Physics Department
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Physics 598 CPP

Special Topics in Physics: Conceptual Problems in Physics

Fall 2019

Instructor: Anthony Leggett (

Time: 9:00 - 10:20 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays

Location: 222 Loomis Lab
TA:Pratik Kanteshwar Wagle (
Instructor's office hour: Thurs.4.0-5.0, 2113 ESB
TA's office hour: Wed.10.30-11.30, 204 Loomis
Discussion session: Fri.2.0-3.0, 464 Loomis

Assessment: For those taking the course for credit, the assessment will be based on a term paper. You need to schedule an initial discussion of your possible topic with the instructor by Oct. 4, settle definitively on a topic by Oct. 25 and submit your paper by ~Dec. 15 (to be confirmed). Note that the last date to drop the course without penalty is Oct. 18

Term Paper: The best guidance on what is expected in the term paper is probably the notes for the 419 course "Space, Time and Matter", available at

However, you should bear in mind that

  1. unlike (most of) those taking 419 for credit, you are expected to be able to read and digest the current literature on the topic you select at least at the level of (say) review articles in Contemporary Physics or Reviews of Modern Physics.
  2. you should ignore the instructions concerning the Compass and SafeAssign systems (the final version of your term paper should be submitted directly to the instructor). Also ignore the dates given for deadlines (which refer to the 419 course for spring 2019); for the actual 598 CPP deadlines,see above.
  3. the length of your paper should be roughly 5,000-6,000 words.

Schedule of Lectures part 2 (starting 21 October)

Schedule of Lectures part 1 (through 15 October)


Slides_for_lecture_10_598_CPP.pdf Caratheodory approach to second law


Timetable listing