Physics & Astronomy Classes

Physics & Astronomy Classes Listed by Semester


Complete Listing of All Courses

 

PHYS 1001W: Energy and the Environment

4 credits

Prerequisites: 1 year high school algebra

Fundamental principles governing physical world in context of energy/environment.


PHYS 1011: Physical World

3 credits

Prerequisites: 1 year high school algebra

Fundamental laws and principles governing the physical world, discussed in the context in which encountered in modern science and technology.


PHYS 1021 - Introductory Physics

5 credits


PHYS 1101W: Introductory College Physics

4 credits

Prerequisites: High school algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry

Fundamental principles of physics in the context of everyday world. Use of kinematics/dynamics principles and quantitative/qualitative problem solving techniques to understand natural phenomena.


PHYS 1102W: Introductory College Physics II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1101W or PHYS 1107

Fundamental principles of physics in context of everyday world. Use of conservation principles and quantitative/qualitative problem solving techniques to understand natural phenomena.


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PHYS 1107: Introductory Physics Online I

4 credits

Prerequisites: High school algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry

Principles of physics in context of everyday world. Use of kinematics/dynamics principles together with quantitative/qualitative problem solving techniques to understand natural phenomena.


PHYS 1108: Introductory Physics Online II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1101W or PHYS 1107

Principles of physics in context of everyday world. Use of kinematics/dynamics principles together with quantitative/qualitative problem solving techniques to understand natural phenomena.


PHYS 1201: Introductory Physics for Biology and Pre-medicine I

5 credits

Prerequisites: High school or college calculus, trigonometry, algebra

Fundamental principles of physics. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles, structure of matter. Applications to mechanical systems, including fluids, waves, heat.


PHYS 1202W: Introductory Physics for Biology and Pre-medicine II

5 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1201W

Fundamental principles of physics. Motion, forces, conservation principles, structure of matter. Applications to electromagnetic phenomena, including optics, atomic structure.


PHYS 1221: Introductory Physics for Life Science Majors I

4 credits

Prerequisites: High School or College Calculus

The class exposes the student to physical principles and concepts, demonstrates how these principles can be applied to quantitatively describe natural phenomena, and provides the student with an opportunity to perform hands-on experiments and measurements that model how physical knowledge is obtained. The living world exists in the physical universe, and a complete understanding of biological processes is impossible without a firm foundation in the basic physical principles to which all systems, living and inorganic, must adhere. The basic principles of classical mechanics, fluid mechanics, and oscillations and waves will be examined, with particular emphasis to their application in biological systems, using mathematical analysis at the level of basic calculus.


PHYS 1222: Introductory Physics for Life Science Majors II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1221 or equivalent

This is the second course in the introductory physics sequence for life science majors. The class exposes the student to physical principles and concepts, demonstrates how these principles can be applied to quantitatively describe natural phenomena, and provides the student with an opportunity to perform hands-on experiments and measurements that model how physical knowledge is obtained. The fundamental principles of thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and nuclear physics are considered.


PHYS 1301W: Introductory Physics for Science & Engineering I

4 credits

Prerequisites: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1271 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1371 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1571

Use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Motion, forces, conservation principles, structure of matter. Applications to mechanical systems.


PHYS 1302W: Introductory Physics for Science & Engineering II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1301W, concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1272 or MATH 1372 or MATH 1572

Use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Motion, forces, conservation principles, fields, structure of matter. Applications to electromagnetic phenomena.


PHYS 1401V: Honors Physics I

4 credits

Comprehensive, calculus-level general physics. Emphasizes use of fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles. Structure of matter, with applications to mechanical systems.


PHYS 1402V: Honors Physics II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1402V

Fundamental principles to solve quantitative problems. Description of motion, forces, conservation principles, fields. Structure of matter, with applications to electro-magnetic phenomena.


PHYS 1901: Global Warming Solutions

2 credits

In this seminar, we will consider various possible solutions to the current and future global warming problem. This is a topic of intense global importance. Topics will include efficiency and conservation, reduced carbon in electricity production and transportation, wind and solar power, nuclear power, policy changes, third world solutions, reforestation, and more.


PHYS 1905: Aurora: From Myths to Modern Science

2 credits

The aurora, or northern lights, have long fascinated humans. We now know that aurora occur on many other planets, including Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus. We will examine the myths from both the northern and southern hemisphere that were devised to explain this beautiful natural phenomenon. The development of our scientific understanding of the aurora is littered with completely incorrect explanations by prominent scientists. It is only with the new measurements made after the space age that we have finally begun to understand the aurora--both on the Earth and on other planets. If the space weather cooperates, we will try to observe the aurora.


PHYS 1906: What is Space Weather (and Why Should You Care)?

2 credits

In this class, we will explore the way our sun changes over the eleven-year solar cycle and how this can affect events from airline travel, cell phone coverage, and power outages to beautiful aurora and manned spaceflight to Mars. We will also touch on space weather on other planets (including exoplanets) and the possible impact on development of life. If the space weather cooperates, we will try to observe the aurora and related phenomena including sunspots.


PHYS 1910W: What is Time?

2 credits

The precise meaning and use of the concept of time has evoked serious study and debate among the most able of human thinkers for more than 2,000 years. In this seminar, we will review several of the current perspectives as well as some of this history of the concept of time from the points of view of philosophers, biologists, psychologists, and physicists.


PHYS 1911W: How Likely is Extraterrestrial Life?

2 credits

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the main available scientific facts and arguments which bear on the question of the likelihood of extraterrestrial life. A second goal is to familiarize students with aspects of the various relevant disciplines early in their university careers when they may still be selecting a major. The third goal is to provide familiarity with information resources at the university, particularly through the library, as well as improved reasoning, writing, and speaking skills.


PHYS 2201: Introductory Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1302W or PHYS 1402V or PHYS 1502V; concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 1272 or MATH 1372 or MATH 1572H

Thermodynamics and its underlying statistical nature.


PHYS 2303: Physics III: Physics of Matter

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1302, MATH 1272 or MATH 1372 or MATH 1572H

Thermodynamics, mechanical/electromagnetic waves, optics, quantum theory. Applications of quantum nature of solids.


PHYS 2311: Modern Physics

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1302 or PHYS 1402, CHEM 1022, MATH 2243

Broad overview of physical concepts developed in twentieth century. Special relativity, wave-particle duality, Schrodinger equation, Bohr atom, hydrogen atom in wave mechanics, many-electron atoms, x-rays, nuclear structure, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, statistical physics.


PHYS 2503: Physics III: Intro to Waves, Optics, and Special Relativity

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1302W, MATH 1272 or MATH 1372 or MATH 1572H

Third semester of introductory physics. Mechanical/electromagnetic waves, optics, special relativity.


PHYS 2503H: Honors Physics III

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1402V or PHYS 1502V, honors student or permission of University Honors Program or instr consent

The third semester of a calculus-based introductory physics sequence. Topics include: relativistic kinematics and dynamics, mechanical and electromagnetic waves, light, interference, diffraction, wave-particle duality and topics in modern physics. Course emphasizes the use of fundamental problems to solve quantitative problems. Intended primarily for those who have completed 1401V/1402V, although those students with outstanding performance in 1301W/1302W may be granted permission to enroll.


PHYS 2601: Quantum Physics

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2503H or PHYS 2503; concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in MATH 2243 or MATH 2373 or MATH 2574H

Introduction to quantum mechanics. Applications to atomic, molecular, condensed-matter, nuclear, elementary-particle, and statistical physics.


PHYS 3022: Introduction to Cosmology

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2601

Large-scale structure and history of universe. Dark matter, cosmic microwave background. Newtonian/relativistic world models. Physics of early universe. Cosmological tests.


PHYS 3041: Mathematical Methods for Physicists

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1302, MATH 2373 (or equivalent courses)

This course introduces additional mathematical topics that physics majors need to properly handle upper division physics classes.


PHYS 3071W: Laboratory-Based Physics for Teachers

4 credits

Prerequisites: College algebra; no credit for CSE students or students who have completed PHYS 1201/1202, PHYS 1301/1302, PHYS 1401/1402, or PHYS 1501/1502

Laboratory-based introductory physics. Topics selected to apply to elementary school curriculum: earth's motion, properties of matter, heat and temperature, kinematics, and electric current.


PHYS 3605W: Modern Physics Laboratory

4 credits

Prerequisites: Completion (or concurrent registration) in PHYS 2503 or 2503H

Laboratory experiments in atomic, solid state, and nuclear physics. Introduction to data analysis techniques as well as the communication of scientific results through maintaining a logbook and writing papers.


PHYS 3993: Directed Studies

1 credit — may be repeated for a total of 10 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent, Departmental consent

Directed study in Physics in areas arranged by the student and a faculty member.


PHYS 3994: Directed Research

1-5 credit — may be repeated for a total of 10 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent, Departmental consent

Independent, directed study in physics in areas arranged by the student and a faculty member.


PHYS 4001: Analytical Mechanics

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2303 or PHYS 2601 or CHEM 3501 or CHEM 3502; 2 semesters sophomore math

Analytic Newtonian mechanics. Mathematics beyond prerequisites developed as required.


PHYS 4002: Electricity and Magnetism

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2303 or PHYS 2601 or CHEM 3501 or CHEM 3502; 2 semesters sophomore math

Classical theory of electromagnetic fields using vector algebra and vector calculus.


PHYS 4041: Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences

4 credits

Prerequisites: Upper division or Graduate student or Instructor consent

Introduction to using computer programs to solve problems in physical sciences. Selected numerical methods, mapping problems onto computational algorithms.


PHYS 4051: Methods of Experimental Physics I

5 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 1302W, Concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in PHYS 3605W or Equivalent lab experience or Instructor consent

Contemporary experimental techniques. Introduction to modern analog and digital electronics from an experimental viewpoint. Use of computers for data acquisition and experimental control. Statistics of data analysis.


PHYS 4052W: Methods of Experimental Physics II

5 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4051, PHYS 3605W

Contemporary experimental techniques illustrated by experiments with data analysis. Students design and execute an experimental project. Lectures on specialized topics of professional concern.


PHYS 4101: Quantum Mechanics

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2303 or PHYS 2601 or CHEM 3502; 2 semesters of sophomore math

Mathematical techniques of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger Equation and simple applications. General structure of wave mechanics. Operator methods, perturbation theory, radiation from atoms.


PHYS 4111: History of 19th Century Physics

3 credits

Legacy of 17th-century experimental and theoretical physics. Experimental and theoretical discoveries in 19th-century physics (light, atomic theory, heat, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, electromagnetism) within the context of educational, institutional, and political developments in Europe and the United States.


PHYS 4121: History of 20th Century Physics

3 credits

Experimental and theoretical discoveries in 20th-century physics (modern physics, theory of relativity, quantum theories, nuclear physics to World War II) within the context of educational, institutional, and political developments in Europe and the United States.


PHYS 4121W: History of 20th Century Physics

3 credits

The transition from classical to modern physics (relativity, quantum) and its architects (from Planck and Einstein to Heisenberg and Schrodinger). The WWII bomb projects in the US and in Germany. Post-war developments (solid state, particle physics).


PHYS 4201: Statistical and Thermal Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2601

Principles of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Selected applications such as kinetic theory, transport theory, and phase transitions.


PHYS 4211: Introduction to Solid-State Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4101, PHYS 4201

A modern presentation of the properties of solids. Topics include vibrational and electronic properties of solids; diffraction of waves in solids and electron band structure. Other possible topics include optical properties, magnetic phenomena, and superconductivity.


PHYS 4303: Electrodynamics and Waves

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4001, PHYS 4001

Analytical mechanics. Electricity/magnetism, including mechanical/electromagnetic wave phenomena. Physical/geometrical optics.


PHYS 4501: Experimental Project

1-5 credits – may be repeated for 5 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4052, Instructor consent

Research project in physics area of contemporary interest. Project must be approved by faculty coordinator before registration.


PHYS 4511: Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4101

Fundamental particles and Standard Model. Symmetries/quarks, models of nuclei, interactions between particles/nuclei, tests of conservation laws, fission/fusion.


PHYS 4611: Introduction to Space Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4001, PHYS 4002, or Equivalent, or Instructor consent

Dynamics of charged particles/plasmas in space. Physics of the Sun and solar wind. Solar/galactic cosmic rays. Interactions of solar wind with planetary magnetospheres. Dynamics of Magnetosphere. Formation of the aurora. Physics of radiation belts.


PHYS 4621: Introduction to Plasma Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4001, PHYS 4002, or Equivalent, or Instructor consent

Basic properties of collisionless, magnetized plasmas, single particle motion, plasmas as fluids, magnetohydrodynamics, waves in plasmas, equilibrium, instabilities, kinetic theory/shocks.


PHYS 4623: Introduction to Modern Optics

3 credits

Modern optics broadly defined as geometrical, physical, and quantum optics, including interference and diffraction, optical polarization, Fourier optics, cavity optics, optical propagation, optical coherence, lasers, optical detection, and optical instruments.


PHYS 4811: Introduction to General Relativity

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4001 and PHYS 2503 or PHYS 2503H

Introduction to general relativity for undergraduate students. The course will introduce basic concepts of differential geometry and use them to motivate Einstein's Equation. It will then solve Einstein's equation to study particle orbits, gravitational lensing of light, black holes, and gravitational waves. Brief introduction to cosmology and evolution of the universe will be included.


PHYS 4911: Introduction to Biopolymer Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2303, PHYS2403H, PHYS2503 or CHEM 3501 or Instructor consent

Introduction to biological and soft condensed matter physics. Emphasizes physical ideas necessary to understand behavior of macromolecules and other biological materials. Elements of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics are presented as needed.


PHYS 4950H: Senior Thesis

1-3 credits – may be repeated for 6 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Independent project with advisor


PHYS 4960H: Honors Seminar

31 credit – may be repeated for 2 credits

Prerequisites: Upper division honor, Instructor consent

Designed to prepare students for senior honors thesis projects and provide guidance in choice of future careers.


PHYS 4993: Directed Studies

1-5 credits – may be repeated for 10 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Directed study in Physics in areas arranged by student and faculty member.


PHYS 4994: Directed Research

1-5 credits – may be repeated for 10 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Independent, directed study in physics in areas arranged by student and a faculty member


PHYS 5001: Quantum Mechanics I

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4101 or Equivalent or Instructor consent

Schrodinger equation: bound state and scattering problems in one dimension. Spherically symmetric problems in three dimensions, angular momentum, and the hydrogen atom. Approximation methods for stationary states. Time-dependent perturbation theory. Operators and state vectors: general formalism of quantum theory.


PHYS 5002: Quantum Mechanics II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5001 or Equivalent

Symmetry in quantum mechanics, space-time symmetries and the rotation group, Clebsch-Gordan coefficients and the Wigner-Eckart theorem. Scattering theory. Method of second quantization with elementary applications. Relativistic wave equations including Dirac equation.


PHYS 5011: Classical Physics I

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4001, PHYS 4002, or Instructor consent

Classical mechanics: Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics, orbital dynamics, rigid body motion, special relativity.


PHYS 5012: Classical Physics II

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5011 or Instructor consent

Classical electromagnetism: electrostatics, magnetostatics, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, radiation, interaction of charged particles with matter.


PHYS 5022: Relativity, Cosmology, and the Universe

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2601 or Instructor consent

Large-scale structure and history of universe. Introduction to Newtonian and relativistic world models. Physics of early universe. Cosmological tests. Formation of galaxies.


PHYS 5041: Mathematical Methods for Physics

4 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 2601 or Graduate Student

Survey of mathematical techniques needed in analysis of physical problems. Emphasizes analytical methods.


PHYS 5071: Physics for High School Teachers: Experimental Foundations and Historical Perspectives

3 credits

Prerequisites: Gen. physics or Instructor consent; No credit for physics grad or grad physics minor

In-depth examination of a conceptual theme in physics, its experimental foundations and historical perspectives. Kinematics and dynamics from Aristotle through Einstein; nature of charge and light; energy and thermodynamics; electricity, magnetism, and quantized fields; structure of matter.


PHYS 5072: Best Practices in College Physics Teaching

1-3 credits – may be repeated up to 3 times for 5 credits

Pedagogies for introductory physics classes. Topics from educational research/practice as applied to classroom.


PHYS 5081: Introduction to Biopolymer Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: Working knowledge of thermodynamics and statistical mechanic

Introduction to biological and soft condensed matter physics. Emphasizes physical ideas necessary to understand behavior of macromolecules and other biological materials.


PHYS 5201: Thermal and Statistical Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4101, PHYS 4201, Previous exposure to Thermodynamics, Introductory Statistical Physics, or Equivalent classes

Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics. General Principles of Statistical Mechanics: Ensembles. Derivation of Thermodynamics from statistical principles. Classical Systems. Quantum Statistical Mechanics: Fundamentals. Photons. Ideal Fermi & Bose Gases. Non-ideal gases. Introduction to Phase Transitions.


PHYS 5621: Introduction to Plasma Physics

3 credits

Prerequisites: CSE Graduate student, Working knowledge of waves/electromagnetism

Basic properties of collisionless, magnetized plasmas, single particle motion, plasmas as fluids, magnetohydrodynamics, waves in plasmas, equilibrium, instabilities, kinetic theory/shocks.


PHYS 5701: Solid-State Physics for Engineers and Scientists

4 credits

Prerequisites: Graduate Student or Advanced undergrad in physics or STEM field

Crystal structure and binding; diffraction; phonons; thermal and dielectric properties of insulators; free electron model; band structure; semiconductors.


PHYS 5950: Colloquium Seminar

1 credit

Prerequisites: Graduate Student, Advanced undergrad in physics, Departmental consent

Colloquium of School of Physics and Astronomy.


PHYS 5970: Physics Journal Club

1 credit – may be repeated for 3 credits total

Prerequisites: PHYS 2601, PHYS 2605 or Equivalent class; Intented for 2nd year graduate students in physics

Weekly student-led presentation, discussion, and critical analysis of important papers.


PHYS 5980: Introduction to Research Seminar

1 credit – may be repeated for 3 credits total

Prerequisites: Graduate Student or Upper division physics major

Introduction to the research activities of the School of Physics and Astronomy.


PHYS 5993: Directed Studies

1-5 credits – may be repeated for 15 credits total

Prerequisites: Instructor consent, Departmental consent

Independent, directed study in physics in areas arranged by the student and a faculty member.


PHYS 5994: Directed Research

1-5 credits – may be repeated for 15 credits total

Prerequisites: Junior, Departmental consent

Problems, experimental or theoretical, of special interest to students. Written reports.


PHYS 8001: Advanced Quantum Mechanics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5002 or Instructor consent

Topics in non-relativistic quantum mechanics; second quantization. Introduction to Diagrammatic and Green's function techniques and to relativistic wave equations. Application of relativistic perturbation theory to particle interactions with electromagnetic field. Invariant interactions of elementary particles.


PHYS 8011: Quantum Field Theory I

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8001 or Instructor consent

Second quantization of relativistic wave equations: canonical quantization of the free scalar and Dirac fields. Fields in interaction: interaction picture. Quantum electrodynamics: quantization of the electromagnetic field, propagators and Feynman rules, tree-level processes. Higher-order processes and renormalization.


PHYS 8012: Quantum Field Theory II

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8011 or Instructor consent

Aspects of general theory of quantized fields, including space-time and discrete transformation properties, the CPT theorem, and the spin-statistics connection. Introduction to functional and path-integral methods. Renormalization group and asymptotic freedom. Semi-classical methods and instantons in gauge theories.


PHYS 8013: Special Topics in Quantum Field Theory

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8012 or Instructor consent

Includes non-perturbative methods in quantum field theory, supersymmetry, two-dimensional quantum field theories and their applications, lattice simulations of quantum fields, topological quantum field theories, quantum field theory methods applied to condensed matter physics, and string theory.


PHYS 8014: Quantum Many Body Systems

3 credits

Applications of quantum field theory to systems at finite density and temperature. Perturbative field theory of the interacting electron gas and its response functions. Instabilities of interacting fermions at finite density using renormalization group and diagrammatic methods.


PHYS 8100: Seminar: Problems of Physics Teaching and Higher Education

1 credit – may be repeated for 3 credits total

Lectures and informal discussions of courses and curricula, techniques, and materials important in undergraduate physics instruction; relation to general problems of higher education.


PHYS 8161: Atomic and Molecular Structure

3 credits

Prerequisites: Level of mathematics associated with BS in physical sciences

Emphasizes interpretation of quantum numbers and selection rules in terms of symmetry. Experimental data summarized and compared with theoretical predictions.


PHYS 8200: Seminar: Cosmology and High Energy Astrophysics

1 credit – may be repeated for 6 credits total

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Current topics in cosmology and high energy astrophysics.


PHYS 8300: Seminar: Biological and Medical Physics

1 credit – may be repeated for 6 credits total

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Current research in biological and medical physics.


PHYS 8301: Symmetry and Its Application to Physical Problems

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5002 or Instructor consent

Fundamental invariance principles obeyed by laws of physics. Group theory as tool for using symmetry and invariance to help understand behavior of physical systems. Applications made to atomic, molecular, nuclear, condensed-matter, and elementary particle physics.


PHYS 8311: Biological Physics of Single Molecules

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5201 or CHEN 4704, PHYS 5011, or Instructor consent

Biological molecules, based on statistical mechanics, kinetics, optics, and other physics ideas. Physics of DNA/proteins, their interactions. Force spectroscopy (optical tweezers, atomic force microscopy). Concepts of optical spectroscopy. Single molecule fluorescence/imaging.


PHYS 8312: Biological Physics of Macroscopic Systems

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5201 or CHEN 4704, PHYS 5011, or Instructor consent

Macroscopic systems, based on physics such as fluid dynamics, statistical mechanics, non-linear dynamics, and chaos theory. Super-molecular aggregates. Biological physics of the cell. Biological physics of populations/evolution.


PHYS 8333: FTE: Master's

1 credit – 6 Academic Progress Units; 6 financial Aid Progress Units

Prerequisites: Master's student, Advisor and DGS consent


PHYS 8444: FTE: Doctoral

1 credit – 6 Academic Progress Units; 6 financial Aid Progress Units

Prerequisites: Doctoral student, Advisor and DGS consent


PHYS 8500: Plan B Project

4 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

May be taken once to satisfy Plan B master's project requirement; no credit toward Ph. D. Project topic arranged between student and instructor. Written report required.


PHYS 8501: General Relativity and Cosmology I

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5012 or Instructor consent

Tensor analysis and differential geometry. Special relativity leading to formulation of principles of general relativity and Einstein's equations. Tests of general relativity and thorough discussion of various black hole solutions, including Schwarzschild, Reissner-Nordstom, and Kerr solutions.


PHYS 8502: General Relativity and Cosmology II

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8501 or Instructor consent

Gravitational radiation. Applications of general relativity to stellar structure of white dwarfs and neutron stars, action principle, and symmetric spaces. Big-bang cosmology, strongly emphasizing particle physics.


PHYS 8581: Big Data in Astrophysics

4 credits

Prerequisites: MATH 2263 and MATH 2243, or Equivalent; or Instructor consent.

This course will introduce key concepts and techniques used to work with large datasets, in the context of the field of astrophysics. Suggested: familiarity with astrophysics topics such as star formation and evolution, galaxies and clusters, composition and expansion of the universe, gravitational wave sources and waveforms, and high-energy astrophysics.


PHYS 8600: Seminar: Space Physics

1 credit – may be repeated for 6 credits total

Current topics in space physics and plasma physics.


PHYS 8601: Plasma Physics I

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4621, PHYS 5012, or Instructor consent

Theory of plasma waves and instabilities in plasmas, magnetohydrodynamics, nonlinear waves in plasmas, wave propagation in inhomogeneous plasmas.


PHYS 8602: Plasma Physics II

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8601 or Instructor consent

Theory of plasma waves and instabilities, collisions, radiation, transport, nonlinear wave-particle and wave-wave interactions, instabilities in inhomogeneous plasmas.


PHYS 8611: Cosmic Rays and Plasma Astrophysics

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5012 or Instructor consent

Properties of energetic particles in heliosphere and in astrophysical environments; solar physics, including radiation and magnetic effects; solar wind and magnetospheric physics; physics of radiation belts.


PHYS 8650: Advanced Topics in Space and Plasma Physics

3 credits – may be repeated for 9 credits total

Prerequisites: PHYS 8602 or PHYS 8611 or Instructor consent

Topics in plasma waves and instabilities, solar physics, cosmic ray physics, atmospheric physics or planetary physics.


PHYS 8666: Doctoral Pre-Thesis Credits

1-6 credits

Prerequisites: Doctoral student who has not passed preliminary oral; no required consent for 1st/2nd registrations, up to 12 combined credits; Departmental consent for 3rd/4th registrations, up to 24 combined credits


PHYS 8700: Seminar: Condensed Matter Physics

1 credit – may be repeated for 6 credits total

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Current research.


PHYS 8702: Statistical Mechanics and Transport Theory

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5201 or Instructor consent

Equilibrium properties of macroscopic classical and quantum systems. Phase transitions and Renormalization Group. Transport theory. Applications to soft condensed matter systems.


PHYS 8711: Solid-State Physics I

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 4211, PHYS 5002, or Instructor consent

Fundamental properties of solids. Electronic structure and transport in metals and semiconductors. Properties of disordered materials.


PHYS 8712: Solid-State Physics II

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8711 or Instructor consent

Fundamental properties of solids. Electronic structure and transport in metals and semiconductors. Properties of disordered materials.


PHYS 8750: Advanced Topics in Condensed Matter Physics

3 credits – may be repeated for 9 credits total

Prerequisites: PHYS 8712 or Instructor consent

Sample research topics: magnetism, superconductivity, low temperature physics, superfluid helium.


PHYS 8777: Master's: Thesis Credits

1-18 credits – May be repeated for 50 credits total

Prerequisites: Max of 18 credits per semester or summer; 10 credits total required (Plan A only)


PHYS 8800: Seminar: Nuclear Physics

1 credit – may be repeated for 6 credits total

Current research topics.


PHYS 8801: Nuclear Physics I

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 5001, PHYS 5002, PHYS 5011, PHYS 5012, PHYS 5201; AST 4001 recommended

Nuclear/neutrino astrophysics. Thermonuclear reactions. Processes of nucleosynthesis. Origin of the elements. Stellar evolution. Theory of supernovae. Exotic stars. Chemical evolution of galaxies.


PHYS 8802: Nuclear Physics II

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8801 or Instructor consent

Properties of nuclei based on hadronic and quark-gluon degrees of freedom. Relativistic field theory at finite temperatures and density applied to many-body problems, especially nuclear matter and quark-gluon plasma. Applications to lepton and hadron scattering, nucleus-nucleus collisions, astrophysics and cosmology.


PHYS 8850: Advanced Topics in Nuclear Physics

3 credits – may be repeated for 9 credits total

Prerequisites: PHYS 8802 or Instructor consent

Research topics.


PHYS 8888: Doctoral: Thesis Credit

1-24 credits – May be repeated for 100 credits total

Prerequisites: Max of 18 credits per semester or summer; 24 credits total required

Introduction to quantum mechanics. Applications to atomic, molecular, condensed-matter, nuclear, elementary-particle, and statistical physics.


PHYS 8900: Seminar: Elementary Particle Physics

1 credit – may be repeated for 6 credits total

Elementary particle physics, high energy physics, particle astrophysics and cosmology.


PHYS 8901: Elementary Particle Physics I

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8001 or Instructor consent

Types of fundamental interactions. Exact and approximate symmetries and conservation laws. Gauge quanta: gluons, photons, W and Z bosons, gravitons. Fundamental fermions: leptons and quarks. Isotopic and flavor SU(3) symmetries of strong interaction. Heavy hadrons. Amplitudes and probabilities. Quantum chromodynamics.


PHYS 8902: Elementary Particle Physics II

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8901 or Instructor consent

Deep inelastic scattering. Weak interactions of leptons. Semileptonic and nonleptonic weak processes with hadons. Oscillations of neutral Kaons. Violation of CP symmetry in Kaons. Neutrino masses and oscillations. Standard model of the electroweak interaction. Grand unification. Unitarity of the S matrix. Properties of soft pions.


PHYS 8911: Introduction to Supersymmetry

3 credits

Prerequisites: PHYS 8011 or Instructor consent

Motivation. Coleman-Mandula theorem. Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics. 4D supersymmetry algebra and representations. Extended supersymmetry. N=1 superspace and superfields. Supersymmetric guage theories. Chiral/vector multiplets. Non-renormalization theorems. Supersymmetry breaking. Supersymmetric Standard Model. Phenomenology. Nonperturbative supersymmetry. Supergravity.


PHYS 8950: Advanced Topics in Elementary Particle Physics

3 credits – may be repeated for 9 credits total

Prerequisites: PHYS 8902 or Instructor consent

Research topics.


PHYS 8994: Research in Physics

1-12 credits – may be repeated for 24 credits total

Prerequisites: Instructor consent

Research under faculty direction.