Department of Physics

Floyd James, Interim Chairperson


The Department of Physics provides a comprehensive and robust program of physics designed to educate, train, and prepare a diverse group of students for careers in physics, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Physics majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will learn how to analyze complex phenomena, think critically, solve problems, develop independent learning skills, and use good judgment and practical skills in various laboratory environments. These graduates will be prepared to meet our nation’s scientific workforce needs in state and federal governments, the industrial workplace, research laboratories, higher education, and secondary schools.

The Department of Physics is a recognized leader in physics education, teaching, research, and scholarship. It plays a central and critical role in building an Interdisciplinary University through the use of novel technologies in education and research.


Physics – Bachelor of Science
Physics (Engineering Physics) – Bachelor of Science
Physics (Biological Physics) – Bachelor of Science
Physics (Interdisciplinary Physics) – Bachelor of Science
Physics (Secondary Education) – Bachelor of Science
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology – Bachelor of Science


In addition to the general admission requirements of the University, a student must have two units of algebra, one unit of plane geometry, and 1/2 unit of trigonometry.


Common Courses for All Concentrations

  • Required Major Core Courses for Physics for All Concentrations (32 hours): PHYS 241, PHYS 242, PHYS 251, PHYS 252, PHYS 305, PHYS 306, PHYS 345, PHYS 400, PHYS 415, PHYS 420, PHYS 430, PHYS 494
  • Required Math Courses for Physics for All Concentrations (12 hours): MATH 131, MATH 132, MATH 231
  • Required Elective Courses for Physics for All Concentrations (6 hours): CHEM 106, CHEM 116, GEEN 160
  • Required General Education non-math and non-science courses – 19 Credit hours

Physics Major – As a major in physics all students in all concentrations must complete from 120 semester hours of University courses depending on the concentration. A minimum grade of “C-” must be achieved in all physics and math courses. Note that a 2.00 grade point average must be maintained in all major courses and an overall grade point average of 2.00 is required to graduate.

Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology Major – Students must complete 120 semester hours of University courses. A minimum grade of “C-” must be achieved in all atmospheric sciences and meteorology, physics, and math courses. Note that a 2.00 grade point average must be maintained in all major courses and an overall grade point average of 2.00 is required to graduate.

Additional Course Requirements – Physics

  • Physics – PHYS 100, 101, 375, 401, 416, 422, 450, 485, 492
  • Math – MATH 224, 341, 350
  • Computation – GEEN 160
  • Free Electives – (12 hours) It is suggested that at least 6 of these hours be FOLA courses

Additional Course Requirements – Physics (Engineering Physics)

  • Physics – PHYS 100, 101, 375 401, 416, 422, 475, Physics Electives (6 hours) numbered 300 or above
  • Math – MATH 331
  • Computation – GEEN 160
  • Engineering Electives (24 hours)
  • Free Electives (6 hours) It is suggested that those hours be FOLA courses

Additional Course Requirements – Physics (Interdisciplinary Physics) 

  • Physics – PHYS 100, Physics Elective (6 hours) numbered 300 or above
  • Math – Mathematics electives (3 hours) numbered 300 or above
  • Disciplinary Electives (24 credit hours) - to be determined by the student’s interest and approved by an advisor
  • Free Electives – 9 credit hours – It is suggested that at least 6 of these hours be FOLA courses

Additional Course Requirements – Physics (Biological Physics)

  • Physics –  PHYS 100, 433, 434, Physics Elective (9 hours) numbered 300 or above
  • Biology – BIOL 101, 102, 221
  • Biomedical Engineering – BMEN 220, 325
  • Concentration Electives (15 credit hours) – to be determined by the student’s interest and approved by an advisor.
  • Free Electives – 3 credit hours

Additional Course Requirements – Physics (Secondary Education)

  • Physics – PHYS 100, 101, 110, 111, 375, 492 (2)
  • Chemistry – CHEM 107, 117
  • Other Sciences – ASME 151
  • Science Elective – (3 hours) – This must be a science elective other than a Physics course
  • Curriculum and Instruction – CUIN 101, 102, 110, 210, 225, 410, 420, 435, 470, 498


The Minor in Physics shall consist of at least 20 credit hours, as follows:

Required courses: PHYS 241, PHYS 251, PHYS 242, PHYS 252 and PHYS 306

Elective courses: An additional 9 credit hours from PHYS 101 and / or any physics courses numbered 300 or above.

Students must choose the elective physics courses with the approval of the department chair.

Students completing the Minor in Physics must earn a grade of “C” or better in all courses for the minor.

Students must complete a minimum of 24 academic credits before declaring a minor.

All other requirements under the Minor Field of Undergraduate Study Policy apply.


Course requirements:

Atmospheric Science – ASME 151, 231, 251, 252, 422, 433, 434, 492, 496

ASME Electives (9 hours) – Courses must be chosen from ASME 211, 275, 285, 420, 423, 430, 440, 463, 470, 480,  481, 491

Physics required – PHYS 100, 241, 242, 251, 252, 305, 345, 400, 411, 450

Physics Elective – (6 credit hours) – Course must be chosen from PHYS 4xx: 412, 415, 420, 430, 440, 447, or 475

Math – MATH 131, 132, 224, 231

Chemistry – CHEM 106, 116

Technical Electives – 6 credit hours that must be in Mathematics, Science, or Engineering

Required General Education non-math and non-science courses – 19 credit hours

Free Electives – (9 credit hours) – It is suggested that at least 6 of these hours be FOLA courses


The Department of Physics provides quality instruction, mentoring, and training in order to produce competitive graduates who are trained in the arts of critical thinking, analytical reasoning, independent learning, and problem solving. The department has strong and active collaborations with major research institutions such as Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Colorado State University, Howard University, University of Washington, Appalachian State University,University of Alaska, Cornell University, Princeton University, University of California – Davis, and Desert Research Institute. Collaborations with national laboratories include the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab), National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NOAA Earth Systems Research Lab (ESRL), and NOAA Severe Storm Laboratory (NSSL). More than half of our physics majors participate in summer research at other  institutions. International Collaborations include Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Addis Ababa University, National Taiwan University, National Central Univeristy (Taiwan), and Yonsei University (Korea).


Departmental teaching facilities include smart classrooms, computerized undergraduate laboratories, an astronomy observatory, a planetarium, a nuclear lab, a space science and solid-state physics lab, and a chemical physics lab, Atmospheric physics/chemistry lab that houses a smog chamber for studies of aerosol photochemical aging. The Department plays a major role in many interdisciplinary campus research activities and program developments. In addition, the department provides numerous service courses to meet the science, technology, engineering, and mathematical needs.


  1. Experimental Low and Medium Energy Physics: Research carried out on campus, at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratories. Research topics include: investigations of the spin structure of the nucleon, tests of fundamental symmetry-breaking predictions in the theory of the strong force through precision measurement of meson decay widths, and signature of materials by gamma exposure. The research work involves construction of detectors, data acquisition, test and calibrations, and data analysis. The research work is supported by the National Science Foundation.
  2. Chemical Physics, Experimental and Theoretical: Spectroscopic techniques applied to the study of chemical reactions, non-reactive energy transfer processes, and cluster photochemistry, as well as theoretical calculations involving density matrix functional theories. Program supported by the National Science Foundation.
  3. Atmospheric Science: The research and technology integrated themes include: Climate and weather modeling, experimental atmospheric chemistry research focused on measuring optical and chemical properties of biomass burning aerosols and other forms of aerosols using laser spectroscopic methods, field studies in air quality. This research is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
  4. Physics of Materials: Experimental and theoretical research into the physical properties of amorphous, ordered, and nanostructured solids. Investigated materials include metals, insulators, semiconductors and amorphous solids.
  5. Biological and Soft Matter Physics: Experimental and theoretical research into developing sperm as an active matter model system and use it to study the phase separation in active matter, and sperm motility under the influence of different physical environment such as fluid low and fluid rheology. This program supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
  6. Physics Education: Space and Earth Science Education development supported through a NASA grant. Research on the ionospheric phenomenon along the geomagnetic equator Also, research on web-based education and innovative teaching methods and on creating a responsive learning environment.
  7. Computational Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics: Structural studies of organic molecular crystals. Visualization of DFT functional differences.


A knowledge and understanding of the principles of physics not only lead to a profound understanding of the physical world but also supply the scientist with the insight to develop new and innovative ideas. The technology and devices that influence our daily lives are based upon the discoveries of physics. Theoretical and experimental physicists are on the cutting edge of this exciting and vital progress. Physics graduates Physics graduates  are everywhere: they work in industry, in national laboratories, on college campuses, and on Wall Street. They are astronauts in the space shuttle. They are astronomers who hunt for new planets beyond our solar system and who are concerned with the origin and evolution of the universe. They are men and women who are interested in how things work and in how things might work. A physics education develops problem-solving skills and provides a firm knowledge of basic science and the ability to apply and adapt that knowledge within the workplace. Owing to their training, physicists excel at solving complex problems, which allows them to seek employment..


PHYS 100. Physics Orientation Credit 1(1-0)
The course introduces students to the subject area of physics, the various branches of physics. The applications of physics in science, engineering technology as well as current advances in physics will be discussed. The role of physics in interdisciplinary programs and research is discussed. Other topics may include African Americans and women in physics, physics and society, physics and religion, physics and politics, history of physics and physics and the national economy. (F)

PHYS 101. Introduction to Astronomy Credit 3(3-0)
This course is a broad survey of astronomy that examines the night sky, the seasons, the phases of the moon, eclipses, gravity, light, telescopes, the solar system, stars and galaxies. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 104. Introduction to Cosmology Credit 3(3-0)
This course will examine the universe: its size, shape and expansion; its origin, age and future; black holes and the mysterious dark matter and dark energy. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 105. Physics for Nonscientists Credit 3(3-0)
This course is intended for non-science students. It is a qualitative introduction to topics at the forefront of modern physics, with an emphasis on conceptual understanding. Mathematics use is reduced to a minimum. The course stresses the major role physics plays in our everyday life and aims at helping students evaluate the importance of the new scientific developments and their technological and socio-economical implications. It covers a wide variety of topics such as the building blocks of matter, the evolution of our universe, superconductivity and superfluidity, MRI and medical imaging techniques, the physics of lasers, the physics of semiconductors and transistors, nanoscience and nanotechnology, modern and future energy sources and their effects on the environment. (F;S)

PHYS 110. Survey of Physics Credit 2(2-0)
This is a one-semester study of selected topics in physics from each of the following: Newtonian mechanics, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light, atomic, and nuclear physics, and relativity. Prerequisites: MATH 102, 110 or 111. Corequisite: PHYS 111. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 111. Survey of Physics Lab Credit 1(0-2)
This is a laboratory course to be taken concurrently with PHYS 110, Survey of Physics. Students will perform experiments designed to verify and/or clarify physics concepts. Corequisite: PHYS 110. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 211. Technical Physics I Credit 3(4-0)
This is a study of the basic principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion, sound, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Emphasis is placed on applications of physics in modern technology. Prerequisite: MATH 111. Corequisites: MATH 112 and PHYS 216. (DEMAND)

PHYS 212. Technical Physics II Credit 3(4-0)
This is a continuation of PHYS 211. Prerequisite: PHYS 211. Corequisite: PHYS 217. (DEMAND)

PHYS 214. Astronomy I Credit 3(3-0)
This course studies the Solar System. The following topics will be explored: the motions of the Earth, the sun, the moon, and the planets; the nature of light; ground and space-based telescopes; comparative planetology; the Earth-moon system; terrestrial and gas planets and their moons; dwarf planets, asteroids, and comets; planetary system formation. Corequisite: PHYS 224. (F;S)

PHYS 215. Astronomy II Credit 3(3-0)
This course studies Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology. The following topics will be explored: stellar observables; star birth, evolution, and death; novae and supernovae; white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes; normal galaxies, active galaxies, and quasars; dark matter and dark energy; cosmology; and the early universe. Prerequisites: PHYS 214 and PHYS 224. (F;S)

PHYS 216. Technical Physics I Laboratory Credit 1(0-2)
This is a qualitative and quantitative study of certain physical systems; critical observations and codification of data are emphasized. Corequisite: PHYS 211. (DEMAND)

PHYS 217. Technical Physics II Laboratory Credit 1(0-2)
This is a continuation of PHYS 216. Corequisite: PHYS 212. (DEMAND)

PHYS 224. Astronomy I Laboratory Credit 1(0-2)
In this laboratory, students will learn how to use robotic telescopes. Students will learn how to analyze data from their observations of planets, moons, asteroids, binary and variable stars, supernovae, star-forming regions, star clusters, and galaxies. Corequisite: PHYS 214. (F;S)

PHYS 226. College Physics II Credit 3(3-0)
This is an algebra-based continuation of PHYS 225. No calculus is used. The course covers the fundamental principles of electricity, magnetism, wave motion, and optics. Corequisite: PHYS 236. Prerequisite: PHYS 225. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 235. College Physics I Laboratory Credit 1(0-2)
This is a course that will emphasize the importance of experimentation and observations in the development of a physical science. A selected group of experiments will be undertaken. Corequisite: PHYS 225. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 236. College Physics II Laboratory Credit 1(0-2)
This is a continuation of PHYS 235. Corequisite: PHYS 226. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 241. General Physics I Credit 3(4-0)
This is a calculus-based physics course that covers the fundamental principles of Newtonian mechanics, heat, and thermodynamics. Corequisites: MATH 132, PHYS 251. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 242. General Physics II Credit 3(4-0)
This is a continuation of PHYS 241. It is a calculus-based study of physics, which covers the fundamental principles of electricity, magnetism, wave motion, and optics. Prerequisites: PHYS 241, MATH 132. Corequisite: PHYS 252. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 251. General Physics I Lab Credit 1(0-2)
This is a laboratory course where a selected group of physics experiments will be performed. Emphasis is placed on the development of experimental technique, analysis of data, and physical interpretation of experimental results. Corequisite: PHYS 241. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 252. General Physics II Lab Credit 1(0-2)
This course is a continuation of PHYS 251. Corequisite: PHYS 242. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 280. Introduction to Space Science Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores major components of space science that  include properties of outer space (the region beyond the Earth's atmosphere), and/or regions that require a space-based operation. Space science areas include both remote sensing studies of Earth and more distant objects including the near-Earth space environment. Prerequisite: PHYS 101. (F;S)

PHYS 290. Introduction to Geophysics Credit 3(3-0)
This course provides an introduction to the use of physical measurements to determine the structure and composition of the solid Earth. Topics include plate tectonics, the gravity and magnetic fields, elasticity and seismic properties of the Earth, seismic waves, earthquake seismology, isostasy, and elementary concepts in geodynamics. The course summarizes current knowledge of the interior of the Earth as determined by modern geophysical techniques. Prerequisite: PHYS 242. (F;S)

PHYS 305. Mathematical Physics (formerly PHYS 405) Credit 3(3-0)
This is a course in the applications of mathematics to solutions of physical problems. It covers selected topics in vector analysis, differential equations, special functions, calculus of variations, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, and matrices. Prerequisite: MATH 231. (F;S)

PHYS 306. Introduction to Modern Physics (formerly PHYS 406) Credit 3(3-0)
This course is a study of the basics of special relativity, quantum, atomic, molecular, statistical, solid state, nuclear, and particle physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 242 or 226 and MATH 132. (F;S;SS)

PHYS 345. Introduction to Computations in Physics (formerly PHYS 445) Credit 3(3-0)
This course will introduce and use computational techniques to analyze and solve physical problems. Techniques to be used include a visual programming language, graphing packages, computer algebra systems, and other applications. Prerequisites: PHYS 241, PHYS 242 and a course in programming. (F;S)

PHYS 375. Intermediate Physics Laboratory (formerly PHYS 407) Credit 2(1-2)
This is an intermediate level laboratory course that emphasizes performing selected experiments in electromagnetism, optics, atomic, nuclear and condensed matter physics. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to proper laboratory skills in data collection, analysis and reporting as well as to give students hands-on knowledge of experiments and ideas which revolutionized the field of physics. Pre- or Co-requisite: PHYS 306. (F;S)

PHYS 400. Physical Mechanics I Credit 3(3-0)
This is a course in Newtonian mechanics and includes particle dynamics, conservation laws, vibrational motion, central field motion, rigid body dynamics, Hamilton’s principle and Lagrange’s equations. Prerequisites: PHYS 242 and PHYS 305. (F)

PHYS 401. Physical Mechanics II Credit 3(3-0)
This is an intermediate course on classical mechanics. Topics include: Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism, and special relativistic descriptions of the dynamics of particles and rigid bodies. Applications in engineering will be considered. Prerequisite: PHYS 400. (S)

PHYS 411. Atmospheric Physics I Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers the applications of physical laws and principles including acoustics, electricity, wave propagation, optics, and radiation to the atmosphere. Prerequisites: Math 231, Phys 242 or consent of instructor (F;S)

PHYS 412. Atmospheric Physics II Credit 3(3-0)
This course is a continuation of Atmospheric Physics I and will include topics from basic principles of cloud and precipitation physics, including the study of condensation processes, freezing nucleation, ice crystal growth, and weather modification. Prerequisites: PHYS 411 (F;S)

PHYS 415. Electromagnetism I Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an intermediate course in Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism. The course treats electrostatic fields in vacuum, Gauss’s law, special techniques for calculating electric potentials, electrostatic fields in matter, electric polarization, linear dielectrics, magnetostatic fields and potentials in vacuum and matter, Lorentz transformation, Ampere’s law, magnetization, paramagnetic, diamagnetic and ferromagnetic media, Faraday's laws and induction, Maxwell's equations, energy conservation and Poynting’s theorem. Prerequisites: PHYS 242 and PHYS 305. (F)

PHYS 416. Electromagnetism II Credit 3(3-0)
This course is the continuation of PHYS 415. It is an intermediate course in Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism. Electromagnetic phenomena are presented. This includes electromagnetic wave propagation, reflection and refraction, absorption and dispersion, dipole and point charge radiation. Relativistic electrodynamics is also presented. Applications to problems in engineering will be considered. Prerequisite: PHYS 415. (S)

PHYS 420. Quantum Physics I Credit 3(3-0)
This course presents a mathematical introduction required for understanding of quantum mechanics. The solutions of the Schrodinger equation for free particle and a particle in one-dimensional potentials (square, barrier, etc.), and the postulates of quantum mechanics are presented. The simple harmonic oscillator problem is solved. Other topics include angular momentum, spin, the two-particle problem and the hydrogen atom. Prerequisite: PHYS 306. (F;S)

PHYS 422. Quantum Physics II Credit 3(3-0)
This is a continuation of PHYS 420. This course deals with selected applications of quantum mechanics to problems in atomic, molecular, nuclear, solid state physics and materials science. Topics include: approximation methods, perturbation theory, and scattering theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 420. (F;S)

PHYS 430. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Credit 3(3-0)
This course reviews the principles of thermodynamics, which include macroscopic variables, thermodynamic equilibrium, the thermodynamic laws, and kinematic theory. The fundamentals of statistical mechanics are covered, which include microcanonical and canonical ensembles, partition functions, Bose and Fermi statistics, and the Boltzmann equation. Prerequisite: PHYS 400. (F;S)

PHYS 433. Physical Techniques in Biology Credit 3(3-0)
This course discusses using physical tools to investigate biological systems. The first major topic is microscopy and imaging, covering optical microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and different fluorescence techniques (including fluorescence resonance energy transfer and superhigh-resolution fluorescence microscopy). The second major topic is micro/nanofabrication and micro/nanofluidics, covering lithography and lab-on-a-chip applications. Other methods discussed include protein crystallography and atomic force microscopy. Prerequisite: PHYS 242. (F;S)

PHYS 434. Biological Physics Credit 3(3-1)
This course focuses on applying quantitative analyses on biological questions, and through these analyses, showing how biological systems evolve to navigate the noisy environment, as well as how fundamental physics can be used to understand biological phenomena. Subjects include chemotaxis and rheotaxis, evolutionary game theory, population dynamics and bifurcation theory, and the emergence of collective dynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 242, CHEM 107, MATH 231. (F;S)

PHYS 440. Applied Geophysics Credit 3(3-0)
This course offers an overview of the field procedures employed to collect different types of geophysical data, and provides an introduction to the techniques employed to analyze and interpret geophysical data collected for applied and engineering purposes. It covers the major geophysical methods employed in resource exploration, environmental assessment, and geotechnical investigations and includes theory and technical background for seismic refraction and reflection methods, electrical resistivity and electromagnetic methods, ground penetrating radar method, gravity method, and magnetic method. Case studies, field exercises, and computer exercises are also included. Students will be given hands-on exercises with geophysical survey equipment. Prerequisite: PHYS 290. (F;S)

PHYS 441. Geophysical Data Analysis Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers the fundamental principles and methods that are commonly used to analyze geophysical data. It includes the following topics: transforms, one-sided functions, spectral factorization, resolution, matrices and multi-channel time series, data modeling by least squares, waveform applications of least squares, layers revealed by scattered wave filtering, and mathematical physics in stratified media. Prerequisite: PHYS 440. (F;S)

PHYS 442. Structural Geology Credit 3(3-0)
This course studies the processes of deformation and the geometry of deformed rocks by examining rock deformation through the analysis of structures at both the microscopic and outcrop scales. It will cover the following topics: the description of geological structures; the kinematics and dynamics of folding and faulting; stress, strain, and rheology; introduction to dislocation theory; micro-structural analysis and principles of plate tectonics. Prerequisite: PHYS 290. (F;S)

PHYS 447. Computational Techniques in Physics (formerly PHYS 530) Credit 3(2-3)
This course is an application of numerical methods to solve problems in physics. It includes root finding, systems of equations, integration, differentiation, boundary-value problems, and Monte Carlo methods. Prerequisite: PHYS 305. (DEMAND)

PHYS 450. Waves and Optics Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores wave phenomena. It covers the propagation, reflection, and refraction of light and includes studies of lenses and optical instruments, interference, diffraction, polarization, line spectra, and thermal radiation. Prerequisite: PHYS 242. (F;S)

PHYS 451. Introduction to Astrophysics Credit 3(3-0)
This course is a study of radiation from stars and nebulae to determine the basic stellar characteristics, the composition and physical conditions of matter in and between the stars. It also investigates the structural properties of our Milky Way galaxy, as evidenced by the spatial distribution of dust, gas, stars, and magnetic fields. Prerequisite: PHYS 242. (DEMAND)

PHYS 453. Introduction to High Energy Astrophysics (formerly PHYS 580) Credit 3(3-0)
The course will introduce the fundamentals of the subject, with a focus on compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars, and will also survey recent exciting developments in this field. Topics include general relativity, accreting neutron stars and black holes, and gamma ray bursts. Prerequisite: PHYS 242. (DEMAND)

PHYS 457. Electromagnetism III Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an extended study of electromagnetism which covers simple radiating systems, multi-pole radiation, and radiation by moving charges, and relativistic kinematics. Prerequisite: PHYS 416. (DEMAND)

PHYS 465. Physics of Atoms, Molecules and Nanosystems Credit 3(3-0)
This is a study of one and many electron atoms, molecular structure, and molecular spectra, of diatomic and polyatomic molecules with introductory applications to nanoscience. The course also covers other topics that include limits of smallness, quantum nature of the nanoworld, and self-assembled nanostructures in nature and industry. Prerequisite: PHYS 306. (S)

PHYS 467. Solid State Physics Credit 3(3-0)
This is a study of the basics of the topics of binding, crystal structure, the reciprocal lattice, phonons, free and nearly free electron gas models, energy bands, metals, semiconductors, insulators, superconductors, and magnetic properties of materials. Prerequisite: PHYS 306. (F)

PHYS 468. Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particles Credit 3(3-0)
This is a study of the properties of the nucleus, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, fission and fusion, elementary particles, and particle accelerators. Prerequisite: PHYS 406. (F)

PHYS 470. Experimental Physics (formerly PHYS 531) Credit 3(2-3)
This course surveys experimental methods in physics. It involves experiment development, including techniques in instrumentation design and data acquisition. Also, it involves oral and written presentations of experimental results. Prerequisite: PHYS 242. (DEMAND)

PHYS 475. Advanced Laboratory Credit 2(1-3)
This is a laboratory course designed to give students advanced laboratory training needed to perform research. Selected experiments from classical mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, atomic physics, nuclear physics and condensed matter physics would be performed. This course may be repeated to earn a maximum of four credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 375. (F;S)

PHYS 480. Introduction to Solar Physics Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the Sun as a star, its radius, mass, and luminosity as well as measuring of these parameters. It also explores other characteristics of the Sun such as variability of rotation, magnetism, chemical structure, and planetary system. The course will also address the internal structure of the Sun and its atmosphere. Contemporary research on the Sun will also be discussed. Prerequisite: PHYS 306. (F;S)

PHYS 490. Space Radiation Credit 3(3-0)
This is a course in space radiation environment, space exploration and radiation protection requirements. The course covers cosmic rays and radiation environment, biological effect induced by space radiation, effects of space radiation on the spacecraft on-board electronics and equipment, space radiation measurement, monitoring and dosimetry, radiation protection for space exploration and shield design. Prerequisite: PHYS 242, MATH 231 (F;S)

PHYS 492. Physics Seminar (formerly PHYS 510) Variable Credit (1-3)
This is a study of current developments in physics. The topics and the amount of credit will be determined before the beginning of the course. This course can be repeated for up to a total of 6 credit hours. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (DEMAND)

PHYS 494. Undergraduate Research (formerly PHYS 550) Variable Credit 1-3
This course involves student participation in research conducted by faculty. Topics may be analytical and/or experimental and encourage independent study. The amount of credit will be determined before the beginning of the course. This course can be repeated for up to a maximum total of 6 credit hours. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (F;S;SS)

Some Graduate Courses
(Consult Graduate Programs Catalog)

PHYS 600. Classical Mechanics

Credit 3(3-0)

PHYS 601. Selected Topics in Geophysics

Credit 3(2-2)

PHYS 602. Introduction to Geophysical Research

Credit 3(1-4)

PHYS 605. Mathematical Methods

Credit 3(3-0)

PHYS 615. Electromagnetic Theory I

Credit 3(3-0)

PHYS 620. Quantum Mechanics I

Credit 3(3-0)

PHYS 630. Statistical Mechanics

Credit 3(3-0)


ASME 151. Earth System Science: Exploring the Connections (formerly ASME 200) Credit 3(3-0)
This course investigates the interactions among the atmosphere, ocean, ice, solid-Earth and biological systems. It introduces students to scientific inquiry and the scientific method through a comprehensive study of the principles of the earth system using a case study approach and the influence of human activity on the earth system. (F;S)

ASME 211. Computer Applications in Meteorology Credit 3(2-2)
This course is an introductory lecture and lab to familiarize students with computational, meteorological, and graphic software packages including, but not limited to FORTRAN and UNIX/LINUX, and MATLAB. (F;S)

ASME 231. Atmospheric Thermodynamics Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers the general aspects of thermodynamic physical processes occurring within the atmosphere. Topics included are atmospheric statics and stability, saturation point analysis, aerosols, nucleation, the structure and content of clouds, the development of physical characteristics of precipitation, and the dynamics of rain systems. Prerequisite: PHYS 241. (F;S)

ASME 251. Fundamentals of Meteorology and Climatology Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers the general character of the atmosphere and its weather and climate systems, phenomena, and distributions of variables (winds, temperature, pressure, moisture). Topics included are the formal framework of the science; the application of basic classical physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computational sciences to the atmosphere and climate systems. Prerequisites: CHEM 107 or consent of instructor. Corequisite: ASME 252. (F;S)

ASME 252. Meteorological Analysis Laboratory Credit 1(0-2)
This course provides laboratory exercises to supplement ASME 251. Lab experiences include weather observations, weather map analysis, use of the internet, forecasting practice and climate modeling. Prerequisites: CHEM 107 or consent of instructor. Corequisite: ASME 251. (F;S)

ASME 275. Weather Systems Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an introduction to the basic characteristics, of  thermodynamics, and dynamics of atmospheric weather systems on Earth and other planets. The students are exposed to observations of weather systems while reviewing non-dimensional analysis, dynamics and thermodynamics. Weather systems on earth are compared to those of other planets, and analytical tools are used to gain insights into their basic physics (F;S)

ASME 285. Broadcast Meteorology Credit 3(3-0)
This course provides an introduction to the principles of broadcast meteorology. Students will develop the skills necessary to communicate scientific information with emphasis on weather forecasts. The campus radio station will be used by the students to present weather forecasts. Prerequisite: ASME 251. (F;S)

ASME 420. Tropical Meteorology Credit 3(3-0)
This course surveys the basic concepts, theories, and dynamics of tropical meteorology.  Topics cover tropical circulations, tropical convection, tropical wave dynamics, tropical cyclones and tropical climate. Prerequisite: ASME 231, ASME 251. (F;S)

ASME 422. Weather Analysis and Forecasting Credit 4 (3-3)
This course covers the analysis and forecasting of synoptic weather systems with an emphasis on the basic tools of and its application for weather analysis, including the theories of  synoptic weather; the application of thermodynamic and dynamic concepts and models to synoptic weather analysis and the use of numerical models for synoptic weather forecasting. Prerequisites: ASME 211, ASME 251, MATH 231 or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 423. Weather Analysis and Forecasting II Credit 4(3-3)
This course covers the mesoscale analysis and forecasting of mesoscale weather systems with an emphasis on the structure, evolution, and dynamics of atmospheric phenomena.  Phenomena to be studied will include  hurricanes, mountain waves, land/sea breeze, mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs), severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and squall lines. Students will use data for mesoscale weather analysis from a variety of observing platforms, mesoscale models (such as WRF), case studies, and multi-media instructional modules. Prerequisites: ASME 422 or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 430. Polar Meteorology Credit 3(3-0)
This course will focus on the meteorology in the polar region. The course begins with an overview of the basic geographical characteristics and climate features of the polar region. Attention then turns to various polar weather phenomena and patterns. The final segment of the course lecture explores the numerical weather forecast of polar weather. Prerequisites: ASME 251. (F;S)

ASME 433. Atmospheric Dynamics I Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an introduction to fluid dynamics in the atmosphere. The basic laws of fluid mechanics are discussed as applied in the atmospheric context. Topics covered are geophysical wave motion, the notion of scale in fluid mechanics, and approximations for analyzing the structure of large-scale atmospheric flows. Prerequisites: ASME 211, MATH 341 or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 434. Atmospheric Dynamics II Credit 3(3-0)
This course provides additional coverage of atmospheric fluid mechanics topics. Topics covered are quasi-geostrophic energetic fronts, mean circulation planetary and equatorial waves, an overview of the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, wave-mean flow interaction, spectral methods, and tropical meteorology. Prerequisite: ASME 433. (F;S)

ASME 440. Atmospheric Chemistry Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers an overview of chemical kinetics and equilibrium, sources and sinks of pollutants, photochemistry and smog formation, air quality and human health issues, air pollution trends, and acid rain. It provides a quantitative basis for understanding complex chemical interactions in the atmosphere. Prerequisite: CHEM 107 or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 463. Atmospheric Remote Sensing (formerly ASME 563) Credit 3(3-0)
This course investigates interactions between electromagnetic radiation and matter using examples drawn from remote sensing techniques that are commonly used in atmospheric sciences. Prerequisites: PHYS 416, or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 470. Atmospheric Modeling Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers advanced atmospheric fluid dynamics concepts such as Coriolis accelerations, scale analysis, and appropriate approximations of the complete governing equations. Prerequisites: ASME 433, PHYS 345 or ASME 211. (F;S)

ASME 480. Synoptic Dynamics Credit 3(3-0)
This course will advance the understanding of synoptic-scale mid-latitude systems through the method of weather analysis.  Topics include: quasi-geostrophic theory, potential vorticity dynamics, fronts cyclones and jets. Prerequisites: ASME 422 or ASME 433. (F;S)

ASME 481. Atmospheric Fluid Dynamics Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers advanced atmospheric fluid dynamics concepts such as Coriolis accelerations, scale analysis, and appropriate approximations of the complete governing equations. Prerequisites: MATH 341 and PHYS 241 or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 491. Chemical and Optical Instrumentation for Atmospheric Measurement Credit 3(3-0)
This course covers principles and performance of chemical and optical instrumentation techniques for ground and aircraft-based measurements. Prerequisites: PHYS 450 or consent of instructor. (F;S)

ASME 492. Seminar in Atmospheric Science and Meteorology (formerly ASME 510Credit 1(1-0)
This is a study of current developments in atmospheric sciences and meteorology. The topics will be determined between a student, advisor, and instructor of the course. A student is required to take this course twice. Prerequisites: ASME 251, Senior or Junior standing. (F;S)

ASME 496. Senior Project (formerly ASME 550) Credit 6(0-12)
This course is an investigation of special topics on climate, atmospheric science, and meteorology arranged between a student and a faculty advisor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. (F;S)


Abdellah Ahmidouch
Professor and Dean, College of Science and Technology
B.S., Mohammed V. University; M.S., Joseph Fourier Grenoble I University; Ph.D., University of Geneva

Solomon Bililign
B.S., M.S., Addis Ababa University; Ph.D., University of Iowa

Samuel S. Danagoulian
M.S., Ph.D., Yerevan Physics Institute

Ashot Gasparian
B.S., Ph.D., Yerevan Physics Institute

Floyd J. James
Associate Professor and Interim Chairperson
B.S., M.S., M.S., Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abebe B. Kebede
Associate Professor
B.S., Addis Ababa University; M.A, Ph.D., Temple University

Melvin Levy
Research Professor
B.S., M.A., Queens College, Ph.D., Indiana University

Yuh-Lang Lin
B.S., Fujen Catholic University, M.S., South Dakota School of Mines and Tech., Ph.D., Yale University

Ademe Mekonnen
Associate Professor
B.S., Addis Ababa University; M.S., University of Reading; Ph.D., University of Albany

Ronald S. Pedroni
Associate Professor
B.A., Jacksonville University; Ph.D., Duke University

Thomas R. Sandin
Professor Emeritus
B.S., Santa Clara University; M.S., Ph.D., Purdue University

Brian Schuft
M.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chih-Kuan Tung
Assistant Professor
B.S., National Taiwan University, Taipei; Ph.D., Princeton University

Joe B. Whitehead, Jr.
B.S., Delta State University; M.S., Ph.D., Kent State University

Jing Zhang
Associate Professor
B.S., M.S., Nanjing University, Nanjing; Ph.D., Peking University, Beijing