Department of Physics

The mission of the Department of Physics at Georgia Southern University is four-fold. First, to provide its majors with a strong, basic undergraduate physics/astronomy education that will serve them whether they pursue an advanced degree in physics, a professional career in medicine or dentistry, a career in industry or in science education. Second, to provide excellent instruction in introductory physics and astronomy to non-majors. Third, to conduct original research in physics and astronomy that is recognized at regional, national, and international levels. Fourth, to foster an interest in science in the community and the region.

Physics Minor

ASTR   1000   Introduction to the Universe

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A study of the motions and constitution of the solar system, stars and other celestial bodies. Theories of evolution of celestial bodies and the universe are considered in addition to the instrumentation used by astronomers.

ASTR   1010   Astronomy of the Solar System

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A study of the motions and physical properties of the planets, asteroids, and comets.

Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in ASTR   1211.

ASTR   1020   Stellar and Galactic Astronomy

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A study of the physical properties of stars and galaxies and of the origins of the universe.

Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in ASTR   1211.

ASTR   1211   Astronomy Lab

1 Credit Hour.   0 Lecture Hours.   2 Lab Hours.

A series of laboratories designed to measure the physical properties of planets, stars, and galaxies.

Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in ASTR   1010 or ASTR   1020.

ASTR   3131   Optics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Geometric, physical, and quantum optics in which the general principles of wave optics and several optical devices are studied. A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3131.

ASTR   3137   The Search for Life in the Universe

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The course will describe the current quest to find intelligent life in the universe. It will begin with a discussion of the nature and origin of life on Earth. After considering the search for life in our solar system, techniques used to search for extrasolar planets and extraterrestrial life will be explored. The course will also include a discussion of the physical limitations to interstellar spaceflight and alternative methods of communication.

Prerequisite(s): ASTR   1000 or ASTR   1010 or ASTR   1020.

ASTR   3538   Physical Astronomy

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The physical nature of the solar system, stars and galaxies will be studied in detail. Principles of physics will be used and illustrated, especially in the areas of mechanics, thermodynamics, physical optics, and spectral analysis.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   2211 or PHYS   1111 and PHYS   2212 or PHYS   1112.

ASTR   3558   Introduction to General Relativity

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An introduction to the metric description of different spacetimes that describe flat and various curved geometries so as to derive the laws of mechanics for planets, stars, black holes, etc. The course also introduces a very simple model of the expanding universe and briefly introduces cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3537 or permission of instructor.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3558.

ASTR   3790   Teaching Internship in Astronomy

1-2 Credit Hours.   0 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The internship allows students to investigate teaching practices in astronomy. The student will participate in an introductory workshop immediately prior to the start of the semester, intern in the planetarium, and meet with the faculty mentor one hour each week.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor required and ASTR   1000 or ASTR   1010 or ASTR   1020.

ASTR   4130   Astrophysics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

This course will cover advanced topics in Astrophysics. Students will become familiar with the fundamental physics of stars. This includes stellar atmospheres, interiors, and evolution. Students will study the atomic properties of matter and its interaction with light. Students will also study techniques for observing stars using telescopes and interferometers.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   1112 or PHYS   2212.

ASTR   4138   Galactic Astronomy

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Galactic Astronomy will cover advanced topics in galactic structure and evolution. This includes galaxy morphology, stellar and gaseous content, stellar orbits, disk dynamics, central massive black holes, large scale structure, interactions and evolution in a cosmological setting. Students will also be introduced to the historic development of our modern view of the universe.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   1112 or PHYS   2212.

ASTR   4330   Observational Techniques in Astronomy

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

This course will cover advanced topics in astronomical observing techniques. This includes the basic physical principles and methods needed to plan, obtain, and reduce photometric data of celestial objects. Students will be introduced to the principles of spherical astronomy, photoelectric detectors, atmospheric extinction and standard system transformations, and the Image Reduction and Analysis (IRAF) software package.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   1112 or PHYS   2212.

ASTR   5090   Selected Topics in Astronomy

2-5 Credit Hours.   0-5 Lecture Hours.   0-6 Lab Hours.

A course allowing for investigation of selected topics in Astronomy; it will be taught on a one-time basis. Lecture only courses can be for two, three, or five credit hours. For laboratory courses, one credit hour will be given for every three hours spent working in lab.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   1112 or PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   5090G.

ASTR   5890   Astronomy Research Experience

1-4 Credit Hours.   0-3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An independent physics research experience in which a student will investigate a research question under the direction of a faculty member. Students will be expected to maintain a laboratory notebook, prepare a written summary of the research, and give an oral presentation at the end of the experience.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor is required.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   5890G, PHYS   5890, PHYS   5890G, PHYS   5890H, PHYS   5890S.

PHYS   1111   Introduction to Physics I

0,4 Credit Hours.   0,3 Lecture Hours.   0,3 Lab Hours.

This is the first of a sequence of courses which provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics. Topics include mechanics, oscillations and wave motion. The student should have had pre-calculus, or have an equivalent knowledge of algebra and trigonometry.

Prerequisite(s): MATH   1112 or MATH   1113.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   1111S.

PHYS   1111S   Introduction to Physics I

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

This is the first of a sequence of courses which provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics. Topics include mechanics, oscillations and wave motion. The student should have had pre-calculus, or have an equivalent knowledge of algebra and trigonometry.

Prerequisite(s): MATH   1113 or MATH   1112.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   1111.

PHYS   1112   Introduction to Physics II

4 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   3 Lab Hours.

This is the second in a sequence of two courses which provide a knowledge of the basic principles of physics using application that require a knowledge of trigonometry and elementary algebra. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics and modern physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   1111.

PHYS   1135   How Things Work

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

This is a non-mathematical course designed for liberal arts students. Fifty-one objects in our everyday world are examined to answer the question “How do they work"”. As a result concepts of physics that everyone uses daily are revealed in an interesting and understandable manner.

PHYS   1149   Environmental Physics

0,4 Credit Hours.   0,4 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A general course on the physical basis of environmental science. Emphasis is placed on the identification and effective amelioration of both natural and man-made hazards to the earth's biosphere. Topics include greenhouse effects, ozone, acid rain, energy production and water disposal, radiation hazards, noise pollution and disruptive natural phenomena.

PHYS   1211K   Principles of Physics I

4 Credit Hours.   4 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An introductory course which will include material from mechanics, thermodynamics and waves. Elementary differential calculus will be used. This course has a laboratory component that requires a lab kit.

PHYS   2211   Principles of Physics I

4 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   3 Lab Hours.

This is the first of a sequence of two courses that provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics using applications requiring a knowledge of calculus. Topics include mechanics, wave motion and thermodynamics.

Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH   1441.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   2211H.

PHYS   2211H   Principles of Physics I (HONORS)

4 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   3 Lab Hours.

This is the first of a sequence of two courses that provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics using applications requiring a knowledge of calculus. Topics include mechanics, wave motion and thermodynamics.

Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent enrollment in MATH   1441.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   2211.

PHYS   2212   Principles of Physics II

4 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   3 Lab Hours.

This is the second of a sequence of courses which provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics using applications requiring a knowledge of calculus. Topics include electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   2212H, PHYS   2212S.

PHYS   2212H   Principles of Physics II (HONORS)

4 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   3 Lab Hours.

This is the second of a sequence of courses which provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics using applications requiring a knowledge of calculus. Topics include electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   2212.

PHYS   2212S   Principles of Physics II

4 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   3 Lab Hours.

This is the second of a sequence of courses which provide a working knowledge of the basic principles of physics using applications requiring a knowledge of calculus. Topics include electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   2212, PHYS   2212H.

PHYS   3130   Sound Waves and Acoustics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A study of the production, transformation, reflection, absorption, and general effects of vibration and sound.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

PHYS   3131   Optics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Geometric, physical, and quantum optics in which the general principles of wave optics and several optical devices are studied.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   3131.

PHYS   3149   Methods of Theoretical Physics

0,4 Credit Hours.   0,3 Lecture Hours.   0,2 Lab Hours.

Presents a discussion of methods for solving the equations that arise in all of the major areas of physics.

Prerequisite(s): MATH   3230 and a minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

PHYS   3520   Problem Solving in Physics

2 Credit Hours.   2 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Improves the ability of Physics majors to rapidly consolidate and inter-relate knowledge of their physics courses by familiarization with the techniques of rapid characterization and solution of problems and by in-class practice of rapid problem-solving.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3537.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3520S.

PHYS   3520S   Problem Solving in Physics

2 Credit Hours.   2 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Improves the ability of Physics majors to rapidly consolidate and inter-relate knowledge of their physics courses by familiarization with the techniques of rapid characterization and solution of problems and by in-class practice of rapid problem-solving.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3537.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3520.

PHYS   3536   Modern Physics I

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Historical development of modern physics including topics on special theory of relativity, early models of the atom, atomic radiations and interaction of electrons with matter.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3536H.

PHYS   3536H   Modern Physics I Honors

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Historical development of modern physics including topics on special theory of relativity, early models of the atom, atomic radiations and interaction of electrons with matter.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3536.

PHYS   3537   Modern Physics II

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A continuation of modern physics topics including atomic and molecular physics and nuclear physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3536.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3537H.

PHYS   3537H   Modern Physics II Honors

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A continuation of modern physics topics including atomic and molecular physics and nuclear physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3536.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3537.

PHYS   3539   Introduction to Biophysics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The physics of living organisms with emphasis on physical support, movement, sensory perception and the physical properties of plant and animal processors at the molecular and organismic levels of organization. Permission of instructor required.

PHYS   3539H   Introduction to Biophysics (Honors)

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The physics of living organisms with emphasis on physical support, movement, sensory perception and the physical properties of plant and animal processors at the molecular and organismic levels of organization. Permission of instructor required.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3539.

PHYS   3542   Analog Electronics

4 Credit Hours.   2 Lecture Hours.   6 Lab Hours.

A course in intermediate electronics with emphasis on topics of interest to students in physics. Discusses electronic instruments, transducers, diodes and power supplies. Amplifier behavior, the operational amplifier and wave shaping circuits are covered in detail. Discrete electronic devices are also discussed.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

PHYS   3543   Digital Electronics

4 Credit Hours.   2 Lecture Hours.   6 Lab Hours.

Presents the concepts and application of digital electronics. Digital logic concepts and techniques are presented. Flip-flops and counting circuits are studied extensively resulting in a discussion of digital instrument development. The principles of operation, general architecture and some applications of the microprocessor (the Intel 8085) are discussed.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3542.

PHYS   3558   Introduction to General Relativity

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An introduction to the metric description of different spacetimes that describe flat and various curved geometries so as to derive the laws of mechanics for planets, stars, black holes, etc. The course also introduces a very simple model of the expanding universe and briefly introduces cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3537.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   3558, PHYS   3558H.

PHYS   3558H   Introduction to General Relativity Honors

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An introduction to the metric description of different spacetimes that describe flat and various curved geometries so as to derive the laws of mechanics for planets, stars, blackholes, etc. The course also introduces a very simple model of the expanding universe and briefly introduces cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3537.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   3558, ASTR   3558.

PHYS   3790   Teaching Internship in Physics

1-2 Credit Hours.   0 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The internship allows students to investigate teaching practices in physics. The student will participate in an introductory workshop immediately prior to the start of the semester, intern in a PHYS 1113 and/or PHYS 1114 laboratory, and meet with the faculty mentor one hour each week throughout the semester. 1 credit hour per laboratory section in which the student interns.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   3790.

PHYS   4131   Quantum Optics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Involves theories related to laser spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, laser pulse propagation, laser cooling and various effects in laser spectroscopy related to quantum interference.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   3536.

PHYS   4232   Properties of Materials

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Introduction to the properties of semiconductors, magnetic materials and superconductors. Particular emphasis will be placed on semiconductors with regard to developing an understanding of light emitting diodes, diode lasers and quantum well devices.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

PHYS   4332   Principles of Lasers

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An introduction to the basic principles of laser oscillation, construction and operation of the most common laser systems, based on the rate equation and laser cavity theory. This course also provides practical experience in the use of many laser systems and in laser radiation safety.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212.

PHYS   4421   Advanced Physics Lab I

2 Credit Hours.   0 Lecture Hours.   6 Lab Hours.

A laboratory course where the student will learn classical laboratory techniques, computer data acquisition, statistical analysis of data and proper reporting of results.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   2212.

PHYS   4422   Advanced Physics Lab II

2 Credit Hours.   0 Lecture Hours.   6 Lab Hours.

This is a laboratory course where students will learn how to critically read scientific literature, develop a research proposal, conduct experimental physics research, and present a research project.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   4421.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   4422H.

PHYS   4422H   Advanced Physics Lab II Honors

2 Credit Hours.   0 Lecture Hours.   6 Lab Hours.

This is a laboratory course where students will learn how to critically read scientific literature, develop a research proposal, conduct experimental physics research, and present a research project.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   4421.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   4422.

PHYS   4790   Internship in Physics

1-6 Credit Hours.   0 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

The internship allows physics majors to work in a professional setting related to their chosen concentration. Students can earn between one and six credits for internships approved by their academic advisor and the Physics Internship Director. Students must complete a minimum of 5 hours of on-site work per week for each credit hour earned. Students must maintain contact with the Physics Internship Director through the course of the internship work, and must give an oral presentation at the end of the semester. Internship credits can be used for elective credit only and may not substitute for specific degree requirements. Requires permission of Physics Internship Director.

PHYS   5090   Selected Topics in Physics

2-5 Credit Hours.   0-5 Lecture Hours.   0-6 Lab Hours.

A course allowing for investigation of selected topics in Physics; it will be taught on a one-time basis. Lecture only course can be for two, three, or five credit hours. For laboratory courses, one credit hour will be given for every three hours spent working in lab.

Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of "C" in PHYS   1112 or PHYS   2212.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   5090, ASTR   5090G, PHYS   5090G.

PHYS   5151   Classical Mechanics

5 Credit Hours.   5 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Provides physics majors and student of applied mathematics and engineering with the fundamentals of analytical mechanics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212 with a minimum grade of "C", and MATH   3230.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5151G.

PHYS   5152   Classical E and M Theory

5 Credit Hours.   5 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Provides physics majors and students of applied mathematics and engineering with the fundamentals of electromagnetic field theory.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   5151.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5152G.

PHYS   5530   Thermal Physics

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A course in classical thermodynamics and kinetic theory.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212, with a minimum grade of "C", and MATH   2243 or MATH   2243H.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5530G, PHYS   5530H.

PHYS   5530H   Thermal Physics Honors

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A course in classical thermodynamics and kinetic theory.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   2211 and PHYS   2212, with a minimum grade of "C", and MATH   2243 or MATH   2243H.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5530G, PHYS   5530.

PHYS   5536   Studies in Physics for Secondary Teachers

3 Credit Hours.   3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

Designed to acquaint the student with some of the problems encountered in high school physics presentations.

Prerequisite(s): MATH   1113.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5536G.

PHYS   5557   Quantum Mechanics

5 Credit Hours.   5 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A study of the basic postulates of quantum mechanics with solutions to Schrodinger's wave equation for simple applications: the techniques of calculating position, energy and momentum with operators and the elements of perturbation theory with application to atomic spectra.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3536, PHYS   3537, and MATH   3230.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5557H and PHYS   5557G.

PHYS   5557H   Quantum Mechanics Honors

5 Credit Hours.   5 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

A study of the basic postulates of quantum mechanics with solutions to Schrodinger's wave equation for simple applications: the techniques of calculating position, energy and momentum with operators and the elements of perturbation theory with application to atomic spectra.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS   3536, PHYS   3537, and MATH   3230.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5557 and PHYS   5557G.

PHYS   5890   Physics Research Experience

1-4 Credit Hours.   0,3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An independent physics research experience in which a student will investigate a research question under the direction of a faculty member. Students will be expected to maintain a laboratory notebook, prepare a written summary of the research, and give an oral presentation at the end of the experience. Permission of instructor is required.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5890G, PHYS   5890H, PHYS   5890S, ASTR   5890, ASTR   5890G.

PHYS   5890H   Physics Research Experience Honors

1-4 Credit Hours.   0,3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An independent physics research experience in which a student will investigate a research question under the direction of a faculty member. Students will be expected to maintain a laboratory notebook, prepare a written summary of the research, and give an oral presentation at the end of the experience. Permission of instructor is required.

Cross Listing(s): ASTR   5890, ASTR   5890G, PHYS   5890, PHYS   5890G, PHYS   5890S .

PHYS   5890S   Physics Research Experience

1-4 Credit Hours.   0,3 Lecture Hours.   0 Lab Hours.

An independent physics research experience in which a student will investigate a research question under the direction of a faculty member. Students will be expected to maintain a laboratory notebook, prepare a written summary of the research, and give an oral presentation at the end of the experience. Permission of instructor is required.

Cross Listing(s): PHYS   5890, PHYS   5890G, PHYS   5890H, ASTR   5890, ASTR   5890G.

Chair(s): CLAYTON H. HELLER, MARVIN GAY PAYNE (Emeritus)

Professor(s): CLAYTON H. HELLER, LI MA, MARVIN GAY PAYNE (Emeritus), XIAO-JUN WANG, ARTHUR WOODRUM (Emeritus), BENJAMIN H. ZELLNER (Emeritus), JING-YUAN ZHANG

Associate Professor(s): CLEON E. DEAN, WILMER GRANT (Emeritus), SARAH JANE UNGER HIGDON, JAMES L. HIGDON, CLEON M. MOBLEY (Emeritus), JOHN THADDEUS ROGERS (Emeritus)

Assistant Professor(s): MONIQUE CHRISTINE ALLER, MAXIM E. DURACH

Lecturer(s): DRAGOS AMARIE, ANASTASIA N. RUSINA

Limited-Term Assistant Professor(s): MIN CAI, DOGA MURAT KURKCUOGLU, POOJA SHRESTHA, JORGE VILLA-VARGAS

Limited-Term Instructor(s): ERICA KATHLEEN SNIPES