Upper-Division Courses for Physics Major/Minor
PHYS 501. Special Studies in Physics for Educators (1-3). A series of courses covering basic physical concepts which provide physical science background for teachers. Prerequisite: In-service or pre-service teacher. Does not count as credit towards a physics degree.
PHYS 502. Science Investigations (5). Introductory course for prospective teachers. Basic physics concepts in mechanics, heat, and electricity and magnetism developed through laboratory investigations. Emphasizes science process skills and the nature of the scientific endeavor. Prerequisite: Math 111 or equivalent; In-service or pre-service teacher. Does not count as credit towards a physics degree.
PHYS 516. Advanced Physics Laboratory (2). Experiments in classical and modern physics to stress scientific methods and experimental techniques. The experiments are open ended projects requiring individual study. Corequisite: Phys.551.
PHYS 517. Electronics Laboratory (2). Experiments in electronics that treat some of the applications of electronics in scientific research. Experiments cover the uses of vacuum tubes transistors, IC and digital circuits. Prerequisite: Phys. 314.
PHYS 551. Topics in Modern Physics (3). An introduction to selected areas of modern physics emphasizing the features of atomic nuclear and solid state physics that require modifications of classical physics for their explanation. Prerequisite: Phys. 214 or 314 or department consent. Corequisite: Math 344.
PHYS 555. Modern Optics (3). Geometrical and physical optics, coherence theory, and Fourier optics. Additional topics may include radiation, scattering, optical properties of solids, and optical data processing. Prerequisite: Phys. 214 or 314 and Math 344.
PHYS 595. Astrophysics (3). Covers the formation, life and death of stars. Topics include: HR-diagrams, atomic and molecular spectra, radiative and convective transfer, the structure and spectra of stellar atmospheres, and stellar evolution. Prerequisite: PHYS 551.
PHYS 600. Individual Readings in Physics (1-3). Repeatable but total credit may not exceed six hours for physics majors. Prerequisite: department consent.
PHYS 601. Individual Readings in Astrophysics (1-3). Studies several topics in astronomy and astrophysics in depth. lectures, independent readings, and student projects may be assigned. Prerequisite: instructor's consent.
PHYS 616. Computational Physics Laboratory (2). Provides a working knowledge of computational techniques with applications in both theoretical and experimental physics, including a brief introduction to the C++ and/or FORTRAN languages. Prerequisite: Phys. 551 and Math 555.
PHYS 621. Analytical Mechanics (3). Motion of a particle in one and several dimensions, central forces, the harmonic oscillator and the Lagrangian formulation of mechanics. Prerequisite: Phys. 214 or 314 and Math 344 with grades of C or better.
PHYS 623. Advanced Mechanics(3). Continuation of PHYS 621. Covers dynamics of a system of coupled particles, fluid mechanics, systems with continuum distributions of mass, and theory of small oscillations all in a Lagrangian or Hamiltonian formulation. Prerequisite: PHYS 621, or MATH 553 or 555, or instructor's consent.
PHYS 631. Electricity and Magnetism (3). Direct and alternating currents; electric and magnetic field theory, including an introduction to Maxwell's electromagnetic wave theory. Prerequisite: Phys. 214 or 314 and Math 344 with grades of C or better.
PHYS 641. Thermophysics (3). The laws of thermodynamics, distribution functions Boltzmann equation, transport phenomena, fluctuations, and an introduction to statistical mechanics. Prerequisite: Phys. 214 or 314 and Math 344.
PHYS 651. Quantum Mechanics I (3). Introduction to quantum mechanics, the Shroedinger equation, elementary perturbation theory, and the hydrogen atom. Prerequisite: Phys. 551.
PHYS 652. Quantum Mechanics II (3). A continuation of PHYS 651 and covers time dependent perturbation theory, WKB, scattering, Bell's theorem, quantum reality, applications of quantum mechanics, and nanotechnology. Prerequisite: PHYS 651.
PHYS 661. Introduction to Atomic Physics (3). Introduction to Atomic Physics Quantum mechanics is the basis of all our physical understanding of atomic and molecular spectra. This course uses quantum mechanics to understand the nature and formation of the spectra of one, two and many-electron atoms. A discussion of atomic collisions will also be included. Corequisite: PHYS 651.
PHYS 675. Nuclear and Particle Physics (3). Theories of nuclear and particle physics, including experimental techniques and important features of current data. Summary of mesons, baryone, and leptons, and their electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear force interactions. Phenomenological decriptions of nuclear and high-energy scattering and particle production leading to the quark theory of matter and other new exotic particles. Prerequisite: PHYS 551.
PHYS 681. Solid State Physics (3). A one-semester introduction to solid state physics, which explores and explains -- in terms of the microscopic processes that produce them -- the thermal mechanical, and electronic properties of solids. Discusses practical applications and interdisciplinary material. Prerequisite: Phys. 551.
PHYS 714. Theoretical Physics (3). A study of mathematical techniques applicable to physics and other sciences. Instructor selects topics, such as power series, infinite products, asymptotic expansions, WKB method, contour integration and residue methods, integral transforms, Hilbert spaces, special functions, and integral equations. Prerequisite: Math 555 or instructor's consent.
PHYS 730. Principles of Computer Modeling (2). Essential elements, principles and strategies of forward and inverse numerical computer modeling. Formula-tion of a qualitative problem (parametrization), model design, implementation, and interpretation of model results. Working knowledge of computational tech-niques with examples in physics, geology, chemistry and environmental sciences. Prerequisites: PHYS 616 or EEPS 701, plus knowledge of a programming language or numerical or symbolic mathematics package, or instructor’s consent.
PHYS 761. Environmental Physics (3). Covers the application of physics to the environment, including the production and use of energy, the transport of pollutants, and the study of noise. Topics include basic thermody-namics with applications to fossil fuels, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal and solar energies, plus effects on global warming, pollution and climate. Prerequisites: PHYS 313–314 and MATH 242, or EEPS 721, or instructor’s consent.
PHYS 795. Earth and Space Physics (3). Cross-listed as GEOL 795. An introduction to the geosciences and astrophysics of
the solar system. Topics include the surface, interior and atmospheres of the planets
with a comparative planetology approach, and the sun-planet system including solar
physics and the effect of the sun on the earth’s environment and geologic history.Prerequisites:
PHYS 313–314, and MATH 242, or EEPS 721, or instructor’s consent.