Physics and Astronomy

Campus Address: 503J Benton Hall
Web Site: http://www.umsl.edu/~physics
Main Number: 314-516-5931
Fax Number: 314-516-6152

General Information

Degrees and Areas of Concentration

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers superb course work leading to the B.A. in physics, the B.S. in physics, and in cooperation with the College of Education, the B.A. in physics with teacher certification and the B.S. in education with an emphasis in physics. The Department offers meritorious students opportunities to participate in teaching and research to help prepare them for the independent effort required in industry or graduate school. The Department‘s faculty members have a diversity of interests and are active in various experimental and theoretical research areas. Students successfully completing this program will obtain an understanding of basic physics concepts, mathematical and problem-solving skills needed to solve basic physics problems, experimental skills in physics, astrophysics, or biophysics, and the ability to analyze and interpret scientific data and write scientific papers or reports.

The Master of Science in physics program combines a sound basis in the fundamental areas of classical and modern physics from both a theoretical and an applied perspective. The program is designed to enable students with undergraduate backgrounds in physics or other technical areas to further their professional development and maintain and improve their technical development. The program is offered almost entirely in the evening to serve students who are employed locally. Students receiving a M.S. in physics will obtain an understanding of advanced physics concepts and mathematical and problem-solving skills needed to solve advanced physics problems. Students are strongly encouraged to be involved with faculty research programs that will develop experimental skills in physics, astrophysics, or biophysics as well as experience in analyzing and interpreting scientific data and the writing of scientific papers, reports, or theses. The Department offers the Ph.D. degree in cooperation with Missouri University of Science and Technology Physics Department. Students must satisfy the Missouri S&T admission standards, and the Missouri S&T Qualifying Exam in Physics is required of University of Missouri-St. Louis Ph.D. students. However, all course work and dissertation research may be completed while the student is in residence at UMSL. In addition to obtaining an understanding of advanced physics concepts and mathematical and problem-solving skills needed to solve advanced physics problems, Ph.D. students are expected to conduct independent scientific research in physics, astrophysics, or biophysics while learning to analyze and interpret scientific data and write scientific papers, reports, and a dissertation.

Undergraduate Studies

General Education Requirements

Majors must complete the university and college general education requirements. Any of the following courses may be used to satisfy the physical science requirement:

ASTRON 1001Cosmic Evolution Introductory Astronomy4
ASTRON 1001ACosmic Evolution/Introduction Astronomy3
ASTRON 1011Planets And Life In The Universe3
ASTRON 1012The Violent Universe And The New Astronomy3
ASTRON 1050Introduction To Astronomy I3
ASTRON 1051Introduction To Astronomy II3
ASTRON 1121The Search For Extraterrestrial Life3
ATM SCI 1001Elementary Meteorology4
GEOL 1001General Geology4
GEOL 1001AGeneral Geology4
GEOL 1002Historical Geology4
GEOL 1002AHistorical Geology Lecture3
PHYSICS 1001How Things Work3
PHYSICS 1011Basic Physics I4
PHYSICS 1011ABasic Physics I3
PHYSICS 1012Basic Physics II4
PHYSICS 1012ABasic Physics II3
PHYSICS 2111Physics: Mechanics And Heat5
PHYSICS 2112Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, And Optics5

Degree Requirements

All physics majors in all programs must complete the physics core curriculum with the exception that majors pursuing the Physics Education option are not required to take PHYSICS 1099 and CMP SCI 1250. In addition to the core courses, each individual program has its own specific requirements. Required Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Optometry and Computer Science courses for a major or minor in physics may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading basis. 

Core Curriculum
The following physics courses are required: 23
Windows On Physics
Physics: Mechanics And Heat
Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, And Optics
Mathematical Methods Of Theoretical Physics
Mechanics
Electricity And Magnetism
Introduction To Modern Physics I
Also required are: 26
Analytic Geometry And Calculus I
Analytic Geometry And Calculus II
Analytic Geometry And Calculus III
Introduction To Differential Equations
Introductory Chemistry I
Introduction To Computing
Total Hours49

Note: Students are urged to begin the calculus sequence [MATH 1800, Analytic Geometry and Calculus I] as soon as possible to avoid delays in graduation.

Students with experience in digital computer programming may be excused from CMP SCI 1250.

Bachelor of Arts in Physics

The B.A. program is tailored to students wishing to preserve the option for specialization in graduate school without sacrificing the advantages of a liberal arts education. In addition to the core curriculum, including the foreign language requirement, at least three electives at the 3000 or 4000 levels must be completed. It is recommended that at least one of these three electives include ASTRON 4322, PHYSICS 4311, or PHYSICS 4347 for the required capstone course. The Department of Physics and Astronomy will accept the three-course sequence in American Sign Language as a substitution for the foreign language requirement for the degree. At least 31 hours of physics courses, but no more than 45 hours, are required.

Bachelor of Science in Physics

The B.S. degree provides students with six options: general physics, astrophysics, engineering physics, medical physics, optical biophysics or physics education.

General Physics Option

This option may be elected by students desiring a greater concentration in physics and mathematics and is recommended for students wishing to enter graduate study in physics. At least 50 hours are required. In addition to the core curriculum, the following physics courses are required:

Physics
PHYSICS 4310Modern Electronics3
PHYSICS 4311Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
PHYSICS 4323Modern Optics3
PHYSICS 4331Intro To Quantum Mechanics3
PHYSICS 4341Thermal And Statistical Physics3
PHYSICS 4350Computational Physics3
Select three electives at or above the 4000 level in physics or astronomy. 9
Astronomy
ASTRON 1050Introduction To Astronomy I3
or ASTRON 1051 Introduction To Astronomy II
Mathematics
MATH 2450Elementary Linear Algebra3
Select one elective in mathematics at or above the 3000 level, or in computer science at or above the 2000 level.3
Chemistry
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II (or equivalent)5
Total Hours41
Physics
PHYSICS 4310Modern Electronics3
PHYSICS 4311Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
PHYSICS 4323Modern Optics3
PHYSICS 4331Intro To Quantum Mechanics3
PHYSICS 4341Thermal And Statistical Physics3
PHYSICS 4350Computational Physics3
Select three electives at or above the 4000 level in physics or astronomy. 9
Astronomy
ASTRON 1050Introduction To Astronomy I3
or ASTRON 1051 Introduction To Astronomy II
Mathematics
MATH 2450Elementary Linear Algebra3
Select one elective in mathematics at or above the 3000 level, or in computer science at or above the 2000 level.3
Chemistry
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II (or equivalent)5
Total Hours41

Astrophysics Option

Students who have interests in the aerospace sciences or anticipate graduate studies in astrophysics may elect this option. At least 48 hours must be taken. In addition to the core curriculum, the following physics courses are required:

Physics
PHYSICS 4323Modern Optics3
PHYSICS 4331Intro To Quantum Mechanics3
PHYSICS 4341Thermal And Statistical Physics3
PHYSICS 4350Computational Physics3
Astronomy
ASTRON 1050Introduction To Astronomy I3
ASTRON 1051Introduction To Astronomy II3
ASTRON 4301Astrophysics3
ASTRON 4322Observational Astronomy4
Select one physics elective at or above the 4000 level. 13
Mathematics
MATH 2450Elementary Linear Algebra3
Total Hours31

1

With consent of the astronomy adviser, there may be substitution of ASTRON 1001, ASTRON 1001A, ASTRON 1011 or ASTRON 1012 for ASTRON 1050 or ASTRON 1051.

Engineering Physics Option

Students interested in careers in the research and development field of industry should consider this option. This program exposes the student to a basic engineering curriculum, as well as to areas of physics with industrial applications, such as electronics, modern optics, and linear analysis. At least 49 hours, but no more than 51, are required. In addition to the core curriculum, the following courses are required:

Joint Engineering
ENGR 2310Statics3
ENGR 2320Dynamics3
Joint Electrical Engineering
J E ENGR 2300Introduction To Electrical Networks3
Physics
PHYSICS 4310Modern Electronics3
PHYSICS 4311Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
PHYSICS 4323Modern Optics3
PHYSICS 4331Intro To Quantum Mechanics3
PHYSICS 4341Thermal And Statistical Physics3
Mathematics
MATH 1320Applied Statistics I3
MATH 2450Elementary Linear Algebra3
Select one elective in mathematics at or above the 3000 level, or in a computer science at or above the 2000 level. 3
Total Hours33

Medical Physics Option

This option is designed for students who are interested in careers in various medical fields or biophysics. This option provides a strong preparation in physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology for students who intend to apply for admission to medical schools. At least 41 hours of physics and biology combined, but no more than 51, are required. In addition to the core curriculum, the following physics and biology courses are required:

Physics
PHYSICS 4310Modern Electronics3
PHYSICS 4347Biophysics Of Imaging4
Biology
BIOL 1831Introductory Biology: From Molecules To Organisms5
BIOL 1821Introductory Biology: Organisms And The Environment5
Select two additional physics electives at the 4000 level.6
Chemistry
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II5
CHEM 2612Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2622Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2633Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
Total Hours36

Optical Biophysics Option

This program is designed for students wanting to obtain a strong biophysics emphasis that will also prepare them for the optometry program at UMSL. This 3+4 program allows students to complete their B.S. in physics and Doctor of Optometry degrees in seven years. Students can complete their B.S. in physics degree in their fourth year while starting coursework in the College of Optometry. A total of 55 hours in physics, biology, and optometry courses are required. In addition to the physics core curriculum, the following courses are required:

Physics
PHYSICS 4341Thermal And Statistical Physics3
Biology
BIOL 1831Introductory Biology: From Molecules To Organisms5
BIOL 1821Introductory Biology: Organisms And The Environment5
BIOL 2482Microbiology3
BIOL 2483Microbiology Laboratory2
Optometry (fourth year only)
OPTOM 8020Basic and Clinical Optics I4
OPTOM 8060Biochemistry3
OPTOM 8120Basic & Clinical Optics II5
OPTOM 8140Physical Optics and Photometry 13
Chemistry
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II5
CHEM 2612Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2622Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2633Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
Psychology
PSYCH 1003General Psychology3
Select one elective in psychology3
Statistics
MATH 1320Applied Statistics I3
or PSYCH 2201 Psychological Statistics
Total Hours55

1

 This course will  not be offered in 2013-2014. Please contact the department for more information.

 

Note: Upon declaring physics as a major and selecting this option, students should seek an initial interview with the Director of Student Services and the Pre-Optometry Advisor in the UMSL College of Optometry to ensure that all prerequisites for the College of Optometry will be completed. A similar review is recommended at the beginning of the Winter Semester of the second year. In August following the completion of their second year of this program, students may apply formally to the UMSL College of Optometry and arrange to take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) during the Fall semester of their third year. The applicant will be invited for a formal interview for acceptance into the College of Optometry professional program following receipt of a completed application in the Fall Semester of the candidate's third year. Following the formal interview with the College of Optometry at the beginning of the third year, students with a 3.0 or better grade point average in the science prerequisites for optometry and a score of 310 or better on the OAT exam may be accepted into the College of Optometry.

B.S. degree in Physics, Physics Education Option and B.S. degree in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in Physics.

The course sequence below meets the science requirements for Missouri certification for teaching physics at the secondary school level. All candidates must enroll in a program that includes Levels I, II, and III coursework in the College of Education, which includes one semester as a Teacher Intern and one semester of full-time Student Teaching. In addition, students must complete the following Science Core Courses and the courses listed under Physics Endorsement:

Science Core Courses

PHIL 3380Philosophy Of Science3
BIOL 1831Introductory Biology: From Molecules To Organisms5
BIOL 2102General Ecology3
CHEM 1111Introductory Chemistry I5
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II5
PHYSICS 2111Physics: Mechanics And Heat5
PHYSICS 2112Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, And Optics5
Select one of the following:4
General Geology
Elementary Meteorology
ASTRON10XX

Physics Endorsement

PHYSICS 3200Mathematical Methods Of Theoretical Physics3
PHYSICS 3221Mechanics3
PHYSICS 3223Electricity And Magnetism3
PHYSICS 3231Introduction To Modern Physics I3
PHYSICS 4310Modern Electronics3
PHYSICS 4311Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
SEC ED 3240Curriculum And Methods Of Teaching Physical Sciences3
SEC ED 4837Chemistry/Physics Teaching Seminar2

Minor in Physics

Students may complete a minor in physics with the flexibility of emphasis on classical physics, modern physics, or a combination of the two areas. The following physics courses are required:

PHYSICS 1099Windows On Physics1
PHYSICS 2111Physics: Mechanics And Heat5
PHYSICS 2112Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, And Optics5
PHYSICS 3200Mathematical Methods Of Theoretical Physics3
Select two additional emphasis courses from the following: 6
Mechanics
Electricity And Magnetism
Introduction To Modern Physics I
Modern Electronics
Total Hours20

A GPA of at least 2.0 is required in courses presented for a minor. It is required that a student completes a minimum of 6 hours of graded work in 2000 level or above courses on the UMSL campus.

Graduate Studies

Admission Requirements

The Department requires applicants to have adequate backgrounds in such areas as mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, electronics, and modern physics. Students admitted to the program with deficiencies in these areas are required to take appropriate undergraduate courses. If necessary, a remedial program is determined in consultation with the department graduate studies director at the time of application for admission.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Master's

A student must complete 30 credit hours in graduate physics courses with at least 15 of these at the 5000 or 6000 level. Writing a thesis is optional. A maximum of six (3) credit hours of Research, PHYSICS 6490, may be counted toward the minimum 15 hours with (or without) the thesis option. Students must pass a comprehensive examination, which includes a defense of the thesis for students who have chosen to write one. A grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained during each academic year. Students must complete their degree program within 130 percent of the semester hour requirements for the degree. The requirements must be fulfilled within six years from the time of admission. Two-thirds of required graduate credit must be taken in residence. There is no foreign language requirement.

Typical Program

First Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
Second Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
Third Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course6
PHYSICS 6490Research3
Fourth Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000 level course6
PHYSICS 6490Research3
Total Hours30
First Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
Second Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course 6
Third Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000, 5000 level course6
PHYSICS 6490Research3
Fourth Semester
PHYSICS: 6000 level and 4000 level course6
PHYSICS 6490Research3
Total Hours30

Doctorate

Students must complete a minimum of 48 hours past the master’s degree with satisfactory performance. The university has a residency requirement of three years/six semesters (for those with master’s degree, two years/four semesters) at UMSL and/or Missouri S&T. The Ph.D. qualifying exam, dissertation, and dissertation exam are administered in cooperation with Missouri S&T. All graduate work requires B grades or better. The dissertation may be written in absentia, and there is no foreign language requirement.

Special Equipment, Facilities, or Programs

The William L. Clay Center for Nanoscience,which opened in 1996, is an interdisciplinary facility bringing together both physicists and chemists for research in materials science. A focus of the center is to foster collaborations between its members and colleagues in industry. The center houses the Microscope Image and Spectroscopy Tech Lab where research at the forefront of nanotechnology is conducted with transmission electron, scanning probe, and scanning electron microscopes in a building uniquely designed for such work. The center is spearheading the formation of the Missouri NanoAlliance, a nano-characterization and synthesis network that will facilitate the sharing of resources across Missouri. The Center for Neurodynamics, established in 1995, conducts research at the interface between physics and biology, with a focus on the roles of noise and stochastic synchronization in neural processing. The center has an on-site high speed (CCD) imaging system for studying the spatial dynamics of neural activity in the mammalian brain. Collaborations with St. Louis University will permit high time-resolution magnetoencephalography (MEG) image analysis, making use of a high-speed Internet 2 connection, UMSL’s new high-speed (3.8 GHz) 128-node Beowulf cluster, and Missouri’s first MEG machine. Astronomers make use of national facilities at Kitt Peak, Cerro Tololo, and Mauna Kea Observatories. The university provides email and internet services through numerous student labs equipped with computers with Windows and Macintosh operating systems, flat-bed document scanners, and color printers. The department maintains a network of UNIX/LINUX/OSX system and workstations and a workstation for image processing. In addition, the department maintains a library containing some of the most frequently used physics journals and machine and electronics shops.

Career Outlook

Many of our students have been successful in subsequent graduate studies in astronomy and atmospheric science, biomedical engineering, medical physics, and patent law, as well as in physics. Our alumni have pursued graduate studies and earned doctorate degrees at institutions such as Cornell University, University of Wisconsin, Washington University, and University of Chicago. The many students who elected a career in industry are now working in a variety of settings for such firms as International Business Machines, Emerson Electric, MEMC Electronic Materials, Motorola, A T & T, Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Several former students are currently teaching physics in high schools around the St. Louis area.

Sample Four Year Plans

 Physics BA  Physics BS

Physics BA

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
INTDSC 100311MATH 18005
PHYSICS 10991Foreign Language 10025
ENGL 11003CHEM 11115
MATH 10303 
MATH 10352 
Foreign Language 10015 
 15 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 21115PHYSICS 21125
MATH 19005MATH 20005
CMP SCI 12503General Education6
Foreign Language 21013 
 16 16
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 32003PHYSICS 32213
PHYSICS 32313PHYSICS 32233
MATH 20203ENGL 31003
General Education6General Education6
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 3000+ level elective6PHYSICS 3000+ level elective6
General Education6General Education3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor7
 15 16
Total Hours: 123
1

INTDSC 1003 is required only for first-time freshmen and transfer students with less than 24 college credits. 

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.

Physics BS

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
INTDSC 100311CHEM 11215
MATH 10352MATH 18005
CHEM 11115ASTRON 10513
ENGL 11003General Education3
PHYSICS 10991 
MATH 10303 
 15 16
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
MATH 19005PHYSICS 21115
CMP SCI 12503MATH 20005
PHYSICS 21115MATH 24503
CMP SCI 2000+ level elective3General Education3
 16 16
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 32003PHYSICS 32213
MATH 20203PHYSICS 32233
PHYSICS 32313PHYSICS 43413
General Education 9PHYSICS 4000+ level elective3
 General Education3
 18 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
PHYSICS 43313PHYSICS 43233
PHYSICS 43103PHYSICS 43113
PHYSICS 4000+ level elective3PHYSICS 4000+ level elective3
PHYSICS 4350, MATH 4030, or MATH 42303General Education9
ENGL 31003 
 15 18
Total Hours: 129
1

INTDSC 1003 is required only for first-time freshmen and transfer students with less than 24 college credits.

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change. 

Astronomy Courses

ASTRON 1001 Cosmic Evolution Introductory Astronomy: 4 semester hours

Overview of astronomy, from the planets to the Big Bang. Topics include the celestial motions, planets and the formation of the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies, and cosmology. Students will be introduced to the latest discoveries and how they affect our understanding of the universe. The format is three classroom hours and one 2-hour laboratory session per week to enhance lecture material.

ASTRON 1001A Cosmic Evolution/Introduction Astronomy: 3 semester hours

Overview of astronomy, from the planets to the Big Bang. Topics include the celestial motions, planets and the formation of the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies, and cosmology. Students will be introduced to the latest discoveries and how they affect out understanding of the universe. Three classroom hours per week. Same as ASTRON 1001 without the laboratory.

ASTRON 1011 Planets And Life In The Universe: 3 semester hours

Man's concept of the solar system from Stonehenge to Einstein; geology and meteorology of the planets of our solar system, with particular attention to results from the space program; exobiology--study of the possibilities of life on other worlds and the best method of communicating with it. Three lecture hours per week.

ASTRON 1012 The Violent Universe And The New Astronomy: 3 semester hours

A nontechnical course focusing on recent results which larger telescopes and the space program have made available. Pulsars, x-ray stars, and black holes; radio astronomy, our galaxy, and interstellar molecules; exploding galaxies and quasars; origin of the expanding universe. Three lecture hours and one observing session per week.

ASTRON 1050 Introduction To Astronomy I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 1030 and MATH 1035. A survey of the history of astronomy from the ancient times to present. Theories for the formation and evolution of the solar system and the general features of the solar system and planetary motions are discussed. The physical concept of gravity is presented. The detailed properties of the planets, comets, and asteroids are reviewed, concentrating on recent results from space missions.

ASTRON 1051 Introduction To Astronomy II: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 1030 and MATH 1035. A survey of astronomy beyond the solar system. Topics include stars and stellar evolution, neutron stars, and black holes. The physical concept of light and the design of telescopes is discussed in detail. The structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and the large scale structure of the universe are explored. Dark matter, quasars, and active galactic nuclei are discussed in the context of theories for the formation and evolution of the universe. Course does not need to be taken in sequence with ASTRON 1050.

ASTRON 1121 The Search For Extraterrestrial Life: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: ASTRON 1001 or ASTRON 1011. Are we alone? The possibility of life in the universe in addition to our own will be explored. Our discussion of the chances for extraterrestrial life will be built around the current theories of chemical, biological, and cultural evolution which have led to our own technological civilization on Earth. Strategies for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence will be discussed.

ASTRON 4301 Astrophysics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 3231 or consent of instructor. A Moderately technical introduction to astrophysics. Topics will include: physics of stellar interiors and atmospheres; interpretation of stellar spectra; stellar evolution; radio astronomy; and cosmology.

ASTRON 4322 Observational Astronomy: 4 semester hours

Prerequisite: ASTRON 1050, ASTRON 1051 and PHYSICS 3231. Tools of the astronomer: telescopes, spectroscopy, photoelectric photometry. Students will work on a number of projects which will enable them to develop expertise in obtaining, reducing, and analyzing astronomical observations. Student night observing will be an important part of the course. This course is primarily for persons who are astronomy or physics majors or who have some equivalent background.

Atmospheric Science Courses

ATM SCI 1001 Elementary Meteorology: 4 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 1020 or equivalent. An elementary course covering atmospheric phenomena, weather, and climate. Topics included are temperature, pressure, and moisture distributions in the atmosphere and dynamical effects such as radiation, stability, storms, and general circulation. Four classroom hours per week with one hour being a learning enhancement session to include demonstrations and exercises on problem solving.

ATM SCI 1001A Elementary Meteorology: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: MATH 1020 or equivalent. An elementary course covering atmospheric phenomena, weather, and climate. Topics included are temperature, pressure, and moisture distributions in the atmosphere and dynamical effect such as radiation, stability, storms, and general circulation, Same as ATM SCI 1001 without the learning enhancement session.

Geology Courses

GEOL 1001 General Geology: 4 semester hours

Earth materials and processes, including geological aspects of the resource/energy problem. Laboratory involves identification of common rocks and minerals.

GEOL 1001A General Geology: 4 semester hours

Earth materials and processes, including geological aspects of the resource/energy problem. Laboratory involves identification of common rocks and minerals.

GEOL 1002 Historical Geology: 4 semester hours

Study of changes in Geography, climate and life through geological time; origin of and continents oceans basins, and mountains in light of continental drift. Laboratory primarily involves description and identification of fossils. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab.

GEOL 1002A Historical Geology Lecture: 3 semester hours

Study of changes in geography, climate and life through geological time; origin of continents, ocean basins, and mountains in light of continental drift. Same as GEOL 1002 without the laboratory.

GEOL 1053 Oceanography: 3 semester hours

The atmospheric and ocean circulations; the chemistry and geology of the deep sea; and their effects on the distribution of marine organisms.

Physics Courses

PHYSICS 1001 How Things Work: 3 semester hours

Can baseball players hit home runs more easily when the weather is hot and humid? This course provides a practical introduction to understanding common life experiences by using physical intuition and basic ideas of physics. Powerful scientific principles are demonstrated through topics ranging from airplane wings to compact disk players, from lightning strikes to lasers.

PHYSICS 1011 Basic Physics I: 4 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 1030 and MATH 1035, MATH 1100 or MATH 1800 strongly recommended. A course specifically designed for students in health and life sciences covering the topics in classical mechanics such as kinematics, Newton's laws, energy, momentum and oscillations. This course will not fulfill the PHYSICS 2111 requirement for physics, chemistry, and engineering majors. Three classroom hours and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 1011A Basic Physics I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 1030 and MATH 1035, MATH 1100 or MATH 1800 strongly recommended. A course specifically designed for students in health and life sciences, covering the topics of classical mechanics, heat and sound. Will not fulfill the PHYSICS 2111 requirement for physics, chemistry, and engineering majors. Three classroom hours per week. There is no laboratory associated with this course.

PHYSICS 1012 Basic Physics II: 4 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 1011. A continuation of PHYSICS 1011. A course specifically designed for students in health and life sciences covering electricity, magnetism, light, optics and waves. This course will not fulfill the PHYSICS 2112 requirement for physics, chemistry, and engineering majors. Three classroom hours and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 1012A Basic Physics II: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 1011 or PHYSICS 1011A. A continuation of PHYSICS 1011. A course specifically designed for students in health and life sciences covering the topics of electricity, magnetism, light and radiation. Will not fulfill the PHYSICS 2112 requirement for physics, chemistry, and engineering majors. Three classroom hours. There is no laboratory associated with this course.

PHYSICS 1099 Windows On Physics: 1 semester hour

A seminar designed to introduce physics majors to research areas in physics and physics-related fields in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In addition to fundamental areas of physics, the areas of astrophysics, biophysics, materials science, and nanotechnology will be included. Career opportunities for students with physics degrees will be discussed and the physics curriculum will be reviewed. The course meets weekly and is required of all physics majors and minors who are transfer students.

PHYSICS 2111 Physics: Mechanics And Heat: 5 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 1900 (may be taken concurrently). An introduction to the phenomena, concepts, and laws of mechanics and heat for physics majors and students in other departments. Three classroom hours, one hour discussion, and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 2112 Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, And Optics: 5 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 2111 and MATH 2000 (MATH 2000 may be taken concurrently). A phenomenological introduction to the concepts and laws of electricity and magnetism, electromagnetic waves, optics and electrical circuits for physics majors and students in other departments. Three hours of lecture, one hour of discussion, and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 3200 Mathematical Methods Of Theoretical Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 2112 and MATH 2000 Mathematical techniques specifically used in the study of mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and quantum physics are developed in the context of various physical problems. Course includes the topics of vector calculus, coordinate systems, the Laplace equation and its solutions, elementary Fourier analysis, & complex variables. Applications to electrostatics, mechanics, and fluid dynamics are emphasized. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 3221 Mechanics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3200 and MATH 2020 (MATH 2020 may be taken concurrently) Advanced course covering single and many particle dynamics, rigid-body dynamics, and oscillations. Variational principles and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics are covered. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 3223 Electricity And Magnetism: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3200 and MATH 2020 (MATH 2020 may be taken concurrently) Advanced course covering the rigorous development, from basic laws, of Maxwell's equations for electromagnetic fields along with applications of these equations. Topics covered are electrostatics and electrodynamics including currents, magnetic fields, motion of charged particles in fields and an introduction to electromagnetic waves. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 3231 Introduction To Modern Physics I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 2111, PHYSICS 2112, and MATH 2020 (may be taken concurrently) and PHYSICS 3200 strongly recommended. Photons and the wave nature of particles, wave mechanics, Schroedinger equation, with applications to atomic physics; and radiation; the physics of solids; elementary particles; special relativity; health physics. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 3281 Directed Readings In Physics: 1-5 semester hours

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor An independent study of special topics in physics. A paper may be required on an approved topic. Topics must be substantially different. Hours arranged.

PHYSICS 3390 Research: 1-10 semester hours

Prerequisite: Consent of department. Independent physics research projects arranged between student and instructor. Hours arranged.

PHYSICS 4305 Bayesian Data analysis for the Sciences: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor. This is a cross-disciplinary course in two parts. Part one covers Bayesian inference as applied to data analysis in general, with a special focus on the mathematics of model-selection in the physical and life sciences. Part two concentrates specifically on the Bayesian use of log-probability (i.e. information) measures to track order-disorder transitions in thermodynamics, and to track the evolution of sub-system correlations (via both digital and analog means) in a wide variety of complex systems. Expect weekly empirical observation exercises, and opportunities for asynchronous as well as synchronous collaboration.

PHYSICS 4306 Nanoscience Practicals: 1-3 semester hours

Studies of Nanoscience characterization, synthesis, modeling techniques designed for clients of these tools, as well as for technical users interested in a current overview. Course consists of a set of 1/3 semester modules. Check with the instructor on more specialized modules, (e.g, on materials microscopy), if interested. Each module will cover instrumentation, current applications, weaknesses, and will involve lab visits for hands-on experience, weekly web interaction and classroom hours.

PHYSICS 4308 Transmission Electron Microscopy: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Course introduces students to transmission electron microscopy techniques and their applications to solving challenging materials and biological problems. Course includes fundamental principles (electron optics), electron-specimen interactions, diffraction of electrons, image formation and interpretation, image processing and analysis, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and sample preparation of both biological and non-biological systems. Laboratory experiments will provide students "hands-on" experience with TEM operations and problem solving skills. Successful completion of the course enables students to independently operate transmission electron microscopes to perform basic research experiments. This course is ideal for students interested in ultrastructural or nanocharacterization of biological or materials systems. Two classroom hours and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 4309 Scanning Probe Microscopy: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor A lecture/laboratory study of research techniques using scanning probe microscopy. Topics include atomic force microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, feedback control, scanning tip fabrication, scan calibrations, air/solution/vacuum imaging, image processing and analysis, near-field optical probes, metrology, and lateral force/displacement microscopy. Applications in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and surface science are discussed. Two hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 4310 Modern Electronics: 3 semester hours

An integrated recitation/laboratory study of modern analog and digital electronics with emphasis on integrated circuits. Topics include circuit elements, operational amplifiers, logic gates, counters, ac/dc converters, noise reduction, microprocessors, embedded microcontrollers, and digital processing. Three hours of lecture/laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 4311 Advanced Physics Laboratory I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: Advanced standing with at least nine completed hours of Physics at or above the 3000 level. Physics majors are introduced to the experimental techniques used in research. A student will choose and do several special problems during the semester. Six hours laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 4323 Modern Optics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 3223 A study of modern optics including diffraction theory, polarization, light propagation in solids, quantum optics, and coherence.

PHYSICS 4331 Intro To Quantum Mechanics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3200 and PHYSICS 3231 Photons and the wave nature of particles; wave mechanics, Schroedinger equation, operator and matrix formulations, and Dirac notation; applications to single particle systems, atomic physics, and spectroscopy.

PHYSICS 4341 Thermal And Statistical Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: MATH 2000 and PHYSICS 3231. Introduction to statistical mechanics, classical thermodynamics, and kinetic theory.

PHYSICS 4343 Selected Topics In Physics I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3221, PHYSICS 3223, PHYSICS 3231, PHYSICS 4341 Topics include special phenomena for research areas such as physics of waves, biophysics, nonlinear physics, geophysical fluid dynamics and the atmospheric sciences treated by methods of advanced mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 4347 Biophysics Of Imaging: 4 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3231, BIOL 1821, and BIOL 1831 An introduction to the application of physical principles to problems in medical physics and biology, with a particular focus on the biophysics of various technologies for imaging both human patients and biological macromolecules. Topics covered will include the principles of x-ray crystallography, metabolic and optical changes in the brain, NMR and fMRI, magnetoencephalography, PET imaging, the electrophysiology of EEG and ECG, dynamics in the body and brain, and dynamics in genetics. Laboratory projects on brain imaging and data analysis are an integral part of the course. Three classroom hours and two laboratory hours per week.

PHYSICS 4350 Computational Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 3221, PHYSICS 3223, and PHYSICS 3231. Computer Analysis In Physics; Solutions Of Eigenvalue Problems; Coupled Differential Equations; And Writing Of Fortran Programs.

PHYSICS 4351 Elementary Solid State Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 4331 Theoretical and experimental aspects of solid state physics, including one-dimensional band theory of solids; electron emission from metals and semiconductors; electrical and thermal conductivity of solids.

PHYSICS 4353 Physics Of Fluids: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3221, PHYSICS 3223, and PHYSICS 4341, or consent of instructor. Dynamical theory of gases and liquids. Course covers the mathematical development of physical fluid dynamics with contemporary applications.

PHYSICS 4365 Introduction To Plasma Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3223 and PHYSICS 4341 A study of the nonlinear collective interactions of ions, electrons, and neutral molecules with each other and with electric and magnetic fields. Topics include plasma confinement and stability, electrical discharges and ionization, kinetic theory of plasma transport, plasma waves and radiation, and controlled fusion. Solutions of the Boltzmann, Fokker-Planck, and Vlasov equations are discussed and methods of advanced electromagnetism and statistical physics are utilized.

PHYSICS 4370 Relativity And Cosmology: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3221, PHYSICS 3223 and PHYSICS 3231 An introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity. Topics will include special relativity in the formalism of Minkowski's four dimensional space-time, Principle of Equivalence, Riemannian geometry and tensor analysis, Einstein Field Equation and cosmology.

PHYSICS 4381 Directed Readings In Physics: 1-10 semester hours

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An independent study of special topics in physics for senior undergraduates or graduate students.

PHYSICS 5307 Advanced Scanning Electron Microscopy: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. This Course introduces students to advanced scanning electron microscopy techniques and their applications to solving challenging materials and biological problems. Course includes electron optics, electron-specimen interactions, image formation and interpretation, compositional analysis by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and sample preparation of both biological and non-biological systems. Laboratory experiments will provide students "hands-on" experience with SEM operations and problem-solving skills. Successful completion of the course enables students to independently operate scanning electron microscopes to perform research experiments. Two classroom hours and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 5308 Transmission Electron Microscopy: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 5307 or consent of instructor. A lecture/laboratory study of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in conventional, analytical, and phase-contrast (high resolution) applications. Course includes advanced electron optics and image formation, defect structures, specimen preparation, contrast theory, diffraction/periodicity analysis, and electron energy loss/x-ray spectroscopy. Two hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.

PHYSICS 5345 Nonlinear Dynamics And Stochastic Processes: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3221 and PHYSICS 4341 and consent of instructor. Dynamical systems; theory of oscillations; introduction to bifurcation theory and chaos in dissipative systems with applications in physics and biology; introduction to stochastic processes with applications in physics, chemistry and biology; dynamics of nonlinear systems perturbed by noise; noise-induced phase transitions; linear and nonlinear time series analysis. Three classroom hours per week.

PHYSICS 5357 Fundamental Particles and Forces: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: PHYSICS 3223, PHYSICS 3231, and PHYSICS 4331, may be taken concurrently Introduction to nuclear and particle physics. Nuclear phenomenology and models; high energy particle accelerators and detectors; phenomenology of strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions; symmetry principles; quark compositions of strongly interacting baryons and mesons; gauge theories and the standard model of particle interactions; grand unification.

PHYSICS 5402 Introduction To Mathematical Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in physics or consent of instructor A course covering mathematical techniques as applied in advanced theoretical physics including generalized vector spaces and their dual spaces, linear operators and functionals, generalized functions, spectral decomposition of operators, tensor analysis, and complex variables. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 5403 Principles Of Mathematical Physics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in physics or consent of instructor Boundary value problems; Strum-Liouville theory and orthogonal functions; Green's function techniques; and introduction to group theory with emphasis on representations of Lie Algebras. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHYSICS 6300 Master's Thesis: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. Thesis work under the supervision of a faculty member. The course is designed for those students intending to present a thesis as part of their M.S. program. Students who do not write a thesis cannot apply PHYSICS 6300 to a degree. This course transfers to the Cooperative Ph.D. program as three research credits.

PHYSICS 6400 Special Problems: 1-5 semester hours

Must have faculty mentor and approval of Department Chairperson. A study of special topics in physics for graduate students.

PHYSICS 6401 Special Topics: 1-4 semester hours

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. This course is designed to give the department an opportunity to test a new course.

PHYSICS 6409 Theoretical Mechanics I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 3221 Classical mechanics, methods of Newton, Lagrange, and Hamilton applied to motion of particles and rigid bodies, elasticity, hydrodynamics.

PHYSICS 6410 Seminar: 1-3 semester hours

Prerequisite: Approval of Department Chair. Discussion of current topics.

PHYSICS 6411 Electrodynamics I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 3223. A rigorous development of the fundamentals of electromagnetic fields and waves. Electrostatics, magnetostatics, Maxwell's equations, Green's functions, boundary value problems, multipoles, conservation laws.

PHYSICS 6413 Statistical Mechanics: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 4331, PHYSICS 4341. A study of statistical ensembles; Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Einstein-Bose distribution laws, application to some physical systems.

PHYSICS 6423 Electrodynamics II: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 6411. A Continuation of PHYSICS 6411. Applications of time-dependent Maxwell's equations to such topics as plasmas, wave guides, cavities, radiation: fields of simple systems and multiples. Relativity: covariant formulation of Maxwell's equations and conservation laws, fields of uniformly moving and accelerated charges.

PHYSICS 6461 Quantum Mechanics I: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 4331. A study of the Schroedinger wave equation, operators and matrices, perturbation theory, collision and scattering problems.

PHYSICS 6463 Quantum Mechanics II: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 6461. Continuation of PHYSICS 6461. To include such topics as Pauli Spin-Operator Theory, classification of atomic states, introduction to field quantization, and Dirac Electron Theory.

PHYSICS 6481 Physics Of Solid State: 3 semester hours

Prerequisite: PHYSICS 6461. Crystal symmetry, point and space groups, lattice vibrations, phonons, one-electron model, Hartee-Fock approximation, elementary energy band theory, transport properties, the Boltzmann equation, introduction to superconductivity, semiconductors and magnetism.

PHYSICS 6490 Research: 1-10 semester hours

Prerequisite: Must have a faculty mentor and approval of the department chair. Investigations of an advanced nature leading to the preparation of a thesis or dissertation.

PHYSICS 6495 Continuous Registration: 1-6 semester hours

Doctoral candidates who have completed all requirements for the degree except the dissertation, and are away from the campus must continue to enroll for at least one hour of credit each registration period until the degree is completed. Failure to do so may invalidate the candidacy.

Erika Gibb
Professor and Chairperson
Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Thomas F. George
Professor and Chancellor
Ph.D., Yale University

Sonya Bahar
Professor
Ph.D., University of Rochester

Bernard Joseph Feldman
Professor
Ph.D., Harvard University

Ricardo A. Flores
Professor
Ph.D., University of California-Santa Cruz

Bob Londes Henson
Professor
Ph.D., Washington University

Bruce A. Wilking
Professor
Ph.D., University of Arizona

Philip Fraundorf
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Washington University

Eric Majzoub
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Washington University

Michael Fix
Teaching Professor
A.M., Washington University

Jacob J. Leventhal
Founders Curators' Professor
Ph.D., University of Florida

Ta-Pei Chang
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Rockefeller University

Peter Herwig Handel
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Bucharest