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Fall 2007

The Department of Physics

108 Science Hall • Box 19059 • 817-272-2266 • www.uta.edu/physics
Academic Advising: 108 Science Hall • 817-272-2266
Degree RequirementsFacultyCourse Descriptions
back to College of Science

The Department of Physics offers three Bachelors of Science Degree programs and a Bachelor of Arts Degree program.

The Bachelor of Science Degree programs include one which prepares students for careers in science and technology, another for medical school preparation, and a third for students wanting to minor in an engineering discipline. The Bachelor of Arts Degree in physics is intended for those students who seek a broader education while retaining a firm foundation in physics. When combined with the required education courses, the Bachelor of Arts program is also appropriate for students interested in becoming school teachers.*

Students considering a physics major should schedule an appointment with an undergraduate advisor in physics to discuss their degree and career options. Physics majors are encouraged to participate in research projects under faculty guidance for course credit or financial reward. In this way, undergraduate students have the choice of gaining hands-on experience from a variety of research disciplines, including astrophysics, computational physics, high energy physics, optics, space physics, and theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics.

The faculty of the Physics Department encourages students who qualify to participate in the University Honors College. Scholarships may be offered every year to new students majoring in physics.

*Students desiring certification for teaching at the secondary level must fulfill the requirements for a second teaching field and must take certain education courses as prescribed in the Education section of this catalog.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics

English

Six hours of composition.

Literature

Three hours of literature or an approved substitution.

Liberal Arts Elective

Three hours of courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts.

U.S. History

Six hours of American history or three hours of American and three hours of Texas history. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

U.S. Political Science

Six hours covering U.S. and Texas constitutions. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

Fine Arts

Three hours from architecture, art, dance, music, or theatre arts.

Social/Cultural Studies

Three hours of designated courses (see Advising Center Web site).

Computer Sciences

Six hours from CSE 1306 (or higher numbered CSE course), PHYS 2321, MATH 3345, or other suitable course.

Natural Science other than Physics

CHEM 1441 and 1442, and a minimum of six hours from courses for majors offered in the departments of biology and/or earth and environmental sciences.

Math (Minor)

MATH 1426, 2425, 2326, 3318 or 3319, and a 4000-level course.

Physics (Major)

45 hours of physics including PHYS 1443, 1444, 2311, 3183, 3313, 3321, 4117, 4315, 4319, 4324, 4326, plus 14 additional hours of approved courses.

Electives and Total Hours

Sufficient to give the total of 129 hours, of which at least 36 must be advanced (3000/4000-level courses.

Typical Course Sequence

Details of a personal course sequence should be made with the guidance of an undergraduate advisor, particularly since many courses in physics are not offered every year. For all entering freshmen, it is important to begin the mathematics sequence, starting with MATH 1323, in the first semester.

Freshman Year

ENGL 1301 and 1302, HIST 1311 and 1312, MATH 1323 and 1426, CHEM 1441 and 1442, CSE (3 hours), Fine Arts (3 hours), plus elective (3 hours).

Sophomore Year

MATH 2425 and 2326, PHYS 1443 and 1444, Biology and/or Geology (6-8 hours), POLS 2311 and 2312, ENGL 2309 (literature), Social/Cultural Studies (3 hours), Liberal Arts elective (3 hours).

Junior Year

MATH 3319, PHYS 2311, 3313, and 12 hours of advanced physics courses, plus electives (6 hours).

Senior Year

MATH 4320, PHYS 2321 and /or PHYS 2445 and/or CSE (3 hours), and 15 hours of advanced physics courses, plus an elective (3 hours).

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics with Medical School Preparation

This program offers the broad background in fundamental science and strong problem solving ability of a physics degree as well as specific biology and chemistry medical school requirements. The combination of skills developed in this program is designed to provide the intellectual foundation necessary for excellence in research and the practice of medicine.

English

Six hours of composition.

Literature

Three hours of literature or an approved substitution.

Liberal Arts Elective

Three hours of courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts.

U.S. History

Six hours of American history or three hours of American and three hours of Texas history. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

U.S. Political Science

Six hours covering U.S. and Texas constitutions. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

Fine Arts

Three hours from architecture, art, dance, music, or theatre arts.

Social/Cultural Studies

Three hours of designated courses (see Advising Center Web site).

Computer Science

Three hours from CSE 1306 (or a higher numbered CSE course), PHYS 2321, MATH 3345, or other suitable course.

Chemistry

16 hours, consisting of CHEM 1441, 1442, 2181, 2182, 2321, and 2322.

Mathematics

14 hours, consisting of MATH 1426, 2425, 2326, 3319 (or 3318).

Biology (Minor)

18 hours, including BIOL 1441 and 1442, and six hours of 3000/4000-level courses.

Physics (Major)

36 hours including PHYS 1443, 1444, 2311, 3183, 3313, 3321, 4117, 4315, 4326, plus 11 additional hours of approved courses.

Electives and Total Hours

Sufficient to give the total of 129 hours, of which 36 hours must be in advanced (3000/4000-level) courses.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics with Engineering Emphasis

This program allows the student to augment a rigorous training in physics with the choice of a minor in a suitable engineering discipline, thus combining a theoretical understanding of the basic physical theories with a practical more detailed understanding given in the College of Engineering. Such a combination would be a bonus for employment in the engineering-type professions often chosen by physics majors.

English

Six hours of composition.

Literature

Three hours of literature or an approved substitution.

Liberal Arts Elective

Three hours of courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts.

U.S. History

Six hours of American history or three hours of American and three hours of Texas history. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

U.S. Political Science

Six hours covering U.S. and Texas constitutions. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

Fine Arts

Three hours from architecture, art, dance, music, or theatre arts.

Social/Cultural Studies

Three hours of designated courses (see Advising Center Web site).

Computer Science

Three hours from CSE 1306 (or a higher numbered CSE course), PHYS 2321, MATH 3345, or other suitable course.

Natural Science other than Physics

CHEM 1441 and a minimum of six hours from courses for majors offered in the departments of chemistry, biology, or earth and environmental sciences

Mathematics

14 hours, consisting of MATH 1426, 2425, 2326, 3319 (or 3318).

Engineering (Minor)

18 or more hours as required by the appropriate engineering department, of which six hours must be 3000/4000-level courses.

Physics (Major)

40 hours including PHYS 1443, 1444, 2311, 3183, 3313, 3321, 4117, 4315, 4324, 4326, plus 12 additional hours of approved courses.

Electives and Total Hours

Sufficient to give the total of 129 hours, of which 36 hours must be in advanced (3000/4000-level) courses.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics

English

Six hours of composition.

Literature

Three hours of literature or an approved substitution.

Liberal Arts Elective

Three hours of courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts.

U.S. History

Six hours of American history or three hours of American and three hours of Texas history. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

U.S. Political Science

Six hours covering U.S. and Texas constitutions. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

Fine Arts

Three hours from architecture, art, dance, music, or theatre arts.

Social/Cultural Studies

Three hours of designated courses (see Advising Center Web site).

Modern and Classical Languages

Eight hours in a modern or classical language.

Natural Science other than Physics

12 hours from courses offered to majors in the departments of biology, chemistry, and earth and environmental sciences.

Mathematics

14 hours, consisting of MATH 1426, 2425, 2326, 3319 (or 3318).

Computer Science

Three hours from CSE 1306 (or a higher numbered CSE course), PHYS 2321, MATH 3345, or other suitable course.

Mathematics

14 hours, consisting of MATH 1426, 2425, 2326, 3319 (or 3318).

Minor*

18 hours in a Liberal Arts or other appropriate discipline, of which six hours must be 3000/4000-level courses.

Physics (Major)

36 hours, including PHYS 1443, 1444, 2311, 3183, 3313, 3321, 4117, 4315, 4326, plus 11 additional hours of approved courses.

Electives and Total Hours

Sufficient to give the total of 129 hours, of which 36 hours must be in advanced (3000/4000-level) courses.

*Students seeking teaching certification may use education courses here.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics with a Master’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering (Fast Track Program)

The Fast Track Program enables outstanding senior undergraduate students in Physics to satisfy degree requirements leading to a bachelor’s degree in Physics while simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree (M. Engr.) in Materials Science and Engineering. The essential elements of the Fast Track Program involve the use of up to 12 hours of graduate coursework to apply towards an undergraduate degree in Physics while simultaneously applying up to 9 hours of undergraduate coursework towards a graduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering. Thus, the program allows that up to 21 hours to be used to satisfy both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. Additional details of the Fast Track Program are provided subsequently in this catalog section.

English

Six hours of composition.

Literature

Three hours of literature or of an approved substitute.

Liberal Arts Elective

Three hours of courses taught in the College of Liberal Arts.

U.S. History

Six hours of American history or three hours of American and three hours of Texas history. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

U.S. Political Science

Six hours covering U.S. and Texas constitutions. (This requirement is mandated by state law and cannot be waived.)

Fine Arts

Three hours from architecture, art, dance, music, or theatre arts.

Social/Cultural Studies

Three hours of designated courses in social or cultural anthropology, archaeology, social/political/cultural geography, economics, sociology, classical studies, linguistics, history, humanities, philosophy, communications or political science.

Computer Science

Six hours from CSE 1306 (or higher numbered CSE courses), PHYS 2321, or MATH 3345, which may also be used to satisfy physics and math requirements (but count only once towards the total hours).

Natural Science other than Physics

CHEM 1441, 1442 and a minimum of three hours from courses for majors offered in the Departments of Chemistry, Biology, or Geology.

Mathematics

14 hours, consisting of MATH 1426, 2425, 2326, and 3318 or 3319.

Materials Science and Engineering

12 hours, including MSE 3300 and nine hours from 3000/4000-level or graduate MSE courses.

Physics (Major)

41 hours, including PHYS 1443, 1444, 2311, 3183, 3313, 3321, 3445, 4117, 4315, and 4326, plus 12 additional hours of approved courses.

Electives

Sufficient to give the total of 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be in advanced (3000/4000-level) courses towards the undergraduate degree in Physics. Details of the requirements for the M.Engr. degree in Materials Science and Engineering are available in the graduate catalog.

Options Programs

The Department of Physics offers several options targeted for students majoring in other fields of science, engineering, mathematics, and music. These options are designed for students to develop their understanding of the fundamental properties of nature about which their vocations center.

The options and their course requirements are listed below. Some of the courses have prerequisites. Most students interested in these options will satisfy the prerequisites by virtue of their degree program.

In many cases, the prerequisites can be waived for students doing an option. Contact the undergraduate physics advisor for specific information.

1. Physics of Modern Technology
PHYS 1444 General Technical Physics II
PHYS 3313 Modern Physics
PHYS 4315 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 4325 Solid State Physics
2. Acoustics
PHYS 1401 Physics for non-specialists I
PHYS 1402 Physics for non-specialists II
PHYS 1300 Acoustics
PHYS 4181 or 4281 Special Problems
3. Electrodynamics
PHYS 1444 General Technical Physics II
PHYS 3321 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 4324 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 2445 or 3445 Electronics or Optics
4. Mathematical Physics
PHYS 2311 Mathematical Methods of Physics
PHYS 2321 Computational Physics
PHYS 3321 or 4315 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism or Classical Mechanics
PHYS 4315 or 4326 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics or Quantum Physics
5. Optics
PHYS 1444 General Technical Physics II
PHYS 3313 Modern Physics
PHYS 3445 Optics
PHYS 4171 or 4271 Advanced Optics Laboratory
6. The Nature of the Universe
PHYS 1444 General Technical Physics II
PHYS 3313 Modern Physics
PHYS 3315 Astrophysics and Cosmology
PHYS 3446 Nuclear and Particle Physics

Fast Track Program with BS in Physics and M.Engr. in Materials Science and Engineering

Students at the end of their freshman year who have completed PHYS 1443 and PHYS 1444 with a GPA of 3.0 and express an interest in the Fast Track Program will be designated as “Fast Track Bound” and encouraged to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better to retain their eligibility. Students who have been identified as “Fast Track Bound” as well as other outstanding undergraduates in Physics can apply for the Fast Track Program when they are within 30 hours of completing their bachelor’s degrees. They must have completed at least 30 hours at UTA, achieving a GPA of at least 3.0 in those courses, and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all college courses. Additionally, they must have completed at least 9 hours of specified undergraduate Foundation Courses that are listed below with a GPA of 3.3 in these courses.

Foundation Courses Required for Admission into the Fast Track Program:
MSE 3300 Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
PHYS 3313 Inroduction to Modern Physics
PHYS 3321 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism

Once admitted, students will be allowed to take a mixture of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses that may be used to satisfy both bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements. Fast Track students can use up to 9 hours of undergraduate courses from the list below to apply towards their M.Engr. degree in Materials Science and Engineering as well as towards their BS degree in Physics:

Courses that may be used to satisfy both bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements
PHYS 4315 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 4319 Advanced Mechanics
PHYS 4324 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 4325 Solid State Physics
PHYS 4326 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
MSE 4320 Nanoscale Materials

The balance of the 36 hours required for the M. Engr. degree is selected from an approved list of graduate Physics and Materials Science Engineering courses. For more details about the specifics of the program contact the Undergraduate Advisor in Physics or Graduate Advisor in Materials Science and Engineering.

Second Major

A person who satisfies the requirements for any other baccalaureate degree qualifies for having physics named as a second major upon completion of 26 semester hours from among PHYS 2311 and physics courses with higher numbers. The specific courses to be used must be approved by the undergraduate advisor and the chair of the Department of Physics.

Teacher Certification

Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Physics with secondary teacher certification, or in Physics as a second teaching field should refer to the College of Education section of this catalog for teacher certification requirements.

Oral Communication and Computer Competency Requirements

The university oral communication competency requirement will be met by the seminar course PHYS 4117, which includes an oral presentation. This course is required of all physics majors.

The university computer competency requirement may be satisfied by taking the Computer Proficiency Test administered by UT Arlington or through CSE 1111 (or a higher numbered CSE course), PHYS 2321 or MATH 3345. For the BS and BA degrees, these requirements are automatically satisfied.

Physics Faculty

Chair

Professor Horwitz

Professors

Black, De, Fry, Koymen, Musielak, Ray, Rubins, Sharma, Weiss, White

Associate Professors

Brandt, Cuntz, Liu, Yu, Zhang

Assistant Professors

Chen, Fazleev, Su

Lecturer (full time)

Veerabathina

Lecturers (part time)

O’Donnell, Wallace

Adjunct Professors

Claytor, Missel, Rejcek, Schachar, Torti

Professors Emeritus

Diana, Self, Thompson


View Course Descriptions for: Physics (PHYS)

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