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Cover Photo 2007-2008 Catalog Online

Course Descriptions:


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Physics (PHY)

Chairperson: Professor Northby

101 Physics and Physicists (1)

Survey course spotlighting current developments in physics and examining the way scientific research is carried out. (Lec. 1)

109 Introduction to Physics (3)

Appreciation of the physical environment and an introduction to the principles and theories of contemporary physics. Recommended for elementary education majors. (Lec. 3) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 110. Not open to students with credit in 111, 112, 203, 204, or 205. (N)

110 Laboratory for Introduction to Physics (1)

Demonstrations and laboratory exercises related to 109. (Lab. 2) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 109.

111, 112 General Physics I, II (3 each)

111: Mechanics, heat, and sound. 112: Optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics. Noncalculus presentation of fundamental physics. (Lec. 3) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 185 for 111 and 186 for 112. (N)

140 The Ideas of Physics (3)

A nonmathematical presentation of classical and modern physics illustrated by lecture demonstrations. (Lec. 3) Of particular interest to liberal arts students. (N)

185, 186 Laboratory for General Physics I, II (1 each)

Selected laboratory exercises applicable to materials in 111, 112. (Lab. 2) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 111 for 185 and 112 for 186. (N)

203 Elementary Physics I (3)

Introduction to Newtonian mechanics. Kinematics and dynamics of particles and systems of particles. Motion of rigid bodies and oscillatory motion. Conservation principles. (Lec. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in MTH 141 and concurrent enrollment in 273. Intended for science or engineering majors. Not open to students with credit in 213. (N)

204 Elementary Physics II (3)

Introduction to electricity and magnetism, leading to Maxwell’s equations. Electric fields and Gauss’ law; magnetic fields and Ampere’s law. Capacitance and inductance, DC and AC circuits. Electromagnetic waves. (Lec. 3) Pre: 203, credit or concurrent enrollment in MTH 142, and concurrent enrollment in 274. Intended for science or engineering majors. Not open to students with credit in 214. (N)

205 Elementary Physics III (3)

Introduction to topics of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, wave motion, acoustics, and optics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 203; credit or concurrent enrollment in MTH 243 or 362; concurrent enrollment in PHY 275. Intended for science or engineering majors. Not open to students with credit in 213, 214. (N)

273, 274, 275 Elementary Physics Laboratory I, II, III (1 each)

Laboratory exercises and recitation sessions related to topics in 203, 204, and 205. (Lab. 3) Pre: concurrent enrollment in 203, 204, and 205. (N)

306 Elementary Modern Physics (3)

Introduction to relativistic and quantum physics: special relativity theory, structure of atoms, molecules, nuclei, and solids including semiconductor devices; wave and particle properties (Lec. 3) Pre: 204, 205, or ELE 210. Not open to students with credit in 341.

322 Mechanics (3)

Introduction to Newtonian statics and dynamics using vector analysis; particle motion, Lagrange’s equations; rigid body motion. Application to various topics in physical mechanics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 204 and MTH 244.

331 Electricity and Magnetism (3)

Electrostatic fields and dielectric materials; magnetic fields, magnetic induction, and magnetic materials; introduction to Maxwell’s equations. (Lec. 3) Pre: 204 and MTH 243.

334 (or AST 334) Optics (3)

Geometrical and physical optics; thick lens optics, interference, diffraction, polarization. (Lec. 3) Pre: 112, 214, or 205.

341 Introductory Modern Physics (3)

The development and current status of major advances in 20th-century physics, such as special relativity, kinetic theory, structure of atoms, molecules and nuclei, wave and particle properties of matter, thermionic and photoelectric effects. (Lec. 3) Pre: 213, 214, and MTH 142. MTH 243 and ELE 210 can be substituted for 214. Not open to students with credit in 306.

381, 382 Advanced Laboratory Physics (3 each)

Key experiments covering a wide range of disciplines including nuclear physics, properties of the electron, magnetism thermodynamics, and optics. Quantitative analysis is stressed, including statistics and curve fitting. Technical skills are developed. (Lab. 6) Pre: 204 and 205.

401, 402 Seminar in Physics (1 each)

Preparation and presentation of papers on selected topics in physics. (Seminar) Required of all undergraduate and graduate students in physics; one semester required for all senior physics majors.

410 Computational Physics (3)

Development and application of computer techniques to classical and quantum physics problems. Emphasis will be on approximation techniques and numerical methods for solving matrix, integral, and differential equations arising in physics. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: MTH 215 and CSC 200 or CSC 201 or CSC 211; credit or concurrent enrollment in MTH 244 and PHY 306.

420 Introduction to Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (3)

Emphasis on laws of thermodynamics and properties of thermodynamic systems, kinetic theory of gases, molecular velocity distributions, transport phenomena, Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 205 and MTH 243.

425 Acoustics (3)

Mathematical theory of vibrating systems; harmonic wave motion. Topics include transmission and absorption of sound waves, microphones, psychoacoustics, underwater acoustics, and ultrasonics. (Lec. 3) Pre: permission of chairperson.

451 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3)

Particle-wave duality, uncertainty principle; Schrödinger equation: eigenvalues, wavefunctions, time dependence; Dirac notation; Heisenberg representation: operators, matrices, eigenvectors; angular momentum: spin and polarization, Pauli matrices, hydrogen atom, application to quantum computation; symmetries: conservation laws, fermions and bosons. (Lec. 3) Pre: 306, 322, MTH 215 and 244.

452 Quantum Mechanics: Techniques and Applications (3)

Approximation techniques including time-dependent and time-independent perturbation theory, WKB, variational method, Born, Hartree, and computational techniques. Applications to atomic and molecular structure, model potentials, radiative transitions, and scattering. (Lec. 3) Pre: 451 and MTH 461.

455 Introduction to Solid-State Physics (3)

Crystal structure, thermal, electrical, and magnetic properties of solids. Electron gas theory of metals, band theory of solids. Semiconductors. (Lec. 3) Pre: 451 and MTH 243.

483, 484 (or AST 483, 484 or OCG 483, 484) Laboratory and Research Problems in Physics (3 each)

Research in current areas of physics. Students perform research projects with individual faculty members. Students in physics and physical oceanography may coordinate their research project with a faculty member of the Graduate School of Oceanography. (Lec. 1, Lab. 6) Pre: 381 and 382.

491, 492 (or AST 491, 492) Special Problems (1-6 each)

Advanced work under the supervision of a faculty member arranged to suit the individual requirements of the student. (Independent Study)

510 Mathematical Methods of Physics I (3)

Topics designed to include applications in physics. Vector and tensor analysis; linear algebra; coordinate systems. Determinants, matrices; introductory group theory. Infinite series, complex analysis, analytic properties, conformal mapping, calculus of residues. Fourier analysis and Laplace transforms. (Lec. 3) Pre: permission of chairperson.

520 Classical Dynamics (3)

Newton’s laws. Conservation theorems and symmetry properties. Lagrangian mechanics. Central force motion. Dynamics of rigid bodies. Hamiltonian mechanics. Canonical transformations. Action-angle coordinates. Hamilton-Jacobi theory. Deterministic chaos. Relativistic mechanics. (Lec. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 510.

525 Statistical Physics I (3)

Equilibrium thermodynamics. Thermodynamics of phase transitions. Elements of kinetic theory. Statistical ensembles and partition functions. Classical and quantum equilibrium statistical mechanics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 420 or equivalent, 510.

530 Electromagnetism I (3)

Electrostatics, including boundary value problem. Multipoles, electrostatics of macroscopic media, dielectrics. Magnetostatics. Time-varying fields, Maxwell equations, conservation laws. Plane electromagnetic waves, wave propagation. Wave guides, resonant cavities. Magnetic materials. (Lec. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 510 and 520.

560 Experimental Methods in Condensed Matter Science (3)

Fundamental experiments on topics related to departmental research. Experimental methodology. (Lec. 2, Lab. 3) Pre: 484 or equivalent.

570 Quantum Mechanics I (3)

Dirac notation. Matrix representations, observables, uncertainty relations. Time evolution; Schroedinger and Heisenberg pictures. Schroedinger equation applications. Propagators and Feynman path integrals. Aharonov-Bohm effect. Angularmomentum; Wigner-Eckart theorem. (Lec. 3) Pre: credit or concurrent enrollment in 510 and 520.

577, 578 Seminar in Sensors and Surface Technology (1)

Students, faculty, and invited outside speakers present and discuss selected topics related to research interests of the Sensors and Surface Technology Partnership. (Seminar) Pre: permission of instructor. May be repeated. S/U credit.

580 Condensed Matter Physics I (3)

Drude and Sommerfiled theories. Crystal lattices and symmetries. Bragg scattering. Properties and calculation of electron spectra. Fermi surfaces of metals. Electrons in magnetic field. De Haas - van Alphen effect and Phonons. Electron-phonon interaction. Defects in solids. (Lec. 3) Pre: 525, 570 or permission of chair.

590 Faculty Project (1-6)

A special project directly related to the research program of an individual faculty member. (Independent Study). Pre: permission of chairperson. Not to exceed 6 credits.

591 Special Problems (1-6)

Advanced study under the supervision of a faculty member arranged to suit the individual needs of the student. (Independent Study) Pre: permission of chairperson. Not to exceed 6 credits.

599 Master’s Thesis Research

Number of credits is determined each semester in consultation with the major professor or program committee. (Independent Study) S/U credit.

610 Mathematical Methods of Physics II (3)

Topics designed to include applications in physics. Ordinary and partial differential equations; Sturm-Liouville theory. Numerical methods and computational techniques. Probability and statistics. Integral transforms. Integral equations; Green’s functions. Special functions of mathematical physics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 510.

625 Statistical Physics II (3)

Equilibrium critical phenomena (critical exponents, scaling relations, multicritical phenomena). Exact solutions. Renormalization group theory and other approximate methods. Critical behavior of magnets, fluids, and surfaces. (Lec. 3) Pre: 525 and 670.

626 Statistical Physics III (3)

Stochastic processes. Markov condition. Master equation. Fokker-Planck equation. Brownian motion. Langevin equation. Transport phenomena. Onsager theory of irreversible processes near equilibrium. Boltzmann equation. Linear response theory, fluctuation dissipation theorem. (Lec. 3) Pre: 525.

630 Electromagnetism II (3)

Radiating systems, scattering, and diffraction. Special theory of relativity. Dynamics of relativistic particles and electromagnetic fields. Collisions between charged particles, energy loss and scattering. Radiation by moving charges. Multipole fields. (Lec. 3) Pre: 530.

660 Nuclear and Particle Physics (3)

Weak, strong, and electromagnetic interactions. Nucleon-nucleon potential, shell model, optical model. Isospin, unitary symmetry, quark model of hadrons. Scattering and reaction theory of few-body systems. Deuteron. Relativistic nuclear and particle phenomena. (Lec. 3) Pre: 570 and 670.

670 Quantum Mechanics II (3)

Symmetry (parity, translation, time-reversal). Time-independent (dependent) perturbation theory, variational methods. Identical particles. Scattering theory (Lippman-Schwinger equation, Born series, partial waves, resonances, optical theorem, inelastic scattering). Applications. Relativistic quantum mechanics. (Lec. 3) Pre: 570 or permission of chairperson.

672 Quantum Mechanics III (3)

Atomic systems (structure, semiclassical radiation theory, collisions). Quantum fields (scalar, spin-1/2, electromagnetic). Applications: quantum field theory (Feynman diagrams in QED and weak interactions, renormalization). Fock space. Many-body theory. (Lec. 3) Pre: 670. In alternate years. Next offered spring 2009.

680 Condensed Matter Physics II (3)

Interacting systems. Green’s functions. Diagrammatic methods. Applications to superconductivity. Fluctuations. Functional integration. Generalized susceptibility and dielectric response. Fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Structure function. (Lec. 3) Pre: 530, 580 or permission of chair.

690 Topics in Physics (3)

Advanced topics in areas of research specializations: a) neutron physics; b) quantum fluids; c) magnetism; d) surface physics; e) nonlinear phenomena; f) advanced quantum physics; g) nuclear physics; h) low-temperature physics. (Lec. 3) Pre: permission of chairperson.

691 Advanced Special Topics (1-6)

Special topics related to current developments by visiting or permanent faculty. (Lec. 1-6) Pre: permission of instructor.

699 Doctoral Dissertation Research

Number of credits is determined each semester in consultation with the major professor or program committee. (Independent Study) S/U credit.

930 Workshop in Physics Topics for Teachers (0-3 each)

Especially designed for teachers of physical sciences. Basic topics in physics from an advanced or pedagogical perspective. (Workshop) Pre: teacher certification.

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