Course Information

Graduate Courses in Physics

Graduate Seminar Module I

4 AU | Semester 1

Seminar-style course covering multiple topics in contemporary physics research. Students will attend presentations about recent research topics, given by experts as well as their peers. Students are required to give presentations and participate in discussions. The aim is to improve students' presentation skills, so that they can participate in scientific seminars in a professional manner.

Concepts in Statistical Mechanics

4 AU | Semester 1

A modern treatment of statistical mechanics. Topics covered include foundations of statistical mechanics, classical and quantum multi-particle models, and the physics of quantum fluids.

Graduate Solid State Physics

4 AU | Semester 1

Advanced concepts in the structure and properties of solids, including the cooperative and many-body effects that influence transport, optical and magnetic properties.

Classical Electrodynamics

4 AU | Semester 1

Advanced classical electrodynamics with a focus on the relationship with special relativity. Topics covered include the covariant formulation of Maxwell’s equations; electromagnetic radiation from accelerating charges; and the scattering of electromagnetic waves by charged particles.

Experimental Techniques in Condensed Matter Physics

4 AU | Semester 1

This course illustrates and explains the plethora of experimental methods available to contemporary solid-state physicists. Examples will be drawn from the field of strongly correlated electron physics, including topics such as phase modulation, nanoscale emergent phenomena and high-temperature superconductivity. Review of several theoretical concepts which include classical and quantum phase transitions, superconductivity, marginal Fermi liquids and the Luttinger model, density waves, low-dimensional magnetism, electronic glasses and interfacial reconstructions. Students will also be introduced to a wide range of experimental techniques. 

Nonlinear Dynamics

4 AU | Semester 1

Concepts and theories of nonlinear dynamical systems, in both the classical and quantum domains. Topics covered include chaotic dynamics; thermodynamics of chaotic systems; Hamiltonian chaos; and quantum chaos.

Particle Physics

4 AU | Not offered

Introduction to the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics and its theoretical underpinnings. Topics covered include gauge theories; the elementary particle content of the SM; field quantization; and renormalization techniques.

Advanced Numerical Methods for Physicists

4 AU | Semester 2

Numerical solutions of differential equations in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. Monte Carlo methods for statistical mechanics simulation. Optimization and data analysis. Various advanced topics including Quantum Monte Carlo and Density Functional Theory.

Optical Spectroscopic Techniques

4 AU | Semester 1

Principles of optical spectroscopic techniques, with an emphasis on how these techniques are used in research. Topics covered include the theoretical description of light-matter interaction; the experimental signatures of material properties (such as acoustic and optical phonons, and electronic structures); and near-field scanning imaging techniques used in the structural characterization of nano-devices.

Advanced Optics

(Previously titled Nonlinear Optics)

4 AU | Semester 2

This course intends to equip you with the fundamental concept and principles of key topics in advanced optics and nonlinear optics. You will gain knowledge in the mechanisms of beam manipulation, generation of ultrafast laser pulses, optical resonators, wavelength conversion, nonlinear absorption etc.

Advanced Topics in Physics

4 AU | Semester 1 or 2

Specialized topics of current interest in physics research. Topics are chosen from a variety of areas, such as atmospheric physics, statistical physics, and computational physics.

Advanced Topics in Applied Physics

4 AU | Semester 1 or 2

Specialized topics of current interest in applied physics research. Topics are chosen from a variety of areas, such as nanotechnology, spintronics, and photonics.

Optical Design Theory

3 AU | Semester 1 or 2

Review of geometric optics, finite ray-tracing, paraxial systems, ideal systems, aberration theory, Seidel aberrations, correction of aberrations, lens design fundamentals, diffractive elements, and aspherical/freeform design.

Spintronics for Information Technology

4 AU | Semester 2

Advanced but self-contained course in magnetics and spintronics technologies, and their applications in hard disk drives and emerging magnetic random access memory devices. Topics covered include the fundamentals of magnetism; recent developments in magnetic recording; and recent developments in magnetic random access memory.

Quantum Information

4 AU | Semester 1 or 2

This course consists of three major components: 1) Lectures on central theoretical tools used in the study of quantum information theory, with a focus on the framework in describing quantum channels and processes, distance measures, entropic measures, and the major protocols of quantum and classical information processing etc.; 2) Lectures on the experimental aspects of realizing quantum operations and engineering quantum states on physical platforms, with a strong focus on superconducting qubits and cold atoms; 3) Research seminars/tutorials given by external guest lecturers, each week focusing on a selection of major research topics at the forefront of the field of quantum information processing

Graduate Quantum Mechanics

4 AU | Semester 2
Available for undergraduates

Advanced topics in quantum mechanics. Topics covered include scattering theory; resonances; quantum entanglement; the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox and Bell's inequalities; fermions and bosons; second quantization; principles of quantum field theory; and quantum electrodynamics.

Quantum Field Theory

4 AU | Not offered

Introduction to quantum field theory (QFT). Topics covered include the path-integral formalism of quantum mechanics and QFT; canonical quantization; Green’s functions and Feynman diagrams in perturbation theory; the application of these concepts to quantum electrodynamics; and selected modern topics in condensed matter physics for which QFT is a useful framework, such as the fractional quantum hall effect, mean-field theory of superfluids, renormalization group and the Landau-Ginzburg theory of critical phenomena.

Plasma Physics & Fusion Energy

4 AU | Semester 1
Available for undergraduates

This course is an introduction to plasma physics applied to magnetic fusion energy. It will present key nuclear reactions, and the advantages/drawbacks of fusion energy. The course will explain why confining a hot plasma is the best way to produce fusion energy, and how this can be done with intense magnetic fields.  In addition, it will introduce the main instabilities that may plague a plasma. Instabilities appear as a potential threat that requires appropriate means of control. Small-scale instabilities lead to a turbulent state that may degrade the confinement properties of a fusion device if not taken care of. Finally, the course will present ways to heat a plasma to reach the conditions needed to start fusion reactions.

Supervised Research I/II

4 AU

Research supervised by a faculty advisor, with weekly consultations (at least 3 hours a week).

Courses for MSc in Precision Scientific Instrumentation


Compulsory Courses

Solid-State Electronic Devices

4 AU

This course focuses on the physics of solid-state devices and their fabrication techniques, specifically on semiconductor devices. Emphasis will also be given to the advanced micro and nano-electronic devices. The course contains both lecture and laboratory project.

Precision Instrumentation Laboratory

4 AU

This is a laboratory-based course aiming to train student on experimental techniques employed in electronic device measurement and material characterisation. Student will be trained on how to do hardware and software programming of microcontroller and applied to real precision control. 

Prescribed Elective Courses (Specialisation Track)



Physics of Surfaces and Interfaces

3 AU

The course will discuss fundamental and applied research within surface and interface physics and related fields, such as material science, material chemistry and nanoscience. Techniques and instrumentation of surface characterisation will also be a focus of the discussion.

Physics of Low Dimensional Structures

3 AU

This course introduces how quantum mechanical behaviour emerges in condensed matter systems at the nanometre scale and how quantum mechanical laws govern their properties. It will provide an overview of physical phenomena observed experimentally, introduce their underlying physical principles, and aim to build the analytical skills to describe these phenomena mathematically. This course will equip students with the relevant concepts of modern nanoscience and technology that will prepare the students to follow or initiate research in the field or to work in industry jobs related to applied nanoscience and technology. 

Applied Solid State Physics

3 AU

This course aims to teach students the understanding the origins of the wide variety of solid state properties. Contents include crystal structure, lattice, structure determination by diffraction methods; phonons and their properties; interband transitions, excitons, and plasmons; electrons in a periodic potential, semiconductor, magnetism and superconductivity.



Experimental Methodology in Solid State Physics

3 AU

This course seeks to illustrate and explain key experimental methods available to contemporary solid-state physicists. Examples will predominantly be drawn from the field of quantum condensed matter physics, followed by a phenomenological review of several important theoretical concepts to interpret typical experimental findings. These include classical and quantum phase transitions, low-dimensional magnetism, electronic glasses and superconductivity. 

Silicon Photonic Chip Technology

3 AU

This course aims to equip students with the application of silicon photonics in the real world. The students will be introduced to the industry practice on the technology, design, layout, and testing of Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuits.  The concept and knowledge of the importance of layout for wafer testing will also be taught. The students will also be imparted with the knowledge of characterisation and testing methods of key components of silicon photonics products. Specific topics on silicon photonics manufacturing, like wafer manufacturing and post-fabrication flow, will also be covered in this course.

Magnetism and Spintronics Devices

3 AU

This course will introduce magnetics and spintronics technologies applied in hard disk drives and emerging magnetic random access memory devices. The course consists of three parts. The first part provides the fundamentals of magnetism. The second part discusses the basics and recent developments of magnetic recording. The third part discusses the basics and recent magnetic random access memory developments. 



Advanced Techniques for Spectroscopic Research and Engineering

3 AU

This course will give you a comprehensive introduction to optical spectroscopy and imaging techniques. These techniques are widely used in the non-destructive analytical characterisation of traditional materials such as organic compounds, semiconductors, and metals, as well as in emerging fields like nanophononics and biomolecular research. By covering the physical mechanisms, instrumentation, and data analysis involved in optical spectroscopy, this course will provide the relevant background needed to embark on a successful professional career in this field.

Optoelectronic Technology

3 AU

This course aims to provide a good understanding of the principles of optoelectronic technology. Topics covered include fundamentals and applications of optics, Optical fiber communication, display technology, and semiconductor optoelectronic devices etc.



Quantum Information and Quantum Computation

3 AU

This course focuses on one most important application of quantum technologies: quantum computation. This course covers the theoretical concepts of quantum qubits, quantum gates, and quantum circuits to the full implementation of quantum algorithms. In addition, the course will describe how quantum circuits can be used to solve problems faster than “classical” quantum computers and their real-world implementations.
Quantum Information and Quantum Computation

3 AU

This course aims to introduce the rapidly developing field of quantum communication, quantum sensing, and metrology from theoretical and practical aspects. Basic theoretical concepts of quantum mechanics will be developed and applied to these topics. Advances and challenges in state-of-the-art practical technologies will be discussed.

Quantum Mysteries and Quantum Mechanics

3 AU

This course imparts fundamental knowledge, theory, and quantum mechanics concepts. It uses quantum paradoxes to unveil the mysteries of quantum mechanics and gain a deeper understanding of the theory by developing a better physical intuition. This course is designed for students embarking on quantum engineering, and it provides foundational knowledge for more advanced topics like quantum information theory, quantum communication, quantum metrology and quantum tomography.


Unrestricted Elective Courses

Quantum Optics

3 AU

Early 80’s, Aspect's experiment demonstrated the violation of Bell’s inequalities which ended a long quest initiated by the EPR paradox in 1935. This is a keystone for what is called nowadays the second quantum revolution. This revolution is characterised firstly by the emergence of new technologies that allowed for a constantly improved control of simple quantum systems (single and twin photon sources, for example). Besides, it is based on the recognition that the irreducibly non-classical behaviour of quantum systems offers new ways to tackle old problems such as cryptography and algorithmic. The course aims to introduce the basic concepts behind this revolution and illustrate them with applications related to quantum information and quantum sensing processing.

Graduate Professional Internship

3 AU

This is a 10-week internship training in the local industry with project scopes relevant to physics and engineering. 

Computational Methods in Physics

3 AU

This course aims to provide students with the quantitative skills needed to study complex physical situations, such as multi-dimensional systems, nonlinear phenomena, and stochastic phenomena. Emphasis is placed on practical analysis, problem-solving, and debugging skills. These skills are developed through programming assignments, in which students will learn how to tackle a variety of physics problems in electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics etc.

AI for Sciences

3 AU

This course is designed for students who are interested in AI for sciences. The course aims to cover basic concepts of machine learning, deep learning, nonlinear dimensionality reduction, data representation and featurisation, geometric deep learning and their applications in physics, chemistry, biology, and materials.  

Digital Electronics

3 AU

This course covers core concepts and basic building blocks of digital electronics for understanding and designing complex digital systems. It will introduce the concepts related to number systems, Boolean algebra and logic gates. These concepts will be applied to design fundamental digital circuits of combinational (like adder, multiplexer, comparator, etc.) and sequential (like flip-flops, finite state machines, shift registers, memories, etc.) nature.

The students will be able to understand how to implement such complex circuits through hardware description language (like VHDL). Accompanying hands-on exercises are designed to enable a deeper understanding of the digital circuit design principle. The course will also discuss programmable logic, commonly used for prototyping, testing and deploying digital circuits. Finally, the design flow of digital integrated circuits will be discussed to provide a comprehensive look at digital systems from conception to fabrication to deployment.

Scientific Communication

3 AU

This course has been specially designed to develop graduate students' ability to communicate their research in writing and orally in academic and professional settings upon graduation. Students will learn the principles that underlie effective scientific communication. They will learn to evaluate scientific claims and arguments critically and to present logical arguments in their writing and oral presentations. The course will also provide opportunities for students to acquire the skills required to participate effectively and confidently in scientific discussions and seminars. This is a practice-intensive course where students will be provided with opportunities to practise their communication skills individually, in pairs and in groups and receive feedback to help them perfect their skills. 

Supervised Research

3 AU

Research project supervised by a faculty advisor, with weekly consultations. The research projects will focus on training the students on necessary concepts and skills related to advanced scientific instrumentation. The project can be carried out at a university laboratory or local research institutes or an approved industrial site in the case of a supervised industrial project.