# Physics

Undergraduate physics majors and physics/astronomy majors may pursue either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. Engineering Sciences and Biophysics degrees, as well as a quantum information concentration, are also available. Although each has a different objective, all emphasize the basic principles of physics and their applications, an analytical approach to problem solving including the use of mathematical methods, and direct experience with physics laboratory and research techniques. The instructional facilities of the Department of Physics, housed in the Mathematics and Science Center, include general and advanced physics laboratories; quantum, optics, analog and digital electronics, and microprocessor laboratories; and two observational astronomy facilities. One facility is a ten-station rooftop observing deck with small reflecting telescopes used for introductory astronomy. The other primary facility is the Emory observatory, which houses a research-grade, twenty-four-inch Cassegrain telescope for use in advanced astrophysics and astronomy courses. Faculty research laboratories and computer equipment are available to students engaged in research projects in condensed matter physics, biophysics, and nonlinear dynamics. Other specialized teaching facilities for physics and astronomy include a one-hundred-and-eighty seat lecture demonstration theater, and a sixty-seat Zeiss Planetarium classroom. The graduate program in physics offers the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in physics.

## Concentrations

## Faculty

- Chair
- Stefan Boettcher
- Director of Undergraduate Studies
- Thomas Bing
- Core

## Courses

### PHYS 100-Level Courses

Students having taken Physics 116 for credit may not take this course. A descriptive overview of astronomy. The celestial coordinate system, time keeping, the planetary system, ancient astronomy, the sun, stellar evolution, galactic astronomy, cosmology, and the origin of the universe.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Students having taken Physics 115 for credit may not take this course. A descriptive astronomy course with laboratory. The celestial coordinate system, ancient astronomy, light and telescopes, the solar system, the sun, stellar evolution, galactic astronomy, and cosmology.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

For non-majors who have successfully completed PHYS 115 or 116. Topics of contemporary astrophysical research including exoplanets and habitability, the first stars, Galactic and extragalactic astronomy, black holes, quasars, large-scale structure, dark matter, dark energy, and cosmology.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- PHYS 115 or PHYS 116 or ASTR_OX 116 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Bicycles, rockets, CDs, jet airplanes, cars, Frisbees, kayaks, TV, lasers, microwave ovens, cell phones' the mysteries of these and other objects are explored, introducing the physics and science in everyday life.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

DVDs, cell phones, computers, TV,microwave ovens, lasers, cameras' the mysteries of these and other everyday objects are explored, introducing the physics and science of everyday life.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

This course will introduce students to the basic science of climate change, possibly the greatest challenge of our time, and discuss the climate history of the Earth and the role of energy in our modern society and economy. No prerequisites are necessary.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

A survey of the major advances in fundamental physics in the 20th century suitable for non-science majors. Subjects in atomic and nuclear physics in the context of their original discoveries, with close attention paid to original writings by the authors of these discoveries.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introductory classical mechanics and thermodynamics. The student is expected to be competent in algebra, trigonometry, and plane geometry. Physics 141 and 142 are appropriate courses to satisfy a one-year physics requirement for professional schools.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introduction to electricity, magnetism, optics, and the essentials of quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, and special relativity.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 141 OR PHYS_OX 141 OR PHYS 151 OR PHYS_OX 151 or equivalent transfer credit as a prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introductory classical mechanics and thermodynamics. Physics 151 and 152 are primarily for students who are strongly motivated in science and mathematics.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- (MATH 111 or MATH_OX 111) as prerequisites and (MATH 112 or MATH_OX 112 or MATH 112Z or MATH 210 or MATH_OX 210) as co-requisites, or equivalent transfer credit.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Electric and magnetic fields and forces, Gauss's law, electrical properties of materials, electromagnetic induction, electromagnetic waves, and optical phenomena.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- (PHYS 141 or PHYS_OX 141 or PHYS 151 or PHYS_OX 151) and (MATH 112 or MATH_OX 112 or MATH 116 or MATH 210) or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Freshman seminar, for first year students only. Variable topics.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- FS
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

### PHYS 200-Level Courses

Computation is one of the pillars of modern science, in addition to experiment and theory. In this course, various computational modeling methods will be introduced to study specific examples derived from physical, biological, chemical and social systems.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- (PHYS 151 or PHYS_OX 151) or [(PHYS 141 or PHYS_OX 141) and (MATH 112 or MATH 112Z or MATH_OX 112 or MATH_OX 112Z0] or [(PHYS 141 or PHYS_OX 141) and MATH 116)] or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- BIOL 212

Linear algebra, determinants, linear vector spaces, eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, the div grad and curl operators, Gauss and Stokes theorems, orthogonal coordinate systems, infinite power series, complex number and variables, Fourier analysis, Laplace transforms, ODEs and PDEs.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- (PHYS 142 or PHYS_OX 142 or PHYS 152 or PHYS_OX 152) as prerequisite and (MATH 211 or MATH_OX 211) as co-requisite or equivalent transfer credit.
- Cross-Listed
- None

This course builds on thebasics of the introductory science courses, including the basics of quantum mechanics in PHYS 253 Modern Physics (or its equivalent Physical Chemistry course), to understand the fundamental principles of how various engineering applications and devices work.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- (PHYS 142 or PHYS_OX 142 or PHYS 152 or PHYS_OX 152) and (MATH 112 or MATH_OX 112 or MATH 112Z or MATH 116) and (CHEM 205 or CHEM_OX 205 or CHEM 331 or PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253) or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Explores some of the ways in which principles and methods used in physics are applied to problems in modern medicine. Includes a study of the physics of modern imaging systems such as MRI, CT, and PET as well as more traditional areas (x-ray, radiation, and nuclear medicine physics). Mathematical and statistical ideas will be developed as needed. For pre-med students, students in health or biological sciences, or physics majors who are curious about medical physics.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 142/PHYS_OX 142 OR PHYS 152/PHYS_OX152 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisites
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introduction to combinational and sequential logic circuits, and microprocessor hardware. Topics include transistors, gates, flipflops, counters, clocks, decoders, displays, microprocessors, memory, input/output circuits, and device interfacing.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 142/PHYS_OX 142 OR PHYS 152/PHYS_OX152 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisites
- Cross-Listed
- None

Special theory of relativity, wave and particle properties of electromagnetic radiation and matter, introduction to quantum mechanics, Schrodinger equation, atomic models, and simple molecules.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- NS
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 142 OR PHYS_OX142 OR PHYS 152 OR PHYS_OX152 AND MATH 112, MATH 112Z, OR MATH_OX112 or equivalent transfer credit as a prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Offered as required. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Selected topics and problems of special or current interest in physics. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 4
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Offered as required. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Selected topics and problems of special or current interest in physics. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 5
- GER
- WRT
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Adapted to particular needs of individual student with instructor acting as adviser.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 12
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

### PHYS 300-Level Courses

Covers astronomical coordinates, celestial mechanics, Kepler's Laws, gravitation, planetary analysis techniques, planetary and interplanetary debris composition and structure, ring system formation, extrasolar planetary systems, with laboratory sessions in the Emory observatory.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- SNTL
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 253 or equivalent transfer credit as a prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Prerequisite: Physics 253. Covers stellar analysis techniques, binary stars, stellar structure, the sun, stellar evolution, stellar variability, stellar death, the Milky Way, galactic structure, structure of the universe, cosmology, with laboratory sessions in the Emory observatory.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- SNTL
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Practical introduction to advanced mathematical methods: partial differential equations, boundary value problems, special functions, integral transforms, functions of complex variables, contour integrals, the residue theorem, Hermitian and unitary matrices.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 142 OR PHYS_OX142 OR PHYS 152 OR PHYS_OX152 AND MATH 211 OR MATH_OX211 AND MATH 212 OR MATH_OX212 or equivalent transfer credit as a prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Designed to provide students with career goals in the life sciences and medicine knowledge of basic physical principles and their applications to the understanding of living systems and biological processes. Motion, sound, energy, metabolism, fluids, electricity, optics and medical diagnostics.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- (PHYS 142 or PHYS_OX 142 or PHYS 152 or PHYS_OX 152) and (MATH 112 or MATH 112Z or MATH 116) or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Newton's laws, energy, momentum, angular momentum, conservation laws, many-particle systems, oscillations, planetary motion and Kepler's laws, Lagrange's and Hamiltonian formalisms, non-inertial reference frames, rotation and tensor of inertia, non-linear dynamics and chaos.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- (PHYS 142 or PHYS_OX 142 or PHYS 152 or PHYS_OX 152) as prerequisite and (PHYS 220 or MATH 212 or MATH_OX 212) as co-requisite or equivalent transfer credit.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Electrostatics, Poisson and Laplace equations, steady currents and electromagnetic induction, magnetostatics, integral and differential forms of Maxwell equations, propagation of electromagnetic waves, fundamental laws of optics, basic laws of radiation

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- PHYS 220 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Offered as required. Credit, two to four hours. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.Selected topics and problems of special or current interest in physics. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 4
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Offered as required. Credit, two to four hours. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.Selected topics and problems of special or current interest in physics. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 5
- GER
- WRT
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Maymester Course. This course will focus on proteins, DNA and their interactions emphasizing the role that dynamics play in these macromolecules function. The structure and conformation of biological molecules are, actually, dynamic and this feature is underlying their function in living systems.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Credit, two to four hours. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Adapted to particular needs of individual student with instructor acting as adviser.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 12
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

### PHYS 400-Level Courses

Laws of thermodynamics, entropy, Carnot engine, thermodynamic potentials, Gibbs ensembles, classical and quantum statistics, photon gas, phonons, Debye theory, electron gas, Bose-Einstein condensation, chemical kinetics, phase transitions, and critical phenomena.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- PHYS 220 and (PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253) or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

The physics behind modern materials used in nanotechnology, information storage and processing, and energy generation such as semiconductor transistors, LEDs, solar cells, photodiodes, lasers, etc. Electronic, optical, magnetic and thermal properties of materials which have enabled the internet age.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253 or (CHEM 205 and CHEM 205L) or (CHEM 331 and CHEM 331L) or (CHEM 331 and CHEM 331LW) or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite..
- Cross-Listed
- None

The course is designed as a broad introduction into the field of biophysics: molecular/cellular biophysics, biomechanics, evolution, and neuroscience.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

The wave equation, electromagnetic theory of light, aberrations, matrix methods, polarization, interference, diffraction, quantum aspects of light, lasers, holography, and fiber optics.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- [(PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253) and PHYS 365 and (MATH 212 or MATH_OX 212)] or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

The wave equation, electromagnetic theory of light, aberrations, matrix methods, polarization, interference, diffraction, quantum aspects of light, lasers, holography, and fiber optics.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- SNTL
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 253/PHYS_OX 253 AND PHYS 365 AND MATH 212/MATH_OX 212 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisites.
- Cross-Listed
- None

The course explores physical and statistical constraints on strategies used by biological systems, from bacteria, to large organisms, and to entire populations, to sense external environmental signals, process them, and shape a response.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- None
- Requisites
- (BIOL 212 or PHYS 212 or BIOL_OX 212 or PHYS_OX 212) and PHYS 220 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- BIOL 434

Computational techniques for solving equations as well as for simulating, analyzing, and graphically visualizing physical systems and processes. Projects will be selected from different areas of physics according to student interest and background.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 142 or PHYS_OX 142 or PHYS 152 or PHYS_OX 152 AND CS 150 or CS 170 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisites.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introduces modern experimental techniques and methods; the experiments include analog electronics, instrumentation and computer interfacing, cryogenics, and electro-optics.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- SNTL
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 253 or equivalent transfer credit as a prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introduces modern experimental techniques and methods; the experiments include analog electronics, instrumentation and computer interfacing, cryogenics, and electro-optics.

- Credit Hours
- 5
- GER
- XAW
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 253 or equivalent transfer credit as a prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

This course introduces sophisticated laboratory instruments and experimental techniques. Experiments include nuclear magnetic resonance, atomic force microscopy, and quantum entanglement.

- Credit Hours
- 4
- GER
- SNTL
- Requisites
- PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

This course introduces sophisticated laboratory instruments and experimental techniques. Experiments include nuclear magnetic resonance, atomic force microscopy, and quantum entanglement.

- Credit Hours
- 5
- GER
- XAW
- Requisites
- PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

The physical view of molecular structure and dynamics and their relation to protein function is addressed in selected exemplary systems. Physical techniques used to molecular information are examined.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Introductory quantum theory, including the Schrödinger equation, simple soluble problems, hydrogen atom, operator formalism, approximation methods, and perturbation theory.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- PHYS 220 and (PHYS 253 or PHYS_OX 253) and (MATH 212 or MATH_OX 212) or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- None

Applications of quantum mechanics to atomic, molecular, nuclear, particle, and solid state physics.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- This course requires PHYS 461or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisites
- Cross-Listed
- None

An introduction to qubits, quantum gates, quantum circuits, quantum key distribution, quantum teleportation, quantum dense coding, Grover's search algorithm, Shor's factoring algorithm, quantum entanglement and Bell's theorem, and quantum error correction.

- Credit Hours
- 3
- GER
- SNT
- Requisites
- PHYS 220 or MATH 221 or MATH_OX 221 or equivalent transfer credit as prerequisite.
- Cross-Listed
- CS 463

Independent research for students eligible to participate in the physics department Honors Program.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 4
- GER
- XA
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Prerequisite: consent of the undergraduate physics adviser. Independent research for students invited to participate in the physics department Honors Program.

- Credit Hours
- 1 - 8
- GER
- WRT
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None

Prerequisite: consent of instructor. For students who wish to participate in physics research with the instructor acting as research director.

- Credit Hours
- 2 - 4
- GER
- XA
- Requisites
- None
- Cross-Listed
- None