Physics - PHYS


The information below lists courses approved in this subject area effective Fall 2014. Not all courses will necessarily be offered these terms. Please consult the Schedule of Classes for a listing of courses offered for a specific term.

500-level courses require graduate standing.

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104 Problem-Solving Workshop for Introductory Physics I
1 hours. A workshop where small groups of students work together to solve problems using computers. The problems are similar to, and sometimes more challenging than, those given in Physics 105/106. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. PHYS 104 is the companion course for the PHYS 105 lecture. Must enroll concurrently in PHYS 105 and PHYS 106.

105 Introductory Physics I - Lecture
4 hours. A non-calculus course. One-dimensional and two-dimensional kinematics; Newton's laws; momentum; work and energy; torque and angular momentum; rotational dynamics; universal gravitation; oscillations; waves; physical optics; special relativity. Credit is not given for PHYS 105 if the student has credit in PHYS 141. Students may obtain one additional hour of credit by concurrently registering in PHYS 104. Prerequisite(s): High school algebra and trigonometry. Natural World - No Lab course.

106 Introductory Physics I - Laboratory
1 hours. One-dimensional and two-dimensional kinematics; Newton's laws; momentum; work and energy; torque and angular momentum; rotational dynamics; universal gravitation; oscillations; waves; physical optics; special relativity. Credit is not given for PHYS 106 if the student has credit for PHYS 141. Laboratory course. Prerequisite(s): High school algebra and trigonometry. Natural World - With Lab course.

107 Introductory Physics II - Lecture
4 hours. Non-calculus course. Electrostatics; electric current; magnetism; Faraday's law; Maxwell's relations; electromagnetic radiation; introduction to quantum mechanics; the Heisenberg uncertainty principle; Bohr model; nuclear physics; particle physics. Credit is not given for PHYS 107 if the student has credit for PHYS 142. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in PHYS 105 and Grade of C or better in PHYS 106. Natural World - No Lab course.

108 Introductory Physics II - Laboratory
1 hours. Electrostatic; electric current; magnetism; Faraday's law; Maxwell's relations; electromagnetic radiation; optics, introduction to quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle; Bohr model; nuclear physics; particle physics. Credit is not given for PHYS 108 if the student has credit for PHYS 142. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in PHYS 105 and Grade of C or better in PHYS 106. Natural World - With Lab course.

112 Astronomy and the Universe
4 hours. Astronomy in the context of the scientific process, history and current events. Covers the Solar System, stars and galaxies and the origin and fate of the universe. Natural World - With Lab course.

116 Energy for Future Decision-Makers
3 hours. Survey of energy sustainability and environmental issues. All energy forms of production, sources, storage, and uses; their environmental implications on a global scale within the scientific, technological, political, economic, and social context. Recommended background: High school algebra. Natural World - No Lab course.

121 Natural Sciences - The Physical Universe
4 hours. Physical laws and the nature of matter in the evolving universe. Students may obtain one additional hour of credit by concurrently registering in PHYS 122. Prerequisite(s): High school algebra. Natural World - With Lab course.

122 Problem-Solving Workshop for Natural Sciences -The Physical Universe
1 hours. A workshop where small groups of students work together to solve problems similar to, but more challenging than, the problems given in PHYS 112 or PHYS 121. Must enroll concurrently in PHYS 112 or PHYS 121.

141 General Physics I (Mechanics)
4 hours. Kinematics, vectors, Newton's laws of motion; linear momentum, impulse collisions; work and kinetic energy; potential energy, conservation of energy; rotational kinematics and energy; rotational dynamics, static equilibrium; simple harmonic motion. Credit is not given if the student has credit in PHYS 105 or PHYS 106. Students may obtain one additional hour of credit by concurrently registering in PHYS 144. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in MATH 180. Natural World - With Lab course.

142 General Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism)
4 hours. Electrostatics; electric currents; d-c circuits; magnetic fields; magnetic media; electromagnetic induction; a-c circuits; Maxwell's equations; electromagnetic waves; reflection and refraction; interference. Credit is not given for PHYS 142 if the student has credit in PHYS 107 or PHYS 108. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in MATH 181 and Grade of C or better in PHYS 141 or consent of the instructor. Natural World - With Lab course.

144 Problem-Solving Workshop for General Physics I (Mechanics)
1 hours. A workshop where small groups of students work together using computer simulations to solve problems similar to, but more challenging than, the ones given in PHYS 141. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Must enroll concurrently in PHYS 141.

145 Problem-Solving Workshop for General Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism)
1 hours. A workshop where smaller groups of students work together with the instructor to enhance their problem-solving skills by solving additional problems both similar to, as well as more challenging than, problems given in Physics 142. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Requires concurrent registration in PHYS 142.

215 Mathematical Methods for Physicists
4 hours. Applications of mathematical methods to physics problems. Vector calculus, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations of first and second Fourier series. Students may obtain one additional hour of credit by concurrently registering in PHYS 216. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in MATH 210.

216 Problem-Solving Workshop for Mathematical Methods for Physicists
1 hours. A workshop where groups of students work together to solve mathematical physics problems using Maple. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Extensive computer use required. Taught in a computer lab. Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in PHYS 215. Recommended to be taken concurrently with PHYS 215.

244 General Physics III (Modern Physics)
3 hours. Special theory of relativity. Particle-wave duality. Uncertainty principle; Bohr model; introduction to quantum mechanics; Schroedinger equation; hydrogen atom; many-electron atoms. Introduction to nuclear and particle physics. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in PHYS 107 and Grade of C or better in PHYS 108; or Grade of C or better in PHYS 142.

245 General Physics IV (Heat, Fluids, and Wave Phenomena)
4 hours. Thermodynamic laws and processes; kinetic theory of gases; hydrostatics and fluid flow; general wave phenomena; acoustics; geometrical optics; physical optics. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in PHYS 142; or grade of C or better in both PHYS 107 and PHYS 108. Recommended background: MATH 220.

391 Physics Seminar
1 hours. Preparation and presentation by students of talks on topics of current interest in physics. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated to a maximum of 4 hours. Prerequisite(s): Senior standing.

392 Physics Research
2 TO 4 hours. Research under the close supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department.

393 Special Problems
2 TO 4 hours. Special problems or reading in modern physics under individual arrangement with a faculty member. Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department.

401 Electromagnetism I
4 hours. Vector calculus; electrostatic fields in vacuum; solution of electrostatic boundary-value problems; electrostatic fields in material media; electrostatic energy; electric currents. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 142 and PHYS 215; or approval of the department.

402 Electromagnetism II
4 hours. Magnetic fields of steady currents and magnetic materials; electromagnetic induction; magnetic energy; slowly-varying currents; a-c circuits; Maxwell's equations; electromagnetic waves; bounded regions; special relativity. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 401; or approval of the department.

411 Quantum Mechanics I
4 hours. Wave particle duality; wave functions; Schroedinger equation; mathematical structure of quantum mechanics; operators and observables; matrix representation of operators; three dimensional Schroedinger equation. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 215 and PHYS 244 and PHYS 245; or approval of the department. Recommended background: MATH 220.

412 Quantum Mechanics II
4 hours. This is the second semester of a two-semester undergraduate level sequence on the concepts and methods of Quantum Mechanics and their applications. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 411; or approval of the department.

421 Modern Physics: Atoms and Molecules
4 hours. Hydrogenic atoms, electron spin, external fields, multi-electron atoms, diatomic molecules, line widths, photons, radiation from atoms and other electromagnetic processes, positrons, positronium, elastic electron scattering. Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in PHYS 411.

425 Modern Optics
4 hours. Review of electromagnetic wave theory and introductory optics; advanced geometrical optics; Fourier transforms and optics; interference and diffraction; solar cells and LEDs; laser cavities and gain media; introduction to nonlinear and fiber optics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 244; or graduate standing; or approval of the department.

431 Modern Physics: Condensed Matter
4 hours. Crystal structures; interatomic binding; lattice vibrations; thermal and magnetic properties; quantum statistical mechanics; free electron theory of metals; electronic band theory; semiconductors and insulators; superconductivity. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 411 and PHYS 461; or consent of the instructor.

441 Theoretical Mechanics
4 hours. Review of Newtonian mechanics; non-inertial reference systems; gravitation and central forces; moment of inertia tensors; rigid body motion; Euler's equations; Lagrangian mechanics; generalized coordinates; Hamilton's equations; coupled oscillators. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 142 and PHYS 215; or approval of the department.

450 Molecular Biophysics of the Cell
4 hours. Introduction to force, time energies at nanometer scales; Boltzmann distribution; hydrodynamic drag; Brownian motions; DNA, RNA protein structure and function; sedimentation; chemical kinetics; general aspects of flexible polymers. Same as BIOE 450. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 245 or the equivalent; or approval of the department.

451 Modern Physics: Nuclei and Elementary Particles
4 hours. Accelerators, detectors, symmetries, conservation laws, leptons, weak interactions, electroweak theory, strong interactions, hadrons, nuclear forces, systematics and reactions, nuclear models, nuclear astrophysics, quarks, quantum chromodynamics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 411.

461 Thermal and Statistical Physics
4 hours. Thermal equilibrium (Zeroth Law); thermodynamic states (First Law); irreversibility; entropy (Second Law); thermodynamic potentials and properties; phase transitions; kinetic theory of gases; classical statistical mechanics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 245; or approval of the department.

469 The Learning and Teaching of Physics
4 hours. Provides teacher candidates with the foundations and experiences necessary for teaching physics in secondary schools. For those currently teaching, it will also provide tools and background to improve their physics instruction. 4 hours. Same as CI 469. Extensive computer use required. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 244; or approval of the department.

470 Educational Practice with Seminar I
6 hours. The first half of a two-segment sequence of practice teaching, including seminar, to meet certification requirements for teaching in grades six through twelve. Graduate credit only with approval of the department. Prerequisite(s): Good academic standing in a teacher education program, completion of 100 clock hours of pre-student-teaching field experiences, and approval of the department.

471 Educational Practice with Seminar II
6 hours. The second half of a two-segment sequence of practice teaching, including seminar, to meet certification requirements for teaching in grades six through twelve. Graduate credit only with approval of the department. Prerequisite(s): Good academic standing in a teacher education program, completion of 100 clock hours of pre-student-teaching field experiences, credit or concurrent registration in PHYS 470, and approval of the department.

481 Modern Experimental Physics I
4 hours. Theory and experimental use of linear circuits, semiconductor devices, amplifiers, oscillators. Techniques and experiments in atomic, molecular and solid-state physics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 244. Requires concurrent registration in PHYS 499.

482 Modern Experimental Physics II
4 hours. Techniques and experiments in nuclear and particle physics. Gamma-gamma correlations, muon lifetime, Compton scattering, alpha particle scattering. Computer-based experimentation. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 481; or approval of the department.

491 Special Topics in Physics
1 TO 4 hours. Selected topics of current interest in Physics. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 215 and sophomore standing or above; or approval of the department.

494 Special Topics in Physics Teaching
2 TO 4 hours. Seminar on various topics related to the teaching of physics. Subjects are announced. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Supervised teaching practice included. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing or approval of the department.

499 Survey of Physics Problems
1 hours. Problem-solving techniques applied to the variety of undergraduate physics topics. No graduation credit for graduate students. Grade of C or better required to graduate with an undergraduate degree in physics. Co-requisite(s):Concurrent registration in PHYS 481.

501 Electrodynamics I
4 hours. Maxwell's equations, static and time dependent fields in material media and in vacuo. Boundary value problems, wave propagation. Classical theory of radiation. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 402 or approval of the department.

502 Electrodynamics II
4 hours. Special relativity in electrodynamics. Covariant form of Maxwell's equations. Lagrangian form of electrodynamics. Applications to modern physics problems. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 501 or consent of the department.

511 Quantum Mechanics I
4 hours. Linear operators, vector spaces. Schroedinger equation. Heisenberg formalism. Multi/identical particle systems, approximation methods, perturbation theory, symmetries and groups, conservation laws, angular momentum, spin. Wigner-Eckart theorem. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 412 or approval of the department.

512 Quantum Mechanics II
4 hours. Scattering theory, partial waves, Born approximation, density matrix, interaction of radiation with matter; Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations, free-particle solutions, antiparticles, relativistic hydrogen atom. Second quantization. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 511 or approval of the department.

513 Quantum Field Theory I
3 hours. Lagrangian formulation of relativistic wave equations. Quantum electrodynamics: Feynman rules, trace theorems, lowest-order calculations for several processes, self-energy, renormalization, higher-order diagrams. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 512.

514 Quantum Field Theory II
3 hours. Path integrals, gauge theories, Weinberg-Salam model, electroweak processes, quantum chromodynamics, non-perturbative methods, topological objects in field theories, instantons. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 513.

515 Methods in Mathematical Physics
3 hours. Applications of mathematical methods to physics problems, linear operators, orthogonal functions, Green's functions, ordinary and partial differential equations, Sturm-Liouville problem, Hilbert space, group theory. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 215.

521 Molecular Physics
3 hours. Rotational and vibrational energies of molecules, potential curves, electronic transitions, transition moments, intensity rules, thermodynamic properties. Applications. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 411 and PHYS 421; or approval of the department.

522 Laser Physics/Quantum Electronics
3 hours. Laser physics; population inversion; quantum theoretical calculation; modern laser systems; coherence phenomena; applications of lasers. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 521 or approval of the department.

524 Group Theory in Physics
3 hours. Applications of group theory and symmetry principles to problems in elementary particle, solid state, atomic and molecular physics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 512 or approval of the department.

525 Optics and Photonics
2 hours. Electromagnetic wave theory; advanced geometrical, nonlinear, fiber, and Fourier optics; Fourier transforms; interference; diffraction; solar cells; LEDs; laser cavities; gain media. More challenging problem sets, exams, labs than in Phys 425. Corequisites: Requires concurrent registration in PHYS 425. To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture, one Laboratory, and one Discussion.

531 Solid State Physics I
3 hours. Crystal structure, reciprocal lattice, X-ray methods, crystal forces, phonons, heat capacity, thermal expansion. Classification of solids, band structure. Metals: free-electron model, band-structure effects, transport. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 412 AND PHYS 461.

532 Solid State Physics II
3 hours. Semiconductor physics, electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions, superconductivity, spin systems, diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, and anti-ferromagnetism. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 531.

533 Theory of Solids: Magnetism and Superconductivity
3 hours. The main body problem; many-particle states; functional integrals; Green's functions; Feynman diagrams; perturbation expansions; tree diagrams. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 512 and PHYS 532.

534 Theory of Solids: Semiconductor Physics
3 hours. Spin systems; magnetism; equilibrium Green's functions; Landau theory of Fermi liquids; Hubbard model; Luttinger model, non-equilibrium Green's functions, Keldysh, Kadanoff-Baym approach. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 512 and PHYS 532.

540 Physics of Semiconductor Devices
4 hours. Electrons in periodic lattice; equilibrium carrier distribution; energy band diagrams in junctions, in homogeneous semiconductors; recombination and generation; non-equilibrum processes, radiation and electric fields; diodes. Same as ECE 540. Prerequisite(s): ECE 346 or the equivalent.

545 Introduction to General Relativity
3 hours. Principle of equivalence, the metric field and geodesics, tensor analysis and differential geometry, Einstein's equations and the action principle, gravitational fields and waves, black holes. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 502 and PHYS 541 or approval of the department.

551 Elementary Particle Physics I
3 hours. Phenomenology and theories of modern day particle physics. Classification of particles and their interactions. Survey of experimental techniques, accelerators and detectors. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 512 or approval of the department.

552 Elementary Particle Physics II
3 hours. Lagrangian formulation of electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions. Transition rates. Unification of electroweak and strong interactions. Gauge theories. Modern topics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 551 or approval of the department.

561 Statistical Mechanics
3 hours. Density matrix. Information theory; Boltzmann-Gibbs distribution; the n-vector model; renormalization group theory; cellular automata. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 461 or approval of the department.

581 Advanced Experimental Physics
2 hours. Experimental techniques in atomic, molecular and solid-cular and solid-state physics. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 431 or consent of the instructor.

594 Special Topics in Modern Physics
1 TO 4 hours. Lectures on topics of current interest. Subjects are announced in the previous semester. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): PHYS 512.

595 Graduate Seminar
1 hours. Seminars in areas of research activity within the department covering recent contributions to the literature and research in progress. Presentations by students, faculty and scientists from other institutions. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term.

596 Individual Study
2 TO 4 hours. Special topics. Outside reading and a term paper are assigned by a special arrangement with the department and faculty. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department.

598 Master's Thesis Research
0 TO 16 hours. Student may elect to do thesis research to fulfill partial requirement for master's degree. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department.

599 Thesis Research
0 TO 16 hours. Ph.D. thesis research. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department.


Information provided by the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment.

This listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract. Every attempt is made to provide the most current and correct information. Courses listed here are subject to change without advance notice. Courses are not necessarily offered every term or year. Individual departments or units should be consulted for information regarding frequency of course offerings.