Physics (PHY)

College of Science and Health
Department Chair: Gubbi Sudhakaran
2018 Cowley Hall,
(608)785-8431
email: sudhakar.gubb@uwlax.edu

www.uwlax.edu/physics

Professors: Agarwal, Pillai, Ragan, Sudhakaran;
Associate Professors: Sallmen;
Assistant Professor: Barnes, Gansen, King, Lesher;
Lecturers: Verrall, Zink.

Physics Major

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 38 credits – (55 total credits including MTH) 32 credits of core courses: PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, 321, 332, 334, 343, 401,491; electives numbered higher than PHY 250 or from any AST course. Additional 17 credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207, 208, 309, 310.

Physics Major with Astronomy Emphasis

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 41 credits – (58 total credits including MTH) AST 155, 156, 362, 363, 466; PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, 321, 332, 491; three credits from physics/astronomy courses at the 300/400 level excluding PHY 320, 376, 386, 497. If PHY/AST 498 is chosen, the research must be astronomy related. Additional 17 credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207, 208, 309, 310.

Physics Major with Computational Physics Emphasis

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 40 credits – (57 total credits including MTH and CS) PHY 103 or 203, PHY 104 or 204, 250, 311, 374, 474, 491, CS 220, and at least one credit of PHY 498 with a computational project; 14 credits from physics courses at the 300/400 level, including up to an additional two credits of PHY 498 (computational); up to six credits from CS 270, 340, 351; MTH 371, 480. Additional 17 credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207, 208, 309; CS 120.

Physics Major with Optics Emphasis

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 41 credits – (58 total credits including MTH) PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, 321, 332, 334, 343, 401, 476, 491; three credits of PHY 498 with a project in optics and electives in physics at the 300/400 level. Additional 17 credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207, 208, 309, 310.

Physics Major with Biomedical Concentration

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 55 credits – (78 total credits including MTH and CHM) A minimum of 28 credits of physics including:  PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, 334, and at least nine additional credits of electives in physics numbered higher than PHY 250. A minimum of 21 credits outside physics, including the following required courses MTH 145 or 341, 309, CHM 300 (or CHM 303, 304, 305), BIO 312, 313, and additional electives in biology, chemistry, health professions, mathematics, and/or microbiology at the 300/400 level. Additional 23 credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207, 208; BIO 103 or 105; CHM 103, 104.

Physics Major with Business Concentration

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 55 credits – (64 total credits including MTH) A minimum of 28 credits in physics including: PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, 334, and at least nine additional credits of electives in physics numbered higher than PHY 250 or from any AST course. A minimum of 24 credits outside physics, including the following required courses: ECO 110, 120; ACC 221, 222; FIN 355; MKT 309; BUS 205, MGT 308; and additional electives in economics at the 300/400 level. Additional nine credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207 and 208.

Physics Major

(Teacher Certification programs) — 34 credits— (46 total credits including DPI requirements) PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204 plus any combination of courses listed within the other physics majors or emphases. In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires that certifiable physics majors must have eight credits of science course work other than physics, plus statutory requirements GEO 200 and CI 381. Additional teacher education requirements are listed here.

All physics majors and minors are strongly encouraged to register for one credit of PHY 497 each semester of their first year. Mathematics majors wishing a double major in mathematics and physics may count PHY 461 (cross-listed with MTH 461) and PHY 470 for credit in both the mathematics major and the physics major.  Mathematics majors may count PHY 461 (cross-listed with MTH 461) and PHY 470 for credit in both the mathematics major and the physics minor.

Physics Minor

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 24 credits – (33 total credits including MTH) Core courses: PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 311 and at least 11 credits from electives numbered higher than PHY 250 or from any AST course. Additional nine credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207 and 208.

Physics Minor with Astronomy Emphasis

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 23 credits – (32 total credits including MTH) AST 155, 156, 363; PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302.
Additional nine credits required to meet course prerequisites include MTH 207 and 208.

Physics Minor

(Teacher Certification programs)— 22 credits - (26 total credits including DPI requirements) PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204 plus any combination of courses listed within the physics majors or emphases plus statutory requirements GEO 200 and CI 381. Additional teacher education requirements are listed here.

General Science Major (Broadfield)

(Teacher Certification programs) - See description of this broadfield major here. Electives may include any AST course or CHM 309 or MTH 461 or courses numbered higher than PHY 204.

Physics Department Honors Program Physics with Honors or Astronomy with Honors

  1. Admission
    1. Junior standing
    2. 15 credits in physics or astronomy including one 300 level course
    3. 3.25 cumulative grade point average in physics/astronomy courses and a 3.00 cumulative grade point average overall
    4. Students must submit an application to the department chair that should include
      1. The student's academic transcript
      2. The student's reasons for wishing to participate
      3. The signatures of two faculty members in physics endorsing the application
  2. Program
    1. Completion of a major program in physics (which may also include an emphasis or concentration)
    2. PHY 497: Physics and Astronomy Seminar, one credit.
    3. PHY 498: Physics and Astronomy Research, three credits.
  3. Evaluation
    1. cumulative 3.50 grade point average in physics at the time of graduation and a 3.00 cumulative grade point average overall
    2. Distinguished performance on a project in a relevant research area developed in PHY 498
    3. Presentation of the project developed in PHY 498 to a seminar of faculty and students
  4. Recognition
    1. Honors certificate

Dual Degree Program in Physics and Engineering

This is a special dual degree program which enables a student to receive both a Bachelor of Science degree (physics major) from UW-La Crosse and a Bachelor of Science degree (engineering major) from UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville, or the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The total length of time for both degrees is expected to be five years, with approximately three years at UW-La Crosse (dating from enrollment in MTH 207) and approximately two years at the partner institution. At UW-La Crosse, students must complete a minimum of 85 credits, including the General Education requirements (students are recommended to include ECO 110, ECO 120 and ECO 336); CHM 103; MTH 207, 208, 309, 310; PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, with additional courses selected from PHY 320, 321, 332, 335, and 343 depending on the specific engineering discipline.  Additional courses (such as BIO 105, CHM 104, CS 120, MTH 341 and/or MTH 353) may be required depending on the specific engineering discipline – be sure to consult the physics department dual-degree adviser for details.  

Students wishing a dual degree in chemical engineering and physics via this program must also complete CHM 301.

Students wishing a dual degree in biomedical engineering and physics via this program must complete a minimum of 85 credits at UW-La Crosse, including the General Education requirements (students are recommended to include ECO 110, ECO 120 and ECO 336) and CHM 103, 104; MTH 207, 208, 309, 310; PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311, and additional specified courses in biology, chemistry, microbiology, mathematics and physics.

Students who express interest in the dual degree program will be selected for entrance into the UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Platteville, or University of Minnesota, Twin Cities portion of the program based on their GPA in all course work; their GPA in the chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics course work required by the program; and the positive recommendation of the UW- La Crosse physics department chair (or designee). Qualified UW-La Crosse applicants are assured admission into the partner institutions.

In order to receive the B.S. degree from UW-La Crosse, dual-degree students also must complete the remaining 35 credits (to total a minimum of 120 credits) in engineering at the partner institution and transfer these credits to UW-La Crosse. For the typical student, the remaining 35 credits must include at least 15 credits at the 300-level or above and at least 13 credits from the engineering college or institute. This transfer of credits and awarding of the B.S. degree by UW-La Crosse can take place as soon as the student earns the necessary credits.

Dual Degree Program in Physics and Physical Therapy

This is a dual degree program which enables a student to receive both a Bachelor of Science degree (physics major with biomedical concentration) and a graduate degree (physical therapy) from UW-La Crosse. The total length of time for both degrees is expected to be six, with approximately three years in the physics program and approximately three in the physical therapy program. During the first three years, students will complete General Education and college core requirements, physical therapy prerequisite course work, and many of the requirements for the physics major with biomedical concentration. Therefore, the undergraduate portion of the program would include a minimum of 85 credits, including the General Education requirements and BIO 105, 312 and 313; CHM 103, 104; MTH 207, 208, 309, MTH 145 or 341; PHY 103 or 203, 104 or 204, 250, 302, 311 and 334 and three credits each of psychology and sociology.  

Additional course work taken in the physical therapy program may count toward electives needed for the undergraduate physics degree. Be sure to consult the physics department dual degree adviser for details regarding this program.


+ next to a course number indicates a General Education course.


+ PHY 103 Cr. 4 Fundamental Physics I

A broad theoretical and experimental introduction to the study of physics using the techniques of algebra and trigonometry. Topics covered are kinematics with constant acceleration, vectors, Newton’s laws of motion, circular motion, work, energy, momentum, rigid body motion, angular momentum, torque, oscillatory motion, gravitation, fluid mechanics, waves, resonance and sound. Additional topics may be selected from the area of thermodynamics. Wherever possible, applications to other fields of science such as chemistry, biology, and medicine will be discussed.  Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: MTH 150 recommended. Offered Fall, Summer.

PHY 104 Cr. 4 Fundamental Physics II

Continuation of PHY 103. Topics covered are electric forces and fields, electric potential, electrical circuit theory and applications, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, alternating current circuits, electromagnetic waves and the nature of light, lenses, mirrors, optical instruments, interference and diffraction of light, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and the photoelectric effect. Additional topics may be selected from the area of quantum physics. Wherever possible, applications to other fields of science such as chemistry, biology and medicine will be discussed.  Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: MTH 150 and PHY 103 or 203 recommended. Offered Spring, Summer.

+ PHY 106 Cr. 4 Physical Science for Educators

A survey course focusing on applied physical science and the nature of scientific knowledge. Fundamental theories about the nature and interactions of matter and energy are developed using self-paced, small group, inquiry based teaching modules. The scientific knowledge developed is applied to issues of technology in society and everyday use situations. Emphasis is on modeling science teaching practices advocated by state and national science education standards using active learner practices. Open only to pre-elementary and pre-elementary/middle level students. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Offered Fall, Spring.

+ PHY 125 Cr. 4 Physics for the Life Sciences

An introductory study of physics concepts using algebra and trigonometry, primarily for life science and allied health students. Description of matter, motion, energy, thermodynamics, waves, light, electricity and topics in modern physics, with application to the life sciences. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: MTH 150 recommended. Offered Fall, Spring.

+ PHY/AST 155 Cr. 4 Solar System Astronomy

An introduction to astronomy as a science, emphasizing patterns in the night sky, our own solar system, and the possibility of life on other worlds.  Throughout the course, comparison of observations with theoretical models will be stressed.  Topics studied include the size and scale of the solar system relative to the universe; the scientific method; astronomical observations; motions of the earth, moon, sun, and planets; creating a model of the solar system; what we learn about planets from light and gravity; the structure and formation of the solar system; the planets and their moons; comets, asteroids, and meteoroids; and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Recent results, including those from NASA missions, will be incorporated into the course. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered Fall.

+ PHY/AST 156 Cr. 4 Stars, Galaxies and the Universe

An introduction to astronomy as a science, emphasizing celestial objects beyond our solar system.  Throughout the course, comparison of observations with theoretical models will be stressed.  Topics studied include the size and scale of the universe, using light and gravity to study the cosmos, the sun, the properties of other stars, lives and deaths of stars, star clusters, black holes, the Milky Way galaxy, dark matter, other galaxies, quasars, Big Bang cosmology, dark energy, and gravitational waves.  Particular emphasis will be placed on recent discoveries. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered Spring.

+ PHY 203 Cr. 4 General Physics I

A broad theoretical and experimental introduction to the study of physics using the techniques of algebra, trigonometry and calculus. Topics covered are one-and two-dimensional kinematics, motion with varying acceleration, vectors, Newton’s laws of motion, circular motion, work, energy, center of mass, momentum, rigid body motion, moment of inertia, angular momentum and torque. Additional topics may include oscillatory motion and gravitation. Wherever possible, applications to other fields of science and engineering will be discussed.  Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: MTH 207 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Fall.

PHY 204 Cr. 4 General Physics II

Continuation of PHY 203. Topics covered are fluid mechanics, sound, electrostatics, electric forces and fields, electric flux, electric potential, capacitance, elementary electrical circuit theory and applications, magnetic fields, magnetic flux and electromagnetic induction. Additional topics may include Maxwell’s equations, alternating current circuits, electromagnetic waves and the nature of light. Wherever possible, applications to other fields of science and engineering will be discussed.  Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: PHY 103 or 203; MTH 208 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Spring.

PHY 250 Cr. 3 Modern Physics

The application of principles studied in fundamental or general physics to various areas of research and technology at the forefront of modern physical science. Topics include special relativity, origins of quantum mechanics, atomic spectroscopy, nuclear structure, and nuclear reactions. Select topics in heat, the laws of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, molecular spectroscopy, band theory of solids, semiconductors, and superconductors may also be included. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204; MTH 208. Offered Spring.

PHY 302 Cr. 3 Optics

The mathematics of wave motion (including mechanical waves and sound waves), electromagnetic theory, propagation of light, geometrical optics with emphasis on formation of images and aberrations, thick lenses, the superposition of waves, physical optics with emphasis on interference, diffraction, and polarization. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204; MTH 208 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Fall.

PHY 311 Cr. 2 Experimental Physics

Basic techniques of measurement used in all areas of physics and engineering. Selected experiments may include thin lens systems, spectrometers, microwave optics, interference and diffraction, aberrations, interferometers, thin films, polarization, speed of light, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, electron spin resonance, quantization of energy states and radioactive decay. Computational techniques include error analysis, graphing and curve fitting.  Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204; MTH 208 or concurrent enrollment. PHY 311 is recommended to be taken concurrently with either PHY 302 or PHY 250. Offered Fall, Spring.

PHY 320 Cr. 3 Statics

Principles of statics and free-body diagrams with applications to simple trusses, frames, and machines. Includes topics in force/movement vectors, resultants, distributed loads, internal forces in beams, properties of areas, moments of inertia and the laws of friction. Prerequisite: PHY 103 or 203; MTH 208 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Fall.

PHY 321 Cr. 3 Classical Mechanics

Rigorous mathematical development of classical dynamics using vector calculus. Dynamics of a single particle, oscillations, noninertial frames, central potentials, energy/momentum methods, systems of particles, collisions and plane motion of rigid bodies. Prerequisite: PHY 103 or 203; MTH 309 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Fall.

PHY 332 Cr. 3 Electrodynamics

Fundamental concepts such as vector fields and vector operators, dipole and multipole fields, current distributions and the field quantities which describe surrounding conditions. Solution of LaPlace’s and Poisson’s equations for given sets of boundary conditions. Recognition and use of mathematical abstractions of the fundamental nature of the electromagnetic field.  The course culminates with Maxwell’s Equations, the fundamental set of four equations in classical physics which govern the behavior of electric and magnetic fields and their interactions with matter. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204; MTH 310 or concurrent enrollment; PHY 311 recommended. Offered Spring.

PHY 334 Cr. 3  Electrical Circuits

Physical principles underlying modeling of circuit elements and fundamentals of analog electrical circuits are explored through lecture and laboratory. Topics will include the following: current and voltage sources, resistors, I-V characteristics, Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Laws, capacitors, inductors; Thevenin and Norton theorems; circuits in sinusoidal steady state; diodes, transistors (bipolar junction and field-effect); op-amps; and elementary amplifier circuits. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204;   MTH 309 or concurrent enrollment; PHY 311 recommended. Offered Spring.

PHY 335 Cr. 4 Electronics

This course expands upon the topics covered in PHY 334. Analog circuits are treated in greater detail, including circuit analysis, follower circuits, and operational and transistor amplifiers. Additional analog topics include transistor limitations, comparators, and oscillators. Lectures and laboratories are expanded to include digital electronics, electronic devices and applications. Digital topics include digital circuits, digital logic, flip flops, counter, memory, A/D and D/A conversion. Additional topics may include arithmetic units and microprocessors.  Lect. 3, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: PHY 334.  Offered Fall. 

PHY 343 Cr. 3 Thermodynamics

This course emphasizes basic concepts of thermodynamics, beginning with fundamentals such as temperature, thermal expansion, heat flow, and calorimetry.  State equations, tables, and diagrams are used to describe the properties of pure substances. The First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics are investigated, with applications to energy, enthalpy and entropy. Gas, vapor, and combined power cycles are studied, along with refrigeration cycles. Gas mixtures and gas-vapor mixtures, with applications to air conditioning and psychrometrics also are studied. Additional topics may include the thermodynamics of chemical reactions, and statistical thermodynamics. Prerequisite: PHY 250; MTH 309 or concurrent enrollment; PHY 311 recommended. Offered Spring.

PHY/AST 362 Cr. 3 Astrophysics

The application of principles studied in fundamental or general physics to various areas of astrophysical research. This course will emphasize topics like binary stars, stellar structure and evolution, the solar neutrino problem, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, the interstellar medium, galaxies and dark matter. Prerequisite: PHY 250 and 302; AST 155 or 156; MTH 310 or concurrent enrollment. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.)  Offered alternate years.

PHY/AST 363 Cr. 1 Astrophysics Laboratory

An introduction to current observational techniques in astronomy and astrophysics. Students will learn the basics of planning professional observations, electronic detection, data acquisition and reduction, and analysis of results. Concerns for both imaging and spectroscopy will be incorporated, as well as aspects of multi-wavelength astronomy. Lab. 3. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204; MTH 151; AST 155 or AST 156. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered alternate years.

PHY 374 Cr. 4 Computational Physics

This course is an introduction to computational physics using MatLab. Students will learn the fundamentals of applying numerical and graphical methods to a variety of physics topics ranging from mechanics, optics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics.  Lect. 3, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204; MTH 309 or concurrent enrollment; PHY 311 or prior experience with MatLab recommended. Offered occasionally.

PHY 376 Cr. 2 Introduction to Nuclear Science

An introduction to the structure and properties of atomic nuclei. This course will explore the production of ionizing radiation, its interactions with matter, and the instrumentation used to detect it. While all types of ionizing radiation will be studied, particular emphasis will be placed on X-and gamma-rays. Special topics related to the use of radiation in health care also will be covered. Prerequisite: one year of general physics or general chemistry and MTH 150. Students may not earn credit in both                  PHY 376 and 386. Offered Fall.

PHY 386 Cr. 3 Radiation Physics

This course, building on a knowledge of basic physics, explores the area of radiation physics. Characteristics of x and gamma rays are described as well as their interactions in air and matter. The principles involved in the production of radiation are investigated. Methods and instrumentation of measurement of radiation are also covered. Prerequisite: MTH 150; PHY 104 or PHY 125; and CHM 104. While designed for radiation therapy majors, the course is open to other students who have met the prerequisite. Students may not earn credit in both PHY 376 and 386. Offered Fall.

PHY 401 Cr. 3 Quantum Mechanics

A comprehensive treatment of the modern theory of quantum mechanics, including Schroedinger equation, operators, free particles, particles in potentials, harmonic oscillator, angular momentum, and the hydrogen atom. The course includes the use of Fourier analysis and eigenvalue equations. Prerequisite: PHY 250; MTH 310 or concurrent enrollment. Offered Spring.

PHY 423 Cr. 3 Biomechanics of Human Movement

This course will provide a description of biological tissue properties, skeletal and joint mechanics, muscle mechanics, neurological influences related to movement. Kinematics, kinetics, static and dynamic modeling of the human body will be studied and will require problem solving. The principles of the biomechanics theory associated with human movement are presented to introduce and develop an understanding of the mechanical complexity of biological systems and movement performance. Methods and instruments of measurement (electromyography, force/pressure transducers, motion analysis and isokinetic dynamometers) in biomechanic research. Prerequisite: PHY 103 or 203; MTH 309; BIO 312. Offered Fall.

PHY 432 Cr. 3 Advanced Electrodynamics

This is a detailed course covering advanced topics in electricity and magnetism. Emphasis will be placed upon general, non-static electrodynamics, building upon the static cases studied in detail in PHY 332. Topics will include detailed analysis of radiation, field transformations and kinematics in Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, dispersion, wave guides, and Lienard-Wiechert potentials. The mathematical tools for studying these phenomena will include differential equations, vector and tensor analysis, Fourier analysis, and complex analysis. Prerequisite: PHY 332; PHY 302 recommended; MTH 353 or concurrent enrollment. Offered occasionally.

PHY/AST 450/550 Cr. 3-15 Physics and Astronomy Internship

Full- or part-time work experience in a physics or astronomy related position with a public or private agency. Not more than five credits are applicable to a major or three credits to a minor in physics. A written application, departmental acceptance, and appointment of adviser must be completed before registration. Prerequisite: minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25 (2.50 in physics), PHY 104 or 204 plus six credits in physics or astronomy courses above the 204 level. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered occasionally.

PHY/AST 453/553 Cr. 1-3 Topics in Physics and Astronomy

Various subjects of interest to specific groups will be offered on occasion. Specific subtopics will be assigned each time the course is offered. Such titles might include nuclear physics, low temperature physics and the interstellar medium. Prerequisite: PHY 104 or 204. Repeatable for credit under different subtitles—maximum 12 credits. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

PHY 460 Cr. 3 Condensed Matter Physics

This course will include such topics as crystal structure, electrical conductivity, insulators, free electron Fermi gases, energy bands, semiconductors, superconductivity, dielectrics, and ferroelectric crystals. Magnetic phenomena such as diamagnetism, paramagnetism and ferromagnetism will also be studied. Prerequisite: PHY 250, MTH 310. Offered occasionally.

PHY/MTH 461 Cr. 3 Mathematical Physics

In depth study of topics from vector analysis, Fourier analysis and special functions with emphasis on modeling physical phemomena involving conservative fields, fluid flow, heat conduction, and wave motion. Prerequisite: MTH 353. (Cross-listed with MTH, may only earn credit in PHY or MTH.) PHY 461 may be counted towards both a MTH and PHY major. Offered Spring.

PHY/AST 466 Cr. 3 Cosmology and the
Structure of the Universe

This course will emphasize topics relating to the history of our universe, from the Big Bang to galaxy evolution and the formation of the structures we see today. Students will study the cosmological distance ladder, black holes in galaxies, galaxy clusters, dark matter, the Big Bang model, the inflationary model, and the cosmological constant. The course will also include aspects of special and general relativity relevant to these subjects. Prerequisite: PHY 250 and 302; MTH 309 or concurrent enrollment; MTH 310 or concurrent enrollment; AST 156. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered alternate years.

PHY 470 Cr. 3  Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Continuation of PHY 401. Topics include spin, addition of angular momenta, multi-particle wave functions, identical particles, Bose and Fermi distributions, band theory, time independent and time dependent perturbation theory, spontaneous emission, and scattering theory. Prerequisite: PHY 401. Offered occasionally.

PHY 472 Cr. 3 Particle Physics

An introduction to the exciting field of modern elementary particles. Topics will include Feynman diagrams, quantum electrodynamics, quantum chromodynamics, weak interaction theory, quarks, leptons, intermediate vector bosons, and group theoretical formulations of modern gauge theories. Current ideas concerning grand unified theories, supersymmetry, superstring theory and particle astrophysics also will be discussed. Prerequisite: PHY 401; MTH 310. Offered occasionally.

PHY 474 Cr. 4  Advanced Computational Physics

In-depth study of advanced computational techniques using the programming language Java. Programming topics will include File IO, graphics and animation, multi-threaded programs, applets and Web pages. Numerical techniques will include root-searches, numerical integration, eigenvalue equations, differential equations, and Monte Carlo Metropolis simulations on advanced physics topics drawn from mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, quantum mechanics, and chaos theory. Lect. 3, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: PHY 374; CS 120. Offered occasionally.

PHY 476 Cr. 4 Advanced Optics

This course involves both theoretical and experimental work in a variety of topics in modern optics, including electromagnetic theory, laser, Gaussian beams, optical resonators and the ABCD rule, Fourier optics, nonlinear optics, detectors and color. Lect. 3, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: PHY 302; PHY 332 or concurrent enrollment. Offered occasionally.

PHY 483 Cr. 3 Instrumentation in Biomechanics

Theory and use of instrumentation related to the study of the clinical biomechanics and research. Students will develop skills and experience necessary for data collection in a laboratory. Topics will include methods of data acquisition using force and pressure sensors, electromyography (EMG). Methods of signal processing (filtering and post-processing), analyzing, and interpreting data will be explained and performed through laboratory exercises. Laboratory time will be available to collect and process data relative to each laboratory instrument. Clinical EMG and electrical testing of nerves and posturography will also be explained. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: PHY 423. Offered Summer.

PHY 491 Cr. 1 Capstone in Physics

A senior level course specifically designed for physics majors to review and discuss basic concepts relevant to the physical sciences, and to assess their major in physics. Students will present seminars to physics faculty based on current physics research articles, and also communicate physics concepts to a general audience in a written format. Students are expected to participate in discussions on current developments in the physical sciences, and be actively engaged in the assessment of their major program. Prerequisites: senior standing, major in physics, and instructor consent. Offered Spring.

PHY/AST 497 Cr. 1 Physics and Astronomy
Seminar

This seminar series is intended for majors and minors in the department of physics as well as other students interested in physics, engineering and astronomy. It will consist of a series of talks given by visiting scientists and engineers as well as senior research students. The course provides an excellent opportunity to find out about the latest developments in physics, astronomy, and engineering and provides an excellent medium by which students can get to know each other and also their professors. All physics majors and minors are urged to sign up for this seminar each semester of their first year. Repeatable for credit-maximum four credits; a maximum of two credits can be used to satisfy elective requirements. Pass/Fail grading. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered Fall, Spring.

PHY/AST 498 Cr. 1-3 Physics and Astronomy Research

Independent work by a student under the supervision of a faculty member. Students can work on a variety of research projects including, but not limited to, the areas of astronomy, condensed matter, computational physics, physics education, low temperature physics, lasers, optics and spectroscopy. Admission by consent of the department chair. Repeatable for credit-maximum nine credits, with permission of department chair. (Cross-listed with AST, may only earn credit in PHY or AST.) Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.