5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Programs and Degrees Offered | Admission Information
Financial Assistance | Graduate Academic Regulations
Requirements for Specific Graduate Degrees | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Non-Departmental | Anthropology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern | Asian Studies | Astronomy
Biochemistry | Biology | Biological and Physical Sciences | Biophysics | Cell and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Commerce | Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences
French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs | Health Evaluation Sciences | History | Linguistics
Mathematics | Microbiology | Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics | Music | Neuroscience
Pharmacology | Philosophy | Physics | Psychology | Religious Studies | Russian and East European Studies
Slavic | Sociology | Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | Surgery

Department of Physics
Course Descriptions | Departmental Degree Requirements

Course Descriptions

Note   The courses listed below are given as the needs of students require.

PHYS 519 - (3) (Y)

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Study of practical electronics for scientists, from resistors to microprocessors.

PHYS 521 - (3) (Y)
Theoretical Mechanics I

Prerequisites: PHYS 321 and MATH 522 or permission of instructor
A study of the statics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies. Discussion of the methods of generalized coordinates, the Lagrangian, Hamilton-Jacobi equations, and action-angle variables. Relation to the quantum theory is explored.

PHYS 524 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to the Theory of General Relativity

Prerequisites: Advanced calculus through partial differentiation and multiple integration; vector analysis in three dimensions
Review of special relativity and coordinate transformations. Topics include the principle of equivalence; effects of gravitation on other systems and fields; general tensor analysis in curved spaces and gravitational field equations; Mach’s principle, tests of gravitational theories: perihelion precession, red shift, bending of light, gyroscopic precession, radar echo delay; gravitational radiation; relativistic stellar structure and cosmography; and a short survey of cosmological models.

PHYS 531 - (3) (E) Optics
Prerequisite: Knowledge of vector calculus and previous exposure to Maxwell’s equations
A one-semester course on classical linear optics. Topics include reflection and refraction at interfaces, geometrical optics, interference phenomena, diffraction, Gaussian optics, and polarization.

PHYS 547 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Molecular Biophysics

Prerequisites: PHYS 331 or CHEM 361, PHYS 355 or CHEM 362, MATH 521, or permission of instructor
A quantitative introduction to the physics of molecular structures and processes in living systems. Topics include molecular structure analysis by X-ray (and neutron) diffraction; electronic configuration of atoms, groups and small molecules of critical importance in biology; physical methods of macromolecular structure determination, in solution and in the solid state; thermodynamic and electronic factors underlying group interactions, proton dissociation, and charge distribution in macromolecule; solvent-macromolecule interactions; action spectroscopy; and rate processes in series and parallel.

PHYS 551, 552 - (3) (Y)
Special Topics in Classical and Modern Physics

Prerequisites: PHYS 342 or permission of instructor
Lectures on topics of current interest in physics research and pedagogy. May be taken more than once.

PHYS 562 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Solid State Physics

Topics include crystal structures, lattice vibrations, and electronic properties of insulators, metals, and semiconductors; superconductivity.

PHYS 572 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics

Study of subatomic structure, basic constituents and their mutual interactions.

PHYS 593 - (3) (Y)
Independent Study

A program of independent study carried out under the supervision of a faculty member, culminating in a written report, essay, or examination. May be taken more than once.

PHYS 609 - (3) (Y)
Galileo and Einstein

Noncalculus based description of the development of physics in its historical context, mainly from about 1600 to Einstein

PHYS 611, 612 - (3) (IR)
Physical Science for Teachers

Prerequisite: Undergraduate degree and presently (or intending to be) a K-8 teacher
Laboratory-based course providing elementary and middle school teachers hands-on experience in the principles and applications of physical science. No previous college physics courses are assumed. Not suitable for physics majors.

PHYS 620 - (3) (SI) Topical Physical Science
Prerequisite: Undergraduate degree or permission of instructor
Series of topical science courses on subjects of general interest to school teachers of grades K-12 and the general public. May be delivered through telecommunications throughout the state, particularly through the facilities of Continuing Education. May be used for teacher recertification. Credit is not granted towards a physics graduate degree.

PHYS 621, 622 - (3) (SI) Curriculum Enhancement for Grades 6-12 Physics Teachers
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor
Emphasizes qualitative understanding of the laws and concepts of physics, utilizing demonstrations and hands-on activities constructed from low-cost supplies that are readily available in your own classroom. PHYS 621 focuses on mechanics, materials, and fluids and PHYS 622 emphasizes electricity and magnetism.

PHYS 719 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Experimental Physics

Selected experiments designed to introduce students to concepts and techniques from a variety of fields of contemporary physics.

PHYS 725 - (3) (Y)
Mathematical Methods of Physics I

Prerequisites: MATH 521 and MATH 522 or permission of instructor
A discussion of matrices, complex analysis, Fourier series and transforms, ordinary differential equations, special functions of mathematical physics, partial differential equations, general vector spaces, integral equations and operator techniques, and Green’s functions.

PHYS 742 - (3) (Y)
Electricity and Magnetism I

Prerequisite: PHYS 725 or permission of instructor
A consistent mathematical account of the phenomena of electricity and magnetism; electrostatics and magnetostatics; macroscopic media; Maxwell theory; and wave propagation.

PHYS 743 - (3) (Y)
Electricity and Magnetism II

Prerequisite: PHYS 742 or permission of instructor
Development of the theory of special relativity, relativistic electrodynamics, radiation from moving charges, classical electron theory, and Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of electrodynamics.

PHYS 751 - (3) (Y)
Quantum Theory I

Prerequisites: Twelve credits of 300-level physics courses and MATH 521, MATH 522 or permission of instructor
Introduction to the physical basis of quantum mechanics, the Schroedinger equation and the quantum mechanics of one-particle systems, and stationary state problem.

PHYS 752 - (3) (Y)
Quantum Theory II

Prerequisite: PHYS 751 or permission of instructor
An extension of PHYS 751. Topics include angular momentum theory, techniques of time-dependent perturbation theory, emission and absorption of radiation, systems of identical particles, second quantization, and Hartree-Fock equations.

PHYS 785 - (3) (O)
Advanced Molecular Biophysics—Quantum Mechanical Aspects

Prerequisites: PHYS 725 and PHYS 752 or permission of instructor
Topics include group representation theory and its application to crystal field and molecular orbital calculations; magnetic resonance; magnetic properties of the biologically important transition metal ions, in crystals and molecules; electronic structure of molecules of biological interest, and calculations of structure-related spectroscopic parameters.

PHYS 795, 796 - (3) (Y)

Research on problems leading to a master’s thesis.

PHYS 797 - (3-12) (Y)

Continuation of PHYS 796.

Note   Admission to 800- and 900-level PHYS courses requires the instructor’s permission.

PHYS 822 - (3) (E) Lasers and Nonlinear Optics
Prerequisite: PHYS 531 and exposure to quantum mechanics
Study of nonlinear optical phenomena; the laser, sum, and difference frequency generation, optical parametric oscillation, and modulation techniques.

PHYS 831, 832 - (3) (Y)
Statistical Mechanics

Prerequisite: PHYS 751
A discussion of thermodynamics and kinetic theory, and the development of the microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles. Includes Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions, techniques for handling interacting many-particle systems, and extensive applications to physical problems.

PHYS 842 - (3) (O)
Introduction to Atomic Physics

Prerequisite: PHYS 356 or permission of instructor
Study of the principles and techniques of atomic physics with application to selected topics, including laser and microwave spectroscopy, photoionization, autoionization, effects of external fields, and collisions.

PHYS 853 - (3) (Y)
Quantum Theory III

Prerequisite: PHYS 752
A completion of the sequence begun in PHYS 751 and 752. Discussions of the theory of scattering and relativistic wave equations.

PHYS 854 - (3) (Y)
Particles and Fields

Prerequisite: PHYS 853
A discussion of field theory techniques in elementary particle physics and in the many-particle problems of solid state and nuclear physics.

PHYS 861, 862 - (3) (Y)
Solid State Physics I

The description and basic theory of the electronic properties of solids including band structure, electrical conduction, optical properties, magnetism and super-conductivity.

PHYS 863 - (3) (IR)
Solid State Physics II

A discussion of various topics and problems relating to the physical properties of crystalline solids.

PHYS 871, 872 - (3) (IR)
Nuclear Physics

A discussion of nuclear theory and experiment. Description and interpretation of nuclear reactions including fission, and the structure of nuclei.

PHYS 875 - (3) (IR)
Elementary Particle Physics

A discussion of the various topics and problems relative to the physical properties and interactions of elementary particles.

PHYS 876 - (3) (IR)
Elementary Particle Physics II

Extension of PHYS 875. Study of topics in modern elementary particle physics, including unified gauge theory of electroweak interactions and introduction to QCD and lattice gauge theory.

PHYS 881, 882 - (3) (Y)
Selected Topics in Modern Physics

PHYS 895, 896 - (3) (Y)

Research on original problems.

PHYS 897 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research

For master’s research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

PHYS 898 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research

For master’s thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

PHYS 901, 902 - (3) (IR)
General Physics Research Seminar

PHYS 925, 926 - (3) (IR)
Research Seminar in Theoretical Physics

PHYS 951, 952 - (3) (Y)
Atomic and Molecular Seminar

PHYS 961, 962 - (3) (Y)
Research Seminar in Solid State Physics

PHYS 971, 972 - (3) (Y)
Research Seminar in Nuclear Physics

PHYS 997 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research

For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.

PHYS 999 - (3-12) (Y)
Non-Topical Research

For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.

Physics Colloquium   The faculty and graduate students meet weekly for the presentation by a visiting speaker of recent work in the physical sciences.

Continue to: Departmental Degree Requirements
Return to: Chapter 5 Index