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University Bulletin: Undergraduate Programs The George Washington University  

 
   
 

PHYSICS

Professors L.C. Maximon (Research), W.J. Briscoe, M.E. Reeves, I. Strakovsky (Research), A.K. Opper (Chair), G. Feldman, F.X. Lee, A. Eskandarian, C. Zeng

Associate Professors H. Haberzettl, K.S. Dhuga, R.L. Workman (Research), W. Peng, H. Griesshammer, A. Afanasev

Assistant Professors G. Wang (Research), A. Alexandru, X. Qiu, M. Paris (Research), E.J. Downie, B.C. Kung, R. Teodorescu (Teaching), A. Corsi, O. Karaltsev, G. Lan

Professorial Lecturers J.T. Broach, M.F. Corcoran, P. Butterworth, C. O’Donnell, A. Moscati, L. Medsker, I. Moskowitz

Bachelor of Arts with a major in physics—The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Prerequisite courses—Phys 1021, 1022, 1023; Math 1231, 1232, 2233.

3. Required courses in related areas—Chem 1111 or BiSc 1111 or 1112; one approved upper-division math course.

4. Required courses in the major—Phys 2151 or 2152, 21612164, 2165, 2167, and two approved upper-division physics electives (Phys 4195 is recommended).

Bachelor of Science with a major in physics—The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Prerequisite courses—Phys 1021, 1022, 1023; Math 1231, 1232, 2233.

3. Required courses in related areas—Chem 1111 or BiSc 1111 or 1112; one approved course in computer programming and two approved upper-division math courses.

4. Required courses in the major—Phys 2151 or 2152, 2161, 2164, 2165, 2167, 4195 or 4196 or 4197, and two approved upper-division physics electives.

Bachelor of Science with a major in biophysics—The following requirements must be fulfilled:

1. The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2. Prerequisite courses—Phys 1021, 1022, 1023; Math 1231, 1232, 2233.

3. Required courses in related areas—Chem 1111-12, 2151-52; BiSc 1111, 1112, 3209, and either 3261 or another approved upper-division BiSc course; Stat 1127; one approved computer programming course.

4. Required courses in the major—Phys 2127, 2128, 2151 or 2152, 21612164, 2165, 4195 or 4196 or 4197.

Special Honors—To graduate with Special Honors, a student must meet the eligibility requirements stated under the University Regulations and submit for departmental approval an honors thesis based on a two-semester research project. In addition, the student must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in physics courses and 3.5 overall.

Minor in physics—Required: Phys 1021, 1022, 1023, plus two approved upper-division physics courses.

Minor in biophysics—Required: Phys 1021, 1022, 1023, 2127, 2128.

With permission, a limited number of graduate courses in the department may be taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree. See the Graduate Programs Bulletin for course listings.

The green leaf indicates that the course addresses environmental, social or economic sustainability.
Courses:

PHYSICS

1003 Physics for Future Presidents (3)
 
A serious but accessible presentation of topics important for leaders to know—energy, global climate, high-tech devices, space travel, nuclear weapons, etc. Students possessing any level of scientific background are equipped with the concepts and analytical tools needed to make informed decisions and to argue their view persuasively. Laboratory fee. (Fall)
1005 How Things Work (4)
  Primarily for non-science majors. Physical principles are introduced through a study of everyday objects to see what makes them tick. This unconventional approach is primarily conceptual in nature and intended for students seeking a connection between science and the world in which they live. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry. Laboratory fee. (Spring)
1007 Music and Physics (4)
  Primarily for non-science majors. A comparative study of music and physics, showing parallels in the history of the two fields and emphasizing those topics in physics related to the theory of music and the production of sound by musical instruments, particularly classical mechanics and wave motion. Prerequisite: high school algebra and geometry. Laboratory fee. (Fall)
1008 Origin and Evolution of Ideas in Physics (4)
  Primarily for non-science majors. The evolution of ideas and their historical continuity in the search for basic physical theories. By presenting the world-views of great physicists of the past, the division of physics into many sub-disciplines is avoided and a humanistic approach is achieved. Prerequisite: high school algebra. Laboratory fee.
1011 General Physics I (4)
  Classical physics. Mechanics, including Newton’s laws of motion, force, gravitation, equilibrium, work and energy, momentum, and rotational motion; periodic motion, waves, and sound; heat and thermodynamics. Prerequisite: high school trigonometry. Laboratory fee. (Fall and spring)
1012 General Physics II (4)
  Classical and modern physics. Electrostatics, electromagnetism, direct and alternating current circuits, and electromagnetic radiation; geometrical and physical optics; special relativity; quantum theory; atomic physics; nuclear physics; particle physics; astrophysics and cosmology. Prerequisite: Phys 1011. Laboratory fee. (Fall and spring)
1021 University Physics I (4)
  Classical mechanics and thermodynamics using calculus. Newtonian mechanics: force, momentum, work and energy, mechanical equilibrium, linear, and rotational motion. Gravitation and fields. Atoms, physical properties of matter. Energy transfer and waves, sound. Prerequisite: Math 1231; corequisite: Math 1232. Laboratory fee. (Fall and spring)
1022 University Physics II (4)
  Periodic motion, waves, and classical electromagnetism using calculus. Waves and sound. Electrostatics, Gauss’s law, capacitance. Electric resistance, electric current. Magnetism. Electrodynamics and electromagnetic induction. Maxwell’s theory and electromagnetic radiation. Geometric and physical optics. Prerequisite: Phys 1021. Laboratory fee. (Fall and spring)
1023 University Physics III (3)
  Modern physics using calculus. Relativity. Wave–particle duality, quantum mechanics. The hydrogen atom, Pauli principle. Quantum statistics and radiation. Quantum theory of the condensed state, superconductivity. Nuclear physics. Applications to astrophysics and nucleosynthesis. General relativity. The big bang theory. Prerequisite: Phys 1022, Math 2233. (Fall)
2127 Biophysics: Macroscopic Physics in the Life Sciences (3)
  Physical principles applied to biological systems and medicine, and current instrumentation and technology. Topics include blood flow, ultrasonics, spectroscopy, radiation biology, bioenergetics, ordering theory, and neural networks. Prerequisite: Phys 1012 or 1022; Math 2233. (Fall)
2128 Biophysics: Microscopic Physics in the Life Sciences (3)
  Physical principles applied to biological systems on the nanometer scale. Topics include intermolecular forces, statistical principles applied to biological microstates, determining protein and nucleic acid structures, operation of protein motors and transport systems, together with nanotechnology and instrumentation. Prerequisite: Phys 1012 or 1022; Math 2233. (Spring)
2151 Intermediate Laboratory I: Techniques and Methods (3)
  Experiments in electromagnetism, classical and quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics with emphasis on experimental methods. Corequisite: Phys 1023. Laboratory fee. (Fall and spring)
2152 Intermediate Laboratory II: Instrumentation (3)
  Elementary electric and electronic analog and digital circuits. Topics include passive and active components in DC and AC circuits and operational amplifiers, with emphasis on measurement techniques. Laboratory fee. (Spring)
2161 Mechanics (3)
  Mechanics of mass points and rigid bodies. Newton’s laws, conservation laws, Euler’s equations, inertia tensor, small vibrations, and elements of Lagrange’s and Hamilton’s equations. Prerequisite: Phys 1023; Math 2233. (Spring)
2163 Physical and Quantum Optics (4)
  Wave motion, electromagnetic aspects of light, dispersion of light in media, geometrical optics, polarization and optical properties of crystals, interference, diffraction, lasers, holography. Mathematical tools, including Fourier methods, developed as needed. The quantum description of light complements the classical description. Prerequisite: Phys 1023; Math 2233. Laboratory fee.
2164 Thermal and Statistical Physics (3)
  Principles and application of thermodynamics to reversible and irreversible processes, with derivation from statistical postulates applied to the microscopic behavior of large systems at or near equilibrium. Topics include equilibrium thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and kinetic theory of gases. Prerequisite: Phys 1023; Math 2233. (Spring)
2165 Electromagnetic Theory I (3)
  Electrostatics and magnetostatics, electric and magnetic fields in matter, scalar and vector potentials, electromagnetic induction. Maxwell’s equations. The methods of vector and tensor calculus are developed as needed, as are the method of images, Fourier series, and some computational methods. Prerequisite: Phys 1023; Math 2233. (Fall)
2166 Electromagnetic Theory II (3)
  Conservation laws, electromagnetic waves, radiation, relativistic formulation of electrodynamics and potential fields. Prerequisite: Phys 2165. (Spring)
2167 Principles of Quantum Physics (3)
  The conceptual framework and mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. Wave–particle duality, wave functions, and eigenvalues. Schrödinger Equation and one-dimensional potential problems. Angular momentum, central potentials, and the hydrogen atom. Identical particles and spin. Scattering theory. Perturbation theory. Prerequisite: Phys 1023; Math 2233. (Fall)
2170 Solid-State Physics (3)
  Structure of solids, lattices and lattice defects, deformation, vibrational and electronic contribution to specific heats, binding energies, electronic states in metals and semiconductors, magnetic properties of solids, superconductivity. Prerequisite: Phys 2167 or permission of instructor. (Spring)
2175 Nuclear Physics (3)
  Application of quantum physics to the description of nuclei and their interactions. Properties of nuclei, nuclear models, nuclear forces, and nuclear reactions are considered. Specific topics include the deuteron, n-p scattering, the optical model, the shell model, the liquid-drop model, beta decay, fission, and fusion. Prerequisite: Phys 2167 or permission of instructor. (Spring)
2181 Computational Physics (3)
  Topics include celestial mechanics, chaotic systems, fluid dynamics, and other such complex systems that require a computational approach. Prerequisite: Math 2233; at least one upper-division physics course; working knowledge of C, FORTRAN, or Java. Laboratory fee.
2190 Special Topics in Physics (1 to 4)
  Courses offered by visiting faculty or other experimental offerings. Topics announced on a semester basis. May be repeated for credit provided the topic differs.
2192 Independent Study in Physics (1 to 3)
  Independent readings or directed study under the supervision of a faculty member. Credit varies, depending upon the nature of the work. May be repeated once for credit.
4195 Undergraduate Research (3)
  Research on problems in physics approved by the faculty. May be repeated once for credit.
4196 Undergraduate Research in Biophysics (3)
  Research on problems in biophysics approved by the faculty. May be repeated once for credit.
4197 Undergraduate Research in Nuclear Physics (3)
  Research on problems in nuclear physics approved by the faculty. May be repeated once for credit.
 

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© 2013 University Bulletin
The George Washington University All rights reserved.

Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.