Prof. Pollock's research is in the field of Physics Education Research (PER), investigating student learning in physics classes, and the constraints and opportunities involved in replicating 'proven' curricular practice, as well as extending educational models to the upper division. He has implemented and studied 'Tutorials in Introductory Physics' at CU, along with supporting and investigating TA and Learning Assistants' pedagogical development. His ongoing activities include research into (and curriculum development associated with) student learning difficulties in upper-division Electricity & Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics and Quantum computation, Classical Mechanics, and Mathematical Methods.
Physics Education Research, implementing and investigating curricular and pedagogical reforms and assessments in upper-division physics courses, investigating impacts of established reforms in large lecture introductory courses, research and development in graduate TA and undergraduate Learning Assistant preparation
PHYS 1115 - General Physics 1 for Majors
First semester of three semester sequence for physics, engineering physics and astronomy majors. Covers kinematics, dynamics momentum of particles and rigid bodies, work and energy, gravitation, simple harmonic motion and introduction to thermodynamics. Degree credit not granted for this course and PHYS 1110.
PHYS 1140 - Experimental Physics 1
Spring 2019 / Fall 2019
Introduces experimental physics through laboratory observation of a wide range of phenomena. Covers experiments on physical measurements, including mechanics, electricity & magnetism, and optics, with the mathematical analysis of physical errors associated with the experimental process.
PHYS 2210 - Classical Mechanics and Mathematical Methods 1
Spring 2020 / Spring 2023
Theoretical Newtonian mechanics, including position and velocity dependent forces, oscillation, stability, non-inertial frames and gravitation from extended bodies. Ordinary differential equations, vector algebra, curvilinear coordinates, complex numbers, and Fourier series will be introduced in the context of the mechanics.
PHYS 3220 - Quantum Mechanics 1
Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
Introduces quantum mechanics with wave, operator and matrix computational techniques. Investigates solutions for harmonic oscillator, potential well and systems with angular momentum. Develops a quantitative description of one-electron atoms in lowest order.
PHYS 4410 - Quantum Mechanics 2
Spring 2022 / Fall 2022
Extends quantum mechanics to include perturbation theory and its applications to atomic fine structure, multi-particle systems, interactions with external forces, the periodic table and dynamical processes including electromagnetic transition rates.