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PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY


www.bsu.edu/physics

Cooper Science Complex 101, 765-285-8860




PROGRAMS

 

The department offers programs in professional physics that lead to the master of arts (MA) degree or master of science (MS) degree. A student may also select a program of study in physics education for prospective high school teachers of physics, which leads either to the master of arts (MA) or to the master of science (MS) degree, or the master of arts in education

 

(MAE) in physics. The MA, MS, and MAE degree programs require a minimum of 30-33 hours, 6 of which may consist of courses in a minor area or electives in a related discipline. A student’s curriculum must include a minimum of 24 hours of physics, applied physics, or astronomy, as approved by the department, which may include credit for successful completion of a thesis or research paper.

See the Science listing under the College of Sciences and Humanities, page 180, for the doctoral programs in science education and philosophy in environmental science.

 

Admission requirements

 

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Physics and Astronomy and take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or an equivalent test.

 

MASTER OF ARTS IN PHYSICS

 

Degree requirements

 

Requires the student to write a research paper on a research project in physics or physics education. The research paper earns a total of 3 hours of credit. 

 

PREFIX   NO    SHORT TITLE     CR HRS

 

Core requirements

PHYCS   534   Thermodynamc (3)

               or

               675   Thermal Phys (3)     3

               552   Elec Mag 2 (3)

               or

               673   Electdynamcs (3)     3

               565   Quant Mech             3

               530   Mechanics (3)

               or

               671   Clasicl Mech (3)      3

               683   Seminar (1-4)           3

 

Courses in physics, applied physics,

or astronomy as approved by the

department. A minimum of 12
credit hours must be in courses at
the 600 level.                                9-15

 

Research requirement

RES        697   Research Ppr (1-3)   3

 

Minors and electives as approved
by the department                          0-6

                                                    –––––

                                                    33 hrs

 

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PHYSICS

 

Degree requirements

Requires a 6-hour thesis, which is normally a formal report on the student’s research in some feature of experimental, theoretical or computational physics, or physics
education.

 

PREFIX   NO    SHORTTITLE      CR HRS

 

Core requirements

PHYCS   565   Quant Mech             3

               671   Clasicl Mech            3

               673   Electdynamcs          3

               675   Thermal Phys           3

               683   Seminar (1-4)           3

Courses in physics, applied physics,

or astronomy as approved by the

department                                    6-12

 

Research requirement

THES      698   Thesis (1-6)             6

 

Minors and electives as approved

by the department                          0-6

                                                    –––––

                                                    33 hrs                                             

Topics for research leading to an MS or MA degree may include applied nuclear (Radon) studies; condensed matter/nanostructure studies; observational stellar astronomy, galactic structure, and extragalactic astronomy; solar energy applications; microprocessor-based instrumentation, computer vision; radiocarbon dating; elementary particle physics (Ball State University/Fermi Lab); physics studies applied to policies on arms control, energy, and the environment; and physics education. 

      If the student chooses experimental physics as a research topic, it normally will be in one of the above areas for which laboratory and apparatus are available. However, it is possible for research to be conducted at a cooperating industrial or national research and development laboratory or educational institution. For research in both experimental and theoretical physics, remote access to the university’s central computer is available; students also have access to desktop computers in the department. Students’ choices of research topics must be approved by the department.

 

Assistantships

 

Normally students who are awarded graduate assistantships will need about two years to complete work for the master’s degree. Students should allow a minimum amount of time equivalent to about three semesters of thesis research for initial approval, completion, and final acceptance by the department and Graduate School.

 

MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION IN PHYSICS

 

Admission requirements

 

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Physics and Astronomy and take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or an equivalent test.

Designed for students choosing a profession in public school teaching. Candidates must possess a valid teaching license or be in the process of securing a senior high, junior high/middle school, or secondary school teaching license.

 

Degree requirements

 

Requires students to write research papers on research projects in physics, astronomy, physics education, or astronomy education. The research paper earns a total of 3 hours of credit.

 

PREFIX   NO    SHORT TITLE     CR HRS

 

12-18 hours from APHYS,
ASTRO, PHYCS as approved

by the department                        12-18

 

9 hours from

Professional Education Core            9

 

0-6 hours from

Minors and nondepartmental

electives as approved by the

department                                     0-6

 

Research requirement

RES        697   Research Ppr (1-3)   3

                                                    ———

                                                    30 hrs

 

APPLIED PHYSICS (APHYS)

 

510 Introduction to Nanoscience and Technology. (3) Explores science and technology at the nanoscale. Studies the physical properties of nanomaterials, the tools and techniques for nanosystem fabrication and investigation; principles of mechanical, optical, electrical, and magnetic nanosystems; current state of technology in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and information systems; and future applications.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260.

 

512 Fundamentals of Nanomaterials Growth and Device Fabrication. (4) Introduces basic experimental techniques in: nanomaterials growth, nanodevices fabrication, and materials and devices characterization. Introductory laboratory in the field of nanoscience and technology. Intended for those interested in semiconductor technology or experimental work in general.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260 or permission of the department chairperson.

 

515 Medical Physics 1. (3) Biomechanics, statistical physics, bioelectric fields, biomagnetic fields, electricity, and magnetism at the cellular level.

Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson or instructor.

Not open to students who have credit in APHYS 315.

 

516 Medical Physics 2. (3) Signal analysis, images, biomagnetism, x-rays, nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging.

Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson or instructor.

Not open to students who have credit in APHYS 316.

 

520 Solar Thermal Systems. (3) Physics of the solar energy resource, solar collection, concentration, thermal conversion, energy storage, and the design and performance of solar thermal energy systems.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 122; MATHS 162 or 166.

Not open to students who have credit in APHYS 420.

 

522 Photovoltaics. (3) Physics of photovoltaic systems, including basic operating principles, design and technology, and performance of individual solar cells and solar cell systems.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260; MATHS 162 or 166.

Not open to students who have credit in APHYS 422.

 

ASTRONOMY (ASTRO)

 

530 Astronomy and Astrophysics 1. (4) A review of mechanics, electromagnetic radiation, and atomic structure in modern observational astrophysics. Solar system astrophysics—including an introduction to celestial mechanics and astronomical coordinate and time systems—are surveyed, and astronomical instruments are discussed.

Prerequisite: ASTRO 122; PHYCS 122.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 330.

 

532 Astronomy and Astrophysics 2. (4) An examination of observational stellar astronomy with applications to the study of stellar structure and evolution and a review of the physics of stellar systems like star clusters, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies.

Prerequisite: ASTRO 530.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 330.

 

580 Seminar in Modern Astronomy. (3) Seminar covering selected topics in contemporary astronomy. Extensive use of library facilities including current journals and periodicals in astronomy. Discussions of current astronomical research.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 380 under the same title.

582 Instruments and Techniques in Planetarium Operations. (3) Use of planetarium instruments, console, and chamber. Organization and evaluation of planetarium programs and exhibits.

Prerequisite: ASTRO 122 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 382.

 

586 Instruments and Techniques of Astronomy Workshop for Teachers. (2) Observatory and laboratory experience in investigating the modern techniques of imaging in observational astronomy. Characteristics of telescopes, CCD cameras, film and emulsions, electronic data acquisition, and processing systems. Methods of reducing raw data.

 

602 Observational Astronomy Workshop for Teachers. (3) Lecture/laboratory- oriented course that prepares middle and high school teachers to explain celestial events, plan observing sessions, and use star charts and planetaria-type computer software. Introduces image acquisition and software to extract meaningful data.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 602.

 

604 Physical Foundations of Astronomy Workshop for Teachers. (3) Lecture/ laboratory-oriented course that introduces middle and high school teachers to basic principles of physics presented in the context of modern astronomy and astrophysics. Fundamentals of mechanics and celestial mechanics and their applications to space exploration, as well as fundamental principles in optics and the structure of matter are discussed.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 604.

 

606 Stellar Evolution and Black Holes Workshop for Teachers. (3) Lecture/ laboratory-oriented course that introduces middle and high school teachers to the basic principles of stellar properties and stellar evolutions. Fundamental laws are reviewed in the context of pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes. Provides practical applications through hands-on experiences in how stellar properties are determined.

Prerequisite: ASTRO 604 or PHYCS 604 or permission of the instructor.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 606.

 

PHYSICS (PHYCS)

 

530 Mechanics. (3) Basic concepts of mechanics, general motion of particles in three dimensions. Simple and damped harmonic motion. Particle dynamics in noninertial frames of reference, central forces. Dynamics of systems of particles. Motion of rigid bodies in three dimensions. Dynamics of oscillation systems.

Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 330.

 

534 Thermodynamics. (3) Laws of thermodynamics and introduction to the kinetic theory of gases. No regularly scheduled laboratory.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 330 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 434.

 

540 Physical Optics. (3) The electromagnetic wave theory of light; spectra, interference, diffraction, polarization, and double refraction.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 122.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 340.

 

546 Acoustics. (3) Elements of pure and applied acoustics. Topics include solutions to the wave equation, acoustic impedances, electro-mechanical-acoustic analogies, direct-radiator loudspeaker and enclosure theory, and room acoustics.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 122.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 346.

 

550 Electricity and Magnetism 1. (3) Application of vector analysis to electrostatics, dielectric theory, magnetostatics, dipole and multipole fields, currents, and Maxwell’s equations.

      Prerequisite: PHYCS 122; MATHS 267 or equivalent.

      Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 450.

 

552 Electricity and Magnetism 2. (3) The study of electric and magnetic fields in electrodynamics, Maxwell’s equation, EM waves, radiation of moving charges, and relativistic kinematics and dynamics.

      Prerequisite: PHYCS 450, 550 or equivalent.

      Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 452.

 

554 Electronics l. (4) Introductory DC and AC circuit theory, semiconductor components, power supplies, transistor amplification, integrated circuit operational amplifiers, active filters, oscillators, and function generators. Basic combinational logic circuits and Boolean algebra. Emphasizes application of integrated circuits.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 122 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 354.

 

556 Electronics 2. (4) Sequential logic circuits including scalars, displays, memories, shift registers, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion techniques. Microprocessor architecture and support electronics for microcomputer design. IC chips and circuits for experiment to microcomputer interfacing. Use of a microprocessor development system.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 354 or 554.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 356.

 

560 Introductory Nuclear Techniques. (3) Experimental studies of radioactive disintegrations and decay products and their relationship to nuclear structure. Instrumentation in radioscope measurements. Two lectures and two two-hour laboratory periods a week.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 360.

 

561 Elementary Particles. (3) Investigates the nature and behavior of elementary particles through the study of the symmetries and dynamics responsible for their production, reactions, and decays.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 464 or 564.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 461.

 

563 Nuclear Physics. (3) The nucleus and nuclear interactions. Theoretical and experimental elements of radioactive decay and models of the nucleus.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 463.

 

564 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. (3) De Broglie’s postulate, the uncertainty principle, the Schroedinger equation, the free particle, square well potentials, harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, and angular momentum in quantum mechanics, and other selected wave mechanics problems. No regularly scheduled laboratory.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 464.

 

565 Quantum Mechanics. (3) Review of barrier problems, the harmonic oscillator, and angular momentum using matrix methods. Problems involving perturbation theory, one-electron atoms, magnetic moments, spin, relativistic effects, symmetric and anti-symmetric wave functions, the helium atom, transition rates, and scattering theory.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 464 or 564.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 465.

 

566 Solid State Physics. (3) Structure and physical properties of matter in the solid state. Electrical and magnetic properties and band theory of solids, with special emphasis on semiconductors.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 260.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 466.

 

570 Introductory Mathematical Physics 1. (3) Application of mathematical techniques to the formulation and solution of physical problems in classical mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetic theory and in quantum mechanics. Topics include computer algebra systems and applications.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 122, 260; or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 370.

 

572 Introductory Mathematical Physics 2. (3) Techniques in the formulation and solution of physical problems. Computer algebra systems (e.g. mathematica) may be introduced for the study of topics such as boundary value problems, transforms, special functions of mathematical physics, and applications of tensor analysis in physics.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 122, 260; or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 372.

 

580 Seminar in Modern Physics. (3) Seminar covering selected topics in contemporary physics. Extensive use of library facilities including current journals and periodicals in physics. Discussions of current research in physics and related fields.

      Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

      A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term.

      Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 380 under the same title.

 

585 Measures of Learning in Physics. (1) Integration of the fundamental principles underlying undergraduate physics education and related measures of learning. Emphasis is on developing familiarity with the contents of local and national exams in physics which are often reflected in graduate level qualifying exams. Emphasis will be focused on basic concepts in the context of problem solving.

      Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 485.

 

602 Observational Astronomy Workshop for Teachers. (3) Lecture/laboratory-oriented course that prepares middle and high school teachers to explain celestial events, plan observing sessions, and use star charts and planetaria-type computer software. Introduces image acquisition and software to extract meaningful data.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 602.

 

604 Physical Foundations of Astronomy Workshop for Teachers. (3) Lecture/ laboratory-oriented course that introduces middle and high school teachers to basic principles of physics presented in the context of modern astronomy and astrophysics. Fundamentals of mechanics, celestial mechanics, and their applications to space exploration as well as fundamental principles in optics and the structure of matter are discussed.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 604.

 

606 Stellar Evolution and Black Holes Workshop for Teachers. (3) Lecture/laboratory-oriented course that introduces middle and high school teachers to the basic principles of stellar properties and stellar evolutions. Fundamental laws are reviewed in the context of pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes. Provides practical applications through hands-on experiences in how stellar properties are determined.

Prerequisite: ASTRO 604 or PHYCS 604 or permission of the instructor.

Not open to students who have credit in ASTRO 606.

 

641 Laser and Holography Workshop for Teachers. (2) The field of lasers and holography for junior high and high school science teachers. Basic geometrical optics, physical optics, and atomic theory phenomena in relation to laser operation and hologram making. Laboratory-oriented with considerable emphasis on laser safety and the use of lasers for demonstrating optical phenomena in the classroom.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 112 or 122 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 340, 540.

 

657 Introductory Integrated Circuit Analog Electronics Workshop for Teachers. (2) Laboratory-oriented course that acquaints teachers who do not have a strong electronics background with the uses of modern integrated circuitry. Emphasizes the construction and use of circuits that can be presented in the classroom. Introduces analog electronics topics.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 112 or 122 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 354, 356, 554, 556.

 

658 Introductory Integrated Circuit Digital Electronics Workshop for Teachers. (2) Laboratory-oriented course that acquaints teachers who do not have a strong electronics background with the uses of modern integrated circuitry. Emphasizes the construction and use of circuits that can be presented in the classroom. Introduces digital and micro-processor electronics topics.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 112 or 122 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 354, 356, 554, 556.

 

659 Application of Nuclear Techniques Workshop for Teachers. (2) Applications of nuclear techniques in research, medicine, the environment, energy production, and industry. Designed for junior high and high school science teachers. Laboratory oriented. Uses radiation detection devices and radiation safety procedures.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 112 or 122 or permission of the department chairperson.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 360 or 560.

 

669 Work and Learning Experience in Physics. (1-3) Paid work and learning experiences in applied or theoretical physics in an institutional, industrial, or university research or development setting.

Prerequisite: approval of a proposed program by the department chairperson.

A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.

No more than 3 hours in combination with PHYCS 369 may be used as approved electives toward a departmental major.

 

671 Classical Mechanics. (3) Classical Hamiltonian mechanics as applied to particles and rigid body motion.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 330 or permission of the department chairperson.

 

673 Electrodynamics. (3) Advanced mathematical techniques for solving problems in electrostatics and magnetostatics; fundamental concepts of electrodynamics. Applicants to electromagnetic fields in matter, waves, and radiation.

      Prerequisite: PHYCS 450, 550 or equivalent.

 

675 Thermal Physics. (3) Thermal physics, kinetic theory, and statistical mechanics.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 434 or 534 or permission of the department chairperson.

 

677 Quantum Theory of Solids. (3) The quantum mechanical theory of the structure, cohesion, and static and dynamic processes in solids, particularly crystalline solids but with some reference to amorphous solids.

Prerequisite: PHYCS 565 or permission of the department chairperson.

 

681 Resources and Methodology of Physics Research. (3) Periodical resource material in physics, methodology of literature research. This course may be used to satisfy requirements of the graduate research methodology plan for a master’s degree.

Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.

 

683 Seminar in Physics. (1-4) Critical examination and discussion of recent experimental and theoretical developments in physics. Participation in and contribution of a presentation at departmental physics colloquia are expected.

A total of 4 hours of credit may be earned.

 

685 Special Studies in Physics. (1-8) Special activities in physics involving one or more of the following: experimental work, study of advanced topics in physics, and attendance in prescribed classes.

Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.

A total of 8 hours of credit may be earned.

 

691 Advanced General Science. (3) Further study of the principles of physics, chemistry, meteorology, geology, and astronomy that were introduced in the prerequisite: PHYCS 101.

 

693 Theories of Physics for Secondary Physics Teachers. (3) Classical mechanics, relativity, electricity, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics used to enable students to use new developments and recent scientific advances. Designed primarily for teachers and workers in the field who need to update their general knowledge of physics. No regularly scheduled laboratory.

Prerequisite: 8 hours of credit in college physics.

 

696 Modern Developments in Physics Teaching. (1-3) Recent developments in secondary physics curricula, multimedia teaching methods, national and local trends in physics teaching, laboratory work, textbooks, tests.

Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.

A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.

Not open to students who have credit in PHYCS 396.

 

790 Internship in Science Education. (3) Supervised experience in instruction of physics or science education courses.