2012-14 Academic Catalog

Department of Physics

(College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences)

www.physics.uni.edu

The Department of Physics offers the following undergraduate and graduate programs.  Specific requirements for these programs are listed within this Department of Physics section in the following order:

  • Undergraduate Major (B.S.)
    • Physics
  • Undergraduate Major (B.A.)
    • Physics-Teaching
  • Minors
    • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
    • Physics

The Department of Physics offers major programs in two baccalaureate areas: the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts. The B.S. Physics major is recommended for students who wish to prepare for graduate study in physics, engineering, or other sciences such as geophysics, astronomy, biophysics, or medical physics. The B.A. Physics-Teaching program provides students with the best qualification to teach physics in high school.

Bachelor of Science Degree Program

Note: To graduate with a B.S. degree in Physics, a student must earn an overall grade point average of at least 2.50 in all courses applied toward the major.

Physics Major

The B.S. Physics major requires a minimum of 126 total hours to graduate. This total includes Liberal Arts Core requirements and the following specified major requirements, plus electives to complete the minimum of 126 hours.

Required
Mathematics:
MATH 1420 (800:060)Calculus I (required)4
MATH 1421 (800:061)Calculus II4
MATH 2422 (800:062)Calculus III4
MATH 2500 (800:076)Linear Algebra for Applications3
MATH 3425/5425 (800:149g)Differential Equations3
Chemistry and Biochemistry:
Select one of the following:5-8
General Chemistry I
   and General Chemistry II (required)
General Chemistry I-II (required)
Physics:
PHYSICS 1701 (880:130)Physics I for Science and Engineering (required)4
PHYSICS 1702 (880:131)Physics II for Science and Engineering4
PHYSICS 2300 (880:132)Physics III: Theory and Simulation3
PHYSICS 2700Mathematical Methods of Physics3
PHYSICS 3000 (880:180)Undergraduate Research in Physics2
PHYSICS 3700 (880:187)Physics Seminar1
PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g)Modern Physics4
PHYSICS 4110/5110 (880:138g)Modern Physics Laboratory2
PHYSICS 4600/5600 (880:166g)Classical Mechanics4
PHYSICS 4700/5700 (880:167g)Electrodynamics4
PHYSICS 4800/5800 (880:172g)Quantum Mechanics4
PHYSICS 4860/5860 (880:150g)Computational Physics3
PHYSICS 4900/5900 (880:136g)Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics4
Electives
Physics: 100/3000-level *3
Crystallography (may include this course)
Total Hours68-71

 

*

See course descriptions for 4-digit numbers associated with these 100/3000-level courses.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Program

Physics Major-Teaching

The B.A. Physics major in teaching requires a minimum of 120 total hours to graduate. This total includes Liberal Arts Core requirements, the Professional Education Requirements, and the following specified major requirements, plus electives to complete the minimum of 120 hours.

Required
Mathematics:
MATH 1420 (800:060)Calculus I (required)4
MATH 1421 (800:061)Calculus II4
Science and Science Education:
SCI ED 3300/5300 (820:190g)Orientation to Science Teaching3
SCI ED 4700/5700 (820:193g)Methods for Teaching Physical Science3
SCI ED 3200 (820:196)Current Technologies in Science Teaching2
Physics:
PHYSICS 1701 (880:130)Physics I for Science and Engineering (required)4
PHYSICS 1702 (880:131)Physics II for Science and Engineering4
PHYSICS 2300 (880:132)Physics III: Theory and Simulation3
PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g)Modern Physics4
PHYSICS 4110/5110 (880:138g)Modern Physics Laboratory2
Electives
Physics: all 100/3000-level courses *7
Non-physics science courses from the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences **6
Total Hours46

 

*

See course descriptions for 4-digit numbers associated with these 100/3000-level courses.

**

Excluding all 820:xxx and mathematics below MATH 1420 (800:060).

Sufficient work including current curricula should be taken for licensure approval in a second area. Common teaching combinations are physics-chemistry or physics-mathematics.

Completion of this major will satisfy the requirements of the Iowa Department of Education for licensure.

Minors

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Minor

Required
Technology:
TECH 3188/5188 (330:188g)Nanotechnology Fabrication3
Mathematics:
MATH 1420 (800:060)Calculus I (required)4
MATH 1421 (800:061)Calculus II4
Chemistry and Biochemistry:
Select one of the following:5-8
General Chemistry I
   and General Chemistry II
General Chemistry I-II
Physics:
PHYSICS 1511 (880:054)General Physics I4
or PHYSICS 1701 (880:130) Physics I for Science and Engineering
PHYSICS 1512 (880:056)General Physics II4
or PHYSICS 1702 (880:131) Physics II for Science and Engineering
PHYSICS 4200/5200 (880:144g)Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology3
or CHEM 4200/5200 (860:144g) Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
PHYSICS 4210/5210 (880:148g)Intermediate Nanoscience and Nanotechnology3
or CHEM 4210/5210 (860:148g) Intermediate Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Total Hours30-33

Physics Minor

Required
Physics:
Select one of the following:8
General Physics I
   and General Physics II (required)
Physics I for Science and Engineering
   and Physics II for Science and Engineering (required)
Electives:12
Physics:
100/3000-level electives in Physics, with no more than 3 hours earned in the following: *
Undergraduate Research in Physics (and/or)
Laboratory Projects
Total Hours20

*

See course descriptions to reference 4-digit numbers associated with these 100/3000-level courses.





 

B.S. Degree - Physics Major (Major Code 885)

 

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
HUM 1021 (680:021)3MATH 1421 (800:061)4
MATH 1420 (800:060)4PHYSICS 1702 (880:131)4
PHYSICS 1701 (880:130)4COMM 1000 (48C:001)3
ENGLISH 1005 (620:005)3HUM 1022 (680:022)3
HPELS 1010 (440:010)3ARTHIST 1004 (600:004)3
 17 17
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 2300 (880:132)3PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g)4
BIOL 1012 (840:012)3PHYSICS 4110/5110 (880:138g)2
PHIL 1020 (650:021)3POL AMER 1014 (942:014)3
GEOG 1110 (970:040)3CHIN 1001 (710:001)5
MATH 2422 (800:062)4PHYSICS 27003
 16 17
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
MATH 2500 (800:076)3MATH 3425/5425 (800:149g)3
PHYSICS 4600/5600 (880:166g)4PHYSICS 4700/5700 (880:167g)4
PHYSICS 3700 (880:187)1PSYCH 1001 (400:001)3
CS 1160 (810:036)3CHEM 1110 (860:044)4
CHIN 1002 (710:002)5ECON 1021 (920:020)3
 16 17
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 4900/5900 (880:136g)4PHYSICS 4860/5860 (880:150g)3
PHYSICS 3000 (880:180)2PHYSICS 4800/5800 (880:172g)4
PHYSICS 4300/5300 (880:152g)4HUM 3124 (680:124)3
CAP 3140 (CAP:140)2CHEM 1120 (860:048)4
 12 14
Total credit hours: 126

 

B.A. Degree - Physics Teaching Major (Major Code 880)

 

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
University Electives3COMM 1000 (48C:001)3
ENGLISH 1005 (620:005)3BIOL 1012 (840:012)3
HUM 1021 (680:021)3HPELS 1010 (440:010)3
MATH 1420 (800:060)4MATH 1421 (800:061)4
PHYSICS 1701 (880:130)4PHYSICS 1702 (880:131)4
 17 17
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
University Electives4EDPSYCH 3128 (200:128)1
EDPSYCH 2017 (200:017)1EDPSYCH 3148 (200:148)3
HUM 3124 (680:124)3MEASRES 3150 (250:150)2
GEOG 1110 (970:040)3ARTHIST 1004 (600:004)3
EDPSYCH 2030 (200:030)3PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g)4
PHYSICS 2300 (880:132)3PHYSICS 4110/5110 (880:138g)2
 17 15
Junior
FallHoursSpringHours
University Electives3PHYSICS 4200/5200 (880:144g)3
SCI ED 3200 (820:196)2University Electives3
SCI ED 3300/5300 (820:190g)3SOCFOUND 3119 (260:119)3
SPED 3150 (220:150)2CAP 3140 (CAP:140)2
TEACHING 4170/5170 (280:170g)3ARTHIST 1111 (600:040)3
PHYSICS 4300/5300 (880:152g)4SOC 1000 (980:001)3
 17 17
Senior
FallHoursSpringHours
University Electives3TEACHING 3138 (280:138)12
SCI ED 4700/5700 (820:193g)3 
EARTHSCI 1200 (870:021)3 
TECH 10153 
PHIL 1020 (650:021)3 
SOC SCI 1020 (900:020)3 
 18 12
Total credit hours: 130

 

Courses

PHYSICS 1000 (880:012). Physics in Everyday Life — 3 hrs.

Basic laws and concepts of physics introduced and demonstrated through operation of everyday devices and systems. Emphasis on understanding physical principles behind working of modern technologies and interplay between science and technology. Students may not earn credit in both PHYSICS 1400 (880:011) and PHYSICS 1000 (880:012). Prerequisite(s): student must have satisfied university entrance requirements in English and Mathematics. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 1400 (880:011). Conceptual Physics — 4 hrs.

Energy; temperature and heat; waves and sound; electricity and magnetism; light and color; and atomic and nuclear structure of matter. Emphasis on observation, interpretation, and conceptual understanding of physical phenomena. Discussion, 3 periods; lab, 2 periods. Students may not earn credit in both PHYSICS 1400 (880:011) and PHYSICS 1000 (880:012). Prerequisite(s): student must have satisfied university entrance requirements in English and Mathematics. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 1511 (880:054). General Physics I — 4 hrs.

Algebra-based introductory course covering Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, and thermal physics. Emphasis on conceptual understanding of physical principles through group investigations and lab activities. Discussion/lab, 5 periods. Prerequisite(s): high school algebra and trigonometry or equivalent. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 1512 (880:056). General Physics II — 4 hrs.

Algebra-based introductory course covering electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Emphasis on conceptual understanding of physical principles through group investigations and lab activities. Discussion/lab, 5 periods. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1511 (880:054) or PHYSICS 1701 (880:130). (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 1701 (880:130). Physics I for Science and Engineering — 4 hrs.

Calculus-based introductory course covering Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, and thermal physics. Lab activities. Discussion/lab, 5 periods. Prerequisite(s): one year of high school physics or equivalent. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): MATH 1420 (800:060). (Fall)

PHYSICS 1702 (880:131). Physics II for Science and Engineering — 4 hrs.

Calculus-based introductory course covering electricity, magnetism, and optics. Lab activities. Discussion/lab, 5 periods. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1511 (880:054) (minimum grade of B) or PHYSICS 1701 (880:130). Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): MATH 1421 (800:061). (Spring)

PHYSICS 1800 (880:080). Projects in Basic Robotics and Sensors — 1 hr.

Assembly of a mini-sumo robot, with motor, sensors and microprocessor. Implement line following. Explore modifications to the sumo hardware and software that will permit successful participation in a sumo robotics competition at the end of the course. Lab, 2 periods. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): PHYSICS 1511 (880:054) and PHYSICS 1512 (880:056), or PHYSICS 1701 (880:130) and PHYSICS 1702 (880:131), or MATH 1140 (800:046) and TECH 1037 (330:037), or CS 1410 (810:041) or CS 1510 (810:051). (Spring)

PHYSICS 2300 (880:132). Physics III: Theory and Simulation — 3 hrs.

Calculus-based course covering the more advanced topics in introductory physics. Emphasis on developing analytical and computational skills needed to study physics at a more advanced level. Topics include Newtonian mechanics and applications, Maxwell's equations and applications. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1702 (880:131). (Fall)

PHYSICS 2700. Mathematical Methods of Physics — 3 hrs.

An introduction to the mathematical methods used in upper-level Physics courses, illustrated with applications from all areas of Physics. Applications will illustrate electrodynamics, thermodynamics, classical mechanics and quantum mechanics. Prerequisite(s): MATH 1420 (800:060); MATH 1421 (800:061); MATH 2422 (800:062); PHYSICS 1701 (880:130); PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); PHYSICS 2300 (880:132). (Spring)

PHYSICS 3000 (880:180). Undergraduate Research in Physics — 1-6 hrs.

Research activities under direct supervision of sponsoring staff members or at a national laboratory. Should normally be taken during senior year. Successful completion of the research experience requires both a written and oral report. Prerequisite(s): minimum overall 2.50 GPA; consent of department. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 3179 (880:179). Cooperative Education.

Applied physics internship under PHYSICS 3179 (880:179) should be taken during the junior or senior year. If unable to do so, the internship may be done under PHYSICS 3500 (880:184) with consent of department. Successful completion of either PHYSICS 3179 (880:179) or PHYSICS 3500 (880:184) requires both a written and an oral report. Offered on credit/no credit basis only. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 3500 (880:184). Internship in Applied Physics — 1-3 hrs.

Departmentally approved work in applied physics (at an industrial, medical, or government laboratory) followed by oral and written reports given on completed work. Offered on credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite(s): minimum overall 2.50 GPA; consent of department. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 3700 (880:187). Physics Seminar — 1 hr.

Participation in at least 12 physics colloquia; oral report on research topic or internship. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 4000/5000 (880:157g). Fundamentals of Physics I — 4 hrs.

Algebra-based introductory course covering Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, and thermal physics. Emphasis on conceptual understanding of physical principles through group investigations and lab activities. Enrollment limited to graduate students other than physics majors; students with credit in PHYSICS 1511 (880:054) or equivalent may not take this course for credit. Discussion/lab, 5 periods. Prerequisite(s): high school algebra and trigonometry or equivalent; junior standing; consent of department head. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 4050/5050 (880:140g). Holography, Imaging, and Optical Measurement — 3 hrs.

Holography is used as vehicle for learning modern optical techniques and for understanding basic wave interference properties of light. Topics include 3-D image formation; mirror, lens, and hologram ray tracing; holographic gratings and mirrors; holographic interferometry and color holography. Discussion, 2 periods; lab, 2 periods. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1512 (880:056) or PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); junior standing or consent of department head. (Fall)

PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g). Modern Physics — 4 hrs.

Special relativity; quantum phenomena; wave-particle duality; atomic and nuclear structure; properties of solids, interaction of radiation with matter; and elementary particles. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); junior standing. (Spring)

PHYSICS 4110/5110 (880:138g). Modern Physics Laboratory — 2 hrs.

Experiments on interactions of photons and electrons; mass and charge of electrons; atomic spectroscopy; nuclear detection and spectroscopy; spin resonance; and properties of solids. Requires detailed lab reports, including error analysis. Prerequisite(s): junior standing. Prerequisite(s) or corequisite(s): PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g). (Spring)

PHYSICS 4200/5200 (880:144g). Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology — 3 hrs.

Introduction to nanoscale materials and processes; types of materials; chemical bonding and nanoscale interactions; nanoscale microscopy and spectroscopic methods of investigation. Prerequisite(s): CHEM 1110 (860:044); CHEM 1120 (860:048); PHYSICS 1511 (880:054) or PHYSICS 1701 (880:130); PHYSICS 1512 (880:056) or PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); junior standing. (Same as CHEM 4200/5200 (860:144g))(Fall)

PHYSICS 4210/5210 (880:148g). Intermediate Nanoscience and Nanotechnology — 3 hrs.

Study of nanoscale materials and processes, with emphasis on nanoscale microscopy and other experimental methods of investigation and control on the nanoscale. Prerequisite(s): CHEM 4200/5200 (860:144g)/PHYSICS 4200/5200 (880:144g); junior standing. (Same as CHEM 4210/5210 (860:148g))(Spring)

PHYSICS 4300/5300 (880:152g). Introduction to Electronics — 4 hrs.

Basic DC and AC circuits; electrical measurements; power supplies; transistor circuits; operational amplifier circuits. Discussion, 2 periods; lab, 4 periods. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1512 (880:056) or PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); junior standing or consent of department head. (Fall)

PHYSICS 4310/5310 (880:154g). Digital Electronics and Robotics — 4 hrs.

Programmable analog switching; operational amplifier applications; digital logic gates; Boolean logic; microprocessor data acquisition using sensors on digital and analog ports; motor control; programming and software control of mobile robots. Discussion, 2 periods; lab, 4 periods. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 1511 (880:054) and PHYSICS 1512 (880:056), or PHYSICS 1701 (880:130) and PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); junior standing. (Spring)

PHYSICS 4450/5450 (880:185g). Laboratory Projects — 1-3 hrs.

Experimental activities to meet individual needs and interests not normally included in other courses. Maximum of 3 hours may be applied to a physics major or minor. Prerequisite(s): junior standing; consent of department. (Fall, Spring)

PHYSICS 4600/5600 (880:166g). Classical Mechanics — 4 hrs.

Vectors and kinematics; force and motion; work and energy; Lagrange's equations; gravity; oscillations; rigid-body motion; and accelerated reference frames. Prerequisite(s): MATH 1420 (800:060); MATH 1421 (800:061); PHYSICS 1701 (880:130); PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); PHYSICS 2300 (880:132); junior standing. Corequisite(s): MATH 2422 (800:062); PHYSICS 2700. (Odd Falls)

PHYSICS 4700/5700 (880:167g). Electrodynamics — 4 hrs.

Vector calculus. Electrostatic fields and dielectrics; magnetic fields, magnetic forces, and magnetic materials; Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Prerequisite(s): MATH 1420 (800:060); MATH 1421 (800:061); MATH 2422 (800:062); PHYSICS 1701 (880:130); PHYSICS 1702 (880:131); PHYSICS 2300 (880:132); junior standing. Corequisite(s): PHYSICS 2700. (Odd Springs)

PHYSICS 4750/5750 (880:174g). Physics of Modern Materials — 3 hrs.

Structural, thermal, and electronic properties of materials; applications to modern devices. Discussion, 2 periods; lab, 2 periods. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g); PHYSICS 4110/5110 (880:138g); junior standing. (Odd Falls)

PHYSICS 4800/5800 (880:172g). Quantum Mechanics — 4 hrs.

Solution of Schrodinger equation for several systems: spin and angular momentum; identical particles; perturbation theory; WKB approximation; and scattering. Prerequisite(s): MATH 3425/5425 (800:149g); PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g); PHYSICS 4600/5600 (880:166g) or consent of instructor; junior standing. (Even Springs)

PHYSICS 4860/5860 (880:150g). Computational Physics — 3 hrs.

Computer simulations and numerical solutions of behaviors of important physical systems, emphasizing those that are very difficult or impossible to analyze by traditional means, for example, nonlinear oscillators or phase transitions in the Ising Model. Prerequisite(s): MATH 3425/5425 (800:149g); PHYSICS 2300 (880:132); PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g); junior standing. (Odd Springs)

PHYSICS 4900/5900 (880:136g). Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics — 4 hrs.

General principles of classical thermodynamics and applications (e.g., to first-order phase transitions); general principles of statistical mechanics and application (e.g., to the classical ideal gas). Prerequisite(s): MATH 2422 (800:062); PHYSICS 2300 (880:132); PHYSICS 4100/5100 (880:137g); junior standing. (Even Falls)

PHYSICS 4950/5950 (880:189g). Readings in Physics — 1-3 hrs.

Readings/problems in areas of physics (or related interdisciplinary areas) not normally covered in other courses. Maximum of 3 hours may be applied to a physics major or minor. Prerequisite(s): junior standing; consent of department. (Variable)

PHYSICS 6100 (880:205). Modeling and Simulation of Physical Systems — 3 hrs.

Computer simulation and visualization of physical systems. Students will code, debug, and run basic simulations in C++ as well as more sophisticated simulations with other tools, including parallel computing. Prerequisite(s): CS 1160 (810:036) and PHYSICS 4860/5860 (880:150g), or MATH 3440/5440 (800:176g) and CS 1160 (810:036), or consent of instructor. (Fall)

PHYSICS 6299 (880:299). Research.

(Variable)

PHYSICS 6300 (880:220). Computer Interfacing and Signal Processing — 3 hrs.

Introduction to computer interfacing, instrument control, and data acquisition. Discussion of digital signal processing and utilization of industry-standard software platforms in laboratory activities. Prerequisite(s): PHYSICS 2300 (880:132); PHYSICS 4300/5300 (880:152g). (Spring)

PHYSICS 6500 (880:250). Special Problems in Physics — 1-6 hrs.

Credit determined at registration. Problems selected according to needs of students. Prerequisite(s): consent of department. (Variable)