Department of Physics and Astronomy

http://www.wku.edu/physics

Michael Carini, Department Head
Thompson Complex-Central Wing 246
(270) 745-4357

Faculty

Professor

Michael T. Carini, PhD (Astrophysics), Georgia State University, 1990

Vladimir Dobrokhotov, PhD (Physics), University of Idaho, 2006

A. G. Emslie, PhD (Astronomy), University of Glasgow, 1979

Richard F. Gelderman, PhD (Astronomy), University of Virginia, 1994

Wieb Vandermeer, PhD (Mathematics and Natural Science), University of Groningen, 1979

Associate Professor

Steven J. Gibson, PhD (Astronomy, Physics), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997

Sanju Gupta, PhD (Physics – Chemistry), University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, 2003

Ivan S. Novikov, PhD (Mathematics, Physics), St. Petersburg State U-Russia, 2000

Assistant Professor

Ali Er, PhD (Physics), Old Dominion University, 2011


Astronomy Courses

ASTR 405G   Astronomy for Teachers    3 Hours

Selected topics in astronomy for elementary and secondary teachers.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

Physics Courses

PHYS 404G   Laboratory Optics    1 Hour

The conclusions and concepts of optics and techniques of experimental optics.
Corequisite(s): PHYS 441G.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2016

PHYS 409G   Laboratory Exper Physics/Research Tech    1 Hour

Laboratory techniques in experimental research, includes drawing and fabrication of apparatus, technical photography, and statistical treatment of data.
Prerequisite(s): Two years of college physics.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 410G   Physics for Teachers    3 Hours

A broad study, including laboratory experiences, of the areas of physics relevant to science teaching in grades K-12. For pre-service for in-service teachers who have a minimal physics background. Instruction will be differentiated according to student needs. Applicable toward a major or minor in physics only for those students obtaining teacher certification.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 431G   Radiation Biophysics    4 Hours

The properties of the various forms of radiation and their interactions with, and effects on, living matter. Laboratory offers training in monitoring ionizing radiations and techniques of radioactive isotopes.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 201-PHYS 202 or PHYS 231-PHYS 232.
Grade Mode: Non-graded
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 440G   Electromagnetism I    3 Hours

Introduction to the study of classical electromagnetic fields, including electrostatics.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2016

PHYS 441G   Optics    3 Hours

Geometrical and physical optics including wave propagation, refraction, dispersion, diffraction, and polarization.
Corequisite(s): PHYS 404G.
Prerequisite(s): One year of college physics and one year of calculus.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 445G   Electromagnetism II    3 Hours

Study of classical electrodynamics with emphasis on Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, dispersion and radiation.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 450G   Classical Mechanics II    3 Hours

A continuation of PHYS 350. Includes motion in central potentials, dynamics of systems of particles, rigid body motion.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2017

PHYS 465G   Geophysics    3 Hours

General and exploration geophysics. Topics include the origin of the earth and the solar system, the earth's interior, gravity and isostasy, seismology, upper atmosphere, continents and ocean basins, etc.
Equivalent(s): GEOL 465G.
Prerequisite(s): GEOL 111 and one year of college physics or permission of the instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 475G   Topics/Physics    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Directed study under the supervision of a faculty member.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2016

PHYS 480G   Quantum Mechanics    3 Hours

Fundamental principles of quantum mechanics including the hydrogen and helium atoms, the harmonic oscillator, and the Schroedinger wave equation.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 320, PHYS 350, PHYS 450.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 501   Classical Dev in Physics    3 Hours

Physics for junior high and high school teachers covers the discovery of physical laws, the origin of forces, motion, energy, momentum, conservation, principles, wave phenomena, and electromagnetics.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 502   Modern Develop/Physics    3 Hours

Physics for junior high and high school teachers. Covers atomic structure, the nucleus, elementary particles, probability and uncertainty, and special relativity. Emphasizes the impact of twentieth century discoveries on the foundations of physical law.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 503   Physics Demonstration    3 Hours

Designed to acquaint the junior high and high school teacher with laboratory equipment and demonstrations for use in secondary education.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 505   Investigations/Physics    3 Hours

Topics of individual interest relating to the teaching of physics.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 506   Overview of Homeland Security    1 Hour

Special requirements: Instructor permission required if not enrolled into graduate program in Homeland Security Sciences. A weekly seminar course available as an in-class group discussion, a real-time webcast, or a downloadable PEG file from the departmental website. Seminar speakers from Department of Homeland Security, businesses, and other recognized national and international experts, will provide an overview of the Homeland Security area. To be taken during the first semester of matriculation.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

PHYS 510   Methods in Math Physics    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 511   Quantitative Modeling for Physics Instruction I: Mechanics    3 Hours

An in-depth study of topics in physics typically taught at the high school level. Emphasizes both the content of physics as well as the process of effectively communicating the content to secondary students. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, energy, momentum and other topics in mechanics.
Prerequisite(s): One year of math-based physics at the college level.
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2015

PHYS 512   Quantitative Modeling for Physics Instruction II: Electromagnetism    3 Hours

An in-depth study of topics in physics typically taught at the high school level. Emphasizes both the content of physics as well as the process of effectively communicating the content to secondary students. Topics include electric and magnetic fields, and circuits.
Prerequisite(s): One year of math-based physics at the college level.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 516   Classroom Physics Teaching: Theory and Practice    3 Hours

Designed to assist new physics instructors in teaching physics. Includes constructing and using laboratory equipment, implementing research-based curriculum, and assessments in physics.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 511 or PHYS 512; must be instructor in a physical science course as verified by a letter from the school principal or equivalent.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 518   Classroom Applications of Physics and Science Education Research    3 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Help instructors to make practical connections between discipline-based science education research in physics and other areas with their own classroom teach. Students will read original research, document examples in classroom, and evaluate and modify curricular materials.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 511 or PHYS 512; must be instructor in a physical science course as verified by a letter from the school principal or equivalent.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 519   Physical Science Education Research Methods    3 Hours

Equips physics and physical science instructors to design and carry out practical educational research projects with the goal of improving instruction. Covers research methodologies in physics and other discipline-based science education research (DBSER), designing and carrying out research projects with the goal of informing classroom instruction.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 518.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 520   Atomic and Molecular    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 530   Statistical Physics    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 540   Electromagnetic Theory    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 550   Classical Mechanics    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 560   Introduction to Physics Applications in Homeland Security    3 Hours

A preparatory course in Homeland Security Science for students with limited physics background. An overview of physics applicable to Homeland Security Sciences. Topics include atomic and nuclear physics, optics and analytical techniques.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

PHYS 565   Optical Detection Methods of Biological and Chemical Agents    3 Hours

Explore the application of optical detection technologies to detect and characterize chemical and biological agents. Optical methods such as laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), light detection and ranging (LIDAR), coherent anti-stokes Raman spectroscopy, photoacoustic, and photothermal imaging. Apply theoretical principles to real-world examples.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 560 or consent of instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 570   Nuclear / Radiological Detection and Remediation    3 Hours

An advanced study of the fundamental principles of nuclear physics and their applications for detection and remediation of nuclear and radiological threats.
Corequisite(s): PHYS 571.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 560.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; spring 2017

PHYS 571   Nuclear / Radiological Detection and Remediation Laboratory    1 Hour

Required for students enrolled in PHYS 570 (Nuclear/Radiological Detection and Remediation). Students perform laboratory experiments in applications of nuclear physics for detection and remediation of nuclear and radiological threats. Students will gain experience in computerized data acquisition and data analysis using modern techniques and equipment.
Corequisite(s): PHYS 570.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 560.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; spring 2017

PHYS 580   Quantum Theory    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 590   Physical Principles of CBE Detection and Remediation    3 Hours

The course explores physical principles behind chemical agent, biological agent and explosives detection and remediation, and examines current detection techniques and systems deployed.
Corequisite(s): PHYS 591.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 570 or equivalent.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

PHYS 591   Physics CBE Detection and Remediation Laboratory    1 Hour

Explores physical principles behind chemical agent, biological agent and explosives detection and remediation. Examines current detection techniques and systems deployed.
Corequisite(s): PHYS 590.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 570 or equivalent.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

PHYS 598   Graduate Seminar    0.5 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; fall 2015; spring 2016; fall 2016; spring 2017; summer 2017; fall 2017

PHYS 599   Thesis Research / Writing    1-6 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Thesis research/writing.
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 570 or CHEM 572 or BIOL 552 (core courses of Level 2).
Grade Mode: Pass/Fail
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; fall 2015; spring 2016; summer 2016; fall 2016; spring 2017; summer 2017; fall 2017

PHYS 600   Maintain Matriculation    1-6 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Continued enrollment for thesis completion.
Grade Mode: Non-graded
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2017

PHYS 660   Theory of Solids    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 670   Theoretical Nuclear Physics    3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 675   Advanced Topics in Physics    1-3 Hours

No course description is available
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; fall 2015; spring 2017

PHYS 799   Doctoral Research/Physics    1-10 Hours

Research undertaken to complete requirements for the doctoral program.
Prerequisite(s): Admission to candidacy in collaborative doctoral program.
Grade Mode: Pass/Fail
Recent Term(s) Offered: None