# Physics Catalog

Department of Physics

Chair: Beezhold

Professors: Cole, Dale, Forest, Shropshire

Associate Professors: McNulty, Tatar

Research Associate Professor:

Assistant Professor: McNulty

Research Assistant Professor:

Senior Lecturer:

Instructor: Bernabee

Adjunct Faculty: Wells, Hunt, Staravoitova

Affiliate Faculty: Burgett, Blackburn, DeVeaux, Franckowiak, Gesell, Harker, Harris, Hill, Jones, K. Kim, Millward, Nigg, Nieschmidt, Roney Professors Emeriti: Beezhold, Harmon, Parker, Vegors

General Objectives of Graduate Programs

The objectives of our graduate degrees, which are the M.S., M.N.S., and the Ph.D. in Applied Physics, are to develop a core competence in the fundamental physical sciences that is appropriate for the level of the degree, to develop more generalized skills of quantitative reasoning that are applicable to any discipline, and to understand the nature and influence of physics in particular, and science in general, upon our society. Additional objectives include the development of (1) broad, fundamental technical skills and knowledge, (2) strong communication skills, and (3) the capability to think critically and work independently. The expectations for each of these objectives has a level that is appropriate for the degree.

The learning objectives of the M.S. degree are mastery of the core subjects of electromagnetism, non-relativistic quantum mechanics, and theoretical methods of classical physics (principally mechanics).

The purpose of the M.N.S. degree is to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge in the physical sciences for teachers of secondary education. The technical learning objectives are flexible in order to accommodate the interests of the student, so long as the subject area is physical science. There is no thesis requirement or expectation of one for this degree.

The communication objectives for these degrees are writing and speaking skills that are sufficient for students to represent themselves, their projects, and their organizations at regional, national, or international scientific meetings. Our expectations are that these students will obtain critical thinking skills and an ability to work independently at a level that will require minimal or no supervision by a more senior scientist or management.

The educational objectives of the Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics include all of those of the M.S. programs, plus mastery of additional graduate level classes of the student’s choosing, plus completion of an original doctoral research thesis project with the objective of mastery of planning, executing, and publishing original research in physics at the highest level of the discipline. The communication objectives for students at this level are writing and speaking skills that are sufficient to teach in higher education, attract interest and funding to their projects, and to represent themselves, their projects and their organizations at regional, national, or international scientific meetings. Our expectations are that these students will develop critical thinking skills and an ability to work independently such that they are capable of initiating and leading their own scientific projects, and can work at a level that requires no supervision.

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics

Program Goals

• Prepare graduates to conduct and disseminate independent scholarly research in applied physics.

• Prepare graduates for careers in academia, industry, and government.

Program Objectives

• Increase knowledge of graduates in their chosen field of applied physics.

• Enhance the ability of graduates to contribute to their chosen field of applied physics.

• Enhance effective written and oral communication skills of graduates.

The Ph.D. program in Applied Physics is an interdisciplinary program offered by the Department of Physics that allows for a broad range of research topics. Areas of emphasis in the department include nuclear physics applications, medical physics, radiation effects in materials, biological systems and devices, accelerator physics and applications, materials science, homeland security applications, and other areas of fundamental and applied nuclear science.

To attain a degree in this program, a student must demonstrate scholarly achievement and the ability to conduct independent investigation. The program will normally require approximately five years of full-time study beyond the bachelor’s degree (or three years beyond the master’s degree), including class work, research, and preparation of the dissertation.

Admission requirements All applicants must meet Idaho State University Graduate School admission requirements for doctoral programs. In addition, applicants must have attained a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in physics or a closely related field (engineering, chemistry, etc.). The student’s course of study will be determined in consultation with the department chair or the department’s graduate advising committee. Students may be required to complete any missing course material that is required for the B.S. degree in physics at Idaho State University. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, and upon making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

A complete graduate application for classified status in the Idaho State University Physics Department Ph.D. program consists of:

a. GRE scores (normally, a minimum of 50th percentile on verbal, quantitative, or analytical sections is required for classified students);

b. An Idaho State University Graduate School application form, fee, and official copies of transcripts;

c. Three letters of recommendation;

d. A statement of career goals.

General Requirements The Ph.D. degree requires completion of at least 84 credits at the 500-course level or greater. Of these, at least 32 credits, but no more than 44 credits, must be doctoral dissertation credits (PHYS 6699). At least 4 credits must be graduate seminar (or equivalent, as determined by the department). The remaining required credits consist of electives and the required courses listed below. Students entering the program with a master’s degree may receive credit for up to 30 credits toward the Ph.D., subject to the department chair’s approval. Students should complete the required courses as listed below (or their equivalent, as determined by the department), at Idaho State University.

Required Courses

PHYS 6602 Theoretical Methods of Physics 3 cr PHYS 6611-6612 Electricity and Magnetism 6 cr PHYS 6621 Classical Mechanics 3 cr PHYS 6624-6625 Quantum Mechanics 6 cr PHYS 649 Graduate Seminar 4 cr

Program of Study A departmental advisory committee consisting of graduate faculty will guide each student in establishing his or her program of course and laboratory study based upon the student’s background and research interests. The advisory committee has the responsibility of ensuring that the student has adequate knowledge to support research in his or her area of research.

At the beginning of a full-time student’s second year, the student will sit for a written Qualifying Examination. Exceptions to this schedule may be made when a student has academic deficits to make up, in which case the student will have an additional year. These examinations are offered in January and September. The student will be allowed two attempts to pass the examination, and the second attempt must be the next available examination. The student will be admitted to candidacy upon passing the qualifying examination.

A dissertation committee of four departmental members and a Graduate Faculty Representative (GFR), chaired by the candidate’s major professor, must be appointed within six months of passing the qualifying examination. Within one year of passing the qualifying exam the full-time candidate, with guidance from the major professor, must satisfactorily complete the Preliminary Examination, which consists of an oral presentation and defense of a written proposal for dissertation research to the student’s dissertation committee.

The research and dissertation preparation must be done under the close supervision of the committee and must include at least one full year of work performed under the supervision of Idaho State University graduate faculty.

Dissertation Examination approval requires a public presentation of the dissertation and a satisfactory oral defense to the dissertation committee. Doctoral oral examinations are open to all regular members of the graduate faculty as observers. Further, oral presentations are open to the public until questioning by the dissertation committee begins.

Master of Science Programs

Admission Requirements The student must apply to, and meet all criteria for, admission to the Graduate School. In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, the student must comply with departmental requirements.:

A complete graduate application for classified status in the Idaho State University Physics Department consists of:

a. GRE aptitude scores;

b. An ISU Graduate School Application form and official copies of transcripts;

c. Three letters of recommendation;

d. A brief statement of career goals.

Applicants must hold the degree of Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Physics or a closely related field as determined by the department. The student’s course of study will be determined in consultation with the chair and the student’s major advisor. In some circumstances, a placement examination will be given. Students will normally be required to complete as deficiencies any course required for the B.S. in Physics at Idaho State University which they have not already taken. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average and making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Master of Science – Thesis Option

A satisfactory score on physics examination(s) may be required before admission to candidacy. A total of 30 credits are required for the Master of Science Degree with a Physics Emphasis.

Required Courses PHYS 6602 Theoretical Methods of Physics 3 cr PHYS 6611 Electricity and Magnetism 3 cr PHYS 6624-6625 Quantum Mechanics 6 cr PHYS 6650 Masters Thesis 6 cr

12 additional graduate level credits are required in courses approved by the student’s advisor, the department chair, and the Graduate School.

A public presentation of the thesis is required, along with a satisfactory oral defense to the thesis committee consisting of two departmental members and one GFR.

Master of Science – Non-thesis Option

There are two mechanisms by which a student may attain a non-thesis M.S. degree. First, students in the Ph.D. program who do not pass the qualifying examination at the Ph.D. level after two attempts may complete a non-thesis M.S. degree. The required core courses for the non-thesis M.S. degree are the same as those for the Ph.D., i.e. those listed above. In addition, a non-thesis M.S. student must pass the qualifying examination at a level appropriate for the M.S., and he or she must complete an oral presentation and defense of a written proposal for a research project to the student’s graduate committee.

Second, students in the Ph.D. program who have completed all required courses for the Ph.D. and have passed both their qualifying examination and their oral presentation and defense of a written proposal for a research project are eligible for a non-thesis M.S. degree.

Master of Natural Science in Physics

The Master of Natural Science (MNS) in Physics is designed primarily for teachers and prospective teachers who want to improve their understanding of the subject matter of physics. Emphasis is upon the subject matter and the M.N.S. is generally not a thesis program. Individuals interested in this degree should hold a teaching certificate or be working toward one. The student’s program will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee. The program requires a minimum of 30 credits, 22 of which must be in residence. A final oral examination is required, with the thesis committee consisting of two departmental members and one GFR.

Admission Requirements The student must apply to, and meet all criteria for, admission to the Graduate School.

General Requirements The student’s program will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee. The program requires a minimum of 30 credits, 22 of which must be in residence. A final oral examination is required.

Physics Graduate Courses

PHYS 5503 - 5504 Advanced Modern Physics 3 credits. Study of the elementary principles of quantum mechanics and an introduction to atomic, solid state, and nuclear physics. Quantum mechanics will be used as much as possible. PHYS 5503 is a PREREQ for 5504. PREREQ: MATH 3360 OR EQUIVALENT, AND PHYS 3301.

PHYS 5505 Advanced Laboratory 2 credits. Experiments in radiation detection and measurement, nuclear spectroscopy including x-ray and gamma spectroscopies, neutron activation and ion beam methods. Available to Geology, Engineering, and Physics majors. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 5509 Introductory Nuclear Physics 3 credits. A course in Nuclear Physics with emphasis upon structural models, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, fission and fusion. PREREQ: KNOWLEDGE OF ELEMENTARY QUANTUM MECHANICS AND DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 5510 Science in American Society 2 credits. Observational basis of science; technology’s historical influences on scientific developments; perceptions of science in contemporary America; tools/strategies for teaching science. Cross-listed as GEOL 5510. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 5515 Statistical Physics 3 credits. Topics covered may include kinetic theory, elementary statistical mechanics, random motion and the theory of noise. Choice of topics will depend upon the interest of the students and instructor. PREREQ: PHYS 2212, MATH 3360.

PHYS 5516 Radiation Detection and Measurement 3 credits. Lecture/laboratory course emphasizing practical measurement techniques in nuclear physics. PREREQ: CHEM 1111, CHEM L1111, CHEM1112, CHEML1112, AND EITHER (PHYS1111 AND PHYS1113) OR (PHYS2211 AND PHYS 2213).

PHYS 5521-5522 Electricity and Magnetism 3 credits. Intermediate course in fundamental principles of electrical and magnetic theory. Free use will be made of vector analysis and differential equations. PHYS 5521 is a PREREQ for 5522. PREREQ: PHYS 2212 AND MATH 3360.

PHYS 5542 Solid State Physics 3 credits. Introduction to the field of solid state physics emphasizing the fundamental concepts. Topics usually covered are crystal structure, X-ray diffraction, crystal binding energies, free electron theory of solids, energy bands. PREREQ: PHYS 3301, PHYS 5583, MATH 3360 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 5552 Intermediate Optics 3 credits. Wave theory, e/m waves, production of light, measurement of light, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, polarization, optical systems, matrix methods, Jones vectors, Fourier optics, propagation of e/m waives in materials, atmospheric optics. PREREQ: PHYS 2212. COREQ: MATH 3360

PHYS 5553 Topics in Astrophysics 2 credits. Applications of physics to astronomy or cosmology. May include lab exercise. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 5561-5562 Introduction to Mathematical Physics 3 credits. Introduction to the mathematics most commonly used in physics with applications to and practice in solving physical problems; includes vector analysis, ordinary and partial differential equations. PHYS 5561 is a PREREQ for 5562. PREREQ: PHYS 2212 AND MATH 3360.

PHYS 5583 Theoretical Mechanics 4 credits. Detailed study of the motion of particles, satellites, rigid bodies and oscillating systems. Develop and apply Langrangian and Hamiltonian methods. PREREQ: PHYS 2212 AND MATH 3360.

PHYS 5592 Colloquium in Physics 1 credit. Faculty and student lectures in current research topics in physics. Open to upper division and graduate students in physics. May be repeated to a maximum of 4 credits.

PHYS 5597 Professional Education Development Topics. Variable credit. A course for practicing professionals aimed at the development and improvement of skills. May not be applied to graduate degrees. May be repeated. May be graded S/U.

PHYS 5599 1-6 Credits. This is an experimental course. The course title and number of credits are noted by course section and announced in the class schedule by the scheduling department. Experimental courses may offered no more than three times. May be repeated.

PHYS 6602 Theoretical Methods of Physics 3 credits. Calculus of variations, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms of classical mechanics, some classical scattering theory, methods of solving PDEs, Green’s functions, functions of complex variables,vector and tensor analysis, matrix, group and operator theory, and numerical methods integrated throughout each topic.

PHYS 6603 Particle Physics 3 credits. Basic constituents of the standard model, experimental methods, particle interactions: weak, gravitational, strong and electromagnetic, conservation laws, hadron structure and interactions, unification of interactions, physics beyond the standard model. PREREQ: PHYS 6624 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6609 Advanced Nuclear Physics 3 credits. Nucleon-nucleon interaction, bulk nuclear structure, microscopic models of nuclear structure, collective models of nuclear structure, nuclear decays and reactions, electromagnetic interactions, weak interactions, strong interactions, nucleon structure, nuclear applications, current topics in nuclear physics. PREREQ:PHYS6624 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6611 Electricity and Magnetism 3 credits. Maxwell’s equations and methods of solution, plane wave propagation and dispersion, wave guides, antennas and other simple radiating systems, relativistic kinematics and dynamics, classical interaction of charged particles with matter, classical radiation production mechanisms.

PHYS 6612 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism 3 credits. Advanced topics in application of Maxwell’s equations to wave guides, antennas and other simple radiating systems. Particular emphasis upon the relativistic interaction of charged particles with matter, energy loss, and classical radiation production and absorption mechanisms. PREREQ: PHYS 6611 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6615 Activation Analysis 3 credits. Theory and use of activation methods for quantitative chemical analysis of natural and synthetic materials. Applications will be emphasized.

PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6621 Classical Mechanics 3 credits. Lagrange equations, small vibrations; Hamilton’s canonical equations; Hamilton’s principal, least action; contact transformation; Hamilton-Jacobi equation, perturbation theory; nonlinear mechanics. PREREQ: PHYS5583, PHYS5561-5562, OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6624-6625 Quantum Mechanics 3 credits. Schrodinger wave equation, stationary state solutions; operators and matrices; perturbation theory, non-degenerate and degenerate cases; WKB approximation, non-harmonic oscillator, etc.; collision problems. Born approximation, method of partial waves. PHYS 6624 is a PREREQ for 6625. PREREQ: PHYS 5561-5562, PHYS 6621 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6626 Advanced Quantum Mechanics 3 credits. Elementary quantum field theory and practical applications. Emphasis upon non-relativistic and relativistic quantum electrodynamics, radiative processes, bremsstrahlung, pair-production, scattering, photo-electric effect, emission and absorption. PREREQ: PHYS 6625 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6630 Accelerator Physics 3 credits. The physics of direct voltage accelerators, betatrons, sychrotrons, linear induction acceleration; high current accelerators; electromagnetic particle optics, free electron lasers and synchrotron light sources. PREREQ: PHYS 6612, PHYS 6624 OR EQUIVALENT.

PHYS 6631 Accelerator Technology 3 credits. Topics will include high voltage and pulsed power techniques, waveguide and R.F. structures, ion and electron beam sources and beam measurements as applied to particle beam machines. PREREQ: PHYS 6612 OR EQUIVALENT.

PHYS 6632 Particle Beam Laboratory 1-3 credits. Laboratory projects in particle beam and ion optics, radiation detectors, ion source operation, etc. May be repeated up to 3 credits. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6640 Statistical Mechanics 3 credits. Statistical ensembles; the Maxwell-Boltzmann law; approach to equilibrium, quantum statistical mechanics; application of statistical mechanics to thermodynamic processes. PREREQ: PHYS5515 AND PHYS 6621.

PHYS 6641 Field Theory, Particles, and Cosmology I 3 credits. Topics may include Dirac theory, group theory, Feynman diagrams, superstrings, supergravity, relativity and cosmology. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6642 Field Theory, Particles, and Cosmology II 3 credits. A continuation of 641. Topics may include Dirac theory, group theory, Feynman diagrams, superstrings, super gravity, relativity and cosmology. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6643 Advanced Solid State Physics 3 credits. Electron many-body problem, crystal and reciprocal lattice, Bloch functions, pseudo potentials, semi-conductors, transition metals, crystal momentum and coordinate representations, electric and magnetic fields, impurities and defects in crystals and semi-conductors, radiation effects on solids, lattice vibrations, electron transport. PREREQ: PHYS 6624 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6648 Special Topics in Physics 1-3 credits. Survey, seminar, or project (usually at an advanced

level) in one area of physics. Content varies depending

upon the desires of the students and faculty. May be repeated until 6 credits are earned. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

PHYS 6649 Graduate Seminar 2 credits. Advanced seminar topics in currently active areas of applied physics. Students will be required to make presentations and will be required to submit a paper. Four credits required. May be repeated.

PHYS 6650 Thesis 1-10 credits. Maybe repeated. Graded S/U .

PHYS 6699 1-6 Credits. This is an experimental course. The course title and number of credits are noted by course section and announced in the class schedule by the scheduling department. Experimental courses may be offered no more than three times. May be repeated.

PHYS 8850 Doctoral Dissertation Variable
credit. Research toward and completion of the
dissertation. May be repeated. Graded S/U.