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Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014

PHYSICS (PHYS)

College of Computer, Mathematical, & Physical Sciences
1120 John S. Toll Physics Building, 301-405-5979
umdphysics.umd.edu
ugrad@physics.umd.edu
Chair: A. Baden (Prof)
Professors: J. Anderson, S. Anlage, T. Antonsen, J. Banavar (Prof And Dean), E. Beise (Dist Scholar-Teacher), A. Buonanno, T. Cohen (Assoc Chair, Dist Scholar-Teacher), S. DasSarma (Dist Univ Prof, Dist Faculty Research Fellow), W. Dorland (Dist Scholar-Teacher), J. Drake, T. Einstein, R. Ellis, S. Eno (Assoc Chair), S. Gates (Toll Chair, Dist Scholar-Teacher), J. Goodman (Dist Scholar-Teacher), O. Greenberg, R. Greene, N. Hadley, D. Hamilton, A. Hassam, B. Hu, T. Jacobson (Dist Scholar-Teacher), A. Jawahery (Dist Univ Prof), X. Ji, T. Kirkpatrick, D. Lathrop, C. Liu, C. Lobb (Dist Scholar-Teacher), H. Milchberg (Dist Scholar-Teacher), R. Mohapatra (Dist Scholar-Teacher), C. Monroe, L. Orozco, E. Ott (Dist Univ Prof), K. Papadopoulos, W. Phillips (Dist Univ Prof, Nobel Laureate), E. Redish (Dist Scholar-Teacher), S. Rolston, R. Roy, R. Sagdeev (Dist Univ Prof), E. Seo, A. Skuja, P. Sprangle, K. Sreenivasan (Dist Univ Prof), G. Sullivan (Assoc Chair), R. Sundrum (Dist Univ Prof, Toll Chair), F. Wellstood, E. Williams (Dist Univ Prof, Dist Faculty Research Fellow), V. Yakovenko
Associate Professors: K. Agashe, I. Appelbaum, P. Bedaque, Z. Chacko, V. Galitski, C. Hall, K. Hoffman, W. Losert, M. Ouyang, D. Roberts, P. Shawhan
Assistant Professors: A. Belloni, M. Girvan, K. Kim, A. LaPorta, M. Levin, J. McKinney (Asst Prof), J. Paglione, J. Sau, M. Tiglio, A. Upadhyaya
Lecturers: F. Baker, D. Buehrle, J. Gonano, J. Jacobson, H. Peritt, S. Picozzi, M. Rapport, K. Restorff, S. Singhal
Affiliate Professors: W. Hill, P. O'Shea (Dist Scholar-Teacher), G. Oehrlein, R. Phaneuf, I. Takeuchi, J. Weeks (Dist University Professor)
Affiliate Associate Professors: A. Elby
Affiliate Assistant Professors: J. Cumings
Adjunct Professors: G. Bryant, C. Clark, P. Julienne, P. Lett, J. Lynn, J. Mather ( College Park Prof, Nobel Laureate), A. Migdall, G. Solomon, R. Tycko, C. Williams
Adjunct Associate Professors: J. McEnery, J. Porto, E. Tiesinga
Adjunct Assistant Professors: G. Campbell, I. Spielman, J. Taylor
Professors Emeriti: C. Alley, S. Bhagat, D. Boyd, D. Brill, C. C. Chang, N. Chant, D. Currie, A. DeSilva, J. Dorfman, A. Dragt, H. Drew, D. Falk, M. Fisher (Dist Univ Prof Emeritus), A. Glick, G. Goldenbaum, H. Griem, H. Holmgren, C. Kacser (Assoc Prof Emeritus), Y. Kim, V. Korenman, D. Langenberg (Chancellor Emeritus), J. Layman, G. Mason, C. Misner, H. Paik, R. Park, J. Pati, J. Richard, P. Roos, J. Sucher, S. Wallace, C. Woo, C. Y. Chang
Visiting Faculty: T. Ferbel

The Major

Physics is an exciting and rewarding field of study. Physicists make important discoveries that often change the way we live by examining the way things work, and there are still many discoveries to be made.

At Maryland, physics majors benefit from small class-sizes, outstanding teachers and very talented classmates. However, we believe that the most important physics education occurs outside the classroom, and we encourage all of our majors to participate in cutting-edge research with our internationally recognized faculty. Through participation in research projects, our students learn what it takes to conduct world-class scientific research. Whether students decide to continue to study physics in graduate school or work in fields such as engineering, software development, law, business or education, a bachelor's degree in physics from Maryland provides an excellent foundation.

Students majoring in Physics can follow either the Professional Physics area of concentration, the Meteorology Physics area of concentration, or the Education Physics area of concentration. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to fully engage with the curriculum and the opportunities presented for learning and research. Having completed the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the core areas of physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal physics, and quantum mechanics at a level compatible with admission to graduate programs in physics at peer institutions.
  2. The ability to analyze and interpret quantitative results, both in the core areas of physics and in complex problems that cross multiple core areas.
  3. An ability to assess and solve unfamiliar problems in physics using the knowledge and skills acquired.
  4. The ability to use contemporary experimental apparatus common to the study of physical phenomena, and have the ability to acquire, analyze and interpret scientific data.
  5. The ability to communicate scientific results effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Requirements for the Major

  Courses required for Physics Major:    
    Credits  
  Lower-level courses for all areas of concentration:    
PHYS171 Introductory Physics: Mechanics  3  
PHYS174 Physics Laboratory Introduction 1  
PHYS272 Introductory Physics: Fields  3  
PHYS273 Introductory Physics: Waves 3  
PHYS275 Experimental Physics I: Mechanics, Heat, and Fields  2  
PHYS276 Experimental Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism 2  
MATH140 Calculus I 4  
MATH141 Calculus II 4  
MATH241 Calculus III 4  
MATH246 Differential Equations 3  
MATH240 Linear Algebra  4  
       
  Upper-level courses for Professional Physics area of concentration:    
PHYS374 Intermediate Theoretical Methods 4  
PHYS375 Experimental Physics III: EM Waves, Optics, and Modern Physics  3  
PHYS401 Quantum Physics I 4  
PHYS402 Quantum Physics II 4  
PHYS404 Introduction to Statistical Mechanics 3  
PHYS405* Advanced Experiments 3  
PHYS410 Classical Mechanics 4  
PHYS411 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism 4  
  *PHYS405 in the Professional Physics area of concentration may be replaced by the following two course sequence:
PHYS499A  Special Problems in Physics
PHYS407    Professional Physics Experimental Research



1-6
3
 
       
  Upper-level and supporting courses for Meteorology Physics area of concentration:  
CHEM135/136 Chemistry for Engineers/Lab 4  
MATH462 Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers 3  
AOSC431 Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers I 3  
AOSC432 Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers II 3  
AOSC434 Air Pollution 3  
PHYS375 Experimental Physics III: Electromagnetic Waves, Optics  3  
PHYS401 Quantum Physics I * 4  
PHYS402 Quantum Physics II * 4  
PHYS404 Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics 3  
  *The PHYS 401-402 sequence in the Meteorology Physics area of concentration may be replaced by two of the following courses:     
PHYS405 Advanced Experiments 3  
PHYS406 Optics 3  
PHYS410 Classical Mechanics 4  
PHYS411 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism  4  
PHYS420 Principles of Modern Physics 3  
       
  Upper-level and supporting courses for Education Physics area of concentration:  
EDPL301 Foundations of Education 3  
EDHD413 Adolescent Development 3  
EDHD426 Cognitive and Motivational Basis of Reading: Reading in Content Areas    
EDCI463 Teaching Reading in Content Area II 3  
PHYS374 Intermediate Theoretical Methods 4  
PHYS411 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism 4  
PHYS401 Quantum Physics I  4  
PHYS375 Experimental Physics III: Electromagnetic Waves, Optics 3  

In the Education Physics area of concentration: EDPL 301 may be replaced by EDPL 401 Educational Technology, Policy and Social Change (3). PHYS 401 may be replaced by PHYS 420- Principles of Modern Physics (3). PHYS 375 may be replaced by one additional non-seminar 400-level approved Physics course of 3-4 credits.

Students who are considering pursuing the Education Physics area of concentration are encouraged to enroll in EDCI 280-Introduction to Teaching, for a survey of education and teaching. The Education Physics area of concentration is designed to accommodate students obtaining a teaching certificate through the College of Education. However, completing all the courses in the Education Physics area of concentration does not in itself satisfy all requirements for obtaining a teaching certificate. Students pursuing the Education Physics area of concentration who want to also obtain a teaching certificate in secondary education must first apply and be admitted to the Secondary Education Program in the College of Education and then complete additional courses in that program.

For students under the CORE requirements:
Students planning to double major (or seek a double degree) in Physics and Astronomy should note that this combination does not automatically satisfy CORE Advanced Studies. These students must complete CORE Advanced Studies by taking courses from departments other than Physics and Astronomy.

Other Requirements for the Major

Students must complete all courses required for the major with a grade of C- or higher.

Requirements for the Minor

This minor provides a rigorous foundation in physics for students who choose not to complete the entire physics major. The minor begins with a set of two introductory courses (6 credits) in electromagnetic fields (PHYS 262 or PHYS 272) and waves (PHYS 263 or PHYS 273). As part of this introduction to Physics, the minor also requires a one-credit introductory physics laboratory (PHYS 174, PHYS 261, or PHYS 271) involving techniques of data gathering and analysis. To obtain a deeper understanding of physics, the minor requires three additional upper-level courses (3-4 credits each), which students can select from the list below.

  • Other upper level Physics courses can be substituted only with approval from the Department's undergraduate director and the Faculty Minor Advisor.
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better to be counted towards the minor.
  • No more than 7 credits in this minor can count toward major requirements. Students with more than 7 credits of overlap must substitute non-overlapping 300 or 400 level courses from the above list to reduce the overlap to no more than 7 credits.
  • Physics majors and students majoring in Astronomy are not eligible to complete the Physics Minor due to the large number of overlapping course requirements.
    Credits
  Courses required for the minor  7
  One from:  
PHYS174 Physics Laboratory Introduction 1
PHYS261 General Physics: Vibrations, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism: Laboratory 1
PHYS271 General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics: Laboratory 1
  One from:  
PHYS272 Introductory Physics: Fields 3
PHYS260 General Physics: Vibrations, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism 3
  One from:  
PHYS273 Introductory Physics: Waves 3
PHYS270 General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics 3
  Three from the following:  9-12
PHYS374 Intermediate Theoretical Methods 4
PHYS375 Experimental Physics III: EM Waves, Optics & Modern Physics 3
PHYS401 Quantum Physics I  4
PHYS402 Quantum Physics II  4
PHYS404 Introductory Statistical Thermodynamics 3
PHYS410 Classical Mechanics 4
PHYS411 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS465 Modern Optics 3
PHYS474 Computational Physics 3

 

Prerequisites
MATH 140 (4 credits), MATH 141 (4 credits), MATH 241 (4 credits), MATH 240 (4 credits), MATH 246 (3 credits), and Physics 161 (or Physics 171) (3 credits) are prerequisites for some of the courses in this program.

Contact
Students interested in earning a minor in physics should contact the undergraduate advisor for the Physics Department:

1120F John S. Toll Physics Building; 301-405-5979
email: phys-ugradinfo@physics.umd.edu

Note: At the beginning of the semester in which graduation is intended, a student should make an appointment with the Physics Department's Undergraduate Advisor to fill out the appropriate paperwork.

 

Advising

Advising for undergraduates is available throughout the year in Room 1120 PHY. For early registration, advising is mandatory; students should check Testudo for their early registration date and schedule appointments at https://advapp.physics.umd.edu. Students who have been away more than two years may find that due to curriculum changes the courses they have taken may no longer be adequate preparation for the courses required to complete the major. Students in this situation must meet with the Departmental Advisor to make appropriate plans.

Honors Program

To receive a citation of "with honors in physics" the student must meet certain GPA requirements and pass a comprehensive examination in his or her senior year. To receive a citation of "with high honors in physics" he or she must also complete and defend a senior thesis.  For more information, students should consult the Departmental Advisor.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Society of Physics Students (SPS); Sigma Pi Sigma

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu. ; Departmental scholarships for undergraduates in Physics include the following:

Angelo Bardasis Memorial Scholarship

Joseph Helfand Memorial Scholarship in Physics

Professor William M. MacDonald Physics Scholarship

Physics PALS Scholarship

Awards and Recognition

Jerry B. Marion Award

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