Physics

Current Course Web Pages



Fall 2017

1010 Honors Physics
1105 Mechanics Laboratory
1106 Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory
1301 Ideas of Modern Physics
1303 Introductory Mechanics - Section 001 TTh
1303 Introductory Mechanics - Section 002 MWF
1304 Introductory Electricity and Magnetism - Section 001 TTh
1304 Introductory Electricity and Magnetism - Section 002 MWF
1308 General Physics - Electricity and Magnetism
1311 Elements of Astronomy
1320 (KNW 2305, MPSY 5340) Musical Acoustics
3305 Modern Physics
3320 Physics of Music
3340 Computational Physics
3344 Classical Mechanics
3374 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
4112 Laboratory Physics II
5380 Concepts of Experimental Particle Physics
5382 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
6351 Statistical Mechanics
7170 Current Topics in Physics - How To Teach Physics
7314 Quantum Field Theory I


Spring 2018

1311 Elements of Astronomy
4321 Methods of Theoretical Physics
4392 Introduction to Electromagnetic Theory
5337 Introduction to Solid State Physics
6338 Condensed Matter Physics
7305 Methods of Theoretical Physics


Links to past course web pages




Course Catalog


Not all of these courses are currently taught, or taught every year/semester. Check with your physics advisor.


1010 Honors Introductory Physics Applications of concepts taught in PHYS 1303, 1304, 1307, and 1308 in modern science and technology. Zero-credit course leading to the Honors designation on transcript. To earn the "Honors" designation, the student must have a GPA of 3.0 or above and receive a B or better in the corresponding intro-level physics course.
Corequisite: PHYS 1303, 1304, 1307, or 1308.

1105 General Physics Laboratory - Mechanics One three-hour laboratory period per week.

1106 General Physics Laboratory - Electricity and Magnetism One three-hour laboratory period per week.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1105.

1301 The Ideas of Modern Physics Presents cosmology, relativity, quantum mechanics and particle physics in an essentially descriptive, nonmathematical framework accessible to all SMU students.
Fulfills a requirement for Laboratory Science.
Prerequisite: None.

1303 Introductory Mechanics For science and engineering majors. Covers vector kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, rotational motion, special relativity and structure of matter.
If you require a one-credit laboratory with this course, you must register separately for PHYS 1105.
Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 1337.

1304 Introductory Electricity and Magnetism For science and engineering majors. Covers electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic radiation, and special relativity.
If you require a one-credit laboratory with this course, you must register separately for PHYS 1106.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1303. Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 1338.

1307 General Physics - Mechanics For life science majors. Covers vector kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, rotational motion, vibrations, waves and fluids.
If you require a one-credit laboratory with this course, you must register separately for PHYS 1105.
Prerequisite or corequiste: MATH 1337.

1308 General Physics - Electricity and Magnetism For life science majors. Covers electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic radiation, geometrical and physical optics.
If you require a one-credit laboratory with this course, you must register separately for PHYS 1106.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1307 or PHYS 1303, MATH 1337.

1311 Elements of Astronomy Descriptive survey of Astronomy from the Sun and planets to the outer galaxies. Associated laboratory provides experience in making measurements and working with real astronomical data.
Fulfills a requirement for Laboratory Science.
Prerequisite: High school algebra.

1313 Fundamentals of Physics Contemporary concepts of physics including Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, waves, electricity, magnetism, the nature of light, Einstein's theory of relativity, atomic and nuclear physics. Intended for the non-science major. No prior knowledge of physics required or expected.
Fulfills a requirement for Laboratory Science.
Prerequisite: High school algebra.

1320 Musical Acoustics Covers both the acoustics (physical sound properties) and the psycho-acoustics (psychological, perceptual properties) of music. Topics include sound in general, sound of musical instruments (including voice), sound characteristics of rooms, electronic production (synthesis), and reproduction of sound.
No prior knowledge of physics is assumed. While this course requires no previous formal training in music theory, it is helpful if students have a basic understanding of musical scales and notation.
Fulfills a requirement for Laboratory Science.
Prerequisite: None.

3305 Introduction to Modern Physics Special relativity and introductory quantum mechanics. Schrödinger equation, statistical physics, elementary particle physics, special topics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1304.

3310 Waves and Relativity One dimensional harmonic oscillator, coupled oscillators, longitudinal and transverse waves, sound and electromagnetic waves, interference and diffraction, Lorentz transforms and invariants, time dilation, length contraction, equivalence principle and black holes.
Prerequisite: MATH 3302 (Calculus III), Pre or Corequisite: PHYS 3305 and MATH 3313 (Differential Equations)

3320 Physics of Music Covers the acoustics (physical sound properties) of music. Topics include sound in general, sound of musical instruments, acoustics, electronic synthesis, Fourier transforms, interference, diffraction, resonance.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1304 or equivalent. PHYS 3344 recommended.

3333 (KNW 2333, CFB 3333) The Scientific Method (Debunking Pseudoscience) This course provides students with an understanding of the scientific method sufficient to detect pseudoscience in its many guises: paranormal phenomena; free-energy devices; alternative medicine; intelligent-design creationism; and many others.
Prerequisite: None.

3337 (CF) Nuclear Physics and Society How do applications of nuclear physics affect society? Topics include nuclear weapons and proliferation, nuclear power generation, and nuclear waste management -- issues relevant to current public-policy challenges.
Prerequisite: None.

3340 Computational Physics Introduction to the modeling of physical systems. Emphasis is on algorithm selection and implementation for simulating classical and quantum physics.
Prerequisites: PHYS 3305 and MATH 3313 (Differential Equations) (may be taken concurrently). No programming experience required.

3344 Classical Mechanics The motion of a particle and of systems of particles, including oscillatory systems, accelerated coordinate systems, central-force motion, rigid-body dynamics, gravitation, and Lagrangian mechanics.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1303 and MATH 3302 (Calculus III) (may be taken concurrently).

3345 Advanced Mechanics Topics in classical mechanics including the motion of a system of particles, the two-body central-force problem, small oscillations of coupled systems, collision theory, Lagrange's and Hamilton's formulations, the vibrating string and the special theory of relativity.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3344.

3368 Principles of Astrophysics and Cosmology Cosmic distance scales, physics of stars, expansion of the Universe, cosmic nucleo-synthesis, selected other topics as appropriate.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3305.

3374 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Basic concepts of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics with emphasis on quantum statistics. The laws of thermodynamics, entropy, Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, and Fermi-Dirac statistics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3305.

4211 Laboratory Physics I Introduction to experimental physics. Approximately one experiment per week. One three-hour laboratory period per week.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1105, 1106, and PHYS 3305.

4112 Laboratory Physics II Intermediate level experimental physics. Approximately one experiment per week. One three-hour laboratory period per week.

4190, 4290, 4390 Special Projects in Physics Directed study of special topics. For physics majors only.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification and permission of the department.

4321 Methods of Theoretical Physics Matrices, determinants, linear algebra, complex variables, inhomogeneous equations, Sturm-Liouville theory, partial differential equations, special functions, Fourier series and integral transforms, integral equations, calculus of variations, applications.
Prerequisite: MATH 3302 (Calculus III), MATH 3313 (Differential Equations).

4375 Research For physics majors. Students will participate in physics research with a member of the Faculty of the Department of Physics.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

4392 Introduction to Electromagnetic Theory Fundamental principles of electrodynamics, including electrostatics, magnetostatics, electric potential, electric and magnetic fields in matter, simple behavior of time-dependent electric amd magnetic fields, and Maxwell's equations.
Prerequisites:PHYS 1304, MATH 3302, MATH 3313, PHYS 4321 or permission of instructor.

5337 Introduction to Solid State Physics Crystal lattices and the reciprocal lattice. The free-election model of metals. Crystal binding. Lattice vibrations-phonons. Thermal properties of solids. Energy bands in solids.

5368 Foundations of Modern Cosmology Principles and concepts of modern cosmology including the geometry of the universe, cosmological models, nucleosynthesis, inflation, dark energy, dark matter, the cosmic microwave background and baryonic acoustic oscillations.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3305, MATH 2339, and MATH 2343 or permission of the instructor.

5380 Concepts of Experimental Particle Physics Principles of elementary particle physics and the experiments by which we learn laws obeyed by these particles, with reading of scientific articles.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3305 or equivalent; PHYS 5382 recommended.

5382 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics A study of the development of quantum mechanics and its role in atomic theory, including applications to one-dimensional problems, free particles, the hydrogen atom, and the spinning electron.

5383 Advanced Quantum Physics Brief review of modern physics; fine and hyperfine structure; multielectron atoms; molecular physics; lasers, optical resonance, and spectroscopy.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5382 or consent of instructor.

5384 Quantum Physics II Quantum statistics; band theory of solids; superconductivity, magnetism, and critical phenomena; nuclear physics; physics of elementary particles.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5383 or consent of instructor.

5393 Electromagnetic Waves and Optics Theory and applications of electromagnetic wave radiation, propagation, and scattering. Geometrical and physical optics. Guided waves. Lasers. Coherent optics, interferometry, and holography.
Prerequisite: PHYS 4392, equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

5395 Introduction to Elementary Particles Modern theories of elementary particles including relativistic kinematics, Feynman diagrams, quantum electrodynamics, quarks, weak interaction, and gauge theories.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5383.

5398 Applications of Quantum Mechanics The principles of quantum theory are used in a study of radiative transition in atoms and molecules, quantum statics, band theory or solids, semiconductor theory, and laser physics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5382 or equivalent.

Graduate Course Catalog

6321 Classical Mechanics Topics in classical mechanics including the mechanics of a system particles, the two-body central-force problem, Lagrange's and Hamilton's formulations, special theory or relativity, Hamilton-Jacobi theory, continuous system and fields.

6332 Physical Properties of Materials Electric, magnetic, transport, optical and elastic properties. Piezoelectricity. Electromagnetic and elastic wave propagation. Methods of materials characterization and nondestructive evaluation.

6335 Quantum Mechanics I Fundamental principles of quantum theory with applications to one-dimensional problems, the free particle, and the hydrogen atom; the spinning electron. Perturbation theory with applications to atomic spectra; systems of identical particles; scattering theory; Dirac theory of the electron.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5382 or equivalent, MATH 3333.

6336 Quantum Mechanics II Fundamental principles of quantum theory with applications to one-dimensional problems, the free particle, and the hydrogen atom; the spinning electron. Perturbation theory with applications to atomic spectra; systems of identical particles; scattering theory; Dirac theory of the electron.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6335.

6338 Condensed Matter Physics Plasmons, polaritons, and polarons. Optical properties of solids. Superconductivity. Atomic and collective magnetism. Atomic and collective electrical phenomena.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5337 or consent of instructor.

6341 Nuclear Physics General properties of the nucleus; the two nucleon problem; radioactivity; beta decay; interaction of charged particles and radiation with matter; detection methods; nuclear models; nuclear reactions; neutron physics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6335 or consent of instructor.

6351 Statistical Mechanics Derivation of classical and quantum statistical distribution functions; partition functions; the laws of thermodynamics; ensemble theory; application to gases and solids.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3374 or consent of instructor.

6361 Selected Topics in Physics

6398, 6399 Thesis Research

7170 Current Topics in Physics Seminar course on current topics in Physics.

7305 Methods of Theoretical Physics Mathematical methods; theory of analytic functions; evaluation of integrals, linear vector spaces, special functions, integral equations, tensor analysis, calculus of vibrations, group theory.
Prerequisite: Working knowledge of complex variable, Fourier transforms, and partial differential equations.

7311 Electromagnetic Theory I Boundary-value problems in electrostatics; dielectrics; magnetic media; Maxwell's equations; electromagnetic waves; refraction and reflection; wave guide and cavities.
Prerequisite: PHYS 5393 or consent of instructor.

7312 Electromagnetic Theory II Electromagnetic radiation; diffraction and interference; plasma physics; special relativity; dynamics of charged particles; multipole expansion.
Prerequisite: PHYS 7311 or consent of instructor.

7314 Quantum Field Theory I Classical fields; symmetry transformations and conservation laws; the quantum theory of radiation; relativistic quantum mechanics of spin -1/2 particles, second quantization and the theory of interaction fields. Covariant perturbation theory; collision phenomena in quantum electrodynamics; renormalization.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6336.

7315 Quantum Field Theory II Path integral formulation; renormalization group; symmetry structure; formal aspects; nonabelian gauge theories.
Prerequisite: PHYS 7314 or consent of instructor.

7321 Atomic Physics The central-field model of atomic structure, the Hartree methods, angular momentum and the vector model of the atom; antisymmetry and the determinantal method; theory of multiplets; magnetic properties of atoms.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6336 or working knowledge of quantum mechanics and consent of instructor.

7330 Physics of Quantum Electronics Interactions of electromagnetic radiation with atomic systems; absorption and dispersion, line-broadening mechanisms, amplification. Quantum theory of light scattering; Rayleigh, Raman, and Brillouin scattering. Theory of lasers. Coherent pulse propagation. Nonlinear optical processes.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6336 or working knowledge of quantum mechanics and consent of instructor.

7341 Theoretical Nuclear Physics Properties of nuclear forces; many-body theory of nuclear models; analysis of scattering experiments. Interaction between nucleons and radiation; pion physics; weak interactions.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6336 and 6341.

7350 General Relativity Einstein theory; black holes; gravitational waves; cosmology.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6321 or consent of instructor.

7360 Elementary Particle Physics I Physics of the standard model; quarks and leptons; internal symmetries, grand unified theories.
Prerequisite: PHYS 6321 or consent of instructor.

7361 Elementary Particles II Continues PHYS 7360 with emphasis on current topics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 7360 or consent of instructor.

8100 Research

8361, 8362, 8363 Special Topics in Physics

8398, 8399 Dissertation