Kaća Bradonjić

Assistant Professor of Physics
Contact Kaća

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Kaća Bradonjić
Cole Science Center 306

On sabbatical fall 2022 and spring 2023.

Kaća Bradonjić received her B.S. in philosophy and physics from Northeastern University and her Ph.D. in physics from Boston University.

Situated at the intersection of physics and philosophy, Kaća’s research is focused on foundational questions of the physical interpretation of the mathematical formulations of gauge theories of gravity, and particularly on the role of conformal and projective structures. 

Kaća’s artistic work explores the use of metaphor as means of understanding the relations among physical, intellectual, and emotional spaces. A project of note is Projections, a series of paintings based on impressions of academic talks.

Prior to coming to Hampshire College, she taught at Wellesley College and Boston University. More details about her work can be found on her personal website

Recent and Upcoming Courses

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  • Physics I covers the fundamental principles and methods of physics by teaching classical mechanics, while emphasizing its limits and sketching out how they are modified in quantum physics. The topics will include the essence of measurement, data collection and analysis, the basic models (point particle, plane wave, harmonic oscillator, etc.), mechanics (motion and its causes), and fundamental interactions. Special focus will be given to general principles, such as the conservation laws. Students will approach these topics in an active-learning style, wherein hands-on lab activities are integrated with problem-solving sessions and mini-lectures. The course aims itself at all who seek an understanding of the fundamental laws of physics, including students on pre-professional track and students who focus on physical or mathematical sciences. Readings and written work will be assigned for each class.

  • Modern physics encompasses the major discoveries made in the early 20th century, which can be broadly divided isnto relativity and quantum mechanics. This course is a survey introduction to the special theory of relativity, the development of quantum theories of matter, light, and their interactions, and the application of these theories to atomic, nuclear, and solid state physics. The topics covered will include special-relativistic mechanics, the atomic structure of matter, black body radiation, photo-electric effect, particle-wave duality, Schrodinger equation in one and three dimensions, and electron spin. The course is essential for students intending to pursue advanced physics courses on these topics and would be of interest to science students who want to gain a basic understanding of the foundations of modern physics. Keywords: physics, modern physics, relativity, quantum

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  • What is energy? This course will cover the concept of energy in the contexts of theoretical and applied physics. Starting with the idea of energy as a way to explain the interactions of elementary particles in fundamental physics, we will then explore the role of energy in physical processes on larger length scales. Our trajectory will take us from the interactions of matter and light described by quantum physics, which govern biological and chemical processes, to interactions of macroscopic objects and thermodynamic systems, which are relevant to our daily lives and are described by classical physics. This theoretical basis will allow us to discuss a variety of mechanisms of energy generation, conversion, transfer, storage, and use efficiency in various practical contexts. Key Words: Physics, Energy, Environment