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Undergraduate Course Descriptions

 

PHYS-001, 002. General Physics. 5 crs. ea.
These lecture-laboratory-recitation courses deal with mechanics, heat, and sound in PHYS-001; and light, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics in PHYS-002; and are algebra-based.

 

PHYS-003. Mathematical Methods for General Physics. 3 crs.
Review and applications of basic mathematics encountered in General Physics 001, 002, 007 and 009. Problems and practical work will be stressed. Not open for credit for students taking General Physics 013, 014, and 015.

 

PHYS-007. Physics for Allied Health Students. 5 crs.
This lecture/laboratory/recitation course treats the topics of general physics, with emphasis on examples for nursing and allied health students.

 

PHYS-008. Physics for Architecture Students. 5 crs.
Lecture/recitation course treats mechanics, gravity, sound, thermodynamics, fluids, electricity, magnetism, light, optics, waves, and some modern physics topics with emphasis on topics of interest to architecture students.

 

PHYS-009. General Physics for Human Ecology Students. 5 crs.
Lecture/laboratory/recitation course treats general physics topics with emphasis on examples for human ecology students.

 

PHYS-010. General Astronomy 3 crs.

 

PHYS-013, 014. General Physics for Science and Engineering Students. 3 crs. ea.
Topics covered in this lecture/recitation course are the same as in PHYS-001 and PHYS-002 with the exception of modern physics, but with more emphasis on engineering and analytical methods and with extensive application of calculus in problem solving. Prereqs.: MATH-156 and -157.

 

PHYS-015. Introduction to Modern Physics. 3 crs.

Topics covered in this lecture/recitation course include special relativity, and an introduction to quantum phenomena with applications in molecular, atomic, nuclear, sub-nuclear and condensed matter physics. Prereqs.: PHYS-014 and MATH-156 and -157.

 

PHYS-023, 024, 025. General Physics for Science and Engineering Students Lab. 1 cr. ea.
Laboratory courses to accompany introductory physics courses PHYS-013, 014 and Modern Physics PHYS-015 respectively.

 

PHYS-030. Earth & Space Science I. 3 cr.
Topics include an introductory overview; size & distance scale of the Universe; review /introduction to basic physical principles and remote sensing; origins of the Earth & solar system; the solid Earth, its hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere; and the near-Earth space environment. Laboratory exercises include optics, spectroscopy, study of rocks & minerals, use of star charts & globes and a small reflecting telescope. Also, weather permitting, there may be observing sessions using the Locke Hall Observatory telescope. Prereqs.: High school algebra, trigonometry, and physics (introductory college chemistry, physics & calculus recommended).

 

PHYS-031. Earth & Space Science II. 3 cr.
Topics include the moon and the Earth-moon system; the sun; the solar system (major planets & satellites, and minor members); the stars; the interstellar medium; and galaxies and the Universe. Laboratory exercises include use of star charts & globes and a small reflecting telescope. Also, weather permitting, there may be observing sessions using the Locke Hall Observatory telescope. Prereqs.: PHYS-030.

 

PHYS-084, 085. Directed Readings in Honors for Sophomores. 1 cr. ea.
Course contents is specified for each offering.

 

PHYS-088, 089. Directed Readings in Honors for Juniors. 1 cr. ea.
Course contents is specified for each offering.

 

PHYS-092, 093. Senior Departmental Honors. 3 crs. ea.
Course contents is specified for each offering.

 

PHYS-130. Introduction to Laser Physics. 3 crs. ea.  

Foundations of lasing action: optical coherence, atomic susceptibility, Einstein A/B coefficients, spontaneous / stimulated emission, broadening mechanisms, Gaussian beams, optical resonators, Q-switching, mode-locking, Maxwell's equations, field quantization, and accelerated charge radiation. Applications to a selected purview of contemporary laser systems, e.g.: gas / excimer, solid-state, ultrafast CPA / OPCPA and coherent free-electron emission. Baseline Pre/Co requisites: PHY-178/179, PHYS-190/191 or instructor consent. PHY-192/193 is recommended however all mathematical tools will be developed. Cross listed w/ PHY-224.

 

PHYS–131.  Plasma Physics 3 crs.
Topics may include single particle motions, plasmas as fluids, waves in plasma, diffusion and resistivity, equilibrium and stability, kinetic theory, nonlinear effects.
Course prerequisite or corequisite: physics 178 or consent of instructor

 

PHYS–132.  Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics 3 crs.
Topics may include nuclear phenomenology, particle phenomenology, experimental methods, quark dynamics, weak interactions and electroweak unification, models and theories of nuclear physics, nuclear physics applications.
Course prerequisite or corequisite: Math 157, Phys 190

 

PHYS–140, 141.  Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics I & II. 3 crs ea. 
Topics include celestial mechanics, light and matter, special relativity, binary systems, stellar spectra, interiors of stars, interstellar medium, stellar evolution, stellar pulsation, massive stars, remnants of stars, terrestrial planets, giant planets, minor bodies in the solar system, galaxies, active galaxies, and cosmology.  Prereq. Phys. 015, Math 157.

PHYS–143.  Observational Astronomy 3 crs.
Topics may include data sources, statistics and probability, data modeling, properties of CCD's, photometry and telescopes, spectroscopy, infrared astronomy, high energy astronomy, radio astronomy, and adaptive optics.  Coreq.  Phys.  140 or instructor’s approval.

 

PHYS-145.  Cosmology and Modern Astrophysics. 3crs.
Topics may include special relativity, relativistic mechanics, curved spacetime, geodesics, geometry of a spherical star, black holes, gravitational waves, cosmological models, observational parameters and the cosmological constant, dark matter, cosmic microwave background, the early universe, nucleosynthesis, and the inflationary universe.  Coreq. Phys. 141 or instructors approval.

 

PHYS-154, 155. Computational Physics I & II. 3 crs. ea.
Presents the basic concepts applicable to computers in general and coding of actual problems. Prereqs.: MATH-007 and consent of instructor.

 

PHYS-174. Introduction to Biophysics. 3 crs.
Topics considered include the levels of organization within biological systems, flow of energy in living things with an introduction to the thermodynamic systems utilized in biological research; and an introduction to the physical techniques used in the study of biological systems. Prereq.: PHYS-002.

 

PHYS-175. Thermodynamics. 3 crs.
Introduces the laws of thermodynamics and applications, along with kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Prereqs. PHYS-002 or PHYS-014 and MATH-157 and -159.

 

PHYS-176. Optics. 3 crs.
Explores refraction, optical instruments, interference, diffraction, and polarization. Prereqs.: PHYS-002 or PHYS-014 and MATH-157 and -159.

 

PHYS-178, 179. Electricity and Magnetism. 3 crs. ea.
One year intermediate level course which covers electrostatics, magnetostatics, electric circuits, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Prereqs.: PHYS-002 or PHYS-014, and MATH-156, -157 and -159.

 

PHYS-180, 181. Electronic Physics. 3 crs. ea.
This lecture/laboratory course provides a solid background in analog and digital electronics and instrumentation. The first semester involves mostly analog electronics and the second semester mostly digital electronics. Prereqs.: PHYS-002 or PHYS-014, and MATH-156 and -157.

 

PHYS-182, 183. Physical Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
This one year course examines particle and rigid body dynamics, central forces, vector analysis, oscillatory motion, and Lagrangian mechanics. Prereqs.: PHYS-001 or PHYS-013, and MATH-156, -157 and -159.

 

PHYS-190, 191. Quantum Physics I & II. 3 crs. ea.
Introduction to quantum physics and relativity. Includes discussion of Schrodinger equation and its application to atomic and molecular spectra, a brief introduction to lasers, solid state, nuclear physics, elementary particles. Prereqs.: PHYS-183 and MATH-156, -157 and -159.

 

PHYS-192, 193. Introduction to Mathematical Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Treats vectors and tensors, linear transformations, complex variables, calculus of residues, partial differential equations of physics, Green's functions, Strum-Liouville theory, orthogonal functions, and Fourier transform methods. Prereq.: consent of instructor.

 

PHYS-194, 195. Experimental Physics I & II. 3 cr. ea.
Research training including data reduction and error analysis for physicists. Topics include instrumental and statistical uncertainties, propagation of error, probability distributions, method of least squares, curve fitting, and experimental design. Selected experiments in mechanics, heat, optics, electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics, and electronics, and computer programming. Technical writing skills for the production of scientific publications and reports are emphasized. The course PHYS-194 is the same as PHYS-702 Experimental Physics WRTG. Prereq.: PHYS-013/014.

 

PHYS-196. Senior Thesis. (1) cr.
Research problems for senior physics majors. Prereq.: PHYS-194 and senior status in physics.

 


Graduate Physics Course Descriptions

 

PHYS-200/201. Modern Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Introduction to quantum physics and relativity. Includes discussion of Schrodinger equation and its application to atomic and molecular spectra, a brief introduction to lasers, solid state, nuclear physics, elementary particles. This course covers the same materials as PHYS-190, 191, however, additional assignments are given to graduate students.

 

PHYS-202. Optics. 3 crs.
Same as PHYS-176.

 

PHYS-203. Thermodynamics. 3 crs.
Same as PHYS-175.

 

PHYS-204/205. Electricity and Magnetism. 3 crs.
Same as PHYS -178, 179.

 

PHYS-208/209. Physical Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
Same as PHYS-182, 183.

 

PHYS-210/211. Classical Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
Study of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics, variational methods, central force problems, rigid body motion, small oscillations and canonical transformations.

 

PHYS-214/215. Electromagnetic Theory. 3 cr. ea.
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, Maxwell equations, electromagnetic waves, waveguides, radiation scattering and diffraction, special theory of relativity, radiation by moving charges. Prereq.: PHYS-178, 179 or PHYS-204/205.

 

PHYS-216/217. Mathematical Methods in Physics. 3 crs. ea.
A study of vectors, matrices, tensors, linear transformations, complex variables, Fourier series, orthogonal functions, partial differential equations of physics, Fourier and Laplace transforms.

 

PHYS-218/219. Advanced Laboratory. 3 crs. ea.
Experimental projects in spectroscopy, electronics, nuclear physics, low temperature and Solid State Physics.

 

PHYS-220/221. Quantum Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
A study of wave and matrix mechanics, angular momentum, perturbation theory, scattering theory, and applications.

 

PHYS-222/223. Statistical Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
Ensemble theory, classical and quantum statistics, dense gases and liquids, magnetism, applications in solid state physics, superfluids, superconductivity, kinetic theories, special topics.

 

PHYS-224. Introduction to Laser Physics. 3 crs. ea. 

Foundations of lasing action: optical coherence, atomic susceptibility, Einstein A/B coefficients, spontaneous / stimulated emission, broadening mechanisms, Gaussian beams, optical resonators, Q-switching, mode-locking, Maxwell's equations, field quantization, and accelerated charge radiation. Applications to a selected purview of contemporary laser systems, e.g.: gas / excimer, solid-state, ultrafast CPA / OPCPA and coherent free-electron emission. Baseline Pre/Co requisites: PHY-178/179, PHYS-190/191 or instructor consent. PHY-192/193 is recommended however all mathematical tools will be developed. Cross listed w/ PHY-130.

 

PHYS-226/227. Solid State Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Crystal lattice, X-ray diffraction, electron in periodic potential, Bloch theorem, band structure, semiconductors, phonons, optical properties, amorphous structures, superconductivity, special topics.

 

PHYS-230. Current Issues in Physics Education. 3 crs.
This course examines issues in teaching physics at the introductory level to a diverse student population. Topics include laboratory experiences, test taking skills, and reading comprehension, as well as physics content.

 

PHYS-232/233. Advanced Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. 3 crs. ea.
This course provides an advanced treatment of fluid-flow phenomena in the atmosphere and will cover nonlinear wave theory and its use in the development and interpretation of the atmosphere. Hydrodynamics instabillity mechanism, which are in present in atmospheric flow and turbulence, will also be covered.

 

PHYS-234. Introduction to Atmospheric Science. 3 crs.
Introductory course designed to provide a comprehensive background in weather, climate, and atmospheric optics. Lectures will stress the understanding and application of basic principles of physics and chemistry for semi-quantitative description of the Earth's atmosphere.

 

PHYS-236/237. Electronic Physics. 3 crs. ea.
An examination of analog and digital electronics and instrumentation. Consists of two one-hour lectures and a two-hour laboratory.

 

PHYS-238/239. Theoretical Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Special topics of current interest in mathematical physics and in quantum and statistical physics.

 

Physics 245 - Elementary Particle Physics. (1) cr. 

Topics may include decay rates and cross sections, dirac equation, particle exchange, electron-positron annihilation, electron proton scattering, DIS, symmetries and the quark model, QCD and color, V-A and the weak interaction, leptonic weak interactions, neutrinos and neutrino oscillations, CKM and CP violation, electroweak unification and the W and Z, tests of the standard model, the Higgs boson.

 

PHYS-250/251. Atmospheric Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Atmospheric thermodynamics, hydrostatics, cloud and radiative processes and chemical cycles. Cloud physics and formation, energy balance, and the impact on global climate. Elementary dynamics with applications to the earth and planetary atmospheres.

 

PHYS-252. Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere. 3 crs.
Elements of radiative transfer as applied to the upper and lower atmospheres and ocean surface. Both passive and active remote sensing methods are discussed. Satellite technology and applications to the understanding of the Earth and extraterrestrial atmospheres will be discussed.

 

PHYS-253. Atmospheric Radiation. 3 crs.
Application of radiative transfer theory to problems in planetary atmospheres, with primary emphasis on the earthÌs atmosphere; principles of atomic and molecular spectroscopy; infrared band representation; absorption and emissions of atmospheric gases; radiation flux and flux divergence computations; radiative transfer and fluid motions; additional application such as greenhouse effect, inversion methods and climate models.

 

PHYS-254. Current Topics in Atmospheric Physics. 1 cr.
Atmospheric Thermodynamics, hydrostatics, cloud and radiative processes, and chemical cycles. Cloud physics and formation, energy balance, and the impact on global climate. Elementary dynamics with applications to the Earth and planetary atmospheres.

 

PHYS-266/267. Advanced Mathematical Methods in Physics. 3 crs. ea.
A selection of group theory, calculus of variations, integral equations, differential geometry, homotopy, homology, cohomology, K-theory and other topics with applications to physics.

 

Physics 268 - Nuclear Physics - (1) cr.

Topics may include nucleon structure, nuclear force and two nucleon systems, properties of nuclei, models of nuclear structure, nuclear excitations, nuclear decay and radioactivity, nuclei under extreme conditions, and nuclear astrophysics.

 

PHYS-276/277. Advanced Topics in Quantum Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
Quantum radiation theory, relativistic quantum theory, and covariant perturbation theory.

 

PHYS-278/279. General Seminar. 3 crs. ea.
Lectures on current topics of interest in physics.

 

PHYS-280/281. General Seminar. 2 crs. ea.
Lectures on current topics of interest in physics.

 

PHYS-282/283. General Seminar. 1 crs. ea.
Lectures on current topics of interest in physics.

 

PHYS-284/285. Special Topics in Astrophysics. 3 crs. ea.
Current topics of interest in astrophysics.

 

PHYS-286/287. Special Topics in Laser Spectroscopy. 3 crs. ea.
Current research problems of interest in astrophysics.

 

PHYS-290/291. Special Topics in Statistical Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
Special topics of current interest in statistical mechanics.

 

PHYS-292/293. Special Topics in Solid-State Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Special topics of current interest in Solid-State Physics.

 

PHYS-298/299. Graduate Research. 1-6 crs.
Supervised research for students without approved thesis or dissertation topics.

 

PHYS-300/301. M. S. Thesis Research. 1-6 crs.
Independent research for the M.S. degree.

 

Physics 310 - Quantum Field Theory - (1) cr.

Topics may include relativistic quantum mechanics, scattering theory, the cluster decomposition principle, quantum fields and particles, Feynman rules, canonical formalism, electrodynamics, path-integrals, non-perturbative methods, one-loop radiative corrections, infrared effects, bound states, gauge theories, operator product expansions, broken symmetries, and anomalies.

 

PHYS-400. Ph.D. Dissertation Research. 1-12 crs.
Consists of independent research for the Ph.D. degree