Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Michael Carini, Chair
Kelly Thompson Hall, Office 2009
Phone: 270-745-4357; Fax: 270-745-2014
Email: info@physics.wku.edu
Website: http://www.wku.edu/physics

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics, with degree pathways tailorable to meet student career goals.

We have pathways designed for students who chose to pursue careers as physicists in government or industrial laboratories, for careers in engineering and other professional fields, for teaching in public schools, or, for entering advanced programs at the graduate level in Physics, Astronomy or related disciplines (e.g. Medical Physics). Our world renown faculty and state of the art research facilities allow us to provide opportunities for students to engage in hands-on research experiences where they apply their classroom knowledge to real world problems.

Physics laboratories and classrooms are located on the second floor of Kelly Thompson Hall (KTH), the basement and first floor of Ogden College Hall (OCH) and the Applied Physics Institute (API, located at the Center for Research and Development). The Hardin Planetarium, located next door to KTH, supports astronomy laboratories and demonstrations for classes, regular focused presentations of astronomy and the physical universe for school groups and the general public. The observatory on top of KTH provides students with convenient access to the department’s 12.5 inch Cassegrain reflector and several smaller telescopes and also provides monthly opportunities for public viewing. Faculty make use of the latest research-based physics teaching pedagogies in all our undergraduate classes. Our physics teaching laboratories are equipped with modern laboratory equipment and data acquisition interfaces using software that is standard in the physics and engineering community.

Modern laboratory facilities and equipment, rivaling those found at more research focused institutions, allow us to provide student centered research experiences for all Physics majors. The diversity of research engagement possibilities is a major strength of our undergraduate program, allowing students to benefit from a breath of available interest and specializations. Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to participate in research opportunities with faculty members. Individual student research projects may start as early as the sophomore year, supported in most cases by available assistantships and/or formal course credit. The API houses an X-ray diffractometer, neutron generator, Auger spectrometer, Beowulf Computer Cluster, and a Large Chamber Scanning Electron Microscope. The materials science lab houses a micro-Raman spectrometer and a thermal Chemical Vapor Deposition reactor for nano-carbons and other nanomaterials. The laser lab houses a nanosecond IR laser, excimer laser, spectrophotometer, gas chromatography, and ultrahigh vacuum chamber. The department also operates two research grade astronomical telescopes: the local 0.6m Bell Observatory located 12 miles southwest of WKU and the 1.3 meter Robotically Controlled Telescope (RCT) located outside Tuscon, AZ.  Both facilities are available for, and in case of Bell Observatory, operated by undergraduate students. Descriptions of current research studies by faculty members and specific research opportunities available to undergraduate students are available on the department’s website.

The department sponsors a local chapter of the nationally affiliated Society of Physics Students (SPS) for students interested in physics, as well as a section of the Sigma Pi Sigma honor society. The local SPS chapter sponsors or participates in a variety of social and service activities related to physics, including field trips, trips to scientific meetings, tutoring, and interacting with students from area schools.

The Hilltopper Astronomy Club provides support for students interested in astronomy both as a hobby and science. Regular observing sessions, informal meetings, and various projects are some of the benefits available to members.

When planning a program of study in physics, each student should be aware of the University's academic requirements and regulations contained in this catalog in the chapter, “Academic Information.” Specific attention should be given to the sub-sections in the chapter entitled (a) Academic Programs, (b) Colonnade Requirements, and (c) Academic Requirements and Regulations. All students, from freshman to seniors, are required to meet with their department academic advisor (Dr. Richard Gelderman for freshman and sophomore level students; juniors and seniors are assigned a department advisor after completion of PHYSICS 321) each semester in order to plan their schedule for the following semester and/or to discuss and plan their career options.

Faculty

Professor

David N. Brown PhD (Physics), Purdue University Main Campus, 1992

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

Douglas L. Harper PhD (Physics), Vanderbilt University, 1991

Charles H. McGruder PhD, University of Heidelberg, 1974

Associate Professor

Scott W. Bonham PhD (Physics), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champa, 1997

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

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

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

Instructor I

Jason R. Boyles PhD (Physics), West Virginia University, 2011

Instructor II

Ting-Hui Lee PhD (Physics and Astronomy), University of Calgary-Canada, 2004

Astronomy (ASTR)

ASTR 104    Astronomy of the Solar System    3 Hours

An introductory study of that portion of the physical universe extending beyond the earth from the sun to the outer limits of the solar system, including its relationship to the rest of the universe and to the earth. Topics include phenomena visible from earth, the earth's motions and timekeeping, eclipses, motions of planets and satellites, and the historical development of scientific understanding of the solar system. Comparison of physical properties among the sun, planets, and satellites interrelate the earth and its life forms with the extraterrestrial environment that supported the development and continuation of life on earth. This course contains an integral laboratory that includes planetarium exercises and evening observing sessions using telescopes. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS, E-SL | NS, SL

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

ASTR 106    Astronomy of Stellar Systems    3 Hours

An introductory study of that portion of the physical universe in the space beyond the bounds of the solar system. Topics include the physical properties of stars and stellar systems, stellar formation and evolution, supernovas, pulsars, galaxies, quasars, black-holes, and cosmology-scientific theories of the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe on the grandest scale. Emphasis is given to the significance of these topics to the development and fate of the earth and its star. This course contains an integrated laboratory that includes planetarium exercises and evening observing sessions using telescopes. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS, E-SL | NS, SL

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

ASTR 108    Descriptive Astronomy    3 Hours

Introductory survey of our universe; from observations of the sun, moon and stars in the sky to our understanding of planets, stars, galaxies and the overall characteristics of the cosmos. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS | NS

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

ASTR 214    General Astronomy    4 Hours

An introduction to astronomy for science majors. Topics include distances, masses, and luminosities of stars, stellar atmospheres and structure, stellar evolution, star systems, interstellar matter, galaxies, cosmology, the sun, and the solar system. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code NS, SL

Prerequisite(s): MATH 136 (may be taken concurrently)

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021

ASTR 275    Astronomy Research Methods    3 Hours

Intensive project-based course to familiarize students with the fundamentals of astronomy using scientific research investigations as examples. Objectives include familiarization with astronomical instrumentation for imaging and spectroscopy of celestial objects, digital image reduction and analysis, and interpretation of results. Additional topics of discussion will include the process and nature of scientific research and professional ethics. Examples wil be drawn from popular astronomical investigations in modern astronomy. This course does not count towards a major or minor in physics or astronomy. Note: Permission of instructor may be required.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 117

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

ASTR 298    Research Experiences    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 3 hrs)

Individual or group research project carried out under the direct supervision of faculty. An oral presentation or paper (reviewed by a faculty committee) is required. Note: Permission of instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 117 and (ASTR 106 or ASTR 214 or ASTR 275)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2021; fall 2021

ASTR 305    Introduction to Astrobiology    3 Hours

Inter-disciplinary study of life on Earth and possible life beyond Earth. Topics include the environments suitable for life, evolution of life forms, and the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life. Integrates concepts and methods from astronomy, biology, chemistry and geology. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code K-SY

Prerequisite(s): MATH 116 and (ASTR 106 or BIOL 120 or CHEM 120 or GEOL 111)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2020; spring 2021

ASTR 314    Observational Astronomy    4 Hours (repeatable max of 4 hrs)

A study of the techniques of observational astronomy. Topics include imaging techniques, spherical astronomy, magnitude systems, telescope optics, data acquisition, and statistical analysis of astronomical data. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

Prerequisite(s): ASTR 214 or (PHYS 103 and ASTR 104) or (ASTR 104 and ASTR 106) or (PHYS 103 and ASTR 106)

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

ASTR 405    Astronomy for Teachers    3 Hours

Selected topics in astronomy for elementary and secondary teachers. Does not count toward physics major credit.

Prerequisite(s): (ASTR 104 or ASTR 106 or ASTR 214)

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2021

ASTR 414    Astrophysics    4 Hours

Introduction to current astrophysical topics, including radiation theory, the interstellar medium, stellar evolution, galaxies, quasars, and cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321 and MATH 237

Corequisite(s): MATH 331

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2021

Physics (PHYS)

PHYS 100    Energy    3 Hours

A one-semester survey of the concepts of energy applicable to the understanding of energy in our environment. Topics covered are the nature of energy, sources, transmission, consumption, energy and the environment, and prospects for the future. Experiments will be conducted as part of the classroom work. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS | NS

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 101    Concepts of Motion    3 Hours

A one-semester introduction to motion and matter. Topics include the analysis of motion, Newton's Laws of motion, work, energy, the structure and properties of solids, liquids and gases, wave motion and sound. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of this course. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS, E-SL | NS, SL

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2020

PHYS 103    Light, Color and Vision    3 Hours

A descriptive account of the nature and properties of light, color and the process of seeing including descriptions of some important optical instruments, such as the eye, the camera and the telescope. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of the course. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS, E-SL | NS, SL

Course Fee: $20

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 105    Concepts of the Physical World    3 Hours

A one-semester introduction to the concepts of physics for students planning to teach in elementary and middle schools. Topics include structure and properties of matter, mechanics, electricity, magnetism, heat, light and sound. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of this course. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code NS, SL

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 130    Acoustics of Music and Speech    3 Hours

The fundamental laws of mechanics and wave motion are studied with particular emphasis being placed upon their application to the production and control of music and speech. Laboratory experiments and field trips are an integral part of the course. Does not count toward credit for the physics major or minor. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS, E-SL | NS, SL

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 180    Introductory Modern Physics    3 Hours

A survey of the physics revolution responsible for laptop computers, fiber optics, and nuclear power. Follows the change in physical theory from the 1870's through the 1920's, from the geometrical optics and thermodynamics through the theories of relativity and the basic ideas behind quantum mechanics. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS | NS

Prerequisite(s): (MATH 117 or MATH 118 or MA 117C or MATH 136 or MATH 137)

Corequisite(s): PHYS 181

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 181    Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory    1 Hour

Laboratory experience focusing on applications of optics, thermodynamics, the structure and behavior of atoms, wavelike properties of particles, and quantization of light, charge and energy. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-SL | SL

Prerequisite(s): (MATH 117 or MATH 118)

Corequisite(s): PHYS 180

Course Fee: $30

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 201    College Physics I    4 Hours

An introductory course for students majoring in applied sciences, emphasizing the application of basic physics principles through problem solving. Topics covered include mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, properties of matter and waves. Includes both lecture and laboratory components (No calculus is used). Note: High School algebra, geometry and right triangle trigonometry required. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS, E-SL | NS, SL

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 202    College Physics II    4 Hours

A continuation of PHYS 201. The following topics are covered: electrostatics, electric field strength, electric potential difference, resistance, capacitance, DC circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, electromechanical devices, simple AC circuits, reflection, refraction, geometrical optics, physical optics, interference and diffraction. Includes both lecture and laboratory components (No calculus is used).

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 201

Corequisite(s): PHYS 208

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 215    Seminar for Physics Learning Assistants    1 Hour

Introduces students to basic theory and practical skills for assisting instructors as learning assistants in active-engagement physics courses. Note: A college level physics course and acceptance to serve as a learning assistant or permission of instructor.

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 227    Engineering Statics    3 Hours

Study of external forces acting on particles and rigid bodies in equilibrium including force systems in two and three dimensions, distributed loading, applications to trusses, beams, frames and cables using vector algebra. Also covers centroids and moments of inertia.

Corequisite(s): MATH 237

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 231    Introduction to Physics and Biophysics I    3 Hours

The first half of a basic course for students of the life sciences, covering the topics of mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, properties of matter, waves and sound. Emphasis is on an understanding of the physical principles operative in biological systems and on the application of physical methods in biology and medicine. Note: High School algebra, geometry and right triangle trigonometry required. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS | NS

Corequisite(s): PHYS 232

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; summer 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; summer 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 232    Laboratory for Physics and Biophysics I    1 Hour

Students perform physics experiments on mechanics, fluids, sound, heat and thermodynamics. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-SL | SL

Corequisite(s): PHYS 231

Course Fee: $30

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; summer 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; summer 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 233    Laboratory for Physics and Biophysics II    1 Hour

Students perform physics experiments in electricity, magnetism and optics.

Corequisite(s): PHYS 332

Course Fee: $30

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; summer 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 255    University Physics I    4 Hours

This is the first half of a year-long course in calculus-based physics suggested for students in the physical sciences and mathematics. Definitions, concepts, and problem solving will be emphasized. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, energy, conservation laws, rotation, harmonic motion, mechanical waves and thermodynamics. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-NS | NS

Prerequisite(s): MATH 136 with a minimum grade of C and MATH 137 (may be taken concurrently)

Corequisite(s): PHYS 256

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; summer 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; summer 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 256    University Physics I Lab    1 Hour

Students perform physics experiments in mechanics and thermodynamics which stress the fundamental definitions and laws developed in the lecture course. Students gain experience in computerized data acquisition and data analysis using modern techniques and equipment. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code E-SL | SL

Corequisite(s): PHYS 255

Course Fee: $30

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; summer 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; summer 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 265    University Physics II    4 Hours

This is the second half of a year-long course in calculus-based physics suggested for students in the physical sciences and mathematics. Definitions, concepts, and problem solving will be emphasized. Topics include electricity and magnetism, (electric and magnetic fields, forces, energy, potential, charged particle motion, induction, and circuits), sound waves and optics.

Prerequisite(s): (PHYS 255 with a minimum grade of C and MATH 227 with a minimum grade of C or MATH 137 with a minimum grade of C)

Corequisite(s): PHYS 266

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 266    University Physics II Laboratory    1 Hour

Students perform physics experiments in electricity and magnetism, waves and optics which stress the fundamental definitions and laws developed in the lecture course. Students gain experience in computerized data acquisition and data analysis using modern techniques and equipment.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 255 and MATH 137

Corequisite(s): PHYS 265

Course Fee: $30

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 295    Introduction to Research Methodology    1 Hour

To familiarize Ogden Research Scholars and other research oriented students with the fundamentals of choosing a research topic, performing a bibliographical search on a subject, topic, classification of instruments, data taking, data reduction, professional ethics and other research oriented topics. The common points of research methodology in the different scientific areas will be accentuated. Examples will be drawn from the various disciplines. Use of computers will be emphasized. (Course does not count towards any major or minor.) Note: Ogden Research Scholar, or 3.2 grade point average at the end of freshman year, or Ogden College faculty member recommendation.

Equivalent(s): BIOL 295, CS 295, MATH 295, GEOL 295, CHEM 295, ENGR 295

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 299    Research Experiences    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 3 hrs)

Individual or group research project carried out under direct faculty supervision. A faculty approved public presentation is required. Note: Permission of instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 117 and (PHYS 180 or PHYS 201 or PHYS 231 or PHYS 255)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 301    Electrical Measurements Laboratory    1 Hour

Laboratory experiments in fundamental techniques of electrical measurements.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 265 and PHYS 266

Course Fee: $20

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2020; spring 2021

PHYS 302    Atomic Physics Laboratory    1 Hour

Fundamental experiments of historical importance in modern physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 303    Electronics Laboratory    1 Hour

Laboratory experiments in basic techniques of analog and digital electronics. Note: Required for students enrolled in PHYS 340.

Corequisite(s): PHYS 340

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 312    Laboratory Practice and Procedure    1 Hour

A course to assist prospective high school physics teachers in being able to plan, design, equip and teach a high school physics laboratory.

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 316    Computational Physics    3 Hours

Use of computers to solve physics problems, model physical systems, and analyze data. Topics include simulating realistic motion, data analysis, Fourier transform, solutions to Laplace's equation, and Monte Carlo methods. Note: Permission of instructor may be required.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019

PHYS 318    Data Acquisition Using Labview    3 Hours

A study of computer-assisted measurement and automation techniques. Students receive hands-on experience in measuring and controlling physical phenomena through laboratory exercises and projects. Recognized as a LabVIEW Academy course by National Instruments. Offers students the opportunity to become Certified LabVIEW Associate Developers. Note: Permission of instructor may be required.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 301 with a minimum grade of C or ME 310 with a minimum grade of C or EE 211 with a minimum grade of C

Course Fee: $25

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 321    Introductory Modern Physics II    3 Hours

Study of the breakdown of classical physics at velocities close to the speed of light and on atomic scales. Topics include relativistic kinematics and dynamics, wave/particle duality, the Schrodinger equation, square wells, harmonic oscillators, the hydrogen atom, many-electron atoms, statistical distribution laws, conductivity and superconductivity, the band theory of solids, nuclear structure and reactions, and other selected topics of modern physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 180 and PHYS 265 and MATH 237 (may be taken concurrently) and CHEM 120 (may be taken concurrently)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 325    Current Programs in Physics    3 Hours

A systematic study of several current systems of organizing and presenting introductory physics. The prospective teacher will become familiar with various program materials, and will explore the history and philosophy of physics. The student will compare these systems and consider adapting them to different classroom situations. Note: One year of college physics required prior to enrollment.

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 330    Thermodynamics    3 Hours

A study of thermodynamic systems, equations of state, entropy, Maxwell-Bolzmann and quantum statistics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321 and MATH 237 and MATH 331

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2020; spring 2021

PHYS 332    Introduction to Physics and Biophysics II    3 Hours

The second half of a basic course for students of the life sciences, covering the topics of electricity, magnetism, light optics, atomic and nuclear physics. Emphasis is on an understanding of the physical principles operative in biological systems and on the application of physical methods in biology and medicine.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 231

Corequisite(s): PHYS 233

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; summer 2019; fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 335    General Biophysics    4 Hours (repeatable max of 4 hrs)

An introduction to the major fields of biophysics in quantitative terms, with emphasis on the physical techniques applied in biomedical practice and research. Note: Permission of instructor may be required.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 231 and PHYS 332 and BIOL 120 and BIOL 121

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 337    Medical Imaging    4 Hours

An introduction to the fundamental and quantitative principles underlying major medical imaging techniques.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 120 and MATH 136 and (PHYS 332 or PHYS 265)

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2021

PHYS 340    Circuit Theory and Electronics    3 Hours

This course is suitable for all science majors who will use electronic devices in their work. It is a study of circuit analysis, active devices (such as diodes, transistors, silicon controlled rectifiers) and integrated circuits. Particular emphasis is placed on design and use of simple power supplies, transistor circuits, and operational amplifier circuits.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 265 and PHYS 301 and MATH 137

Corequisite(s): PHYS 303

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 350    Classical Mechanics I    3 Hours

A study of classical mechanics including equations of motion, coordinate systems, the simple harmonic oscillator, damping forces, vector algebra, momentum and energy theorems.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 237 (may be taken concurrently) and MATH 331 (may be taken concurrently) and PHYS 265

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 359    Clinical Optics    4 Hours

The optics of the human eye and of corrective lenses for common eye defects.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 332 and PHYS 233

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2020

PHYS 363    Science Controversies: Historical and Contemporary    3 Hours

Examine the historical and contemporary scientific conflicts within their social and cultural contexts to better understand and communicate across different scientific and cultural paradigms. Colonnade/Statewide General Education Code K-SC

Prerequisite(s): 21 hours of Foundations and Explorations Courses, or junior status

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 379    Nanotechnology in Biophysics and Medicine    4 Hours

The physics of nanostructures and thier bio-medical applications.

Prerequisite(s): (PHYS 332 and PHYS 233) or (PHYS 265 and PHYS 266)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2020; spring 2021

PHYS 389    Practicum in Physics and Astronomy    3-6 Hours (repeatable max of 12 hrs)

Practical experience in a supervised work situation. Application of basic knowledge and skills from the student's major discipline or area of career interest, with opportunities in learning the social, psychological, cultural and communication aspects of work. The student is placed under the direction of a supervisor of a cooperating business, industry, agency or institution. Includes specific, learning objectives and evaluation of the student using one or more of the following formats: (1) written reports, (2) seminar presentations, or (3) tests over selected readings. May be repeated with departmental approval.

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 398    Junior Seminar    0.5 Hours (repeatable max of 1 hrs)

Weekly seminar series in current topics in physics. Each student will also prepare for and take comprehensive examination in physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321 and PHYS 350

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2020; spring 2021

PHYS 399    Research Problems in Physics and Astronomy    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 12 hrs)

Assigned reading or research for qualified undergraduates. May be repeated with change of content, but only three hours will count toward a major.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; spring 2021; fall 2021

PHYS 404    Optics Laboratory    1 Hour

Fundamental laboratory experiments in geometrical and physical optics. Note: Required laboratory for students enrolled in PHYS 441.

Corequisite(s): PHYS 441

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2020

PHYS 406    Lab / Solid State    1 Hour

Fundamental laboratory experiments in solid state physics.

Corequisite(s): PHYS 460

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2021

PHYS 407    Nuclear Physics Lab    1 Hour

Fundamental lab experiments in nuclear physics.

Corequisite(s): PHYS 470

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 410    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 or 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.

Prerequisite(s): (PHYS 201 or PHYS 231 or PHYS 255)

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 425    Physics of Materials Science    3 Hours

This course investigates the fundamental quantum physics of bonding, energetics and structure that underpins the foundation of the physics of materials. The physical properties of nanomaterials and their corresponding applications will be explored using the principles of quantum physics. Materials examined include engineered metal alloys, electronic and magnetic materials, ionic and network solids, ceramics, polymers, and biomaterials at all length scales.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321 and MATH 237 and MATH 331 (may be taken concurrently)

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2020

PHYS 431    Radiation Biophysics    4 Hours (repeatable max of 4 hrs)

A treatment of the properties of the various forms of radiation and their interaction with, and effects on, living matter. The laboratory offers training in the monitoring of ionizing radiations and in the techniques of radioactive isotopes as applied in biological and clinical work.

Prerequisite(s): (PHYS 201 and PHYS 202) or (PHYS 231 and PHYS 332)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2021

PHYS 440    Electricity and Magnetism I    3 Hours

A study of classical electricity and magnetism with emphasis on fields, potentials, conductors, dielectrics, steady currents and radiation.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 350 and MATH 237 and MATH 331

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; spring 2020; fall 2020; fall 2021

PHYS 441    Optics    3 Hours

A study of geometrical and physical optics including wave propagation, refraction, dispersion, diffraction and polarization.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 180 and PHYS 265 and MATH 137

Corequisite(s): PHYS 404

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2020

PHYS 445    Electromagnetism II    3 Hours

The study of classical electrodynamics with emphasis on Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, dispersion, and radiation.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 440

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 450    Classical Mechanics II    3 Hours

A study of rigid body motion, moving coordinate systems, Lagrange's equations, small vibrations and the special theory of relativity as applied to mechanics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 350 and MATH 237 and MATH 331

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019

PHYS 460    Solid State Physics    3 Hours

An introductory course in the theory of solids including geometrical and x-ray crystallography, Maxwell-Boltzmann and Fermi-Dirac statistics, free electron theory of metals, Brillouin Zones, band-model of semiconductors and the Hall Effect.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321 and MATH 237 and MATH 331

Corequisite(s): PHYS 406

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2021

PHYS 465    Geophysics    3 Hours

The basic fundamentals of general and exploration geophysics. The initial topics discussed include the origin of the earth and the solar system, the earth's interior, geochronology, gravity and isostasy, seismology, the earth's heat, geomagnetism, upper atmosphere, continents and ocean basins, ridges and island arcs, and continental drift. The theory and applications of exploration geophysics are also covered, especially gravity, magnetic and seismic methods. Note: One year of college physics required or permission of instructor.

Prerequisite(s): GEOL 111

Equivalent(s): GEOL 465

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 470    Nuclear Physics    3 Hours

The properties of the nucleus including radioactivity, radiation detectors, nuclear reactions, nuclear mass and size determination, alpha, beta, and gamma decay, nuclear models, particle accelerators, fission and elementary particles.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 302 and PHYS 321 and MATH 331

Corequisite(s): PHYS 407

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 475    Selected Topics in Physics    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 12 hrs)

Each topic is a course in directed study under the supervision of a faculty member. Available for full credit in subsequent sessions with change of content. Note: Permission of instructor is required.

Restriction(s): Students with a semester level of Academy Junior, Academy Senior, Freshman, Junior or Sophomore may not enroll.

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2021

PHYS 480    Quantum Mechanics    3 Hours

A study of the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics including the hydrogen and helium atoms, the harmonic oscillator, and the Schroedinger wave equation.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321 and PHYS 350 and MATH 237 and (PHYS 440 or PHYS 450 or MATH 435)

Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2019; spring 2021

PHYS 489    Internship in Physics and Astronomy    3-6 Hours (repeatable max of 24 hrs)

Practical experience in a supervised work situation. Application of advanced knowledge and skills from the student's major discipline or area of career interest, with opportunities in learning the social, psychological, cultural, and communication aspects of work. The student is placed under the direction of a supervisor of a cooperating business industry, agency or institution. Includes specific learning objectives and evaluation of student using one or more of the following formats: (1) written reports, (2) seminar presentations, or (3) tests over selected readings. Note: May be repeated with departmental approval.

Recent Term(s) Offered: None

PHYS 498    Senior Seminar    0.5 Hours (repeatable max of 1 hrs)

Weekly seminar series in current topics in physics. Each student will also prepare and give an oral presentation of current research in physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 398

Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2019; fall 2020; fall 2021