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# Physics (PY)

### PY - Physics Courses

**PY 123 Stellar and Galactic Astronomy** *3. *

Introductory, descriptive survey of stars, galaxies and cosmology, designed primarily for non-science majors. Exotic recent discoveries such as quasars, pulsars, and black holes will be included. Complements PY 124, Solar System Astronomy. Companion laboratory course PY 125.

**PY 124 Solar System Astronomy** *3. *

Introductory, descriptive survey of the solar system designed primarily for non-science majors, including current results from space probes, history of astronomy, and the motions of the moon, stars, and planets in the night sky. Complementary course covering stars, galaxies and cosmology (PY 123). Companion laboratory course (PY 125).

**PY 125 Astronomy Laboratory** *1. Corequisite: PY 123 or 124. *

Introduction to astronomical observing. Twelve exercises include astronomical instruments; the nature of light; Kepler's and Newton's laws of motion; the constellations, planets, binary stars, stellar clusters, and galaxies. Use of small telescopes to observe celestial objects.

**PY 131 Conceptual Physics** *4. *

Fundamentals of physics from a conceptual rather than a mathematical viewpoint. Applications of physics to everyday phenomena and experiences. Numerous demonstrations and discovery-based laboratory. Mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light and relativity.

**PY 201 University Physics I** *4. Corequisite: MA 141. Credit is not allowed for both PY 201 and PY 205 or PY 211.. *

First course of three semester sequence for students majoring in physical and mathematical sciences. Calculus used throughout. Principles of classical Newtonian mechanics covered in detail.

**PY 202 University Physics II** *4. Prerequisite: PY 201, MA 141, Corequisite: MA 241. Credit is not allowed for both PY 202 and PY 208 or PY 211.. *

Second course of three semester sequence designed primarily for students majoring in physical and mathematical sciences. Calculus used throughout. Principles of electricity and magnetism covered in detail.

**PY 203 University Physics III** *4. Prerequisite: PY 202, MA 241, Corequisite: MA 242. *

Third course of three semester sequence designed primarily for students majoring in physical and mathematical sciences. Calculus is used throughout. Principles of wave optics and modern physics are covered in detail.

**PY 205 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I** *3. Prerequisite: MA 141 with a grade of C- or better or MA 241PL. Credit is not allowed for both PY 205 and PY 201 or PY 211. Co-requisite: PY 206. ADD BOTH PY 205 and PY 206 TO YOUR SHOPPING CART AND THEN ENROLL SIMULTANEOUSLY. *

First semester of a two-semester sequence in introductory physics, with coordinated problem-solving experiences. A calculus-based study of mechanics, sound and heat. Credit not allowed for more than one of PY 205, PY 201, and PY 211.

**PY 206 Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory** *1. Prerequisite: MA 141 with a grade of C- or better or MA 241 Placement. Co-requisite: PY 205. ADD BOTH PY 205 and PY 206 TO YOUR SHOPPING CART AND THEN ENROLL SIMULTANEOUSLY. *

Laboratory course to accompany the PY 205 lecture course. A calculus-based study of mechanics, sound and heat.

**PY 208 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 205 and C- or better in MA 241. Credit is not allowed for both PY 208 and PY 202 or PY 212. Co-requisite: PY 209. ADD BOTH PY 208 and PY 209 TO YOUR SHOPPING CART AND THEN ENROLL SIMULTANEOUSLY. *

Second semester of a two-semester sequence in introductory physics. A calculus-based study of electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. Credit not allowed for more than one of PY 208,PY 202, and PY 212.

**PY 209 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory** *1. Pre-requisite: PY 205 with grade of C- or better, MA 241 with grade of C- or better, PY 206 with grade of C- or better. Co-requisite: PY 208. ADD BOTH PY 208 and PY 209 TO YOUR SHOPPING CART AND THEN ENROLL SIMULTANEOUSLY. *

Laboratory course to accompany the PY 208 lecture course. A calculus-based study of electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics.

**PY 211 College Physics I** *4. Prerequisite: MA 107 or 111 or 121 or 131 or 108 or 141 with a C- or better, or 480 on the SAT Subject Test in Mathematics Level 2 or the NCSU Math Skills Test, or 2 or better on an AP Calculus exam. Credit is not allowed for both PY 211 and PY 201 or PY. *

First semester of a two-semester introductory sequence in non-calculus physics, with laboratory. Mechanics, heat, wave motion and sound. Credit not allowed for more than one of PY 211, PY 201 or PY 205.

**PY 212 College Physics II** *4. Prerequisite: PY 211 or PY 205. Credit is not allowed for both PY 212 and PY 202 or PY 208.. *

Second semester of a two-semester introductory sequence in non-calculus physics, with laboratory. Electricity, and magnetism, light, modern physics. Credit not allowed for more than one of PY 212, PY 202, and PY 208.

**PY 251 Introduction to Scientific Computing** *3. Prerequisite: MA 241; Corequisite: PY 202 or PY 208. *

An introductory course in scientific computing for the physical and mathematical sciences using python and other open-source tools. Using a problem-oriented approach, students will learn the basic computing skills needed to conduct scientific research and to prepare for upper-level courses in science and engineering. Topics will include algorithm development, numerical methods, elements of programming, data analysis, and data visualization.

**PY 252 Instrumental and Data Analysis for Physics** *2. Prerequisite: PY 202 or PY 208. *

Digital data acquisition and lab computers (e.g. using LabView or MatLab) are tools used in nearly all current physics research labs. By using both analysis and thorough lab experimental investigation the student will learn basic skills with electronic devices (oscilloscope, power supplies, function generator, op-amps, high & low-pass filters, feedback circuits), electronic noise (measurement and analysis), and basic circuit construction methods (such as shielding/grounding, soldering).

**PY 299 Special Problems in Physics** *1-3. *

Study in experimental or analytical topics in classical and modern physics.

**PY 301 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 203 or PY 407. *

An introduction to wave mechanics and quantum phenomena including the Schroedinger equation for simple systems, the Hamiltonian operator, the use of commutator relations, and the application of angular momentum operators. Emphasis on mathematical tools used in wave mechanics, including complex numbers, function operators, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.

**PY 328 Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 202 or PY 208. *

Introduction to the study of stars, galaxies, and the universe. Stars and stellar evolution; interstellar medium; galaxies and galaxy clusters; cosmology. Recent developments in the understanding of neutron stars, black holes, active galaxies, quasars and inflationary cosmologies.

**PY 341 Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 203 or PY 407. *

Introduction to relativity, gravitation and cosmology in accordance with Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Flat spacetime: Minkowski metric, time dilation, length contraction, doppler effect, twin paradox, and space travel. Curved spacetime: Schwarzchild metric, black holes and event horizons, particle and light motion, Global positioning system, precession of planetary orbits. Cosmology: hubble law, expansion of the universe, Friedman-Robertson-Walker metric, big bang, cosmological redshift, dark matter and dark energy.

**PY 401 Quantum Physics I** *3. Prerequisite: Grade of C- or better in PY 411 and grade of C- or better in PY 203.. *

An introduction to the basic principles of quantum physics with an emphasis on selected applications to atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei and elementary particles.

**PY 402 Quantum Physics II** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 401. *

An introduction to the basic principles of quantum physics with an emphasis on selected applications to atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei and elementary particles.

**PY 407 Introduction to Modern Physics** *3. Prerequisite: MA 242, PY 208. *

Major developments in modern physics: special relativity, origin of the quantum theory, atomic and molecular structure, radioactivity, properties of nuclei. Credit not allowed for both PY 203 and PY 407.

**PY 411 Mechanics I** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 203 or C- or better in PY 407Co-requisite: MA 341. *

First semester of a two-semester sequence in particle and continuum mechanics at the intermediate level. Focuses on single-particle dynamics: Elementary Newtonian mechanics, harmonic oscillator, central force motion, conservation laws, motion in non-inertial frames, Coriolis and centrifugal forces, Lagrangian dynamics, Hamilton's equations.

**PY 412 Mechanics II** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 411. *

Second semester of a two-semester sequence in particle and continuum mechanics at the intermediate level. Focuses on dynamics of systems of particles and continua: Center of mass, collisions, rigid bodies, inertia tensor, principal axes, stress andstrain tensors, mechanical properties of fluids and solids; Waves in discrete and continuum systems, coupled oscillators, normal modes, elements of special relativity.

**PY 413 Thermal Physics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 203 or PY 407; Corequisite: MA 341. *

An introduction to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. The statistical study of physical systems emphasizing the connection between the statistical description of macroscopic systems and classical thermodynamics. Concepts of heat, internal energy, temperature and entropy. Classical and quantum statistical distributions.

**PY 414 Electromagnetism I** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 203 or C- or better in PY 407, and MA 341. *

First semester of a two-semester sequence. An intermediate course in electromagnetic theory using the methods of vector calculus. Electrostatic field and potential, dielectrics, solution to Laplace's and Poisson's equations, magnetic fields of steady currents.

**PY 415 Electromagnetism II** *3. Prerequisite: C- o better in PY 414. *

A continuation of PY 414. Electromagnetic induction, magnetic fields in matter, Maxwell's equations, wave guides, radiation.

**PY 452 Advanced Physics Laboratory** *3. Prerequisite: Senior standing, Physics Majors. *

Introduction to laboratory electronics and instrumentation. Experiments in mechanics; electromagnetism; electronics; optics; and atomic, nuclear, plasma and solid state physics. Senior Physics students only.

**PY 495 Special Topics in Physics** *1-4. *

Special Topics in theoretical, experimental, or computational physics at the advanced undergraduate level. Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Course may be repeated if course content varies.

**PY 499 Independent Research in Physics** *1-6. *

Study and research in physics. Topics for experimental or theoretical investigation. Individualized/Independent Study and Research courses require a Course Agreement for Students Enrolled in Non-Standard Courses be completed by the student and faculty member prior to registration by the department.

**PY 501 Quantum Physics I** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 411. *

Basic principles of quantum physics with emphasis on selected applications to atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei and elementary particles. PY 501 - first semester in two-semester sequence in quantum mechanics; PY 501 - second semester of sequence. Credit for both PY 401 and PY 501 is not allowed.

**PY 502 Quantum Physics II** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 401. *

Basic principles of quantum physics with emphasis on selected applications to atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei and elementary particles. PY 502 - second semester in two-semester sequence in quantum mechanics; PY 501, first semester of sequence. Credit for both PY 402 and PY 502 is not allowed.

**PY 506 Nuclear and Subatomic Physics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 203 or 407; PY 412. *

Introduction to nuclear and subatomic phenomena: properties of nuclear radiations and detectors, accelerators, nuclear forces and nuclear structure, elementary particles, fundamental symmetries and conservation laws.

**PY 507 Elementary Particle Physics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 401 and PY 506. *

Introduction to fundamental symmetries and dynamics of quarks and leptons. The Standard Model, Dirac equation, Feynman rules in QED and QCD, the Higgs mechanism and electroweak unification.

**PY 509 General Relativity** *3. P: MA 401 and MA 405 and PY 412 and PY 415; R: Graduate Standing. *

This course provides in-depth knowledge of general relativity covering: Einstein's equation, Schwarzschild metric, Kerr metric, Friedman-Robertson-Walker metric, Christoffel symbols, Killing vectors, Riemann curvature,and Ricci tensors. Theoretical computations are compared with experimental data including the precession rate of the perihelion for Mercury and the deflection in the solar eclipse, the geodelic affect and the frame dragging effect measured in Gravity Probe B experiment.

**PY 511 Mechanics I** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 203 or C- or better in PY 407, and MA 341. *

First semester of a two-semester sequence in particle and continuum mechanics at the intermediate level. Focuses on single-particle dynamics: Elementary Newtonian mechanics, harmonic oscillator, central force motion, conservation laws, motion in non-inertial frames, Coriolis and centrifugal forces, Lagrangian dynamics, Hamilton's equations.

**PY 512 Mechanics II** *3. Prerequisite: PY 511. *

Second semester of a two-semester sequence in particle and continuum mechanics at the intermediate level. Focuses on dynamics of systems of particles and continua: Center of mass, collisions, rigid bodies, inertia tensor, principal axes, stress andstrain tensors, mechanical properties of fluids and solids; Waves in discrete and continuum systems, coupled oscillators, normal modes, elements of special relativity.

**PY 514 Electromagnetism I** *3. Prerequisite: PY 203 or PY 208, MA 341. *

First semester of a two-semester sequence. An intermediate course in electromagnetic theory using the methods of vector calculus. Electrostatic field and potential, dielectrics, solution to Laplace's and Poisson's equations, magnetic fields of steady currents.

**PY 515 Electromagnetism II** *3. Prerequisite: PY 514. *

A continuation of PY 414. Electromagnetic induction, magnetic fields in matter, Maxwell's equations, wave guides, radiation.

**PY 516 Physical Optics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 415. *

Physical optics with major emphasis on wave properties of light. Boundary conditions, interference and diffraction, optics of thin films, fiber optics and applications to absorption, scattering and laser operation. A background in Maxwell's equations and vector analysis required.

**PY 517 Atomic and Molecular Physics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 401, 412. *

The quantum mechanical treatment of structure and spectra for atoms and molecules. The hydrogen atom, helium atom, multielectron atoms, selection rules, diatomic and simple polyatomic molecules and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

**PY 519 Biological Physics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 413 or Graduate Standing. *

This course presents the application of physics principles and methods to problems in biological systems. Important biological molecules, their structures and their processes are introduced for physical scientists. Functional mechanisms are analyzed with concepts from thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, fluid mechanics, and electrostatics. Modern experimental methods and computational approaches to molecular and cellular level biological phenomena are emphasized.

**PY 525 Computational Physics** *3. Prerequisite: CSC 112 or equivalent; Corequisite: of PY 401. *

Computational approach to physics problem solving using standard software relevant for physicists. Electrostatic potentials, data analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, Fourier optics, particle orbits, Schrodinger's equation. Examples and assignments for each topic chosen to complement other physics courses.

**PY 528 Introduction to Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy** *3. Prerequisite: MA 401 and PY 208. *

Concepts in plasma physics, basics of thermonuclear reactions; charged particle collisions, single particle motions and drifts, radiation from plasmas and plasma waves, fluid theory of plasmas, formation and heating of plasmas, plasma confinement, fusion devices and other plasma applications.

**PY 543 Astrophysics** *3. Prerequisite: PY 203 or 407; PY 411. *

Basic physics necessary to investigate, from observational data, internal conditions and evolution of stars. The formation and structure of spectral lines, methods of energy generation and transport, stellar structure, degeneracy, white dwarfs and neutron stars.

**PY 552 Introduction To the Structure Of Solids** *3. Prerequisite: C- or better in PY 401. *

Basic considerations of crystalline solids, metals, conductors and semiconductors.

**PY 570 Polymer Physics** *3. *

Polymer microstructures, polymer solutions, polymer physical states (including amorphous polymers, crystalline polymers, polymer melts, melting of polymers, glass-transition, and other transitions), polymer blends, polymer mechanical properties, polymer viscoelasticity and flow, multicomponent polymer systems, and modern polymer topics. The physics of polymer fibers. Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

**PY 581 Matter & Interactions for Teachers I** *3. *

First semester (mechanics) of a two-semester sequence intended to broaden and deepen in high school physics teachers their knowledge of introductory-level physics from a contemporary point of view. Includes an introduction to computational physics.Departmental permission required: normally restricted to in-service high school physics teachers.

**PY 582 Matter & Interactions for Teachers II** *3. *

Second semester (electricity and magnetism) of a two-semester sequence intended to broaden and deepen in high school physics teachers their knowledge of introductory-level physics from a contemporary point of view. Includes an introduction to computational physics. Departmental permission required: normally restricted to in-service high school physics teachers. PY 581 prerequisite may be waived with strong background in physics and mathematics.

**PY 590 Special Topics In Physics** *1-6. *

Investigations in physics under staff guidance. May consist of literature reviews, experimental or theoretical projects or special topics lectures. Credits Arranged.

**PY 599 Special Topics in Physics** *1-6. *

Investigations in physics under staff guidance. May consist of literature reviews, experimental or theoretical projects or special topics lectures. Credits arranged.

**PY 601 Seminar** *1. *

Reports on topics of current interest in physics. Several sections offered so that students with common research interests may be grouped together.

**PY 610 Special Topics** *1-6. *

Investigations in physics under staff guidance. May consist of literature reviews, experimental or theoretical projects or special topics lectures. Credits Arranged.

**PY 615 Advanced Special Topics In Physics** *1-6. *

Advanced study in astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics or plasma physics. Emphasis on new and rapidly developing research areas.

**PY 685 Master's Supervised Teaching** *1-3. Prerequisite: Master's student. *

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

**PY 693 Master's Supervised Research** *1-9. Prerequisite: Master's student. *

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

**PY 695 Master's Thesis Research** *1-9. Prerequisite: Master's student. *

Thesis Research.

**PY 696 Summer Thesis Research** *1. Prerequisite: Master's student. *

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

**PY 699 Master's Thesis Preparation** *1-9. Prerequisite: Master's student. *

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements and full-time enrollment for the master's degree and are writing and defending their thesis. Credits Arranged.

**PY 711 Advanced Quantum Mechanics I** *3. Prerequisite: MA 512, PY 782. *

Introduction to relativistic quantum theory of Dirac particles and the positron. Other topics including second quantization technique and its application to many-body problems, radiation theory and quantization of the electromagnetic field.

**PY 712 Advanced Quantum Mechanics II** *3. Prerequisite: PY 711. *

A general propagator treatment of Dirac particles, photons and scalar and vector mesons. Applications of Feynman graphs and rules illustrating basic techniques employed in treatment of electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions. Renormalization theory, the effects of radiative corrections and aspects of the general Lorentz covariant theory of quantized fields.

**PY 721 Statistical Physics I** *3. Prerequisite: PY 401, PY 413. *

Basic elements of kinetic theory and equilibrium statistical mechanics, both classical and quantum; applications of the techniques developed to various ideal models of noninteracting particles.

**PY 722 Statistical Physics II** *3. Prerequisite: PY 721. *

A continuation of PY 721, with emphasis on the static and dynamic properties of real (interacting) systems. Topics including equilibrium theory of fluids and linear response theory of time-dependent phenomena.

**PY 753 Introduction To the Structure Of Solids II** *3. Prerequisite: PY 552. *

The properties of semiconductors, superconductors, magnets, ferroelectrics and crystalline defects and dislocations.

**PY 755 Dielectric Films and their Interfaces** *3. Prerequisite: PY 552. *

This course addresses: i) local atomic structure of non-crystalline/amorphous dielectrics - experimental methods and theory; ii) classification of dielectric materials - by bond ionicity, bond density and bonding contraints/atom to discriminate between ideal covalent random networks, disrupted networks, and nano-crystallinity; iii) thermally-grown silicon dioxide and its interface with Si - the standard for alternative dielectrics; iv) electronic structure and bonding in transition metal/lathanide rare earth dielectrics; and v) intrinsic limitations on the performance and reliability of metal-oxide-semiconductor devices.

**PY 781 Quantum Mechanics I** *3. Prerequisite: MA 512; PY 411 or 414; Graduate standing. *

Fundamental concepts and formulations, including interpretation and techniques, and the application of theory to simple physical systems, such as the free particle, the harmonic oscillator, the particle in a potential well and central force problems. Other topics including approximation methods, identical particles and spin, transformation theory, symmetries and invariance, and an introduction to quantum theory of scattering and angular momentum.

**PY 782 Quantum Mechanics II** *3. Prerequisite: MA 512; PY 411 or 414; Graduate standing. *

Fundamental concepts and formulations, including interpretation and techniques, and the application of theory to simple physical systems, such as the free particle, the harmonic oscillator, the particle in a potential well and central force problems. Other topics including approximation methods, identical particles and spin, transformation theory, symmetries and invariance, and an introduction to quantum theory of scattering and angular momentum.

**PY 783 Advanced Classical Mechanics I** *3. Prerequisite: MA 512, PY 412, PY 414; Graduate standing. *

Introduction to theoretical physics in preparation for advanced study. Emphasis on classical mechanics, special relativity and the motion of charged particles. Topics including variational principles, Hamiltonian dynamics and canonical transformation theory, structure of the Lorentz group and elementary dynamics of unquantized fields.

**PY 785 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism I** *3. Prerequisite: PY 415; Graduate standing. *

Topics including techniques for solution of potential problems, development of Maxwell's equations; wave equations, energy, force and momentum relations of an electromagnetic field; covariant formulation of electrodynamics; radiation from accelerated charges.

**PY 786 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism II** *3. Prerequisite: PY 415; Graduate standing. *

Topics including techniques for solution of potential problems, development of Maxwell's equations; wave equations, energy, force and momentum relations of an electromagnetic field; covariant formulation of electrodynamics; radiation from accelerated charges.

**PY 801 Seminar** *1. *

Reports on topics of current interest in physics. Several sections offered so that students with common research interests may be grouped together.

**PY 810 Special Topics In Physics** *1-6. *

Investigations in physics under staff guidance. May consist of literature reviews, experimental or theoretical projects or special topics lectures. Credits Arranged.

**PY 885 Doctoral Supervised Teaching** *1-3. Prerequisite: Doctoral student. *

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

**PY 890 Doctoral Preliminary Examination** *1-9. Prerequisite: Doctoral student. *

For students who are preparing for and taking written and/or oral preliminary exams.

**PY 893 Doctoral Supervised Research** *1-9. Prerequisite: Doctoral student. *

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

**PY 895 Doctoral Dissertation Research** *1-9. Prerequisite: Doctoral student. *

Dissertation Research.

**PY 896 Summer Dissertation Research** *1. Prerequisite: Doctoral student. *

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

**PY 899 Doctoral Dissertation Preparation** *1-9. Prerequisite: Doctoral student. *

For students who have completed all credit hour requirements, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.