http://physicsweb.creighton.edu

Chair: Gintaras Duda
Associate Chair:  David Sidebottom (Fall), Jack Gabel (Spring)
Department Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building, Room G81

The physics degree program provides a strong foundation for careers in the rapidly developing high-tech industries, engineering, medicine and law. For students who complete a degree in physics, the rewards are a deep understanding of nature, unusual flexibility in the choice of a career, and exceptional strength and stability in the job market.

Majors in Physics

Specific Requirements for Admission to the Physics Major

 PHY 213 General Physics for the Physical Sciences I1PHY 205 General Physics Laboratory I2 ,  PHY 214 General Physics for the Physical Sciences II3  and PHY 206 General Physics Laboratory II4 or an “A” or “B” grade in both PHY 213 and PHY 206.

1

PHY 221 Advanced General Physics I:Modeling the Physical World or PHY 201 General Physics for the Life Sciences can be substituted for the PHY 213 requirement.  

2
PHY 223 Project Physics Laboratory I  can be substituted for the PHY 205 requirement.  
3

PHY 222 Advanced General Physics II:Modeling the Physical World or PHY 202 General Physics for the Life Sciences II can be substituted for the PHY 214 requirement.  

4

 PHY 224 Project Physics Laboratory II  can be substituted for the PHY 206 requirement.  

Minors in Physics

Minor in Atmospheric Sciences

Students who think they may teach Physics in secondary schools must consult with the Education Department, with the Physics Department, and with the appropriate agency in the state in which they intend to teach.

Courses

ATS 105. The Science of Climate Change. 2 credits. (Same as EVS 105)

Introduction to the causes of climate change and how researchers use scientific tools to understand the climate system. Topics include the physics of climate, historical observation systems, numerical climate simulation, sources of error and uncertainty, and possible consequences of action and inaction.

ATS 113. Introduction To Atmospheric Sciences. 3 credits. FA, SP, SU (Same as EVS 113)

Introduction to causes of the weather for science and nonscience majors. Topics covered include cloud identification; factors influencing the development of storm systems; effects of jet streams on storm development; the formation of thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes; climatic change, and human influence on climate and weather systems. P: One Magis Core Understanding Natural Science course.

ATS 114. Introduction To Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory. 1 credit. FA, SP, SU (Same as EVS 114)

Laboratory designed to familiarize students with analysis techniques in meteorology. Topics include weather observations; weather symbols and coding; map plotting and analysis; and basic forecasting techniques. Students will become familiar with the PCMcIDAS system. Accessing climate and forecast data from the internet is emphasized in select laboratory models. P: One Magis Core Understanding Natural Science course. CO: EVS 113.

ATS 210. Surviving On Earth: Geologic Hazards And Society. 3 credits. OD

An introduction to the geologic processes causing floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and other natural hazards. The course includes discussion of major events in the geologic and historical record as well as future hazard potential. We will assess the risks humans face in different regions, including local hazards, our contribution to geologic hazards, and how we can minimize and cope with future events. This course is appropriate for both potential environmental sciences majors as well as students in all fields who would like to learn more about the Earth and its effects on our daily lives.

ATS 211. Weather Analysis and Forecasting. 3 credits. OD

Designed for students majoring or minoring in ATS and non-majors interested in meteorology, ATS 211 investigates the basics of atmospheric circulation systems both descriptively and quantitatively. Emphasis will be placed on the display, interpretation and analysis of weather data. Students will also  participate in weather forecasts using current data. P: ATS 113 and ATS 114.

ATS 231. Severe And Unusual Weather. 3 credits. OD

Discussion of the development and occurrence of severe and unusual atmospheric phenomena. Topics include severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, droughts, and heat waves.

ATS 315. Computer Applications In Meteorology. 3 credits. OD

Computer methods used in both the operational and research environments in Atmospheric Sciences. Emphasis on the interaction between numerical and graphical techniques. Topics include floating point operations, computer display of meteorological information, software packages, and an introduction to parallel processing. P: ATS 113 or IC.

ATS 443. Environmental Geology. 4 credits. OD (Same as EVS 443)

An introduction to physical geology designed for environmental science majors. Topics include an examination of rock types, evolution and geological times, soil development and processes, earthquakes and global tectonics. In-class laboratories will be devoted to identification of rock types, soil analysis, and determination of fossil types. P: So. stdg. or IC.

ATS 460. Environmental Remote Sensing. 4 credits. OD (Same as EVS 460)

This course is an introduction to the techniques of observing the Earth from air- and space-bourne instruments. We will cover basic issues of geometry and scale associated with making these measurements, electromagnetic properties of East surface metals, the range of instruments used to observe the Earth, and applications of satellite remote sensing to geological and environmental questions. The course will involve an independent research project utilizing remote sensing data and software.

ATS 480. Military Weather Service Internship. 1-6 credits. OD

Placement in a military weather service office on a part-time basis for one semester (or a comparable period during the year). Students are required to work at least 60 hours at the military weather service office. Students must apply for the internship program at least two months prior to their proposed starting date. Duties vary according to the office but may include work with forecasting, radar analysis, DHA operations, and providing information to military users. May be repeated to a limit of six semester hours, but only three hours are applicable to the major. P: DC.

ATS 481. National Weather Service Internship. 1-6 credits. OD

Placement in a National Weather Service Office. Students are required to work at least 20 hours per semester hour of credit at the National Weather Service Office. Participation is limited to a maximum of two students per semester. Departmental and Government application forms (available from the ATS Departmental Office) are required; both sets of forms will be filed with the Department Chair at least two months prior to the proposed starting date of the Internship. Duties vary according to the office but may include work with forecasting, radar analysis, AWIPS operations, NOAA radio and providing information to the public. At the end of his/her study, the student will prepare a written report which highlights the activities and training received during the Internship. Government regulations stipulate that the internship be completed within 60 days of initiation of activities at the Weather Station. May be repeated to a limit of six semester hours, but only three hours are applicable to the major. P: ATS 113, 562, Chair approval of application package.

ATS 482. Atmospheric Sciences Internship With Industry. 1-6 credits. OD

Placement with a local industry on a part time basis for one semester (or a comparable period during the year). Students are to work at least 60 hours at the worksite identified by the particular company. This may be in conjunction with local city, state, or federal government contracts at the contract work site associated with the atmospheric sciences data collection, processing, and display tasks of the date. Tasks to which the students may be assigned include such diverse activities as document development/review, testing new software on forecasting work stations, data analysis and assimilation studies, or participation at contract formal review meetings with the contracting client. May be repeated to a limit of six semester hours, but only three hours are applicable to the major. P: DC.

ATS 483. Topics in Mesoscale Meteorology. 1 credit. OD

Students will apply mesoscale analysis techniques that emphasize severe storm prediction, spotting and interception. Additional fees may be charged to cover expenses. This course is repeatable to a max of 3 credits. P: ATS 542 and ATS 545.

ATS 493. Directed Independent Readings. 1-3 credits. OD

Credit by arrangement. May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.

ATS 495. Directed Independent Study. 1-3 credits. OD

Credit by arrangement. May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.

ATS 497. Directed Independent Research. 1-3 credits. OD

A research project under the personal direction of a member of the ATS faculty. At the end of the work a written report describing the project and its outcome will be prepared; the paper will form the basis for a seminar to be presented to the department. In this manner the student will be formally introduced to scientific research methods, and provided the opportunity to refine oral and written communication skills. P: Sr. stdg. or DC.

ATS 510. Introduction to Physical Meteororology. 3 credits. OD

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the physics of atmospheric processes.  Topics include the structure and composition of the atmosphere; thermodynamics of gases; vertical and horizontal transport of heat by radiative and turbulent processes; the structure and evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer; and cloud microphysical processes.  This course is designed to meet the National Weather Service requirement for 3 semester hours of Physical Meteorology. P: ATS 113 and MTH 245.

ATS 516. Computer Methods In Atmospheric Sciences. 3 credits. OD

Intermediate computer techniques currently used in atmospheric science. Emphasis on graphic methods, fundamental techniques of numerical prediction, parallel processing, and artificial intelligence. Applications of these methods to short-term forecasting. P: ATS 315.

ATS 531. Operational Prediction Models. 3 credits. OD

Examination of the use of forecast models from the National Meteorological Center (ETA, GFS, WRF, NGM). Additional models from other sources will also be examined (UKMET, ECMWF, USAF, and USN). Study of model domain, resolution and formation with respect to physical processes. Model performance is described and scrutinized (with respect to systematic errors and to particular synoptic situations). Comparative diagnostics of forecast and observed fields employed to examine model behavior. P: ATS 562 or IC.

ATS 532. Objective Meteorological Analysis. 3 credits. OD

Application of techniques and principles for temporal and spatial computer analysis of atmospheric data based on dynamical concepts, with a focus on the structure, movement, and development of weather systems. Topics include data time series, statistical inference techniques, Fourier analysis, and map projections and grid systems used in meteorology. P: ATS 571 and computer programming.

ATS 533. Physical Climatology and Climate Change. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 533)

This course stresses the theories and models of natural climate change and of that induced by human beings. The ethical issues of inadvertent and planned change of climate by humans will be raised. Major topics include effects of CO2 warming (greenhouse effect), ozone depletion; human-induced desertification; acid rain; urban microclimates. Methods of monitoring these systems will be stressed relative to an increased world-wide need to limit or prevent human-induced climate changes.

ATS 542. Radar Remote Sensing. 3 credits. OD

The theoretical and practical aspects of weather radar. Various examples of Nexrad Radar products are presented for winter storms, elevated convection and mesoscale systems. Stress placed on the capabilities and limitations of severe storm investigation. P: MTH 245; PHY 212 and ATS 113; or IC.

ATS 544. Hydrology. 3 credits. OD (Same as 544)

Study of the waters of the earth, especially with relation to the effects of precipitation and evaporation upon the occurrence and character of water in streams, lakes, and on or below the land surface. In terms of hydrologic cycle, the scope of this course may be defined as that portion of the cycle from precipitation to reevaporation or return of the water to the seas. P: ATS 113 or ATS 231.

ATS 545. Mesoscale Analysis. 3 credits. OD

Examination of the theory of convection as related to models of squall lines and thunderstorms and the application of this theory to the forecasting and analysis of sub-synoptic scale systems. Comparative aspects of numerical model forecasts of severe weather are investigated. P: ATS 562 and ATS 571.

ATS 552. Boundary Layer Meteorology. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 552)

Structure of the boundary layer, surface energy budget, vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and wind, turbulence, Monin-Obukhov theory. Determination of surface heat and moisture fluxes. Some discussion of applications to diffusion and dispersion of substances in the atmosphere. P: ATS 572 or equiv.

ATS 553. Tropical Meteorology. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 553)

The tropical meteorology of West Africa is emphasized in this course. Weather systems and processes in the tropics are examined relative to the dynamics of the West African monsoon. Additional topics include monsoon meteorology of Africa, Asia and the Southwestern United States. A number of tropical oscillations are examined: MJO, QBO and ENSO. The climatology of North Atlantic tropical cyclones and their relationship to the West African monsoon are examined. P: ATS 113.

ATS 555. Meteorological Remote Sensing. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 555)

First section of the course is devoted to meteorological interpretations of cloud fields as observed from weather satellites. Second section of the course devoted to examination of general and specific applications of remote sensing of the environment. Includes imagery from satellite, ground based, and airborne systems; data analysis and decision methods; multispectral analysis and evaluation of water, terrain, mineral, forest, and soil resources. P: ATS 113 or IC.

ATS 556. Introduction To Physical Oceanography. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 556)

Geomorphology of the ocean bottom; properties of sea water, salinity and temperature distributions; major ocean currents and circulations; equations of motion, horizontal wind-driven currents; thermohaline circulations; wind waves and swell.

ATS 561. Synoptic Meteorology I. 3 credits. OD

Examination of weather code, plotting and map analysis. Includes a review of cyclone and frontal theory using case studies to develop diagnostic and forecasting techniques. Practical applications of air mass and frontal analysis are related to weather forecasting. P: ATS 113.

ATS 562. Synoptic Meteorology II. 4 credits. OD

Detailed examination and use of fax charts, GEMPAK displays, and other tools employed in analysis and forecasting. Review of methods in short-term, medium and long-range forecasting. P: ATS 561 or IC.

ATS 564. Statistical Applications In The Atmospheric Sciences. 3 credits. OD

Study of the statistical distributions of scalars and vectors, sampling theory, regression, correlation, and time series. Applications to statistical forecasting and forecast verification. P: MTH 245.

ATS 565. Atmospheric Circulation Systems. 3 credits. OD

Examination of the general circulation of the atmosphere. Emphasis on seasonal variation in both hemispheres. Exploration of formation of anomalous circulation types with respect to anomalous boundary layer conditions. Detailed discussion of tropical-mid latitude interactions. P: ATS 562 or IC.

ATS 566. Climate Theory. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 566)

Theories of global climate and variability. Examination of climate models, including internal and external parameters and feedback mechanisms. P: ATS 113 and ATS 561.

ATS 570. Quantitative Methods in the Atmospheric Sciences. 3 credits. OD

Overview of mathematical and statistical methods employed by atmospheric scientists, including a review of key calculus concepts. Topics include coordinate systems, vector operators, finite difference approximations, vector calculus, regression, filtering, hypothesis testing and key theorems. P: MTH 246.

ATS 571. Dynamic Meteorology I. 3 credits. OD

Equations of motion and thermodynamics will be vigorously derived and applied to the atmosphere. Topics include thermodynamics of dry and moist air, hydrostatic and hypsometric approximations, geostrophic and gradient wind balance, mass continuity, and vorticity. P: PHY 212 and MTH 246 and ATS 113; or IC.

ATS 572. Dynamic Meteorology II. 3 credits. OD

Concepts presented in ATS 571 will be further developed and applied to the following topics: barotropic and baroclinic instability, atmospheric oscillations, quasi-geostrophic theory, and simple numerical modeling. P: ATS 571.

ATS 573. Cloud Physics And Dynamics. 3 credits. OD (Same as EVS 573)

Thermodynamic processes which control the development and growth of clouds. Relationship between atmospheric properties and cloud structure. Distribution of condensation nuclei, water droplet spectra. Initiation and growth of cloud hydrometers. Structure of severe storms, radiative effects of clouds. P: ATS 571.

PHY 105. Frontiers in Astronomy. 2 credits. FA, SP

Covers select topics in astronomy at the frontiers of research including the big bang and evolution of the universe, dark matter, dark energy, blackholes, quasars, and the search for exoplanets and life in the universe. The scientific method and experimental tools used by astronomers are explored.

PHY 107. Introductory Astronomy. 3 credits. OD

This course provides a broad survey of our scientific understanding of the physical processes, structure, and evolution of objects in the universe. It consists of a lecture and lab component. Topics include the nature and motions of celestial objects, the solar system, stars, galaxies, stellar remnants, large-scale structure and cosmology. P: Understanding Natural Science.

PHY 109. Introductory Astronomy. 3 credits. FA, SP

This course provides a broad survey of scientific understanding of the physical processes, structure, and evolution of objects in the universe in a lecture format. Topics include the nature and motions of celestial objects, the solar system, stars, galaxies, stellar remnants, large-scale structure in the universe and cosmology. P: MTH 141 or MTH 205 or MTH 245; One Magis Core Understanding Natural Science course. CO: PHY 110 or IC.

PHY 110. Astronomy Laboratory. 1 credit. FA, SP

An introductory lab course that provides a deeper inquiry into fundamental concepts in astronomy through hands-on activities. Topics covered include the nature and motions of celestial objects, fundamental physical laws, the solar system, stars, galaxies, stellar remnants, and cosmology. P: MTH 141 or MTH 205 or MTH 245; One Magis Core Understanding Natural Science course. CO: PHY 109 or IC.

PHY 127. Sound and Music. 3 credits. OD

Basic course on the nature of sound, covering the generation, propagation and detection of sound, with particular applications to music.

PHY 137. Light, Color, and Lasers. 3 credits. OD

A basic course on the nature of light and its applications; sources of light; wave-particle duality; lasers and holography; images and illusions; special effects; color variables and color vision. The subject of light is used as a basis to explore a wide range of physical phenomena and to examine the goals, methods and limitations of science. Since its essential characteristics are embodied in the postulates of relativity and quantum theory, light is seen to lie at the foundation of modern scientific thought. Course features many classroom demonstrations. No formal science or mathematics prerequisites.

PHY 147. Einstein and Modern Physics. 3 credits. OD

Historical and philosophical study of the reciprocal influences between Albert Einstein and the social and scientific communities of his time, including his changing attitude toward pacifism, his relationship to the Zionist movement, his philosophy of knowledge, his relationship with other scientists, and his basic contributions to science. No formal science or mathematics prerequisites.

PHY 157. Sustainable Energy. 2 credits. SP

Uses fundamental physical principles and hands-on exploration to develop an understanding of the energy sources available for our use. Covers current trends in energy production and consumption and an evaluation of the potential for a sustainable energy supply. Societal, technical and ethical considerations related to energy usage are emphasized.

PHY 187. Conceptual Physics. 2 credits. FA

Basic physics concepts and principles in areas of motion, force and energy, liquids and gases, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, light, sound, and x-ray and nuclear radiations, with examples from daily life as illustrations. Includes practice in conceptual, mathematical, graphical and statistical solution techniques of simple physics problems.

PHY 188. Physics in the Everyday World. 1 credit. OD

Experimental investigation of physical concepts as applied to geology, astronomy, motion, fluids, electricity, magnetism, waves, and quantum physics. This course may be taken by itself or in combination with PHY 127, 137, 147, or 187. No formal science or mathematics prerequisites.

PHY 191. Exploring the Frontiers of Physics. 1 credit. OD

Survey of the current research frontier in the physical sciences. Each week, faculty will introduce and lead a discussion on a contemporary research field, focusing on the scientific and social significance. No formal math or science pre-requisites, intended for students interested in pursuing careers in the physical sciences. Repeatable to a maximum of 4 credits.

PHY 195. Selected Topics in Physics. 1-6 credits. OD

A physics project or special study in physics outside the normal curricular boundaries.

PHY 201. General Physics for the Life Sciences. 3 credits. FA, SP, SU

First semester of the general physics sequence for life sciences majors. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational dynamics, thermodynamics, and fluids. P: MTH 139 or higher; CO: PHY 205.

PHY 202. General Physics for the Life Sciences II. 3 credits. FA, SP, SU

Second semester of the general physics sequence for life science majors. Topics include waves, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. P: PHY 201 or PHY 213 or PHY 221 or DC; CO: PHY 206 or DC.

PHY 205. General Physics Laboratory I. 1 credit. FA, SP, SU

Laboratory work designed to acquaint the student with the measurement and uncertainty, error analysis, and physics topics such as thermodynamics and fluids. CO: PHY 201 or PHY 213 or PHY 221.

PHY 206. General Physics Laboratory II. 1 credit. FA, SP, SU

This lab is designed to accompany PHY 202, PHY 214 or PHY 222. In addition to laboratory activities, one contact hour of weekly lecture is included. Topics include oscillations, waves, optics, and d.c. circuits. This course is algebra-based. P: PHY 205; CO: PHY 202 or PHY 214 or PHY 222 or DC.

PHY 213. General Physics for the Physical Sciences I. 3 credits. FA, SP

First semester of the general physics sequence for physical science majors. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational dynamics, thermodynamics, and fluids. CO: MTH 245 and PHY 205 or DC.

PHY 214. General Physics for the Physical Sciences II. 3 credits. FA, SP

Second semester of the general physics sequence which is intended for students majoring in the physical sciences. Lecture and discussion. Topics include oscillations, waves, optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Calculus based. P: PHY 213 or PHY 221 or PHY 201, or MTH 245; CO: PHY 206 or DC.

PHY 221. Advanced General Physics I:Modeling the Physical World. 3 credits. FA

First semester in the physics sequence with a particular emphasis on mathematical modeling. Course is taught jointly with MTH 249. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational dynamics, and fluids. P: MTH 245; CO: MTH 249.

PHY 222. Advanced General Physics II:Modeling the Physical World. 3 credits. SP

Second semester in the physics sequence with a particular emphasis on mathematical modeling. Course is taught jointly with MTH 349. Topics include oscillations, waves, optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. P: PHY 221 or IC; CO: MTH 349.

PHY 223. Project Physics Laboratory I. 1 credit.

Project-based laboratory experiences to acquaint the student with physical phenomena, instrumentation and research methods in physics. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation of momentum and energy, rotational dynamics, thermodynamics, and fluids. P or CO: PHY 221.

PHY 224. Project Physics Laboratory II. 1 credit.

Project-based laboratory experiences to acquaint the student with physical phenomena, instrumentation and research methods in physics. Topics include oscillations, waves, optics, electricity and magnetism, DC and AC circuits, and modern physics. P or CO: PHY 222.

PHY 301. Modern Physics. 3 credits. FA, SP

An introduction to relativity and quantum physics. Special theory of relativity; quantization of electrical charge, energy and light; Bohr model of the atom; wave aspect of particles; wave-particle duality; Schroedinger equation in one dimension; applications of relativity and quantum theory in atomic, nuclear, and elementary particle physics. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or 202; and MTH 246.

PHY 302. Modern Physics Laboratory. 1 credit. FA

Laboratory work designed to acquaint the student with the quantization of electrical charge, energy and light, and the wave aspect of particles. CO: PHY 301. P: One Magis Core Mathematical Reasoning course.

PHY 303. Electronics Laboratory. 1 credit. FA

Basic course in electronics. Laboratory experiments include an introduction to measuring instruments, and applications of solid state components, and analog and digital integrated circuits. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202.

PHY 331. Physical Optics. 3 credits. SP

Mathematical representation of waves; interference, diffraction and polarization; coherence and incoherence; lasers; Fourier analysis and synthesis. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202; and MTH 246.

PHY 332. Optics Laboratory. 1 credit. SP

Experiments in geometrical and physical optics: interferometry; lasers and holography; analytical methods based on optical principles. 3L. CO: PHY 331.

PHY 351. Physics in Medicine. 3 credits. AY, FA

A review of basic physics as it applies to radiation and the human body followed by an overview of major topics in the field of medical physics: x-rays and their uses in medical imaging, physics of nuclear medicine imaging, ultrasound imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, radiation therapy for cancer, and radiation biology. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202.

PHY 353. Introduction to Biological Physics. 3 credits. AY, FA

An introduction to the application of physics to the microscopic world of the living cell. Topics include: Diffusion, fluid dynamics at low Reynolds-number, thermodynamics of microscopic systems, chemical and entropic forces, self-assembly of ordered structures, mechanical and nerve impulses. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202; and MTH 246.

PHY 397. Research Methods. 2 credits.

This course covers the foundational skills needed by students to conduct research in theoretical and experiemental physics. Course topics include an introduction to scientific computing, measurement, data analysis, and error propagation, basic electronics skills, scientific writing, and an introduction to mathematical software packages. P: PHY 205 and PHY 206.

PHY 471. Classical Mechanics. 3 credits. SP

Review of particle dynamics, the harmonic oscillator, rigid body mechanics, generalized coordinates; introduction to Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202; CO: MTH 347 or IC.

PHY 481. Electricity and Magnetism. 3 credits. FA

Development of Maxwell's equations; Laplace's and Poisson's equations and boundary value problems; electromagnetic waves. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202; and MTH 347.

PHY 491. Seminar. 1 credit. FA, SP

Undergraduate seminar. Training in the organization and presentation of papers on advanced topics in physics. May be repeated to a maximum of three credits. P: IC, One Magis Core Oral Communication course and One Magis Core Contemporary Composition course.

PHY 493. Directed Independent Readings. 1-3 credits. FA, SP, SU

A readings project under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Credit by arrangement. May be repeated to a maximum of six hours. P: IC.

PHY 495. Directed Independent Study. 1-3 credits. FA, SP, SU

A study project under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Credit by arrangement. May be repeated to a maximum of six hours. P: IC.

PHY 497. Directed Independent Research. 1-3 credits. FA, SP, SU

A research project under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Credit by arrangement. May be repeated to a maximum of six hours. P: IC.

PHY 499. Research Capstone. 1 credit.

This course serves as a capstone experience for undergraduate research. Students will organize and present, in written form, a comprehensive summary of their research project. Topics include literature search techniques and review, the use of bibliography and citation managers, scientific writing, peer review, and how to make scientific presentations. P: PHY 397. Co: PHY 497.

PHY 521. Electronics for Scentists. 3 credits. FA, OD

Basic course in electronics. Laboratory experiments include an introduction to measuring instruments, solid state components, and digital and logic circuits. Lecture closely follows the experiments. 1R, 5L. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202.

PHY 522. Electric Circuits. 3 credits. FA, OD

Kirchhoff's Laws. Solutions to homogeneous and non-homogeneous linear systems in electronics. AC and DC circuit response. Computer-assisted modeling of circuits. P: IC.

PHY 531. Quantum Mechanics. 3 credits. FA

Development of the formalism of non-relativistic quantum mechanics; applications to the harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, square-well potential, and scattering. P: PHY 301 and PHY 471.

PHY 541. Thermodynamics And Statistical Mechanics. 3 credits. FA

Laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic variables, thermodynamic potentials; kinetic theory, distribution functions, classical and quantum statistics. P: PHY 214 or CHM 331 or PHY 222 or PHY 202; and MTH 246.

PHY 551. Mathematical Physics. 3 credits. FA

Mathematical methods for the representation of physical processes in space and time. Fourier and other complete representations; vector calculus; tensors and matrices. Selection and emphasis on topics keyed to needs of students enrolled. P: PHY 212 or PHY 222; MTH 347.

PHY 553. Computational Physics. 3 credits. OD

The course offers an introduction to scientific computing techniques for physics students. The course will offer training in computational software and programming language to model complex systems and/or to analyze data. Examples are drawn from a variety of subfields of physics. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or DC.

PHY 559. Gravitation and Cosmology. 3 credits. OD

An introduction to standard big bang cosmology utilizing Einstein's general theory of relativity. Topics in relativity will include tensor analysis, Reimannian geometry, and the Einstein equation.  Topics in cosmology will include the Friedman-Robertson-Walker metric, the age of the universe, dark matter and dark energy, and early universe thermodynamics. P: PHY 301.

PHY 561. Nuclear Physics. 3 credits. OD

Application of elementary quantum mechanical theory and relativity to the study of nuclear structure, radioactive decay, and nuclear models. P: PHY 531.

PHY 562. Nuclear Instruments And Methods. 2 credits. OD

Laboratory work in nuclear physics designed to teach the methods and procedures of experimental nuclear physics at an advanced level and to familiarize the student with modern research equipment and its use. 3L. P: PHY 302 or IC.

PHY 563. High Energy Nuclear Physics. 1 credit. OD

Students will read and discuss original journal articles related to the historical development of high energy physics. P: PHY 214 or PHY 222 or PHY 202; and MTH 246; or IC.

PHY 565. Radiation Biophysics. 3 credits.

A systematic study of the mechanisms by which ionizing radiation affect cells and biomolecules, pertaining to radiation therapy. Topics include: Physical mechanisms for radiation absorption, Kerma, dose, LET, track structure, water radiochemistry, mathematical survival models, DNA damage, repair mechanisms, RBE, OER, linear no-threshold model, bystander effects, and dose fractionation. P: Permission of instructor.

PHY 566. Physics of Medical Imaging. 3 credits.

A systemic study of medical imaging including projection x-ray (mammography, fluoroscopy), computed tomography, nuclear imaging (SPECT, PET), magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound. For each imaging modality, the mathematical foundation, physical mechanism, technology involved in clincial implentation, technique strengths and limitations, quantification of image quality, and routine quality assurance procedures will be examined. P: Permission of instructor.

PHY 571. Condensed Matter Physics. 3 credits. OD

An introduction to the structure and dynamics of solids and liquids including solid state physics. Topics include the structure of crystalline, amorphous and self-similar (fractal) matter as conveyed by scattering techniques, the vibrational properties of crystals, the dynamics of liquids, electron dynamics in crystals (including band theory), response functions, percolation theory, and phase transitions (with an emphasis on critical phenomena, scaling and renormalization). P: PHY 301 or CHM 341 or IC.

PHY 572. Condensed Matter Laboratory. 1 credit. OD

Laboratory work designed to aquaint the student with spectroscopy techniques used in condensed matter and material science, including: static and dynamic light scattering, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning tunneling microscopy, and dielectric spectroscopy. 3L. CO: PHY 571 or IC.

PHY 581. Advanced Laboratory I. 1 credit. FA

Advanced laboratory work in physics designed to teach the methods of experimental research in physics. Students will work in collaborative teams on two open-ended experiments, each lasting six weeks, drawn from any physics subfield. Students will also develop a research proposal to be executed in PHY 582, Advanced Laboratory II. P: PHY 302, 303, and 332.

PHY 582. Advanced Laboratory II. 1 credit. SP

Advanced laboratory designed to teach the methods of experimental research in physics. Students will work in collaborative teams to complete a project of their own design, including literature review, design and execution of the experiment, data analysis (including statistical testing) and a written report. Students will participate in mock peer-review. P: PHY 581.

PHY 587. Laser Physics. 3 credits. OD

A thorough review of the essential optical and physical principles needed for understanding laser characteristics, operation and design. Topics include the principle of detailed balance, absorption, stimulated emission, gain, obtaining population inversions, pumping requirements, laser cavity modes, Gaussian beams, laser resonators, Q-switching, mode-locking, and an overview of specific laser systems including gas-tube and solid-state lasers. P: PHY 331 or IC.

PHY 591. Seminar in Engineering. 1-3 credits. OD (Same as ERG 591)

A series of lectures, dicussions and engineering speakers to assist pre-engineers to define more clearly their professional goals by acquainting them with diversified career options available to engineers. Topics include: engineering career exploration and development; cooperative education and internships; and job search, resume writing and interviewing techniques. P: IC.

PHY 595. Special Topics. 1-3 credits. OD

A course treating physics topics of special interest. The course will be subtitled in the Schedule of Classes and may be repeated under different subtitles. P: IC.

Faculty

Professors: Michael G. Cherney, Gintaras K. Duda, Michael Nichols, Janet E. Seger, David L. Sidebottom

Professor Emeritus: Sam Cipolla, Arthur V. Douglas, Thomas H. Zepf

Associate Professors: Jack Gabel, Jon M. Schrage

Assistant Professors: Andrew Baruth, Patricia Soto, Timothy J. Wagner, Jonathan Wrubel