PHYSICS (PHY)

Jose Balduz, Chair and Assistant Professor

Randall D. Peters, Professor

Matthew Marone, Associate Professor

Sheng-Chiang "John" Lee, Assistant Professor

The department offers physics majors leading to the B.S. and B.A. degrees and a minor in physics. The program in physics offers courses to meet the needs of:

1) students desiring to pursue
physics-related industrial or governmental careers,

2) students desiring to continue their education in advanced graduate programs,

3) students desiring a physics major as preparation for science teaching in
secondary schools,

4) students needing courses in physics as part of their major program, and

5) students not majoring in the sciences, but desiring a general knowledge of
physics.

The **Bachelor of Science degree in physics**
is appropriate for those wishing to immediately gain professional employment as
a physicist with industry or government, or to continue their education in a
physics graduate program. It consists of at least 40 credit hours of physics,
which must include PHY 161/162,* 300 (twice), 305, 306, 330, 340, 355, 450, and
at least four other physics courses numbered above 300. In addition, MAT 191/192
(Calculus), MAT 293 (Multivariable Calculus) and MAT 330 (Introduction to
Differential Equations), and CHM 111/112 (General Chemistry) are required.
Successful completion of a senior comprehensive examination is also required.
Additional coursework in mathematics is recommended but not required: MAT 340
(Linear Algebra), which together with its prerequisite, either MAT 225 or MAT
260, will complete a minor in mathematics.

The **Bachelor of Arts degree in physics**
is appropriate for those wishing to prepare for science teaching in secondary
schools, or to increase the breadth of their education with a second major. It
consists of at least 27 credit hours in physics, which must include PHY 115,
161/162,* 300 (twice), 305, 306, and at least three other physics courses
numbered above 300. In addition, MAT 191/192 (Calculus), MAT 293 (Multivariable
Calculus) and MAT 330 (Introduction to Differential Equations), and CHM 111/112
(General Chemistry) are required. Successful completion of a senior
comprehensive examination is also required.

A **minor in physics** consists of at
least 15 credit hours in physics, which must include PHY 161/162,* and at least
three other physics courses numbered 300 or above. Note that PHY 300 may only be
counted once toward the physics minor. The courses MAT 191/192 (Calculus) are
required for the physics minor.

Students wishing to pursue a major or minor in physics should confer with the department chair as soon as this decision is made in order to plan a program of studies. Physics majors should ideally complete MAT 191/192 and PHY 161/162 during the freshman year, and PHY 305/306 and MAT 293/330 during the sophomore year.

Majors may attain **Departmental Honors in
physics** by fulfilling the following requirements:

1) attaining a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses taken in the
department, and

2) satisfactorily completing a research project, including preparation of a
paper suitable for publication in a scientific journal and/or presentation at a
scientific meeting.

(*) A substitution is allowed: Students who have successfully completed PHY 141 and MAT 191 may be admitted to PHY 162 by instructor approval. If they successfully complete PHY 162, these students may thereafter enroll in other physics courses with a PHY 162 prerequisite, as well as pursue majors or minors in physics, replacing the PHY 161 requirement with PHY 141. Note that this does not affect requirements imposed by other departments and schools, e.g. the requirement that math, chemistry, and most engineering students must take one year of calculus-based physics.

**PHY 115. Descriptive Astronomy**

Problems in astronomy will be presented on a fundamental level and will serve to demonstrate how scientific principles are established, how these principles are sometimes revised or disproved by new data and methods, and how observations of the universe can be used by people to learn more about their place in the cosmos. A lecture and laboratory course. (4 credit
hours, offered every semester)

**
PHY 141. Introductory Physics I (4 hours)
**Prerequisite: MAT 133.

Algebra-based physics: motion, forces, mechanical and heat energy. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. (Every semester)

Continuation of PHY 141: electrostatics, electric currents, dc circuits, magnetism, waves and optics. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. (Every year in the spring)

**PHY 161. General Physics
I (4 hours)**

Pre- or co-requisite: MAT 191.

Physics with calculus for majors in the physical sciences and engineering:
motion, forces, energy, momentum, rotations, oscillations and heat. Three hours
of lecture and three hours of lab per week. (Every semester)

**PHY 162. General Physics II (4 hours)**

Pre- or co-requisite: MAT 192.

Pre-requisite: PHY 161.

Continuation of PHY 161: electrostatics, electric currents, dc and ac circuits,
magnetism, waves and optics. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per
week. (Every semester)

**PHY 300. Physics Seminar**

Prerequisite: Junior or senior status; and either PHY 142 or PHY 162 or instructor approval.

This is a weekly, one-hour seminar focusing on current topics at the frontiers of physics. Each student must make at least one presentation each semester. May be taken up to four times for credit, but only two credit hours may be applied toward the physics major, and one credit hour toward the physics minor. (1 credit
hour, offered every semester)

**PHY 305. Modern Physics I**

Prerequisites: MAT 192 and PHY 162.

Introduction to the quantum theory of matter: wave-particle duality, uncertainty, quantum probability, the Schroedinger equation, atomic and molecular structure, classical and quantum statistics, solid state physics, superfluids, superconductors, and lasers. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every year)

**PHY 306. Modern Physics II**

Prerequisite: PHY 305.

Introduction to the physics of spacetime, the very small, and the very large: special relativity, nuclear and particle physics, astrophysics, general relativity, and cosmology. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every year)

**PHY 325. Physical Optics**

Prerequisites: MAT 192 and PHY 162.

Intermediate level optics, including the electromagnetic nature of light, thermal and coherent sources, interference phenomena, holography, polarization, Fourier transform spectroscopy, and nonlinear optics. The adjective physical in the title of this course emphasizes its foundation in electromagnetic theory, as opposed to geometrical optics, where the primary goal is to understand how optical instruments function, using ray tracing techniques. Two hours of lecture and a 3-hour laboratory per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every three years)

**PHY 330. Thermal Physics**

Prerequisites: MAT 293, MAT 330, and PHY 162.

Introduction to statistical mechanics covering classical and quantum statistics, and connections with thermodynamics. Quantum statistics will include investigations of thermal properties of solids and low temperature phenomena. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every two years)

**PHY 335. Solid State Devices**

Prerequisites: MAT 192 and PHY 162.

Exploration of the physics of solid state devices, including transistors and LEDs, basic properties of conduction in solids, simple quantum mechanics, crystal structures, solid state chemistry and electronic circuits. Two hours of lecture and a 3-hour laboratory per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every three years)

**PHY 340. Analytical Mechanics**

Prerequisites: MAT 293, MAT 330, and PHY 162.

Statics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies; Newtonian, Lagrangian, and Hamiltonian description of systems; vibrating systems including normal modes. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every two years)

**PHY 355. Electromagnetic Theory**

Prerequisites: MAT 293 and 330, and PHY 162.

Electrostatics, magnetostatics, electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every two years)

**PHY 365. Mathematical Physics**

Prerequisites: MAT 293, MAT 330, and PHY 162.

Mathematical methods useful in upper-division physics courses are explored. Topics may include probability distributions, linear algebra, complex variables, waves and Fourier analysis, orthogonal functions, partial differential equations, chaotic dynamics, and group theory. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every three years)

**PHY 370. Experimental Physics**

Prerequisite: MAT 192 and PHY 162.

Introduction to experimental techniques including computerized data acquisition, data analysis, analog and digital electronics and instrumentation. Students will also learn the LabVIEW programming language. Two hours of lecture and a 3-hour laboratory per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every two years)

**PHY 385. Computational Physics**

Prerequisites: MAT 192 and PHY 162.

Introduction to the use of computing to solve physics problems and to methods of efficient communication of these solutions. Topics include: LaTex, computer algebra systems, computer programming and introduction to numerical methods. Two hours of lecture and a 3-hour computer laboratory per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every three years)

**PHY 420. Selected Topics in Physics (Subtitle)**

Prerequisite: to be determined by the instructor.

A study of a topic in much greater depth than is done in the more general courses, or a topic of current importance not covered in the course offerings of the department. Credit hours depend on the topic, with a maximum of 4.
(offered occasionally)

**PHY 430. Nonlinear Physics**

Prerequisite: PHY 340.

This course discusses nonlinear phenomena in physical systems and how these nonlinear effects are analyzed. Two hours of lecture and a 3-hour laboratory per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every three years)

**PHY 450. Quantum Mechanics**

Prerequisites: MAT 293, MAT 330, and PHY 305.

Introduction to the concepts and techniques of quantum mechanics. Mathematical formalisms, applications to discrete and continuous physical systems, and philosophical implications of quantum mechanics will be investigated. Three hours of lecture per week. (3 credit
hours, offered every two years)

**PHY 460. Research in Physics**

Prerequisite: to be determined by the student's research advisor.

Training in the techniques of basic research in physics with application to a research project of current importance. May be spread over several semesters. Variable credit (1-3 credits per semester): one credit hour for each three hours per week of research activity. May be taken for up to 6 credit hours.
(offered occasionally)