Graduate Course Descriptions

The following directory lists the graduate courses which the University expects to offer, although the University in no way guarantees that all such courses will be offered in any given academic year, and reserves the right to alter the list if conditions warrant. Click on the links below for a list of courses in that subject area. You may then click “View Classes” to see scheduled classes for individual courses.

5010. Independent Study

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 10 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

A special reading course.

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5020. Research in Physics

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 18 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Experimental and theoretical research in selected topics in physics.

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5050. Modern Physics for Teachers

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

New teaching materials and techniques as developed by the Physical Science Study Committee for secondary school teachers of physics.

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5094. Physics Seminar

1.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

The treatment of special topics, primarily by individual readings and reports.

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5101. Methods of Theoretical Physics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Vector and tensor analysis, curvilinear coordinates, linear algebra, functions of complex variables, differential equations, special functions, elements of Green's functions.

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5102. Methods of Theoretical Physics II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5101 (RG482).

Grading Basis: Graded

Abstract vector spaces, Hilbert space, group theory. Fourier series and integral representations, Theory of Green's functions and integral equations. Complex function theory.

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5201. Theoretical Mechanics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Classical mechanics: Lagrange equations, central force motion, rigid body motions, small oscillations, Hamilton equations, canonical transformation.

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5301. Electrodynamics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5101(RG4040)

Grading Basis: Graded

Differential formulations of electrostatics and magnetostatics, electromagnetic induction. Maxwell equations, electromagnetic waves, application to wave guides, cavities, and dispersive media. Foundations of special relativity.

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5302. Electrodynamics II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5201 and 5301 (RG485).

Grading Basis: Graded

Maxwell's equations with time dependent sources; radiation from relativistic charged particles; dynamical laws for charged particles; diffraction of electromagnetic waves.

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5350. Computerized Modeling in Science

4.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Development and computer-assisted analysis of mathematical models in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Typical topics include chemical equilibrium, reaction rates, particle scattering, vibrating systems, least square analysis and quantum chemistry.

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5401. Quantum Mechanics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5101 (311) and PHYS 5201 (318) (RG 4041).

Grading Basis: Graded

Mathematical formulation and interpretation of quantum mechanics. Illustrative examples. Hydrogen atom. Dirac ket and bra vectors, matrix methods. Scattering theory.

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5402. Quantum Mechanics II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5401 (RG487).

Grading Basis: Graded

Symmetry and angular momentum. Approximation methods for stationary and time-dependent problems, with applications. Relativistic theory of the electron.

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5403. Quantum Mechanics III

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5402 (RG490).

Grading Basis: Graded

Occupation number representation, electron gas, Hartree-Fock approximation, correlation energy, superconductivity, perturbation theory, Green's functions, Feynman diagrams.

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5500. Statistical Mechanics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5401 (RG487).

Grading Basis: Graded

Ensembles, distribution function, partition function. Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions, fluctuations, applications to the properties of solids and liquids and to the kinetic theory of gases.

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5621. Advanced Topics in Physics I

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 24 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Selected topics in theoretical and experimental physics.

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5622. Advanced Topics in Physics II

1.00 - 3.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 12 credits.

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5621 (RG489)

Grading Basis: Graded

Selected topics in theoretical and experimental physics.

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6110. Atomic Physics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5402 (RG490).

Grading Basis: Graded

Coupling of angular momenta. Hartree-Fock theory of many electron atoms, fine structure and hyperfine structure. Introduction to group theory.

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6120. Molecular Physics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6110 (RG495).

Grading Basis: Graded

Heitler-London and molecular orbital theories for diatomic molecules, semi-empirical methods of poly-atomic molecules.

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6130. Quantum Optics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5401 (RG487).

Grading Basis: Graded

Semiclassical theory of light-matter interactions. Quantum states of light. Generation, detection and interactions of nonclassical radiation.

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6140. Principles of Lasers

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

The physics of lasers, including optical pumping and stimulated emission, laser rate equations, optical resonators, non-linear optics, the Kerr effect and Faraday rotation. Applications to gas, crystal, glass, liquid, dye, semiconductor, chemical and ultraviolet lasers, Q-switching, mode-locking, and parametric devices.

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6150. Semiconductor Optical Devices

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6201 (RG1114).

Grading Basis: Graded

Semiconductor based optical devices such as lasers, amplifiers, modulators, and photodetectors, and their application to optical fiber transmission systems.

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6201. Fundamentals of Solid State Physics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Crystal structure, phonons, electronic band structure, metals, insulators and semiconductors.

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6211. Condensed Matter Physics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5402 (RG490).

Grading Basis: Graded

Crystal structure; lattice vibrations; electronic band structure of solids; transport theory; basic properties of metals, semi-conductors and insulators; magnetism; super-conductivity.

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6212. Condensed Matter Physics II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6211 (RG491).

Grading Basis: Graded

Crystal structure; lattice vibrations; electronic band structure of solids; transport theory; basic properties of metals, semi-conductors and insulators; magnetism; super-conductivity.

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6244. The Electrical Properties of Polymers

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Experimental and theoretical aspects of electrical phenomena in polymers: DC and AC conductivity, dielectric constant, electrical breakdown, photoconductivity, etc. Extended and localized electron wavefunctions; band and hopping conduction.

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6247. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6246 (RG502).

Grading Basis: Graded

Basic theory and experimental methods of NMR with emphasis on resonance and relaxation in metals. Brief discussion of interpretation of NMR in non-metallic solids, liquids, and gases.

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6264. Semiconductor Physics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6201 and PHYS 5402, which may be taken concurrently (RG1115).

Grading Basis: Graded

Semiconductors and semiconductor devices. Band structure, phonon scattering, velocity-field relations, effects of doping and magnetic fields, optical and transport properties.

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6310. Relativity

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Special relativity, tensor analysis, foundations of general relativity, Petrov classification of curved spacetimes, Schwarzchild and Kerr solutions, experimental tests and recent developments.

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6320. Nuclei and Particles

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Properties of nuclei and particles, conserved quantities, isospin, quark model, Fermi gas model, electroweak interaction, high energy scattering.

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6331. Nuclear Physics I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5402 (RG490).

Grading Basis: Graded

A quantum mechanical treatment of nuclear forces and nuclear structure, including the shell and collective models, and of reaction and radiation phenomena. The second semester is reserved for a discussion of selected topics on an advanced level.

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6332. Nuclear Physics II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6331 (RG497).

Grading Basis: Graded

A quantum mechanical treatment of nuclear forces and nuclear structure, including the shell and collective models, and of reaction and radiation phenomena. The second semester is reserved for a discussion of selected topics on an advanced level.

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6341. Quantum Theory of Fields I

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 5403 (RG498).

Grading Basis: Graded

Local gauge invariance, Lagranian formulation, Noether currents, spontaneous breakdown of symmetry, Higgs mechanism and superconductivity, canonical quantization, Feynman diagrams, Green's functions.

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6342. Quantum Theory of Fields II

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: PHYS 6341 (RG499).

Grading Basis: Graded

Topics chosen from the following: Path integral formalism, generating functionals, renormalization, abelian and non-abelian gauge theories (QED and QCD), electroweak theory, solitons, instantons.

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6720. Galaxies and the Interstellar Medium

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: proficiency in calculus. May be taught with PHYS 4720. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 4720.

Grading Basis: Graded

Galaxy formation and evolution in the hierarchical expanding Universe. Properties of the interstellar medium, including star formation and radiative transfer; stellar populations, structure, kinematics and dynamics of galaxies.

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6730. General Relativity and Cosmology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 4730.

Grading Basis: Graded

Gravity and the problem of motion from the ancient Greeks to Newton to Einstein. Special relativity. General relativity. Curvature. Classic tests of general relativity. Gravitational waves. Black holes. Newtonian cosmology. Big Bang theory. Inflation. Dark matter. Dark energy. Accelerating universe.

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6740. Observational Astrophysics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Open to Physics graduate students; others by permission. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 4740.

Grading Basis: Graded

Basic principles and techniques of observational astrophysics, from radio to optical wavelengths. Telescopes, detectors, and instrumentation, and the statistical techniques for astronomical data analysis and interpretation. Students will complete short research projects using real astronomical data.

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