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DGS' Course Catalog

The following list of classes and their descriptions are taken from the Graduate School Catalog with a few changes, clarifications and notes about how frequently certain courses are taught.

For guidelines on which courses typical students take, go to Classes to Take.

Sources:

Note that some 5-level classes are only listed in the Undergraduate course catalog.

Deciphering the Catalog

“#“for prerequisite indicates that you will need an instructor's approval.

“§” after the number of credits means that if you took the class after this mark, you will not get credit for this class.

Classes at 4-level

Some of these classes are survey classes for subfields and you are given graduate credits, whereas some of them are taken by “typical” undergraduate students, and you may consider them if you did not take equivalent classes while you were undergraduate. Before you register for the latter kind, make sure to discuss it with your academic adviser or the DGS.

  • Phys 4001. graduate credits NOT given Analytical Mechanics. (4 cr. Prereq–[2303 or 2601 or CHEM 3501 or CHEM 3502], two sems soph math)

    Analytic Newtonian mechanics. Mathematics beyond prerequisites developed as required.

  • Phys 4002. graduate credits NOT given Electricity and Magnetism. (4 cr. Prereq–[2303 or 2601 or CHEM 3501 or CHEM 3502], two sems soph math)

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

  • Phys 4051. Methods of Experimental Physics I. (5 cr. Prereq–2605 or equiv lab experience or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–4051)

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

  • Phys 4071. Concepts in Physics. (3 cr. Prereq–2201, 2303)

    Overview of physics with emphasis on 20th-century developments. Primarily for secondary teachers and science majors wishing to understand the conceptual connections within physics.

  • Phys 4101. graduate credits NOT given Quantum Mechanics. (4 cr. Prereq–[2303 or 2601 or CHEM 3502], two sems soph 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 cr. §HSCI 4111. Prereq–General physics or #)

    Legacy of 17th-century experimental and theoretical physics especially light, electricity, magnetism, and heat. Experimental and theoretical discoveries in 19th-century physics set within the context of concurrent educational, institutional, and political developments in Europe and the United States. Heritage of 19th-century physics.

  • Phys 4121. History of 20th-Century Physics. (3 cr. §HSCI 4121. Prereq–General physics or #)

    Experimental and theoretical discoveries in 20th-century physics (birth of modern physics, special theory of relativity, old and new quantum theories, nuclear physics to WWII) within the context of concurrent educational, institutional, and political developments in Europe and the United States.

  • Phys 4201. graduate credits NOT given Statistical and Thermal Physics. (3 cr. Prereq–2601)

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

  • Phys 4211. graduate credits given Introduction to Solid-State Physics. (3 cr. Prereq–4101, 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. graduate credits NOT given Waves, Optics, and Relativity. (3 cr. Prereq–4001, 4002)

    Further topics in analytical mechanics, electricity and magnetism including mechanical and electromagnetic wave phenomena, physical and geometrical optics, and relativistic dynamics of particles and fields.

  • Phys 4511. graduate credits given Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics. (3 cr. Prereq–4101)

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

  • Phys 4611. graduate credits given Introduction to Space Physics. (3 cr. Prereq–2601, 4001, 4002)

    Astrophysics of energetic particles in space, including cosmic rays and those of solar origin. Detection/identification. Interactions with matter/magnetic fields in space. Acceleration, modulation, and propagation.

  • Phys 4621. graduate credits given Introduction to Plasma Physics. (3 cr. Prereq–4001, 4002)

    Magnetohydrodynamics and properties of collisionless plasmas with applications to the magnetic field of the earth and sun, and to plasma confinement. Transport phenomena and effects of collisions.

  • Phys 4711. Introduction to Optics. (3 cr. Prereq–4002) has not been offered recently

    Modern theoretical and experimental optics broadly defined to include, for example, radio astronomy and particle accelerators. Matrix methods in geometrical optics including charged particle optics; optical detectors and noise; phenomena in intense coherent radiation including nonlinear effects.

Classes at 5-level

There are typically taken in the first year.

  • Phys 5001. Core Quantum Mechanics I. (4 cr. Prereq–4101 or equiv or #)

    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. Core Quantum Mechanics II. (4 cr. Prereq–5001 or equiv)

    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. Core Classical Physics I. (4 cr. Prereq–4001, 4002 or #)

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

  • Phys 5012. Core Classical Physics II. (4 cr. Prereq–5011 or #)

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

  • Phys 5022. Relativity, Cosmology, and the Universe. (4 cr. §AST 5022. Prereq–2601 or #)

    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. Analytical and Numerical Methods of Physics I. (4 cr. Prereq–Grad or #)

    Survey of mathematical techniques, both analytic and numerical, needed for physics. Application to physical problems.

  • Phys 5042. Analytical and Numerical Methods of Physics II. (4 cr. Prereq–5041 or #) - not offered very often.
    Survey of mathematical techniques, both analytic and numerical, needed for physics. Application to physical problems.

  • Phys 5071. Physics for High School Teachers: Experimental Foundations and Historical Perspectives. (3 cr. Prereq–Gen physics, #; no cr for physics grad or grad physics minor) not offered recently.

    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 (1-2 cr. [max 3 cr.] prereq-Grad)

    required to take if you are a physics TA for the first time.

  • Phys 5081. Introduction to Biopolymer Physics. (3 cr. §PHYS 4911. Prereq–Working knowledge of [thermodynamics, statistical mechanics])

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

  • Phys 5201. Core Thermal and Statistical Physics. (3 cr; A-F only. Prereq–4201 or equivalent)

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

  • Phys 5401. Physiological Physics. (4 cr. Prereq–1301 or 1401) not offered every year.

    Musculoskeletal system, circulatory system/membrane transport, biological control systems, propagation/action potential in nervous system, biomagnetism, electromagnetism at cellular level.

  • Phys 5402. Radiological Physics. (4 cr. Prereq–1302 or 1402) not offered every year.

    Signal analysis, medical imaging, medical x-rays, tomography, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, MRI, and similar topics.

  • Phys 5701. Solid-State Physics for Engineers and Scientists. (4 cr. Prereq–Grad or advanced undergrad in physics or engineering or the sciences)

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

  • Phys 5702. Solid State Physics for Engineers and Scientists. (4 cr. Prereq–5701 or #) not offered very recently.

    Diamagnetism and paramagnetism; ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism; optical phenomena; lasers; superconductivity; surface properties; ferroelectricity.

  • Phys 5950. Colloquium Seminar. (1 cr; S-N only. Prereq–[Grad student or advanced undergrad in physics])

    Colloquium of School of Physics and Astronomy.

  • Phys 5980. Strongly recommended for first-year grad Introduction to Research Seminar. (1 cr [max 3 cr]; S-N only. Prereq–Grad or upper div phys major)

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

  • Phys 5993. Directed Studies. (1-5 cr [max 15 cr]. Prereq–#)

    Independent, directed study in physics in areas arranged by the student and a faculty member.
    You will need to fill out a form available in the front office (room 148) to get a permission number. On the form, you write what the goals of the study, and what you will do to reach your goals, and get your adviser's approval.
  • Phys 5994. if there is no class to take, and you are spending some or more time doing research with your advisor (before your preliminary oral), or if you don't have a research advisor but are doing research with potential advisor Directed Research. (1-5 cr [max 15 cr]. Prereq–Jr)

    Problems, experimental or theoretical, of special interest to students. Written reports.
    You will need to fill out a form available in the front office (room 148) to get a permission number. On the form, you write what the goals of the research, and what you will do to reach your goals, and get your adviser's approval.

Classes at 8-level

They are typically taken in the 2nd (and 3rd) year

  • Phys 8001. Strongly recommended for most Advanced Quantum Mechanics. (3 cr. Prereq–5002 or #)

    Topics in non-relativistic quantum mechanics; second quantization. Introduction to Diagrammatic and Greenʼs 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 cr. Prereq–8001 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–8011 or #)

    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. (3.0 cr. Prereq-8012 or #)

    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 8100. Seminar: Problems of Physics Teaching and Higher Education. (1 cr [max 3 cr])

    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 cr. Prereq–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 cr [max 6 cr]; S-N only. Prereq–#)

    Current topics in cosmology and high energy astrophysics.

  • Phys 8301. Symmetry and Its Application to Physical Problems. (3 cr. Prereq–5002 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq-5002 and 5201 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq-5002 and 5201 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–Master’s student, adviser and DGS consent)

    This is the course to keep “active” student status after you took all necessary credits including Plan A thesis credits (8777) or Plan B project (8500) but you still need to do some work. Most MS students should not have to register for this.

  • Phys 8444. FTE: Doctoral. (1 cr. Prereq–Doctoral student, adviser and DGS consent)

    This is the course to keep “active” student status and is supported by the U as TA/RA/fellowships after you took all necessary credits including PhD thesis credits (8888) but you are still doing your PhD research work. Most PhD students should register for this in their last years. If you are not supported by the U, you can take GRAD 999 to keep active status, which does not incur any tuition. But no health insurance coverage is given. Also, if you are an international student (no US citizen), GRAD 999 may cause a problem with INS. So please consult with ISSS before you register for GRAD 999.

  • Phys 8500. Plan B Project. (4 cr. Prereq–#; may be taken once to satisfy Plan B master’s project requirement; no cr toward PhD)

    Project topic arranged between student and instructor. Written report required.

  • Phys 8501. General Relativity and Cosmology I. (3 cr. Prereq–5012 or #)

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

  • Phys 8502. General Relativity and Cosmology II. (3 cr. Prereq–8501 or #)

    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 8600. Seminar: Space Physics. (1 cr [max 6 cr]; S-N only)

    Current topics in space physics and plasma physics.

  • Phys 8601. Plasma Physics I. (3 cr. Prereq–4621, 5012 or #)

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

  • Phys 8602. Plasma Physics II. (3 cr. Prereq–8601 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–5012 or #)

    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 cr [max 9 cr]. Prereq–8602 or 8611 or #)

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

  • Phys 8666. Doctoral Pre-Thesis Credits. (1-6 cr [max 24 cr]. Prereq–Max 6 cr per semester or summer; doctoral student who is doing PhD research but has not passed prelim oral);
    You should not have to take this for more than one semester - you should take the oral soon if you are in this situation. Also, when you consider taking this, most likely, you should be taking 8994 or 5994 (independent research) instead.
  • Phys 8700. Seminar: Condensed Matter Physics. (1 cr [max 6 cr]; S-N only. Prereq–#)

    Current research.

  • Phys 8702. Statistical Mechanics and Transport Theory II. (3 cr. Prereq–8701 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–4211, 5002 or #)

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

  • Phys 8712. Solid-State Physics II. (3 cr. Prereq–8711 or #)

    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 cr [max 9 cr]. Prereq–8712 or #)

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

  • Phys 8777. Thesis Credits: Master’s. (1-18 cr [max 50 cr]. Prereq–Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only])

  • Phys 8800. Seminar: Nuclear Physics. (1 cr [max 6 cr]; S-N only)

    Current research topics.

  • Phys 8801. Nuclear Physics I. (3 cr. Prereq–5001 or concurrent reg in 5001)

    Properties of nuclei based on hadronic and quark-gluon degrees of freedom. Relativistic field theory at finite temperature 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 8802. Nuclear Physics II. (3 cr. Prereq–8801 or #)

    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 cr [max 9 cr]. Prereq–8802 or #)

    Research topics.

  • Phys 8888. required for PhD; Thesis Credit: Doctoral. (1-24 cr. Prereq–Prelim Oral exam; 24 cr required)

    These credits need to be taken to show that you did significant research work, give credits to the department for its research advising work, and give graduate school a share of tuition money for your research

  • Phys 8900. Seminar: Elementary Particle Physics. (1 cr [max 6 cr]; S-N only)

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

  • Phys 8901. Elementary Particle Physics I. (3 cr. Prereq–8001 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–8901 or #)

    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 cr. Prereq–8011 or #)

    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 cr [max 9 cr]. Prereq–8902 or #)

    Research topics.

  • Phys 8994. Research in Physics. (1-12 cr [max 24 cr]. Prereq–#)

    Research under faculty direction. You will need to fill out a form available in the front office (room 148) to get a permission number. On the form, you write what the goals of the research, and what you will do to reach your goals, and get your adviser's approval.

Special classes

No more credits needed

If you don't need any more classes - you have taken all credits needed for the degree

  • GRAD 999

A course to register if you just need to maintain “active” status. Cannot be used if you have an RA or TA appointment. Cannot be useful to maintain legal visa status. See for more details about Grad 999. It says, “Do not register for Grad 999 if you must be registered to hold an assistantship, maintain legal visa status, defer loans, receive financial aid, or for any reason other than to meet the Graduate School's registration requirement.”

  • Phys 8333, 8444

To maintain an “active” student status for an MS (8333) or ABD PhD (8444) student. Does allow assistantship, and good for valid student visa.

Research credits

credits for research component of degrees

  • Phys 8888 Thesis credits for PhD students.
  • Phys 8666 Pre-thesis credits - if you are doing research (with your thesis adviser) but have not passed the Preliminary oral, this is what you have to take. It will not be useful to satisfy PhD requirements.
  • Phys 8777 Thesis credits for Plan A MS students.
  • Phys 8500 Plan B project for Plan B MS students.
  • Phys 5994 You are trying out research with a professor but s/he may not be your thesis adviser.

Teaching Career

If you are interested in a teaching career

If you are interested in these classes, make sure you take them (at least one of them) BEFORE your preliminary oral so that you don't have to take a class after you attain the ABD status. Note that you can take only up to 4 credits while you are registering for the thesis credits over two semesters.

  • GRAD 8101-Teaching in Higher Education.
    This course is designed to help you become a stronger, more reflective college teacher. Co-teachers along with course participants will model a variety of active learning strategies (e.g. cooperative learning, collaborative learning, problem-posing, case study, interactive lecture, discussion, critical thinking, role-playing) and will facilitate discussions addressing educational theory and practice. For more details
  • GRAD 8102-Practicum for Future Faculty.
    This course is designed to give participants opportunities to apply the theories and methods learned in GRAD 8101, “Teaching in Higher Education” (or in a PFF-approved departmental pedagogy course), and to further enhance understandings of the faculty role in higher education. For more details
dgs_advice/graduate_classes.txt · Last modified: 2011/11/02 13:00 by kapusta