Course Descriptions and Syllabi
Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are offered every other year.
Courses offered on a regular schedule
Ph 104, 105 EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS FOR NON-SCIENCE MAJORS (2,2) -- Discovery labs for essential laws of physics. Investigate gravity, force, acceleration, momentum, heat, work, energy, electricity, light, and radioactivity. Make simple electrical circuits and an electrical motor. Improve computer literacy by working with graphic models of radioactive decay. One two-hour discussion and laboratory period. Concurrent enrollment in Ph 101, 102 is encouraged. Prerequisite: high school algebra.
Ph 121, 122 GENERAL ASTRONOMY (4, 4) -- An introductory historical, descriptive, and interpretative study of astronomy. Emphasis is on the basic scientific methods as they apply to astronomical problems. Detailed examination of the earth, followed by a survey of the other members of the solar system. Survey of the stars, their types, grouping, and motions. Models for the evolution of the Universe and the possibility of life elsewhere. The nature of light, the types of information it carries, and the types of devices used to detect it. Need not be taken in sequence.
Ph 199 SPECIAL STUDIES (Credit to be arranged.)
Required prerequisites: for Ph 211: Mth 251 or higher; for Ph 212: Ph 211 and Ph 214; for Ph 213: Ph 212 and Ph 215.
Corequisites: for Ph 211: Ph 214; for Ph 212: Ph 215; for Ph 213: Ph 216.
PH 211 Summer 2014 Syllabus - LaRosa
Corequisites: Ph 201, 202, 203 or concurrent enrollment in Ph 211, 212, 213 or concurrent enrollment in Ph 221, 222, 223.
Recommended prerequisites: for Ph 221: Mth 251; for Ph 222: Ph 221 and Ph 214; for Ph 223: Ph 222 and Ph 215.
Corequisites: for Ph 221: Ph 224; for Ph 222: Ph 215; for Ph 223: Ph 216.
PH 211/221 Fall 2013 Syllabus - Abramson
Ph 299 SPECIAL STUDIES (Credit to be arranged.)
A survey of solid state physics aiming at the understanding of crystalline solids and their electron transport processes. Topics include crystal lattices, x-ray diffraction, concepts of quantum physics, the Schroedinger equation, electron tunneling, physical statistics, the free electron theory of metals, periodic potentials, semiconductors and superconductors. Recommended prerequisite: PH 213 or PH 223
Ph 321 CURRENT ELECTRICITY (4) -- Electric potential and current; Kirchoff's Laws and equivalent circuits. Transient and A.C. behavior of circuit elements. Theory of operation of diodes and transistors. Prerequisites: Ph 203 or 213
PH 337 PHYSICS IN BIOMEDICINE (4) - The physics behind the most important medical instruments and technologies. A wide range of concepts from electromagnetism, optics, to quantum mechanics are used to explain the mechanisms behind ultrasound, endoscopy, optical microscopy, EKG, pacemakers, difibrillators, laser eye surgery, microscopy, x-ray, radiation, CAT scan, PET scan, MRI, and more. Recommended prerequisites: PH 201, 202, 203 or 101, 102, 103.
Ph 378U SCIENCE THROUGH SCIENCE FICTION (4) -- This class uses science fiction literature to examine a wide variety of topics in science. Prerequisite: Astronomy, General Physics, or Natural Science Inquiry. Also listed as Sci 355; course may be taken only once for credit.
Fall 2014 Syllabus
An introduction to the physics of alternative energy generation. Topics include solar-thermal, photovoltaic, wind, hydro as well as geothermal and tidal energy. Physical principles underlying generator design and the conversion processes will be presented, limiting efficiencies will be derived and selected technological aspects will be discussed. The status of alternative energies today and the feasibility of sustainable energy schemes will be outlined. Recommended prerequisite: PH 213 or PH 223
Ph 404/504 COOPERATIVE EDUCATION/INTERNSHIP (Credit to be arranged.) -- Consent of instructor.
Ph 405/505 READING AND CONFERENCE (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 406/506 SPECIAL PROJECTS (Credit to be arranged.)
PH 407/507 SEMINAR (Credit to be arranged.) -- Consent of instructor.
Ph 410/510 SELECTED TOPICS (Credit to be arranged.) -- Consent of instructor.
PH 411/511 INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM MECHANICS (4) -- An introduction to the formulation and application of wave mechanics; the Schrödinger equation and its application to time-independent problems (both one- and three-dimensional problems); identical particles; approximation methods including mainly time-independent perturbations. Brief exploration of the potential applications of quantum mechanics to engineering: quantum nano-structures and quantum computers. Prerequisites: Ph 318 or 311, Mth 256. This course is the same as ECE 598; course may be taken only once for credit.
Fall 2014 Syllabus
†Ph 415/515 EXPERIMENTAL OPTICS (3) -- Advanced experiments in physical optics. One 4-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: Ph 203 or Ph 213 - Continue your E&M studies with this introduction to electron optics. We start with a review of light optics, discuss the properties of lenses and then introduce the analogous concepts in charged particle optics. We will derive lens and imaging laws, develop first-order focusing properties of multi-aperture electrostatic lenses, and address basic aberration theory. Along the way, we will simulate electron trajectories in the PC using SIMION. Lab sessions will deal with the properties of electron lenses, the operation of various electron microscopes and analytical instruments.
Ph 424 CLASSICAL MECHANICS I (3) -- The Newtonian formulation of mechanics. Kinematics and dynamics of particles in inertial and accelerated reference frames. Conservation principles. Central forces, gravitation, and celestial mechanics. Free and forced vibrations. Prerequisites: Ph 203 or 213; Mth 256 previously or concurrently.
Ph 426/526 THERMODYNAMICS AND STATISTICAL MECHANICS (4) - Concepts of temperature, work, and heat; first and second laws of thermodynamics and applications; thermodynamic potentials; heat engines, Carnot cycle, and ideal gases; entropy and its statistical interpretation; kinetic theory of gases; classical and quantum statistics; introduction to statistical mechanical ensembles. Prerequisites: Ph 203 or 213, Mth 254, and Ph 311.
†Ph 431/531, 432/532 ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM (4,4) -- Advanced study of electricity and magnetism covering field and potential of charge arrays, electrostatic field energy, images, multipoles, Laplace's equation, Biot-Savart and Ampere's laws, magnetic field energy, vector potential, displacement current, dielectrics and their microscopic models, electromagnetic wave equations, boundary conditions, energy radiation, magnetic materials and their microscopic models.
Prerequisites: Ph 312 and Mth 256.
Ph 434/534 METHODS OF MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS (4) -- A survey of methods of applied mathematics used in modern physics, to include: vectors, matrices, operators, and eigenvalues; perturbation theory and series expansion; variation and optimization; numerical methods; transforms; and special functions. Prerequisites: Ph 312 and Mth 322
Winter 2013 Syllabus
Ph 451/551, 452/552 ELECTRON MICROSCOPY (4, 4) -- Electron optics theory, specimen preparation and experimental work with transmission and scanning electron microscopes, Microchemical analysis with an energy dispersive spectrometer. Specimens from all the sciences. Two lectures, one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisites: one year of general physics and one year of any other science.
Prerequisites: Ph 203 or 213 or 223, Mth 254.
Ph 471/571 ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS (4) -- Study of physics-related phenomena in the atmosphere, such as electromagnetic/optical phenomena (thunderstorms, remote sensing), mechanical/hydrodynamic phenomena (dynamics of wind, turbulence in the atmosphere), thermal phenomena (greenhouse effect); study of physical techniques applied to monitor the atmosphere (pollutant detection). Prerequisites: Ph 203 or Ph 213, or Ph 223.
An introduction to nano(materials)-science and -engineering for students in physics, chemistry, geology, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical and materials engineering. Nanoscale processes and devices and their applications. Recommended prerequisites: two specific advanced upper division science courses dependent on major, or consent of instructor.
*Ph 490/590, 491/591 CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS (4,4) -- An introduction to the physical ideas and methods in the studies of biological phenomena, organization, structure, and function at the cellular and molecular level. Atomic and molecular structures, energy and interacting forces relating to cellular and molecular biophysics will be discussed. Prerequisites: Ph 203, Bi 253, and Ch 223. Calculus, previously or concurrently, is recommended.
PH 490/590 Fall 2013 Syllabus
Ph 503 THESIS (Credit to be arranged)
Ph 507/607 SEMINAR (Credit to be arranged)
Ph 510/610, DEFECTS IN CRYSTALS (4/6)
This is an introductory course to crystal structures and defects crystalline materials that addresses nature of the defects, their effect on materials properties, mechanisms of originations and methods of defect control (defect engineering) and detection. It combines basic fundamental concepts of physics and materials science with advanced metrology and applications to micro- and opto-electronics and failure analysis. The course may be interesting to both graduate and undergraduate students who would like to pursue their career in research, engineering or quality control of semiconductor materials, but could also be interesting to future materials scientists.
Ph 585, 586 EXPERIMENTAL METHODS IN APPLIED PHYSICS (4,4)
Introduction to modern instrumentation used in applied physics, focusing on nanoscience and materials, atmospheric physics, and biophysics, including theory and practice of the instruments. Prerequisite: admission to Ph.D program in Applied Physics, M.S. in Physics, or ESR Ph.D programs.
Ph 601 RESEARCH (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 603 DISSERTATION (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 604 COOPERATIVE EDUCATION/INTERNSHIP (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 605 READING AND CONFERENCE (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 606 SPECIAL PROBLEMS/PROJECTS (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 607 SEMINAR (Credit to be arranged.)
Ph 610 SELECTED TOPICS (Credit to be arranged.)
*Ph 617, 618, 619 QUANTUM MECHANICS (4, 4, 4) -- A detailed discussion of the approximation models for solving the time-independent Schrödinger equation; scattering theory in terms of stationary unbound states; time-dependent theory including the perturbation method; the two-level problem and its application to laser operation. Dirac's formulation using bra and ket; different time-evolution pictures; concept of density matrices; Berry's phase; quantum theory of angular momentum; Feynman's path integral formulation; introduction to relativistic quantum mechanics; issues on the fundamental aspects of mmmmmmquantum mechanics including Bell's theorem, the EPR paradox, hidden-variable theory; and Schrödinger's cat problem. Prerequisites: Ph 411/511, 425.
PH 631 Fall 2013 syllabus
*Ph 664, 665, 666 STATISTICAL MECHANICS (4,4,4) - Foundations of statistical mechanics and kinetic theory; statistical interpretation of thermodynamics; ensembles in classical and quantum systems; transport phenomena.
Prerequisites: Ph 619 or 625.
Ph 313 IDEAS IN MODERN PHYSICS (4) -- The fundamental ideas of the modern physics of this century. Topics include the development of relativity, quantum mechanics, nuclear and particle physics, and cosmology. Prerequisite: one college-level science course.
Ph 331 PHYSICS OF MUSIC (4) -- A series of lectures and laboratories illustrating the basic principles of acoustics and their application to string, wind, brass, and percussion instruments. Some of the laboratory exercises are adaptable for use in primary and secondary school classes. Prerequisite: one year of music, or one year of a physical science.
Ph 363 COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY (3) -- Principles of color photography, including the physics of color and scientific explanations of the formation of color images on light-sensitive materials. Trace uses and the history of color photography. Prerequisite: one college-level science or photography course.
Ph 365 FRACTALS, CHAOS, AND COMPLEXITY (4) -- Introduction to the basic physical ideas behind fractals in nature, chaos, complexity, and other current concepts in physics, with emphasis on fractals and chaos. Computer simulations and desktop experiments involving fractals, chaos, and complex systems. Prerequisite: Astronomy, General Physics, or Natural Science Inquiry.
Ph 366 COMPLEXITY AND THE UNIVERSE I (4) -- Introduction to the basic physical ideas behind complexity and other current concepts in physics. Computer sumulations and desktop experiments involving fractals, chaos, and complex systems. Includes laboratory and/or fieldwork. Prerequisite: General Physics or Natural Science Inquiry.
Ph 367 COMPLEXITY AND THE UNIVERSE II (4) -- Continuation of Ph 366. Emphasizes scientific cosmology with a focus on understanding how insights gained from physics and astronomy affect your view of the universe and your place in it. Students participate actively in seeing how some of the information was gathered, to help critically analyze what to believe about the history and arrangement of the universe and what it means to them. Includes laboratory and/or fieldwork. Prerequisite: Astronomy, General Physics, or Natural Science Inquiry.
*Ph 371 FRACTALS, CHAOS, COMPLEXITY, AND OTHER CURRENT TOPICS IN PHYSICS (4) -- Introductory survey to current concepts in fractals in the natural world, chaos, complexity, and other related topics in physics. Computer simulations and the use of microcomputers, desktop experiments are an essential part of the course. Prerequisite: one year of general physics.
Ph 381 PHYSICAL METALLURGY FOR ENGINEERS (3) -- Crystal structure of metals and their relationships to properties. Phase diagrams of alloys, heat treatment, mechanical properties, and corrosion. Methods of fabrication of metals. Two lectures; one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisites: EAS 213, Ph 213 or 223, Ch 223 or equivalent.
*Ph 413/513 INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS (4) -- Experimental and theoretical survey of the lattice and electronic properties of solids with particular emphasis on the properties of electrons in metals. Prerequisite: Ph 411 or 312.
†Ph 425/525 CLASSICAL MECHANICS II (3) -- Advanced formulation of mechanics. Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations. The inertial tensor, free rotations, and rigid body dynamics. Theory of small oscillations, coupled oscillations and normal modes. Prerequisites: Ph 424 and Mth 322.
*Ph 440/540, 441/541 PHYSICS OF SOLID STATE DEVICES (4,4) -- This is a survey intended to provide the foundation necessary for understanding of function, technology and design of solid state devices, rather than their application. Topics will include: introduction to and application of certain concepts of quantum physics to solids, effect of periodicity in solids on electron energy states, electron statistics, metals, insulators, semiconductors and superconductors, thermionic and field assisted electron emission, electron scattering and mobility of charge carriers, intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, quantitative treatment of p-n function, diffusion and recombination of excess carriers, quantitative treatment of electron injection, majority and minority components of the junction current, breakdown, quantitative treatments of bipolar junction transistor, field effect transistor and tunnel diodes, physics of metal-semiconductor and metal-insulator-semiconductor junctions and devices, superconductivity and superconducting devices, DC and AC Josephson effects, Josephson junctions, superconductive quantum interference devices. Prerequisites: Ph 312 or Ph 318.
*Ph 445/545, 446/546, 447/547 MICROELECTRIC DEVICE FABRICATION I, II, III (4,4,4)
I - The principles of crystal growth and wafer preparation, ion implantation, doping and diffusion, and oxidation, including crystal structure, defects, heterogeneous chemical reactions, thermodynamics and kinetics of basic processes such as diffusion. Realistic process flows, physical metrology, device structure, electrical behavior and their trade-offs are discussed.
II - Emphasis: metallization and dielectrics. Metallization issues discussed include silicides, barrier layers, interconnects, multi-level metallization, and low-k dielectrics. Discussion of deposition and properties of various dielectric films. Epitaxial growth and properties of SOI and SiGe devices are covered. Computer simulations of device fabrication.
III - Electron beam, x-ray, EUV, and photolithography, including discussion of resist technology. Fundamentals and applications of plasmas for etching and deposition (e.g., high-density plasmas), including plasma damage. The limitations of fabrication and operation of nano-scale devices are discussed. Fabrication of a virtual device with specified electrical performance parameters.
This class is offered every other year beginning in Fall term of even years.
*Ph 472/572 INTRODUCTION TO NONLINEAR DYNAMICS AND CHAOS (4) -- Introduction to basic theoretical and experimental tools to study chaos and nonlinear behavior. Desktop experiments and computer simulations of chaotic systems. Prerequisite: one year of general physics.
*Ph 477/577 AIR POLLUTION (4) -- Air pollution meteorology needed to understand air pollution, atmospheric dispersion models, K-theory, box models and receptor models. Use of simple computer models. This course is a foundation for the quantitative understanding of air pollution: At any point in the environment (receptor), how much pollution is caused by a known source? If there are many sources, how much pollution does each source contribute at a receptor? Prerequisites: Ph 213 or 223, one year of calculus, introductory course in differential equations.
*Ph 478/578 APPLICATIONS OF AIR POLLUTION MODELING (4) -- Students work in teams to solve an air pollution problem using dispersion and receptor modeling techniques. It teaches the complementary nature of receptor and dispersion modeling. Teaches the advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches to air pollution modeling when either approach is applicable. Students use established computer models and become proficient in their use. Prerequisite Ph 477/577.
*Ph 611/612 PHYSICS OF SOLIDS AND LIQUIDS (4, 4) -- The theory of mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties of solids and liquids. Prerequisites: Ph 413.
*Ph 626 HYDRODYNAMICS (4) - The theory of fluids and continuous media. Equations of continuity, Euler's equation, flow fields, and applications. Prerequisite: Ph 625
*Ph 641, 642 THE PHYSICS OF ATOMS AND MOLECULES (4, 4) - Radiation from atoms and molecules, Raman effect. Structure of one and many electron atoms, Zeeman effect, Stark effect, Lamb shift, hyperfine structure, line intensity. Quantum mechanics of diatomic and polyatomic molecules. Symmetry. Molecular electronic transitions. Valence and resonance. Prerequisites: Ph 411.
Ph 679 ADVANCED ATOMOSPHERIC PHYSICS (4) - Advanced course to provide a working knowledge of base models for studying global change including the greenhouse effect, global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion from man-made chemicals, tropospheric chemistry of HO and O3 and transport modeling. Prerequisite: Ph 578.
†Does not carry graduate credit for MA or MS in Physics