Ph/APh/EE/BE 118 ab
Physics of Measurement
9 units (3-0-6)
Prerequisites: Ph 127, APh 105, or equivalent, or permission from instructor.
This course explores the fundamental underpinnings of experimental measurements from the perspectives of information, noise, coupling, responsivity, and backaction. Its overarching goal is to enable students to develop intuition about a diversity of real measurement systems and the means to critically evaluate them. This involves developing a standard framework for estimating the ultimate and practical limits to information that can be extracted from a real measurement system. Topics will include the fundamental nature of information and signals, physical signal transduction and responsivity, the physical origin of noise processes, modulation, frequency conversion, synchronous detection, signal-sampling techniques, digitization, signal transforms, spectral analyses, and correlation methods. The first term will cover the essential underpinnings, while second-term topics will vary year-by-year according to interest. Among possible Ph118 b topics are: high frequency, microwave, and fast time-domain measurements; biological interfaces and biosensing; the physics of functional brain imaging; and quantum measurement.
The online version of the Caltech Catalog is provided as a convenience; however, the printed version is the only
authoritative source of information about course offerings, option requirements, graduation requirements,
and other important topics.