outcomes. There are no prerequisites for the course at all, although some coding/scripting knowledge will be handy. The course is offered for 2 credits, and can also be audited. For those taking credits, there will be simple weekly tasks, and a final assignment (which will be graded by Prof. Samriddhi Sankar Ray).

All the sessions will try to focus more on building the aesthetic innovations every piece/algorithm/idea presents. For those taking the course for credit, a personalized final assignment will be discussed, which should combine a few of the techniques learnt for a final piece of work.

  1. Introduction to Algorithmic/Generative Art, basic structure of a Processing Sketch. Simple spatial subdivision, arriving at a first "finished" piece
  2. Using functions and recursion. Application to spatial subdivision, nested patterns, algorithmic flora etc
  3. Particle systems as drawing agents. Introduction to live/animated pieces
  4. Adding complexity and behaviour/physics to the particle-based artist. Using the Noise function for procedural flows
  5. Importing images as input and algorithmic re-sketching
  6. Importing audio as input, using FFT for visualizing sound
  7. Introduction to p5js - to write and run Processing sketches on web-browsers with JavaScript

Bonus session: Depending on the interest of the participants, a session can be devoted to visualizing real data from simulations/public repositories.

Register here (by 20th Feb):

Course structure (for credit): 50% Weekly Tasks + 50% Final Assignment

The Nature of Code - Daniel Shiffman
Generative Art - Matt Pearson
Envisioning Information - Edward Tufte


11) Superstring Perturbation Theory (Special Lecture)

Instructor: Prof. Ashoke Sen  

Venue: Online

Class timings: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 PM-11 PM

First meeting: February 22, 2022

Course description: 

In these informal lectures, I shall try to describe the procedure for computing perturbative amplitudes in superstring theory. This can be regarded as a crash course on the subject, primarily for advanced graduate students and post-docs, where I shall skip many derivations but will try to explain the final result. I'll not assume any prior knowledge of string theory, but knowledge of quantum field theory and general relativity will be assumed and some knowledge of conformal field theory will be helpful.

Lecture Videos