Basic course in physical science which satisfies the core science
requirement for all non-science majors. Topics include concepts
of measurements, motion, astronomy, chemical processes, conservation
of energy, and properties of heat, electricity and light. Three
(3) lecture hours and one (1) two-hour laboratory per week.
Introduction to Earth System Science
Course provides a scientific understanding of the physical earth
system - lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and solar system.
Topics include: common landforms, identification of mineral and
rock specimens, major types of earth movements, dating of rock
strata, fundamentals of the hydrologic cycle, introduction to
oceanography, properties and processes in the earth's atmosphere,
and elementary concepts of astronomy. Students are also required
to attend one (1) two-hour laboratory each week. This course
can be used to satisfy the core science requirements for all
PHY 105. Orientation to Earth System Science
An introduction to the opportunities, career choices, problems
and curricula in the Earth System Science Program.
PHY 106/106L. Introduction to Earth System Science II
A more quantitative discussion of topics covered in PHY 104.
Topics include: isostasy, origin of magma, plate tectonics, aerial
photographs, map projections, geologic maps, water balance, and
observational astronomy. Environmental hazards will be studied:
volcanic, flood, dryland, coastal, earthquake, and groundwater
risks. This course fulfills the requirement for middle-school
education majors who have a concentration in science. Prerequisite:
PHY 111/111L. General and Modern Physics
Lecture and laboratory course for students who desire a basic
background in physics. Required for Biology and Chemistry majors.
Topics include introduction to basic physics concepts of mechanics,
heat, and sound, with emphasis on applications in broad areas
such as chemistry and biology. Three (3) lecture hours and one
(1) three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: three (3)
units of high school mathematics, including algebra and trigonometry.
General and Modern Physics
Continuation of PHY 111. Introduces students to basic principles
in the physics of electricity, magnetism, optics, and atomic
physics. Three (3) lecture hours and one (1) three-hour laboratory
per week. Prerequisite: PHY 111.
121L. Physics I: Mechanics
(Lecture) + 1 credit (Laboratory)
An introductory physics course for students with a background
in basic calculus. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, laws
of conservation of momentum and energy, rational motion, oscillatory
motion. Three (3) lecture hours and one (1) three-hour laboratory
per week. Pre- or Co-requisite: MAT 111.
122L. Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism
(Lecture) + 1 credit (Laboratory)
Continuation of Physics 121. Students explore electromagnetic
forces, induction, static and time-dependent electromagnetic
fields, electric circuits, fields and potentials, and electromagnetic
waves. Three (3) lecture hours and one (1) three-hour laboratory
per week. Prerequisite: PHY 121. Pre- or Co-requisite: MAT 112.
123L. Physics III: Waves, Light, and Heat
(Lecture) + 1 credit (Laboratory)
A continuation of PHY 121 and 122. Topics include wave propagation,
sound, heat, and principles of thermodynamics, geometric optics,
physical optics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. Three (3)
lecture hours and one (1) three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite:
Basic study of atomic and nuclear physics, with emphasis on the
experimental foundation of these subjects. Topics include introduction
to the theory of relativity, atomic theory of matter, Rutherford
scattering, photoelectric effect, production and characteristics
of x-rays, lasers, introductory quantum physics, atomic spectra,
radio-activity, elementary particles, and particle accelerators.
Three (3) one-hour lectures per week. Prerequisites: PHY 123
or PHY 112.
Academic credit for physics majors working during the academic
year in approved industry positions. To receive credit for cooperative
experiences, students must secure approval from the Department
chairperson, who will arrange internships with project monitors
at specific work sites. Students who do not follow this procedure
will not receive cooperative academic credit.
Study of the electromagnetic theory of light and the interactions
of light and matter. Topics include geometrical optics and optical
instrumentation, physical optics (diffraction and interference
effects), spectroscopy and interferometry. Certain topics in
modern optics, such as holography and lasers, also are discussed.
Three (3) one-hour lectures and one (1) four-hour laboratory
per week. Prerequisites: PHY 123.
Mathematical Physics I
Application of mathematical techniques to physical systems. A
review of basic concepts of differential and integral calculus.
Topics include infinite sequences and series, systems of linear
determinants and matrices, and special functions. The course
emphasizes numerical methods and application to physics and chemistry.
Three (3) one-hour discussion and problem sessions per week.
Prerequisites: PHY 123 or PHY 112.
Mathematical Physics II
Continuation of PHY 321. Topics includes partial differentiation,
multiple integral, first- and second-order ordinary differential
equations, numerical methods of solving differential equations,
vector algebra, vector analysis, probability, and statistics.
Prerequisite: PHY 321.
A rigorous development of the concepts of classical physics and
the mathematical techniques used therein. Study of the common
mathematical formalism in vector analysis, hydrodynamics, and
electromagnetism. Other topics include Galilean relativity, kinematics
and dynamics of particle systems, rigid bodies, oscillations,
wave motion, and Lagrangian mechanics. Three (3) one-hour lectures
per week. Prerequisites: PHY 123.
Physical and mathematical foundations of electromagnetism. Students
explore electrostatic fields and potentials, electric fields
around conductors, electric current, field of moving charges,
magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction. Maxwell's equations,
alternating current circuits, electric fields in matter, free
oscillations in systems with many degrees of freedom, forced
oscillations, traveling waves, modulations, pulse and wave packets,
reflection, polarization, and interference and diffraction. Four
(4) one-hour lectures per week. Prerequisite: PHY 123.
Advanced Lab 1
Consists of introduction to classical experiments of physics
such as the measurement of the charge to mass of the electron,
Planck's constant, Milliken oil drop experiment, and others.
Advanced laboratory techniques and data analysis are also covered.
Prerequisite: PHY 123.
Physics of Earth Systems
Fundamental principles of radiation, absorption and emission
of radiation, solar and terrestrial radiation, radiative transfer
and heating rates, surface and global energy balances, role of
greenhouse gases, aerosols and clouds in climate change.
PHY 353. Weather Analysis and Prediction
Provides an introduction to atmospheric structure and synoptic
meteorology. Laboratory exercises include weather analysis and
PHY 355. Atmospheric Thermodynamics
Atmospheric composition, equation of state, first and second
laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamics of dry and moist atmospheres,
thermodynamic diagrams, static and dynamic atmospheric stability.
Prerequisites: MAT 112 and PHY 121.
PHY 357. Atmospheric Aerosols
Physical and chemical properties of aerosol particles, natural
and anathropogenic sources, techniques for detecting and measuring
aerosols, spatial distribution of aerosol particles, the role
of particles in atmospheric chemistry, air pollution and cloud
formation, as well as optical properties and their effects on
atmospheric visibility. Topics also include radiative effects
and implications for the earth's climate. Prerequisites: MAT
211 and PHY 121.
PHY 360. Numerical Methods in Earth System Science
Most of today's geoscience problems can be represented in mathematical
form as ordinary and partial differential equations. Course provides
an opportunity for students to understand the physical aspects
of geoscientific phenomena using mathematical methods as tools.
Prerequisites: MAT 212, MAT 214, and CIS 103.
PHY 365. Dynamics of the Earth System
Description and theory of atmospheric and oceanic motion: analysis
of forces; accelerated reference frames; conservation equations
of mass, momentum and energy; scaling; pressure coordinates;
geostropic and gradient flow; thermal wind; trajectories; circulation
and vorticity. Prerequisites: PHY 355.
PHY 370. Earth System Measurements
Physical principles of seismic, hydrological and atmospheric
instruments, static and dynamic performance characteristics,
use of data loggers in instrumentation and in measurement systems.
Prerequisites: CIS 103, MAT 211, and PHY 121.
PHY 375. Instrumentation Electronics
Physical concepts of electronics, basic test instruments, electronics
mathematics, DC and AC circuit analysis, measurement errors,
linear circuits, digital electronics, systems, solid state electronics,
components and transducers. Prerequisites: PHY 112 or PHY 123.
PHY 401/402. Physics and Society
This course satisfies the University community service requirements.
Students will examine how physics affects society and how society
affects physics. They will examine and practice ways to address
community problems and concerns using their background in physics.
At least fifteen (15) hours of community service are required.
This course may be repeated. Only one (1) semester is required.
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
The concepts and methods of classical thermodynamics and its
relation to statistical mechanics. Topics include thermodynamic
laws, kinetic theory, and thermodynamic functions and their application
to simple systems. Three (3) one-hour lectures per week. Prerequisite:
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Concepts of wave particle duality, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle,
and Schrödinger's Wave Equation, with applications to potential
problems of the hydrogen atom and atomic spectra, first-order
perturbation theory, spin orbit interaction, and particle theory.
Three (3) one-hour lectures per week. Prerequisite: PHY 332.
and 422. Undergraduate Research I and II
3 credits each
Individual exposure to the methodology of experimental and theoretical
research in physics. Experiments emphasize modern physical techniques
and require considerable independent reading and investigation.
Theoretical and computational research require strong math- and
computer-related skills. Individual schedules are arranged at
the beginning of the term, depending on the student's interest
and experience. Prerequisite: permission of Department chairperson.
PHY 441/442. Internship
Professional work experience for students during the summer months.
Interns may work in Atlanta, or in other locations. To receive
academic credit for internship, students must secure approval
from the Department chairperson, who will arrange internships
with project monitors at specific work sites. Students who do
not follow this procedure will not receive internship academic
PHY 445. Introduction to Micrometeorology
Energy budget and radiation balance near the surface; air temperature,
humidity and wind distribution in the atmospheric boundary layer;
viscous flows and turbulence; neutral boundary layers, momentum
and heat exchanges with homogeneous surfaces; nonhomogeneous,
boundary layers, agricultural and forest meteorology. Prerequisite:
PHY 450. Radiative Transfer and Passive Remote Sensing
Fundamentals of electromagnetic radiation. Emphasis on solar
radiation at the top of the atmosphere, scattering and absorption
of solar radiation in the atmosphere, infrared transfer in the
atmosphere. Measurement of scattered sunlight or radiation emitted
by the atmosphere using ultraviolet, visible, infrared or microwave
sensors. Prerequisite: PHY 123.
PHY 452. Active Remote Sensing
Principles of meteorological sensors; radar principles, radar
equation, radar applications and accuracy; sodar and lidar equations,
applications and accuracy; interpretation of data from active
and passive remote sensing systems. Prerequisite: PHY 375.
PHY 460. Atmospheric Chemistry
Basic structure of the planet; detailed structure of the atmosphere;
how the present atmosphere evolved from the primordial atmosphere;
what happens to solar radiation as it passes through the atmosphere;
the presence of oxygen and its relation to ozone and living systems;
chemical equilibrium and rates of reactions; differences between
reactions with rates that depend primarily upon temperature versus
sunlight; Chapman's theory of ozone formation in the stratosphere;
improvements to the simple model; the role of aerosols on chemical
change; the role of chlorofluorocarbons on the "ozone hole";
cycles in the lower atmosphere; urban photochemical smog and
acid-rain; chemistry on other planets. Prerequisites: MAT 111
and CHE 112.
PHY 470. Earth System Modeling
Application of numerical modeling techniques to the earth system;
use of computer modules representative of earth system components
presented as hands-on laboratory exercises, including impact
of basic energy exchange processes on temperature and evolution
of horizontal motions in the atmosphere; satellite data. Prerequisite:
PHY 501: Classical Mechanics.
Dynamics of particles and rigid bodies; the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian
formulation; Poisson brackets, Hamilton-Jacobi Theory, classical
scattering theory, theory of small oscillation.
Maxwell's equations and applications; electrostatics, dielectrics,
magnetostatics, scalar and vector potentials; conservation laws;
multiple moments and multiple radiation; dispersion; special
Concepts of Modern Optics starting with Maxwell's equations including
topics such as reflection and refraction, wave propagation in
anisotropic media, diffraction, interference, lasers, holography,
and the theory of optical wave guides. Prerequisite: PHY 322
Quantum Mechanics I and II.
3 credits each
Nonrelativisitic quantum mechanics; representation of dynamical
variables as operators or matrices; theory of angular momentum;
motion in a centrally symmetric field; perturbation theory; identical
particles and spin; theory of classical collisions; semi-classical
treatment of radiation.
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics.
Review of first, second and third laws; irreversible processes;
microcanonical, canonical and grand canonical ensembles; the
density matrix; Bose and Fermi systems. Kinetic theory and the
Boltzmann transport equation.
Mathematical Methods I and II.
3 credits each
Vector analysis, orthogonal curvilinear coordinates; the calculus
of variations; functions of a complex variable; ordinary and
partial differential equations, hypergeometric functions; orthogonal
functions; integral transform methods; Green's functions and
Solid State Physics.
Brillouin zone treatment of metals, semi-conductors and insulators;
approximation methods of determining properties of real solids;
comparison between theory and experiment for selected solid state
Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
Quantum theory of atomic and nuclear processes. Hartee-Fock approximation,
fine and hyperfine structure, atomic collision; nucleon-nucleon
potentials and scattering, shell and collective models, correlation
in nuclear matter.
Physics of Fluids.
Basic processes in liquids, gases, magneto-fluids and plasmas;
Navier-Stokes equation, non-Newtonian fluids, compressible and
incompressible flow, shock structure, kinetic theory, classical
Physics of Surfaces.
Fundamentals of physical methods for studying the structures,
composition, vibrational and electronic properties of solid surfaces
including the verification of principles in laboratory experiments.
Radioactivity, interaction of electromagnetic radiation with
matter, radiation quantities and units; x-rays, gamma rays, neutron
activation, interaction of charged particles with matter, stopping
power, range-energy relations, counting statistics shielding,
dosimetry, waste disposal, criticality prevention, radiation
biology and ecology.
Applied Quantum Mechanics I and II.
3 credits each
Application of quantum mechanical principles to the solution
of selected problems in atomic, molecular, nuclear and solid-state
Laboratory I and II.
3 credits each
Provides an opportunity for the student to master the theory
and operation of typical research grade physical measurement
instruments and instrumentation systems: mechanical transducers,
electronic data recording and processing devices, optical and
particle spectrometers, computer interfacing; in the second course,
experimental techniques particular to an on-going experimental
research effort under supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite:
Admission by consent of the faculty member in the research area.
Required of all graduate students in the Department.
Thesis or Non-Thesis Research.
Designed to assist students in the development and writing of
the thesis or the non-thesis research project.
Thesis or Non-Thesis Research Project Consultation
Designed for students who are in the final stage of thesis writing
or non-thesis research project writing, which requires minimal
supervision and assistance.
Optical Fiber Measurements I.
Introduction to the hands-on experience needed to master the
basic concepts and laboratory techniques of optical fiber technology;
includes a wide range of applications in both optical communications
and sensors using both multimode and single-mode fibers.
Modern Optical Measurements II.
Continuation of Optical Fiber Measurements I with emphasis on
more complex measurements and calibration on topics such as polarization-maintaining
fibers, communication sources and detectors and communication
Surveys topics in advanced optics such as electromagnetic wave
scattering and propagation in unperturbed, perturbed and non-linear
dielectric media. Prerequisite: PHY 504 (Modern Optics).
Surveys topics in quantum optics such as quantum mechanics, quantum
coherence theory, coherent states, squeezed states and simple
laser systems. Prerequisite: PHY 504 (Modern Optics).
Philosophy of Science.
Treatment of ontological, epistemological, and methodological
presuppositions underlying physical theory and experiment; problems
of demarcation, verification and evolution of scientific knowledge;
social implications of scientific research.
Special Topics in Physics.
Special topics of current interest such as general relativity,
quantum field theory, scattering theory, elementary particle
theory, astrophysics, etc.
Introduction to Atmospheric Science.
Dynamics of atmospheric processes; spectroscopy of atomic and
molecular species; photodynamics and photokinetics of photochemical
processes; instrumental techniques, including infrared, atomic
emissions, atomic absorption, etc.