487/496 - Current Topics in Physics

In this course you will pick a topic that is being actively studied in physics, research it, and present a report at the end of the quarter. You will research the topics using papers and the web.

This web page serves as the entry point for both the 487 and 496 versions of the course.


487 (Honors) - Prof. Strassler (strasslr@phys.washington.edu), http, Office: PAB403
496 - Prof. Watts (gwatts@phys.washington.edu), http, Office: PAB203


We meet in PA214 at 3:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During the first part of the quarter we will likely drop most of the Thursday meetings. Towards the end we will resume the Thursday meetings to make sure we can fit all the presentations in.


These are some sample topics. If you may pick other topics as well. All proposed topics must be cleared with me (see schedule below). The report can address a number of issues about a topic (i.e. be a survey) or be more specific about a particular question or experiment.

Class Schedule

We will not meet every week. At the start of the course we will meet only on Tuesday's. As we get towards the end we will have to use both time slots in order to make time for everyone's presentation. This is a draft schedule!

Tuesday Date  
March 27 Introduction
April 3 Sample Topic Selection
April 10 No Class
Topic Selection (by Email)
April 17 487 only: 4 Minute Presentations on Topics Selected for 487
April 24 Discussion of the presentation
April 26 496 only: 4 Minute Presentations on Topics Selected for 487 meet in PAB306
May 1 Sample Presentation:
May 8 No Class
May 15 487 Final Presentations Start
May 22 496 Final Presentations Start
May 29 Final Presentations Finish/Summer!

Due Dates

These are approximate because we will not be able to present everything in one class period, so presentations will be spread over several class meetings. We do expect to meet individually with people between April 24 and May 15 to discuss the presentation.

There is no final exam!