Course Catalog Descriptions

PHYS 501  Professional seminar (1 credit)
Guest speakers from industrial, government and non-profit settings present current issues in industrial physics. Students are required to attend the seminars actively, lead class discussions addressing the issues raised by the seminars and create written products in relation to the role of physicists in the professional landscape.

PHYS 502  Advanced Optical Theory and Devices (3 credits)
Modern optics theory with hands-on application. Topics include: geometric and physical optics, aberration theory, theory and use of various types of lasers, interferometry, Fourier optics, electro-optical devices, nonlinear optics, optical fiber devices. Points of emphasis will include using software for modeling and design of optical systems. Two credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of lab.

PHYS 508  Computational Physics (3 credits)
Introduces students to practical computational tools of use in contemporary physics research. Tools may include visualization, parallel programming, numerical stability of finite differences, data fitting and regression, statistical modeling, Monte-Carlo methods. The focus may vary depending on the particular area of the instructor. The content may be adjusted to stay current with the availability and applicability of the tools. Proficiency in a programming language is required.

PHYS 532  Data acquisition and control (3 credits)
Advanced electronics focusing on hardware and software to perform data acquisition. Transducers and sensors, analog and digital signals, signal conditioning such as amplification, attenuation, isolation, bridge completion, simultaneous sampling, sensor excitation and multiplexing. Data acquisition hardware for digitizing analog signals and other data acquisition functionality that might include analog input/output, digital input/output, counter/timers, multifunction (a combination of analog, digital, and counter operations on a single device). Students will learn how to use driver software that transforms the data acquisition hardware into complete data acquisition, analysis, and presentation tools. Data acquisition and readout for a photon detector is included as a specific application. LabView is used as the application and data analysis software. Two credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of lab.

PHYS 570  Materials Science (3 credits)
The objectives of the course are to achieve a deep understanding of materials science concepts and develop advanced problem-solving skills. The main topics covered are atomic structure and bonding, crystal and amorphous structure in materials, solidification and crystalline imperfections, thermally activated processes and diffusion in solids, mechanical properties of metals, phase diagrams, engineering alloys, polymeric materials, ceramics, composite materials, corrosion, electrical properties of materials and semiconductors, optical properties and superconductive materials, magnetic properties and biomaterials. The strength of the course is in its balanced presentation of concepts of science of materials (basic knowledge) and engineering of materials (applied knowledge). Three hours of lecture.

PHYS 572  Quantum Optics (3 credits)
Quantum mechanical description of light and light-matter interactions. Topics include: Polarization as a quantum effect, quantization of the electromagnetic fields, open quantum systems, master equations, detection of photons, coherent states, thermal states, electromagnetic vacuum states, squeezed states, quantum statistics of photons, quantum entanglement, quantum measurement and quantum interferometry. Time permitting, additional topics may include quantum information, quantum cryptography, and quantum computing. Three hours of lecture.