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Department of Physics

Physics Courses


  • Numbers in parentheses (...) indicate credit hours earned for the course or each semester of the course.
  • Items in square brackets [...] after the course title indicate General Education requirements and/or IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) requirements fulfilled by the course.

100-Level Courses

PHYS 111 (3) Concepts of Physics [BPS, Intro NSM, IAI No. P1 900] — Introduction to our understanding of the universe and how it is achieved.  Includes selections from:  Motion, energy, heat, fluids, electricity, magnetism, sound, light, atoms.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent.

PHYS 112 (1) Conceptual Physics Laboratory [BPS, Dist NSM, EL, LNSM] — Weekly introductory laboratory dealing with mechanics, heat, electricity, sound and light.  Emphasis placed on measurements and data analysis.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 111.

PHYS 115 (3) Energy and the Environment [BPS, Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Problems and prospects of meeting national and worldwide energy demands.  Scientific background, role, and environmental impact of fossil fuel, nuclear, solar, geothermal, and other technologies.
Prerequisites:  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent, both with grades of C or better.

PHYS 116 (3) Music and Acoustics [BPS, Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Vibrations; nature and propagation of sound waves; musical pitch and intervals; tone quality, analysis, and synthesis; instruments; speech; ears and hearing; psychological aspects; other topics.
Prerequisites:  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent, both with grades of C or better.

PHYS 117 (3) Light and Color [BPS, Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Nature of light; ray and wave phenomena; optical devices; the eye; color theory; lasers and holography; applications to art, photography, and other visual media.
Prerequisites:  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent, both with grades of C or better.

PHYS 118 (3) Astronomy [BPS, Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 906] — Introduction to astronomical observation; seasons; light; telescopes; orbits; solar system; stellar structure, evolution and classification; galaxies and cosmology.  Includes in-class activities and supplemental night viewing sessions.
Prerequisites:  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent, both with grades of C or better

PHYS 118L (1) Astronomy Laboratory [BPS, Intro NSM, EL] — An experiential laboratory course utilizing both software and real-time observation concerning astronomical objects.

PHYS 120 (3) Frontiers in Physics [BPS, Dist NSM6] — Introductory course designed to highlight, through examples, how progress and discoveries are made in physics.  Topics selected from historical and/or contemporary physics.  May include seminar.
Prerequisite:  MATH 125 with grade of C or better, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 131 (4) College Physics I: Mechanics and Heat [BPS, INSM] — This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence designed to meet premedical and biological science requirements.  Topics include mechanics, fluids, energy, heat, and gravitation.
Prerequisites:  MATH 125 or 150 or 152; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 131L.

PHYS 131L (1) College Physics I Laboratory: Mechanics and Heat [BPS, EL, INSM] — Topics include physical measurements, data analysis, lab reporting and error analysis.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 131.

PHYS 132 (4) College Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Optics [BPS, DNSM] — This course is the second semester of a two-semester sequence designed to meet premedical and biological science requirements.  Topics include waves and sound, electrostatics, circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic waves, optics, and modern physics theory.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 131 with grade of C or better; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 132L.

PHYS 132L (1) College Physics II Laboratory: Electricity, Magnetism and Optics [BPS, EL, DNSM, LNSM] — A lab consisting of experiments designed to complement PHYS 132:  Physical measurements, data analysis, presentation, and error analysis.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 131 with grade of C or better; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 132.

PHYS 140 (2) Introduction to Physics and Physical Reasoning [BPS, INSM] — An introduction to physics and quantitative reasoning preparatory for PHYS 141 or PHYS 151.  Selected physics concepts, methods of reasoning, application of mathematics to physics problem solving.
Prerequisite:  MATH 150 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 141 (3) Physics I for Engineering [BPS, INSM] — Introductory calculus-based course for engineering students: Motion, kinematics, dynamics, Newton’s laws, applications: work, kinetic and potential energy, momentum, rotational dynamics, angular momentum, gravity, oscillations.
Prerequisite:  High-school physics with grade of B or better, or ACT score 28 (Math score), or PHYS 140 with grade of C or higher, or satisfactory score on a placement examination for PHYS 140/141; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 151L.

PHYS 142 (3) Physics II for Engineering [BPS, DNSM] — Calculus-based course for engineering students: Electric charge, electric fields, Gauss’ law, electric potential,l magnetic fields, Faraday’s law, inductance, Maxwell’s equations in integral form, electromagnetic waves.
Prerequisite:  Grades of C or better in MATH 152 and PHYS 151L, and in either PHYS 141 or PHYS 151; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 152L.

PHYS 151 (4) University Physics I [BPS, Intro NSM; IAI No. P2 900] — Calculus-based course designed to meet needs of engineering and science students:  Kinematics; dynamics; planar motion; work and energy; momentum; rotational motion; gravitation; oscillations.
Prerequisite:  MATH 152 or concurrent enrollment with grade of C or better; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 151L.

PHYS 151L (1) University Physics I Laboratory [BPS, EL, INSM, LNSM, IAI No. P2 900L] — Physics measurements; data analysis and presentation; error analysis:  Velocity; acceleration; force and moments; work and kinetic energy; fluids.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in either PHYS 141 or PHYS 151.

PHYS 152 (4) University Physics II BPS, DNSM; IAI No. P2 900] — Calculus-based course designed to meet needs of engineering and science students:  Bulk properties of matter; oscillations and waves; electric charge; electric fields; Gauss' law; potentials; circuits; magnetic fields; electromagnetic waves.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in either PHYS 141 or PHYS 151; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 152L.

PHYS 152L (1) University Physics II Laboratory [BPS, DNSM, EL, LNSM, IAI No. P2 900L] — Physics measurements; data analysis and presentation; error analysis:  Thermal and bulk properties of matter; simple harmonic motion and waves; electromagnetism; simple circuits; optics.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 151L; concurrent enrollment in either PHYS 142 or PHYS 152.

PHYS 192 (1 to 3) Freshman Project in Biomedical Physics  — With guidance, a freshman investigatory or independent study project in bio- or biomedical physics.  Open to all students of other disciplines and to 100-level physics students.

PHYS 193 (1 to 3) Freshman Project in Photonics and Laser Physics — With guidance, a freshman investigatory or independent study project in photonics physics.  Open to all students of other disciplines and to 100-level physics students.

PHYS 196 (1 to 3) Freshman Project in Astronomy — With guidance, a freshman investigatory or independent study project in astronomy.  Open to all students of other disciplines and to 100-level physics students.

PHYS 197 (1 to 3) Freshman Project in Experimental Physics — With guidance, a freshman investigatory or independent study project in experimental physics.  Open to all students of other disciplines and to 100-level physics students.

PHYS 198 (1 to 3) Freshman Project in Theoretical Physics — With guidance, a freshman investigatory or independent study project in theoretical physics.  Open to all students of other disciplines and to 100-level physics students.

200-Level Courses

PHYS 201 (4) University Physics III [BPS, DNSM] — Electromagnetic waves.  Physical optics: interference, diffraction.  Introductory special relativity.  Laws of thermodynamics; Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution; equipartition theorem; black-body radiation.  Photon nature of light.  Bohr atom; matter waves.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in PHYS 141 or PHYS 151, and in PHYS 142 or PHYS 152.

PHYS 201L (1) University Physics III Laboratory [BPS, DNSM, EL, LNSM] — Laboratories covering select topics from electromagnetic waves, physical optics, introductory special relativity, thermodynamic laws, and introductory quantum physics.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 201.

PHYS 208 (3) Space Physics [DNSM, PS] — Mechanics of orbital and sub-orbital flight.  Physical, chemical and geological characteristics of solar system objects determined by exploration and remote sensing.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in PHYS 131 and MATH 150.

PHYS 230 (3) Planetary and Solar System Astronomy — Orbital mechanics, telescopes, physical processes, atmospheres, planets, moons, ring systems, outer solar system, comets, Kuiper belt, formation of planetary systems, extra-solar planets.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142 or PHYS 152.

PHYS 240 (3) An Introduction to Biomedical Physics  [BLS, BPS, DNSM] — Physics applied to human biology and medicine.  Applications of mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism; properties of nerves, membranes and fluids; ultrasound, x-ray, nuclear medicine and MRI.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and in MATH 150.

PHYS 251 (4) Waves [BPS, DNSM] — Oscillations; linear approximations.  Normal modes; Fourier analysis.  Standing waves; traveling waves; reflection; transmission; sound; electromagnetic waves.  Wave packets; bandwidth theorem.  Introduction to Fourier Transforms, applications.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142 or PHYS 152; concurrent enrollment in MATH 250.

PHYS 292 (1 to 3) Sophomore Project in Biomedical Physics — With guidance, a sophomore investigatory or independent study project in bio- or biomedical physics.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 293 (1 to 3) Sophomore Project in Photonics and Laser Physics — With guidance, a sophomore investigatory or independent study project in photonics physics.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 296 (1 to 3) Sophomore Project in Astronomy — With guidance, a sophomore investigatory or independent study project in astronomy. 
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 297 (1 to 3) Sophomore Project in Experimental Physics — With guidance, a sophomore investigatory or independent study project in experimental physics.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 298 (1 to 3) Sophomore Project in Theoretical Physics )— With guidance, a sophomore investigatory or independent study project in theoretical physics.
Prerequisites:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and permission of the instructor.

300-Level Courses

PHYS 303 (3) Thermal Physics [DNSM, PS] — Introduction to thermodynamics; fluids; kinetic theory; statistical distribution functions; applications.
Prerequisites:  Either PHYS 142 or PHYS 152, and MATH 250.

PHYS 304 (4) Introduction to Quantum Physics [BPS, DNSM] — History of Quantum Physics.  Matter waves; uncertainty principle; Schroedinger solutions for confined particles; hydrogen atom.  Atomic, nuclear and solid-state physics.  Applications include lasers and semiconductors.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 250.

PHYS 312 (3) Intermediate Physics Laboratory [PS] — Experimental methods in modern physics: modern experimental techniques; computer-aided data acquisition; numerical methods; detectors and sensors; data and error analysis.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 304, or concurrent enrollment.

PHYS 314 (3) Modern Data Acquisition and Analysis in Physics [BPS, DNSM, EL]— Use of modern computer-aided data acquisition and analysis in physics.
Prerequisite:  Grade of C or better in each of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 318 (3) Theory and Applications of Electronic Measurements [DNSM, BPS, EL] — Principles of modern electronic measurements and computer interfacing techniques.  Transistor circuits; digital electronics; op-amps; sensors; digital/analog and analog/digital conversions; computer-aided data acquisition.  Includes weekly two-hour laboratory.
Prerequisite:  Grade of C or better in either PHYS 132, PHYS 142, or PHYS 152.

PHYS 320 (3) Special Relativity [DNSM, PS] — Michaelson-Morley experiment; Lorentz transformation; relativistic notions of space and time; relativistic kinematics and dynamics; relativistic development of electricity and magnetism.
Prerequisite:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 250.

PHYS 321 (4) Introduction to Classical Mechanics [Dist NSM] — Newtonian mechanics in Cartesian and non-cartesian coordinate systems.  Conservative fields; conservation laws.  Forced oscillations; resonance.  Introduction to Lagrangian mechanics.  Noninertial reference frames.  Central Forces; orbital dynamics.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 250.

PHYS 323 (4) Statistical Mechanics [PS] — Laws of Thermodynamics; equipartition theorem; free energy; Maxwell relations; entropy; Boltzman statistics; Bose-Einstein statistics; Fermi-Dirac Statistics; Ising model; information theory.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 305.

PHYS 340 (3) Biological Physics [BPS, DNSM] — An intermediate course in biophysics and biophysical methods.  Topics vary; may include diffusive processes, molecular and cellular biophysics, structural analysis methods, nanobiotechnology and others.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 240, and PHYS 251; CHEM 241A.

PHYS 343 (3) Stellar Astronomy [BPS, DNSM] — Basics of interaction of radiation with matter.  The Sun, properties of stars, stellar atmospheres, stellar interiors, interstellar medium, formation, evolution of stars and stellar remnants.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 230, and PHYS 251.

PHYS 375 (1) Seminar [PS]— Selected topics in theories and applications.  May be repeated to a maximum of 3 hours provided that no topic is repeated.  Pass / No Credit only.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 376 (1) Career Preparation in Physic — Seminar on an exploration of post-baccalaureate options in industrial, corporate and academic physics, and applied physics.  Employment trends.  Resume writing.  Choosing and applying to graduate programs.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in both PHYS 201 and PHYS 251.

PHYS 390 (3) Junior Physics Honors [DNSM, PS] — Directed by student’s Physics Honors Program adviser in independent-study format on topics chosen jointly by student and adviser.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 304 and PHYS 321; admission to the Physics Honors Program.

PHYS 392 (1 to 3) Junior Project in Biomedical Physics — With guidance, a junior investigatory or independent study project in bio- or biomedical physics.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 240, and PHYS 251; permission of the instructor.

PHYS 393 (1 to 3) Junior Project in Photonics and Laser Physics — With guidance, a junior investigatory or independent study project in photonics and/or laser physics.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in both PHYS 201 and PHYS 251; permission of the instructor.

PHYS 396 (1 to 3) Junior Project in Astronomy/Astrophysics — With guidance, a junior investigatory or independent study project in astronomy/astrophysics. 
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 230, and PHYS 251; permission of the instructor.

PHYS 397 (1 to 3) Junior Project in Experimental Physics [PS] — With guidance, a junior project in experimental physics.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; permission of the instructor.

PHYS 398 (1 to 3) Junior Project in Theoretical Physics [PS] — With guidance, a junior project in theoretical physics.  May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; permission of the instructor.

400-Level Courses

PHYS 405A,B (3,3) Introduction to Electromagnetic Field Theory [DNSM, PS] — Vector treatment of the theory.  (A) Electrostatics in vacuum and in matter; steady currents.  (B) Magnetism; magnetic materials; electromagnetic radiation.
Prerequisites:  (A) Grade of C or better in either PHYS 321 or PHYS 323.  (B) Grade of C or better in PHYS 405A.

PHYS 406 (4) Electromagnetic Fields and Waves [DNSM, BPS] — Vector Calculus.  Electric and magnetic fields.  Scalar potential.  Electric and magnetic dipoles.  Maxwell’s equations in integral and differential form, vector potential, introduction to electromagnetic radiation.
Prerequisites:  (A) Grade of C or better in either PHYS 142 or PHYS 152. and in PHYS 251, or consent of instructor.

PHYS 410 (3) Optics [BPS, DNSM] — Nature of light; photometric quantities; geometrical optics; interference and diffraction; polarization; introduction to lasers; optical properties of materials.  May include laboratory component.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, PHYS 251, and MATH 305.

PHYS 415A,B (3,3) Wave Mechanics and Atomic Physics [PS, DNSM] — (A) Foundations of quantum mechanics:  Wave functions; expectation values; operators; Schroedinger equation; simple applications including step potentials and harmonic oscillator; perturbation theory.  (B) Topics pertinent to atomic and molecular systems:  Angular momentum; hydrogen atom; electron spin; atomic transitions and spectra; exclusion principle; multielectron atoms; molecular structure.
Prerequisites:  (A) PHYS 304; MATH 305.  (B) PHYS 415A.

PHYS 416 (4) Principles of Quantum Mechanics {BPS, DNSM} — Wave functions, packets, probabilities, operators, uncertainty relations.  Schroedinger equation, square wells, harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration, angular momentum, hydrogen atom, spin, exclusion principle, multielectron atoms, molecules.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in the following:  PHYS 304; either PHYS 321 or PHYS 323; either MATH 321 or MATH 355.

PHYS 419 (4) Introduction to Theoretical Physics [DNSM, PS] — Mathematical techniques:  Vectors; tensors; matrices; differential equations; special functions; boundary value problems; other selected topics.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 304; MATH 305.

PHYS 430 (3) Physics and Astronomy Education Research [PS] — Questions, methodology, data analysis and results of physics and astronomy education research.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251.

PHYS 431 (3) Instructional Strategies for Particle and Rigid Body Motion [PS] — Pedagogical innovations, assessments, and inquiry-based activities will be developed for particle and rigid-body motion.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Physics-Designation Standard #2.
Prerequisites:  Either PHYS 141 or PHYS 151, and CI 200; or certified K-12 teacher; or physics graduate status.

PHYS 432 (3) Instructional Strategies for Physical Waves and Thermodynamics [PS] — Pedagogical innovations, assessments and inquiry-based activities will be developed for physical waves and thermodynamics.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Physics-Designation Standard #3 and #4.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 323 and CI 200, or certified K-12 teacher, or physics graduate status.

PHYS 433 (3) Instructional Strategies for Electricity and Magnetism [PS] — Pedagogical innovations, assessments and inquiry-based activities will be developed for particle and rigid body motion.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Physics-Designation Standard #2.
Prerequisites:  Either PHYS 141 or PHYS 151, and CI 200; or certified K-12 teacher; or physics graduate status.

PHYS 434 (3) Instructional Strategies for Astronomy [PS] — Pedagogical innovations, assessments, and inquiry-based activities will be developed for astronomy.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Earth and Space Science Standards #3 and #4.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 118 and CI 200 or certified K-12 teacher, or physics graduate status.

PHYS 438 (1) Physics and Astronomy Education Research Seminar [PS] — Seminar discussing current issues in physics and astronomy education research.  May be repeated for a maximum of 4 hours provided no topic is repeated.

PHYS 439 (1 to 3) Physics Project for Educators [PS] — Physics curriculum development project with the topic and educational level decided in consultation with the instructor.  Not for physics undergraduate majors.
Prerequisite:  Teaching certificate or instructor permission.

PHYS 442 (3) Topics in Medical Physics [BPS, DNSM] — Topics variable; may include medical imaging; physics of x-ray, CT, PET, MRI and ultrasound techniques; radiotherapy; nuclear medicine; radiation protection; electrophysiological measurements; biomechanics; mathematical modeling.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 240, PHYS 251, and CHEM 241A, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 444 (3) Galaxies and Cosmology [BPS, DNSM] — Nature and evolution of galaxies.  Extragalactic distance scales, expansion of the Universe, active galaxies, quasars, introduction to cosmological models of the early Universe.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 230, PHYS 251, PHYS 321, and PHYS 343, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 450 (3) Solid-State Physics [BPS, DNSM] — Crystal structures and binding; lattice vibrations; electronic states; band theory of solids; semiconductors; optical properties of solids; other selected topics.
Prerequisite:  Grades of C or better in both of PHYS 304 and PHYS 323.

PHYS 471 (3) Laser Physics and Technology [BPS, DNSM] — Interaction between light and matter, rate equations, resonators and cavity modes, mode locking, ultra-short pulse generation, laser systems.  Applications may include communications, medicine, and holography.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, PHYS 251, and PHYS 410, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 472 (3) Photonics Laboratory — A lecture/laboratory course in experimental techniques in photonics.  May include: beam characterization, detectors, interferometers, optical fiber theory and applications, coupling techniques, fiber-optic communication.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, PHYS 251, and PHYS 410, or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 480 (2 to 3) Selected Topics in Physics [PS] — Classroom instruction in a topic of special interest not covered in other courses.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours provided that no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of the instructor.

PHYS 490 (3) Senior Physics Honors [DNSM, PS] — Directed by student's Physics Honors Program adviser in independent study format on topics chosen jointly by student and adviser.  Not for graduate credit.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 390, and either PHYS 405A or PHYS 406.

PHYS 492 (1 to 3) Senior Project in Biomedical Physics — With guidance, a senior investigatory or independent study project in bio- or biomedical physics.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 240, PHYS 251, and PHYS 304, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 493 (1 to 3) Senior Project in Photonics and Laser Physics — With guidance, a senior investigatory or independent study project in photonics and/or laser physics.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in both PHYS 201, PHYS 251, and PHYS 410, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 494 (3) Methods of Teaching Physics in Secondary Schools [PS] — Current teaching and resource materials.  Ways to teach different topics in physics, problem-solving techniques, and societal issues.  Preparing for laboratory activities.  Safety concerns.  Not for Physics majors or graduate credit.

PHYS 495 (3) Physics Honors Thesis [PS] — Research project directed by student's adviser results to be written up in thesis form and presented at a departmental seminar.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 230, PHYS 251, and PHYS 410, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 496 (1 to 3) Senior Project in Astronomy/Astrophysics — With guidance, a junior investigatory or independent study project in astronomy/astrophysics. 
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 251, and PHYS 318, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 497 (2 to 3) Senior Project in Experimental Physics [PS] — With guidance, a senior project in experimental physics.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 251, and PHYS 318, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 498 (2 to 3) Senior Project in Theoretical Physicst [PS] — With guidance, a senior project in theoretical physics.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisites:  Grades of C or better in all of PHYS 201, PHYS 251, and PHYS 321, and permission of the instructor.

PHYS 499A,B (3,2) Senior Assignment in Physics: Parts I and II [PS] — Directed study toward completing the senior assignment.  (A) Includes a written proposal, data acquisition, and an oral presentation.  (B) Includes data acquisition and analysis, written report, poster presentation, and oral presentation.  PHYS 499B may be repeated to a maximum total of 4 hours.  See also the BS Senior Assignment Guidelines.
Prerequisite:  (A) 30 credit hours of physics courses and consent of instructor.  (B) Credit for PHYS 499A and consent of instructor.

500-Level Courses

PHYS 501 (3) Advanced Electronic Instrumentation — Operation principles for analog and digital oscilloscopes, lock-in amplifiers, gated integrators, spectrum analyzers.  Computer programming for data acquisition.  Advanced computer interfacing.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 502 (3) Vacuum Techniques and Materials Characterization Methods — Vacuum system behavior and components; microscopy; electron beam instruments; diffraction and scattering; electron emission spectroscopies; ion scattering techniques; mass spectroscopy.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 503 (3) Experimental Methods in Optical Spectroscopy — Maxwell’s equations at interfaces; optical properties; transition probabilities and selection rules in quantum systems; vibrational spectra; sources; detectors; spectrometers; interferometers; absorption; emission; excitation; reflectance spectra.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 504 (3) Applications of Fiber Optics — Optical fiber characteristics; fiber preparation; single and multimode fibers; sources; coupling; communication systems; multiplexing techniques; fiber-optic sensors.
Prerequisite:  Graduate status or consent of instructor.

PHYS 506 (3) Experimental Methods in Optics — Experimental techniques in optics and optical spectroscopy including absorption, fluorescence, and index of refraction spectroscopy; measurements of nonlinear optical properties of materials using several techniques.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 410 or PHYS 514.

PHYS 511 (3) Computational Methods in Classical Physics — Computational approach to problems in classical physics:  Linear and non-linear systems; many-particle systems; normal modes; waves; numerical methods; percolation; fractals; chaos.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 512 (3) Computational Electrodynamics — Computational approach to problems in electrodynamics:  Fundamentals; multipoles; Laplace equation; time-varying fields; electromagnetic waves; reflection; refraction; waveguides; electromagnetic radiation, antennas, and electrons.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 405 or consent of instructor; PHYS 511.

PHYS 513 (3) Computational Quantum Mechanics — Computational approach to problems in quantum mechanics:  Orthogonality; superposition; expectation values; square wells; time evolution; spectroscopy; atomic properties; many-electron atoms; scattering; band structure; and lasers.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 415 or consent of instructor; PHYS 511.

PHYS 514 (3) Photonics I — Ray and wave optics; Gaussian beams; Fourier optics; diffraction; imaging; holography; electromagnetic waves in dielectric media; polarization; and crystal optics.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 410 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 515 (3) Photonics II — Concepts governing applications of current interest in photonics including waveguides and fiber optics, electro-optics and acousto-optics, photonic switching, and computing.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 514 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 516 (2 or 3) Independent Study — Supervised study in an area selected according to needs of the student.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 517 (3) Principles of Lasers — Population inversion; rate equations; laser resonators; Q-switching; mode locking; gas lasers; solid state lasers; semiconductor lasers; dye lasers; laser applications in communications, medicine, and holography.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 514 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 518 (3) Nonlinear Optics — Maxwell’s equations in nonlinear media; second-order nonlinearities; second-harmonic generation; parametric processes; third-order nonlinearities; Kerr-type nonlinearities; Raman amplification; two-photon absorption; nonlinear crystals.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 512 and PHYS 513 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 520 (2 to 4) Graduate Physics Project — Individual investigation of a topic to be agreed upon with the instructor.  May be experimental or theoretical.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 575 (1) Colloquium — Participation in departmental colloquia; student presentation on topic of current interest.  May be repeated to a maximum of 2 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 580 (2 to 4) Selected Topics in Physics — Classroom instruction in a topic of special interest not covered in other graduate courses.  May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 594 (3) Physics Teaching Methods for Secondary Schools — Current teaching and resource materials.  Ways to teach different topics in physics, problem-solving techniques, and societal issues.  Preparing for laboratory activities.  Safety concerns.

PHYS 598 (1 to 6) Advanced Research Project in Physics — Advanced research project in physics.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 599 (1 to 6) Thesis — Thesis research in physics.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

Courses Phased Out or Renumbered

PHYS 206A,B (5,5) College Physics [(A) Intro NSM; (B) Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 131, PHYS 131L, PHYS 132, and PHYS 132L.

PHYS 131A,B (5,5) College Physics [(A) Intro NSM; (B) Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 131, PHYS 131L, PHYS 132, and PHYS 132L.

PHYS 211A,B (4,4) University Physics [(A) Intro NSM; IAI No. P2 900; (B) Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 151, PHYS 152, and part of PHYS 201.

PHYS 212A,B (1,1) University Physics Laboratory [IAI No. P2 900L] — Replaced by PHYS 151L and PHYS 152L.

PHYS 218 (3) Theory and Applications of Electronic Measurements [Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 318.

PHYS 301 (3) Waves [Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 251.

PHYS 302 (4) Modern Physics [Dist NSM] — Replaced by parts of PHYS 201 and PHYS 304.

PHYS 308 (4) Introduction to Classical Mechanics [Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 321.

PHYS 350 (3) Energy and the Environment [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Replaced by PHYS 115.

PHYS 351 (3) Music and Acoustics [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Replaced by PHYS 116.

PHYS 352 (3) Physics of Modern Sound Reproduction [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901L] — Eliminated, but some topics may be covered in PHYS 116.

PHYS 355 (3) Light and Color [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Replaced by PHYS 117.

PHYS 356 (3) Astronomy [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 906] — Replaced by PHYS 118.

PHYS 366 (3) Space Physics [Dist  NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 208.


Revised 2017 Jun 2
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