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  • Required Physics Courses
  • Additional Physics Courses
  • Astronomy Courses

First Semester*

PHY 810 - Methods of Theoretical Physics
3 credits - Fall Semester
Theoretical methods used in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and statistical mechanics.

PHY 820 - Classical Mechanics**
3 credits - Fall Semester
Two-body central force problem, Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian equations of motion, variational methods, small oscillations, classical fields.

PHY 851 - Quantum Mechanics I
3 credits - Fall Semester
Axioms of quantum and wave mechanics, applications to spherically symmetric potentials. Hydrogen atom, harmonic oscillator, matrix mechanics, angular momentum theory, rotations.

Second Semester*

PHY 841 - Classical Electrodynamics I**
3 credits - Spring Semester
Prerequisites: PHY 810
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, time-varying fields and Maxwell's equations. Gauge transformations. Poynting's theorem and conservation laws.

PHY 852 - Quantum Mechanics II**
3 credits - Spring Semester
Prerequisites:
PHY 851
Approximation methods, perturbation theory, atomic physics applications, scattering theory, identical particles, Pauli principle, Bose and Einstein statistics, Hartree-Fock approximation, collisions of identical particles, radiation.

PHY 901 - Frontiers in Physics and Astronomy
1 credit - Spring Semester
Seminar and discussions in physics and astronomy. Attendance at weekly colloquium.

Third Semester*

PHY 831 - Statistical Mechanics**
3 credits - Fall Semester
Equilibrium statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Boltzmann transport equations and hydrodynamics. Brownian and Langevin motion.

PHY 842 - Classical Electrodynamics II
3 credits - Fall Semester
Recommended Background:
PHY 841, PHY 810
Plane electromagnetic waves, polarization states, reflection, refraction. Wave guides and resonant cavities. Radiating systems, dipole fields, radiated power. Special theory of relativity.

___________________________________________________________________
* Typical sequence followed by most graduate students. This ensures you complete all required courses and subject exams within a year and a half.
** The final for this course also serves as a Subject Exam. The final for 852 includes content from 851. A minimum average of 3.375 is required for the four exams, with a 3.0 minimum on each individual exam. A maximum of two attempts is allowed for each exam.

PHY800 - Research Methods
3 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 6 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Design and setup of experiments in various faculty research areas. Data collection and analysis. Study and practice of theoretical methods.

PHY 832 - Special Topics in Statistical Mechanics
3 credits - Fall, Spring Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 12 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Recommended Background: PHY 831, PHY 841, PHY 852
Topics vary and may include superfluidity and superconductivity, magnetism, non-linear dynamics and chaos, phase transitions and critical phenomena, transport theory, disordered systems, and computational physics.

PHY 850 - Electrodynamics of Plasmas
3 credits - Spring Semester of odd-numbered years
Interdepartmental with EE & AST. Administered by EE Dept.
Prerequisites: EE 835 or PHY 488
Plasma kinetic and macroscopic plasma transport theory. Electromagnetic wave propagation and charged particle diffusion processes in plasma. Electromagnetic energy absorption via elastic and inelastic collisions. DC, RF, and microwave discharges.

PHY 853 - Advanced Quantum Mechanics
3 credits - Fall Semester
Recommended Background:
PHY 852
Quantum description of relativistic particles and fields. Dirac equation, interpretation of negative energy states, Lagrangian field theory, quantization of free fields, interactions, perturbation theory, S-matrix, and Feynman rules.

PHY 861 - Beam Physics (Online)
3 credits - Fall, Spring Semester
Prerequisites:
PHY 820, PHY 841
Particle accelerator theory and design.

PHY 891 - Elementary Particle Physics
3 credits - Spring Semester of even years
Prerequisites:
PHY 853
Nonabelian gauge theory, spontaneously broken gauge theory, electroweak interaction, W and Z boson coupling to quarks and leptons; QCD, charm, top and bottom quarks, particle generations.

PHY 899 - Master's Thesis Research
1 to 6 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 36 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Master's thesis research.

PHY 905 - Special Problems
1 to 4 credits - Fall, Spring Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 9 credits in all enrollments for this course.
In-depth study of a topic in physics or in astrophysics and astronomy.

PHY 911 - Group Theory and Symmetry in Physics
2 credits - Fall Semester of odd-numbered years
Prerequisites:
PHY 810 and PHY 851 or approval of department
Group representation theory as the general framework to formulate fundamental symmetries in physics. Irreducible states and tensors, projection operator techniques, rotation and translation, Lie groups, Lorentz and Poincare groups. Offered first half of semester.

PHY 912 - Modern Nonlinear Dynamics
2 credits - Spring Semester of even-numbered years
Prerequisite:
PHY 820 or approval of department
Nonlinear dynamics of Hamiltonian and dissipative systems; method of averaging; adiabatic invariants; KAM theorem; invariant manifolds; bifurcation theory; dynamical chaos. Offered first half of semester.

PHY 913 - Foundations of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
2 credits - Fall Semester of odd-numbered years
Prerequisite:
PHY 851 or approval of department
Recommended Background: PHY 971
The self-assembly process and unusual phenomena occurring in nanostructures of carbon. Magnetic aggregates in different size ranges. Finite size and low-dimension effects. Fractional conductance quantization. Response in nanostructures to mechanical stress, high temperature, and electric fields. Offered first half of semester.

PHY 914 - Electrostatics of Biological Molecules
2 credits - Spring Semester of even years
Prerequisite:
PHY 481 and PHY 482 or approval of department
Recommended Background: Knowledge of computer programming in Fortran or C++
Introduction to the physics of biological molecules. Proteins and nucleic acids. Role of electrostatics in biological processes. Methods for computing energies and fields of biological molecules in aqueous salt solutions. Current progress and controversies in molecular biophysics.

PHY 961 - Non-Linear Beam Dynamics (Online)
3 credits - Fall,Spring Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 6 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Recommended Background: PHY 861
Dynamics of particle beams.

PHY 962 - Particle Accelerators (Online)
3 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 6 credit in all enrollments for this course.
Recommended Background: PHY 861
Theory of particle accelerator design

PHY 963 - U. S. Particle Accelerator School
3 credits - Fall, Spring Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 12 credits in all enrollments for this course
Recommended Background: PHY 861
Alias: PHY 962C
Participation in suitable courses offered by the U.S. Particle Accelerator School.

PHY 964 - Seminar in Beam Physics Research
3 credits - Fall, Spring Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 12 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Recommended Background: PHY 861
Alias: PHY 962D
Presentation of current research topics in beam physics or accelerator design.

PHY 971 - Atomic and Electronic Structure of Matter
3 credits - Spring Semester
Recommended Background: PHY 491,PHY 831,PHY 841 and PHY 852
Atomic structure, bravais lattices, x-ray scattering. Vibrations, phonons, neutron scattering. Electron in solids, electron gas. Bloch's theorem. Metals, semiconductors and insulators. Introduction to cooperative phenomena.

PHY 972 - Transport and Dynamics in Bulk and Mesoscopic Systems
3 credits - Fall Semester
Recommended Background:
PHY 831,PHY 841,PHY 852, PHY 971
Transport theory. Weak and strong localization. Quantum effects in small structures. Quantum hall effects and Wigner crystal. Superconductivity and other cooperative phenomena.

PHY 980 - Advanced Reading in Physics
1 to 3 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 4 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Restrictions: Approval of department required.

PHY 981 - Nuclear Structure
3 credit - Fall Semester
Recommended Background:
PHY 492, PHY 831, PHY 841, PHY 852
Nuclear forces, nuclear matter, nuclear-structure models, few-nucleon systems, electromagnetic and weak transitions.

PHY 982 - Nuclear Dynamics
3 credits - Spring Semester of even years
Prerequisites:
PHY 831, PHY 852, PHY 881
Scattering, particle transfer, resonance reactions, fission. Time-dependent Hartree-Fock, Vlasov equation. Nuclear transport equations, particle production, nuclear liquid-gas phase transition, quark-gluon plasma.

PHY 983 - Nuclear Astrophysics
3 credit - Spring Semester of odd years
Recommended Background:
PHY 410, PHY 472, PHY 482
Low energy reaction theory, survey of astrophysics, physics of nuclei and reaction relevant to astrophysics, nuclear reaction rates in stellar environments, stellar evolution, solar neutrinos, big bang nucleosynthesis, dark matter, supernova explosions, r-process, hot CNO and rp-process, cosmochronology

PHY 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Research
1 to 24 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 120 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Doctoral dissertation research

AST 800 - Research Methods
3 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 12 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Apprenticeship in astrophysical research; student will work closely with individual faculty member learning research techniques.

AST 802 - Techniques of Modern Astrophysics
3 Credits - Summer Semester
Description: Students are introduced to modern astrophysics through participation in short projects involving literature surveys, professional planning, and research in observational, theoretical, and computational astrophysics.

AST 805 - Research Project
3 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 6 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Research project to be completed under the guidance of an astronomy faculty member.

AST 810 - Radiation Astrophysics
3 credits - Fall Semester of odd-numbered years
Transfer of radiation through plasmas and processes for emission and absorption of photons. Interpretation of the spectra of stars, interstellar medium, and galaxies.

AST 825 - Galactic Astronomy
3 credits - Spring Semester of even-numbered years
The Milky Way as a galaxy. Observations and techniques of theoretical analysis that are used to discover the features of our galaxy.

AST 835 - Extragalactic Astronomy
3 credits - Spring Semester of odd-numbered years
Galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Large-scale structure of the universe. Cosmology.

AST 840 - Stellar Astrophysics
3 credits - Spring Semester of even-numbered years
Physics of stellar interiors. Methods for calculating stellar models. Principles of stellar evolution.

AST 850 - Electrodynamics of Plasmas
3 credits - Spring Semester of odd-numbered years
Interdepartmental with EE & AST. Administered by EE Dept.
Prerequisites: EE 835 or PHY 488
Plasma kinetic and macroscopic plasma transport theory. Electromagnetic wave propagation and charged particle diffusion processes in plasma. Electromagnetic energy absorption via elastic and inelastic collisions. DC, RF, and microwave discharges.

AST 860 - Gravitational Astrophysics & Cosmology
3 credits - Spring Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 6 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Topics in general relativity, gravitational astrophysics, and cosmology.

AST 899 - Master's Thesis Research
1 to 6 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 36 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Master's thesis research.

AST 911 - Numerical Techniques in Astronomy
2 credits - Spring Semester of even-numbered years
Prerequisites: PHY 810 and PHY 820 or approval of department
Numerical solutions to key problems in astronomy and astrophysics. N-body gravitational calculations, hydrodynamics in astronomy, radiative transfer, and techniques for large data sets.

AST 912 - Observational Astronomy
2 Credits - Spring Semester of even-numbered years
Prerequisite: PHY 820 or approval of department
Restrictions: Open to graduate students in the Astrophysics and Astronomy major.
Description: Fundamentals of observational astronomy. Aspects of telescope and instrument design, astronomical observations at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, X-ray observations, and data analysis techniques.

AST 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Research
1 to 24 credits - Fall, Spring, Summer Semester
A student may earn a maximum of 120 credits in all enrollments for this course.
Doctoral dissertation research