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Physics Courses

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses


All courses carry 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

530 Radiation Physics
For science majors specializing in nuclear medicine, radiology, environmental sciences, radiation protection, and applied areas using ionizing radiations. Principles of atoms and nuclei, radioactivity, interaction of radiation with matter, radiation detectors and methods, applications of radioactive and stable nuclei as tracers. Special topics. Consent of instructor required. Credit, 4.

531 Electronics for Scientists I
Operation and use of the basic elements of modern electronics, both analog and digital. Analog circuit analysis, filters, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, oscillators, power supplies, integrated circuits. Gate construction and families, flip-flops and flip-flop circuits, the 68000 microprocessor, machine language, and the building of a computer based on the 68000. A “hands-on” experience for those using electronic equipment in research, testing, and analysis. Prerequisites: a freshman course in electricity and magnetism; knowledge of basic dc and ac circuit concepts. Credit, 4.

553 Optics
Lecture, discussion, laboratory. Modern optics. Geometrical and classical physical optics. Matrix methods in optical design. Optical instruments. Interference and spatial coherence. Diffraction. Fourier transform spectroscopy. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 422.

556 Nuclei and Elementary Particles
Nuclear properties and models, nuclear decays and reactions. Interactions of hadrons and leptons, internal symmetries and quantum numbers, quarks, unified interactions and gauge symmetry. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 424.

558 Solid State Physics
Introduction to the properties of solids. Emphasis on the key role played by quantum mechanics in determining the electrical and thermal properties of metals, in-sulators, semiconductors, and magnets. For senior and graduate students in physics and astronomy, the physical sciences, and engineering. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 423 and 424.

562 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
Description of electric and magnetic fields in a dynamical context-electromagnetic radiation theory, optics, plasma physics, relativistic electrodynamics, cavity resonators, waveguides. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 422.

564 Introductory Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Breakdown of classical physics, wave mechanics including the Schroedinger equation and its interpretation, one-dimensional problems, uncertainty principle, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 422, 424.

568 Cosmology and General Relativity
Mathematical and conceptual aspects of the special and general theories of relativity. Lorentz transformations, covariant formulation of the laws of nature. The equivalence principle, curved spaces, solutions of the equations of relativity. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 422.

601 Classical Mechanics
Lagrange’s and Hamilton’s equations, central force problem, rigid bodies, small oscillations, continuum mechanics, fluid dynamics.

602 Statistical Physics
Survey of thermodynamics. Boltzmann distribution, statistical interpretation of thermodynamics, Gibbsian ensembles and the method of Darwin, Fowler; quantum distributions and their applications, transport phenomena. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 601, 606 (the latter may be taken concurrently).

605 Methods of Mathematical Physics
Selected topics with application to physics in linear algebra and Hilbert space theory, complex variables, Green’s functions, partial differential equations, integral transforms, integral equations. Credit, 4.

606 Classical Electrodynamics I
Electrostatic and magnetostatic fields in vacuum and material medium. Maxwell’s equations, radiation, and special relativity. Covariant formulation of the field equations. Fields of a moving charge, motion of particles, radiation reaction, applications to physical phenomena as time permits. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 601. Credit, 4.

614 Intermediate Quantum Mechanics I
Abstract quantum mechanics, Hilbert space, representation theory, three-dimensional problems, angular momentum, spin, vector coupling, bound state perturbation theory, variational method. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 605.

615 Intermediate Quantum Mechanics II
Angular momentum, time dependent and time independent perturbation theory, semi-classical and quantum treatment of radiation, scattering theory, Klein-Gordon equation, Dirac equation. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 614.

696 Independent Study
Special study in some branch of physics, either theoretical or experimental, under direction of a faculty member.

699 Master’s Thesis
Credit, 6.

714 Introductory High Energy Physics
Introduction to physics of elementary particles; treating the development of the field, the particle spectrum, symmetries, quarks, experimental methods, an introduction to theories of the strong, electromagnetic and weak interaction, and recent developments. Prerequisites: PHYSICS 614, 606.

715 Introductory Solid State Physics
Solids treated as translational symmetry structures, their effect in x-ray and particle scattering, and thermal and vibrational properties of solids. Binding energy of solids, electronics in periodic potentials, and formation of bands. The free electron model of metals. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 614.

716 Introduction to Superfluidity and Superconductivity
Description of fundamental experiments and properties of superfluid ^He, ¨He and superconductors. The two fluid model, elementary excitations, fluid structure, vortices, superfluid films and macroscopic quantum effects in superfluidity. Type I and II superconductors, the mixed state, the Meisner effect, superconducting junctions and an introduction to devices. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 614.

719 Nuclear Physics
Basic concepts of nuclear physics, instruments and methods. Natural radioactivity, nuclear radiations—their properties and interaction with matter, nuclear-radiation detectors, electrostatic and magnetic analyzers, mass spectrometry, charged particle accelerators, elementary discussion of alpha and beta decay, nuclear isomerism, internal conversion, nuclear reactions, neutron physics, fissions, nuclear spin and magnetic moments, cosmic rays and elementary particles. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 614.

723 Topics in Mathematical Physics
Subjects vary depending on instructor. Most recently has included topics in nonlinear dynamics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

724 Group Theory in Quantum Mechanics
Finite dimensional groups and their representations; representations of the permutation group; representations of SU(n), tensor representations, decomposition of direct product representations; three-dimensional rotation group. Clebsch-Gordon and Racah co-efficients; the Lorentz group and its representations; applications to atomic, solid state, nuclear and high energy physics. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 615.

811 Field Theory
Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations, field quantization, interacting fields, S-matrix, perturbation theory and Feynman diagrams, renormalization, path integrals, and recent developments.

813 High Energy Physics
Advanced study of particle physics. Topics vary with instructor; may include the theory of the weak interactions, deep inelastic scattering, phenomenology of the strong and weak interactions, quantum chromodynamics, gauge theory, attempts at unification, and recent developments. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 714.

816 Solid State Physics
Transport phenomena in solids including semiconductors, optical properties of solids, superconductivity, superfluidity, magnetism. Topics vary with instructor. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 715.

817 Advanced Statistical Physics
Phase transitions, including condensation; description of imperfect gases. Transport theory and other nonequilibrium phenomena. Irreversible processes. Field theoretic quantum statistical physics. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 602.

821 General Relativity
Mathematical and conceptual aspects of the special and general theories of relativity. Lorentz transformations, covariant formulation of the laws of nature. The equivalence principle, curved spaces, solutions of the equations of relativity. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 606.

850 Advanced Topics in Physics
One or more subjects of special interest covered in lectures. Consent of instructor required.

851 Special Topics in Nuclear Physics
Advanced and current topics in nuclear physics.

852 Special Topics in High Energy Physics
Advanced and current topics in high energy physics. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 813.

853 Special Topics in Solid State Physics
Advanced and current topics in solid state physics. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 816.

860 Seminar on Research Topics
Instruction via reading assignments and seminars on research topics not currently covered in regular courses. Consent of instructor required. Credit, 1-3.

899 Doctoral Dissertation
Credit, 18.