Courses offered in spring 2018


631 Mathematical Methods of Theoretical Physics (3). Vector fields, curvilinear coordinates, functions of complex variables, linear differential equations of second order, Fourier series, integral transforms, delta sequence.

632 Statistics, Data Analysis, Numerics (3).  Techniques and methods required for the analysis and evaluation of physis measurements.  Requisites: Students are expected to be able to program in a high-level computer language. Students lacking the prerequisite should contact the instructor for permission.

701 Classical Dynamics (3). Variational principles, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. Symmetries and conservation laws. Two-body problems, perturbations, and small oscillations, rigid-body motion. Relation of classical to quantum mechanics. Prerequisite: advanced undergraduate mechanics.

712 Electromagnetic Theory (3). Maxwell’s equations, time-varying fields, conservation laws. Plane EM waves, polarization, dispersive media. Wave guides and resonant cavities. Radiation from slow-moving charges. Special theory of relativity. Radiation from relativistic charges. Interaction between radiation and matter.

715 Visualization in Science (-).

721 Quantum Mechanics I (3). Review of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Spin, angular momentum, perturbation theory, scattering, identical particles, Hartree-Fock method, Dirac equation, radiation theory.

722 Quantum Mechanics II (3). Review of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Spin, angular momentum, perturbation theory, scattering, identical particles, Hartree-Fock method, Dirac equation, radiation theory.

741 Statistical Mechanics (3).  Classical and quantal statistical mechanics, ensembles, partition functions, ideal Fermi and Bose gases. Prerequisites: Physics 701 and 721.

821 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (3). Prerequisite, Physics 722. Advanced angular momentum, atomic and molecular theory, many-body theory, quantum field theory.

822, 823 Field Theory (3 each). Prerequisite, Physics 722. Quantum field theory, path integrals, gauge invariance, renormalization group, Higgs mechanism, electroweak theory, quantum chromodynamics, Standard Model, unified field theories.

824 Group Theory and Application (-).

832 General Theory of Relativity (3). Prerequisite, Physics 831or permission of the instructor. Differential geometry of space-time. Tensor fields and forms. Curvature, geodesics. Einstein’s gravitational field equations. Tests of Einstein’s theory. Applications to astrophysics and cosmology. Either semester, as announced.

861, 862 Nuclear Physics (3 each). Prerequisites, Physics 543 and 721. Nuclear interactions at nonrelativistic energies. Charge and spin dependence in nuclear reactions. Decay modes and electromagnetic properties. Collective and single particle states.

871, 872 Solid State Physics (3 each). Prerequisites, Physics 711, 741, and 721, or permission from the instructor. Survey of topics in Condensed Matter Physics: crystal structures and X-ray scattering, electron states in metals and insulators (also, semi conductors), response to applied EM fields and temperature gradients, cohesive energy models; Born-Oppenheimer separation of electrons and lattice vibrations; transport properties using the Bolzmann eq.; dielectric and magnetic properties, and BCS model of superconductivity.

873 Theory of the Solid State (3). Prerequisite, Physics 722. Calculation of one-electron energy band structure. Electron-hole correlation effect and excitons. Theory of spin waves. Many-body techniques in solid state problems including theory of superconductivity.

883 Current Advances in Physics (3). Prerequisite, permission of the instructor. In recent years neutrino physics and astrophysics, transmission electron microscopy and nanotechnology have been among the topics discussed.

893 Sem Solid State Physics (-).

895 Sem Nuclear Physics (-).

896 Sem Particle Physics (-).

897 Sem Theoretical Physics (-).

899 Sem Professional Practice (-).

901 Research (1-21).

992 Master’s Research (non-thesis) (3).

993 Masters Rearch and Thesis (3).

994 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (3).


701 Physical Processes in Stellar Atmospheres and Interiors (3). Prerequisite, Physics 711, 721. Equation of transfer; continuous and line opacities; model atmospheres; spectral line formation. Equations of stellar structure; energy transport; nuclear reaction rates; modeling stellar evolution.

702 High Energy Astrophysics (3). Prerequisite, Physics 721, Physics 711. White dwarfs and neutron stars: physical properties and observational manifestations. Extragalactic radio sources, relativistic jets, and supermassive black holes. Particle acceleration and radiative processes in hot plasmas. Accretion phenomena. X-ray and gamma-ray astrophysics.

703 Galactic Dynamics and Physics Processes in the Interstellar Medium (3). Prerequisite, Physics 701, 721. Collisionless and collisional stellar dynamics; disk dynamics and spiral structure; encounters between stellar systems. Physical processes in diffuse gases, HII regions, and supernova remnants; ionization and energy balance of the interstellar medium; star formation.

704 Cosmology (3). Corequisite, PHYS 701. General relativity and cosmological models; thermal history of the early universe, nucleosynthesis, and the cosmic microwave background; growth of structure through cosmic time.

705 Interstellar Medium (3). Prerequisite PHYS 711. Surveys the physical processes governing the interstellar medium. Line formation mechanisms, line radiative transfer, gas dynamics, plasma physics, star formation.

719 Astronomical Observations and Data Analysis (4). A course on techniques of astronomical source detection and analysis. Telescopes and detectors, both optical and at other wavelengths, including photometry, imaging, and spectroscopy. Techniques of extraction and analysis of signals from both direct images and spectroscopic data. Optical observations are carried out at the Morehead Observatory.

891 Seminar in Astrophysics (1 or more). Recent observational and theoretical developments in stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astrophysics.