PhD IIT Delhi Exchange Student EPFL, Laussane, Switzerland Specialized Topics: Mathematical Physics, Electromagnetic Theory and Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics

**Alok Ji Shukla**

I am a theoretical physicist, a founder and faculty in the Pravegaa Institute Delhi.

My main research interest involves Electromagnetic Field Computations at Nanoscale.

Apart from my research work, I’m strongly interested in teaching physics at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. I have been teaching Mathematical Physics and Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics for more than a decade to aspirants of CSIR-NET and GATE at the postgraduate level and IIT-JAM and JEST at the graduate level. I had an opportunity of teaching Electromagnetic theory for physics(hons.) students at Venkateshwara College, University of Delhi.

I believe in the interaction-based teaching method where fundamental concepts are discussed and finally applied to solve numerical problems.

My approach towards Teaching

**Mathematical Physics: **

My goal is always to guide the student in learning the subject by teaching them through simple examples and then practicing advanced level problems suited for national and international level competitive exams. The state of art is that of introducing concepts, designing, and refining methods, and practicing them repeatedly using basic concepts.

Important theorems are derived for a deeper understanding of the topic and to communicate the main idea behind it. Approximations and assumptions made in the theorem are discussed.

Sometimes examples are solved in more than one way. This is to develop independent thought and intuition toward a problem.

A precise mathematical formulation of physical phenomena and problems is always the goal of a theoretical physicist.

My course on mathematical physics helps students to get equipped with the necessary tools that will be used in Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, and Electromagnetic theory.

Broadly, I cover the following topics during my course

- Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs)
- Linear Algebra, Matrices, and Vector Calculus.
- Fourier Analysis. Partial Differential Equations (PDE)
- Complex Analysis
- Numeric Analysis
- Group theory and Tensors
- Probability, Statistics

I follow a) Essential Mathematical Methods for Physicists by Weber and Arfken

- b) ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS by ERWIN KREYSZIG
- c) Numerical Technique by S.S. Sastry
- d) The Fast Fourier Transform by Brigham

I like giving regular homework and encouraging students to solve tutorials followed by doubt clearing.

**Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics:**

My approach towards teaching this topic is to begin the topic with the fundamentals of thermodynamics. Then I introduce probability and statistics as a tool to statistical mechanics to discuss various physical systems under ensemble theory. The method taught is such that it generalizes the approach towards every problem asked. Finally, the advanced concept of statistical mechanics is used to discuss second-order phase transition and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. Derivations of fundamental equations and the plotting of graphs between physical quantities are the essence of this course.

Broadly, I cover the following topics during my course

- Kinetic Theory of Gas and Thermodynamics
- Statistical Tools and Postulates
- Ensemble Theory: Micro, Canonical and Grand.
- Identical Particles: Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermions, and Bosons
- Phase Transition: First order and Second Order
- Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics

I follow

- a) Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics Book by F.Reif
- b) Statistical Mechanics by R.K. Patharia
- c) A Textbook of Statistical Mechanics by Suresh Chandra

I like students to do rigorous calculations in this subject but at the same time derive physical meaning out of it.

**Electromagnetic Theory:**

There is a general acceptance on the method and pedagogy in which the EMT should be taught. My focus will be to make EMT suitable to all students having moderate background in vector calculus. The idea is to take the subject from Coulomb’s law to radiation with equal intensity and understanding.

Broadly, I cover the following topics during my course

- Electrostatics
- Magnetostatics
- Maxwell’s Equations and Boundary value problems
- Electromagnetic Waves
- Radiation
- Relativistic Electrodynamics

I follow

- a) Introduction to Electrodynamics by David J Griffiths
- b) Classical Electrodynamics by David Jackson

I like students to do rigorous calculations in this subject but at the same time derive physical meaning out of it.

**About myself**: I did my PhD in physics at CES, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi under Prof. R.P. Sharma. I had an opportunity to visit EPFL Switzerland as an exchange Research Scholar. I worked as Research Associate at IIT Delhi. I was Assistant Professor at Sri Venkateshwara Collage University of Delhi. I had opportunity to guide aspirants for NET-JAM at Avsfiziks New Delhi for more than a decade.

MEET OUR PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTORS

Dr. Jaidev Harjwani
Electronics - Solid State Physics

Dr. Pooja Munjal
Optics and Laser

Atul Gaurav
Classical Mechanics - Nuclear Physics and Atomic Physics - Quantum Mechanics

Krishna Gopal Singh
Mechanics - Wave and Optics

S.K. Mukaddar
Nuclear Physics and Atomic Physics - Optics and Laser - Wave and Optics