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  • Physics
    Dr. Thomas E. Brady,
    Dr. Larry P. Jones,
    Associate Dean
    Dr. Pablo Arenaz,
    Associate Dean for
    Entering Students
    Dr. Jorge A. Lopez,
    Assistant Dean Bell Hall, Room 100
    Phone: (915) 747-5536
    Fax: (915) 747-6807
    E-mail: science@utep.edu

  • Physics
    210 Physical Science
    Phone: (915) 747-5715
    E-mail: physics@utep.edu

    CHAIRPERSON: Ramon E. Lopez
    PROFESSORS EMERITI: Thomas G. Barnes, Max C. Bolen, S. John Brient, Rufus E. Bruce, C. Sharp Cook, Juan O. Lawson
    PROFESSORS: Craig, Dean, R.E. Lopez
    ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS EMERITI: Michael H. Blue, Clarence H. Cooper
    ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS: J.A. Lopez, Ravelo, Russell, Wang
    ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Cole, Drucker, Fitzgerald, Larabee, Slusher, Smith

    Baccalaureate Degrees

    The Department offers both a BS and a BA degree in Physics. The BS includes the opportunity to obtain concentrations in Applied Physics, Health Physics, or Secondary Teaching Certification.

    BS in Physics

    The requirements to obtain the BS in Physics consist of the general College of Science requirements plus the following specific requirements:

    The following concentrations require approval of course substitutions. The approval is to be obtained from the departmental Concentration Committee.

    Applied Physics Concentration

    Nine semester hours of approved upper-division courses may be substituted for PHYS 3352, PHYS 4342, and PHYS 4356 or PHYS 4357 in this concentration. This concentration must be requested by the student in a timely fashion and accompanied by a list of substituted courses submitted to the departmental Concentration Committee for approval.

    Health Physics Concentration

    PHYS 4357 is required. In addition, PHYS 4370, PHYS 4371 and GEOL 4384 must be substituted for PHYS 3323, PHYS 3352, and PHYS 4342. An approved upper-division course in biology or chemistry is to be substituted for 1 of the 2 upper-division courses in the mathematics minor. Students selecting this option are urged to take relevant elective courses in biology and chemistry.

    Secondary Education Concentration

    This concentration requires the following:

    BA in Physics

    See the College of Liberal Arts section of this catalog for the general requirements for the BA degree. The specific courses required for this major are (28 semester hours including 18 semester hours of upper-division course work) PHYS 1120, PHYS 1121, PHYS 2410, PHYS 2411, PHYS 3325, PHYS 3243 (taken 3 times), PHYS 3351, PHYS 4341, and PHYS 4355. Mathematics is the required minor. (A minor in the College of Liberal Arts requires 9 semester hours of upper-division course work.)

    Minor in Physics

    A minor in physics requires PHYS 1120- PHYS 1121, PHYS 2410, PHYS 2411, PHYS 3325, and an additional 5 (6 for the BA) semester hours selected from PHYS 3323, PHYS 3243, PHYS 3331, PHYS 3351, PHYS 4341, PHYS 4342, or PHYS 4355.

    Physics Honors Program

    The Physics Honors Program is designed to recognize and enhance the development of talented physics students. The program consists of departmental awards for outstanding achievement and special courses, seminars, and research laboratories for honors students. In addition, Physics Honors Students are also eligible to earn the BS degree with Departmental Honors and to participate in the five-year BS/MS Program.

    Incoming freshmen or students with fewer than 30 semester hours of credit are eligible to be Physics Honors Students if they graduated in the top 20% of their high school graduating class and their combined SAT score is 1000 or more with at least 600 on the math portion of the SAT (or equivalent for other examinations). Students with 30 or more semester hours credit must have a minimum 3.2 GPA (with at least 3.2 GPA in all physics and mathematics courses) to be eligible.

    BS Degree with Physics Department Honors

    Physics Honors students who satisfactorily complete an undergraduate Honors Thesis based on research in Physics are eligible to receive the BS degree with Departmental Honors in Physics. Usually the research will be carried out under the direction of a member of the faculty of the Department of Physics. The satisfactory completion of the Honors Thesis will be judged by the Thesis research director in conjunction with the Physics Department's Honors Committee. The candidate for Department Honors must request approval of candidacy prior to the beginning of the senior year. Upon acceptance by the department, the candidate shall enroll in PHYS 4177, PHYS 4277, and PHYS 4377 for successive semesters and must have accumulated a total of 6 semester hours of PHYS 1477, PHYS 2477, and PHYS 3477 credit on completion of the Honors Thesis Program.

    Five Year BS-MS Program

    The Department of Physics provides an opportunity for qualified students to participate in a five-year bachelor/master of science degree program. The program is limited to students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Freshmen honors students should consult with the departmental undergraduate advisor about the details of this program including course selection and admission to the Graduate School.

    Astronomy (ASTR)

    1107 Astronomy Laboratory I (0-2)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1111) Basic laboratory exercises in solar system astronomy. An introduction to the concepts and methods employed by astronomers in studying the solar system. Prerequisites: ASTR 1307 and MATH 0310 or placement into MATH 0311 or higher level mathematics course. ASTR 1307 may be taken concurrently with ASTR 1107. Fees required.

    1108 Astronomy Laboratory II (0-2)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1112) Basic laboratory exercises in stellar and galactic astronomy. Prerequisites: ASTR 1107 and ASTR 1308. ASTR 1308 may be taken concurrently with ASTR 1108. Fees required.

    1307 Elementary Astronomy of the Solar System (3-0)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1311) A survey of the solar system. Topics include astronomical history and instruments, the planets and their moons, comets, and meteors. May not be counted toward a major or minor in physics. Students seeking four credit hours are encouraged to take ASTR 1107 concurrently.

    1308 Elementary Astronomy of Stars and Galaxies (3-0)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1312) Topics include stellar properties, galaxies, and cosmology. May not be counted toward a major or minor in physics. Students seeking four credit hours are encouraged to take ASTR 1108 concurrently. Prerequisite: ASTR 1307.

    Physical Science (PSCI)

    1302 Application of Physical Science in Society (3-0)
    The applications of physical science to societal problems with special emphasis on energy, energy resources, and energy utilization. May not be counted toward a major or minor in physics.

    2303 Physical Science I (2-2)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1315) An introduction to the physical sciences. Selected topics from chemistry and physics. Lectures are coordinated with the laboratory experiences. Applications of elementary algebra are integrated into the course. Prerequisite: MATH 1320, MATH 1409, or MATH 1508. MATH 1320, MATH 1409, or MATH 1508 may be taken concurrently with PHYS 2303. Laboratory fee required.

    3304 Physical Science II (2-2)
    A continuation of PSCI 2303, treating more advanced topics. Elementary statistical concepts are applied to aid the understanding of uncertainty in measurement. Prerequisites: PSCI 2303, MATH 1320, and (1) MATH 1380, (2) PSYC 1303, (3) QMB 2301, or (4) SOCI 2312. Laboratory fee required.

    Physics (PHYS)

    1120 Physics Laboratory I (0-3)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 2125) Experiments in mechanics and thermal physics with the gathering and analysis of data aided by computers. Prerequisite: MATH 1409 or MATH 1508, with a grade of "C" or better. MATH 1409 or MATH 1508 may be taken concurrently with PHYS 1120. Fees required.

    1121 Physics Laboratory II (0-3)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 2126) Experiments in electric circuit and optics. The emphasis is on understanding physical concepts through discovery --observation and experimentation. Prerequisites: PHYS 1120; MATH 1410 or MATH 1508 with a grade of "C" or better. MATH 1410 or MATH 1508 may be taken concurrently with PHYS 1121. Fees required

    1403 General Physics I (3-2)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1401) A non-calculus treatment of mechanics and heat. Laboratory experience is an essential component of this course. May not be counted toward a major or minor in physics. Prerequisite: MATH 1409, MATH 1508, or MATH 1320. Fees required.

    1404 General Physics II (3-2)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 1402) A continuation of PHYS 1403, treating topics in electricity, magnetism, sound, and light. May not be counted toward a major or minor in physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 1403. Fees required.

    2410 Mechanics and Thermal Physics (4-1)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 2425) Dynamics of particles and rigid bodies using vectors and calculus, conservation of energy and momentum, kinetic theory, and thermal physics. Prerequisite: MATH 1411. MATH 1411 may be taken concurrently with PHYS 2410.

    2411 Fields and Waves (4-1)
    (Common Course Number PHYS 2426) Electric field and potential; current and magnetism; time varying fields and electromagnetic waves, waves in elastic media; interference and theory of waves. Prerequisites: PHYS 2410 and MATH 1312. MATH 1312 may be taken concurrently with PHYS 2411.

    General Prerequisite: All required lower-division courses in the major should be completed with a grade of "C" or better in order to enroll in upper-division courses in the major. Some upper-division courses may be applied toward graduate degrees; consult the Graduate Studies Catalog for the listing of these courses.

    3243 Advanced Laboratory Practice (0-6)
    Topics in and practices of experimental physics. May be repeated three times for credit. Prerequisite: PHYS 2411. Fees required.

    3323 Physical Optics (3-0)
    Wave propagation, interference, diffraction, absorption, scattering, and polarization. The theory and operation of lasers and optical resonant cavities are introduced. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326.

    3325 Survey of Modern Physics (3-0)
    Survey of special relativity theory and quantum physics applied to atoms, molecules, nuclei, and the solid state. Prerequisite: PHYS 2411.

    3331 Thermal Physics (3-0)
    Introduction to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411 and MATH 2313.

    3351 Analytical Mechanics I (3-0)
    Newtonian mechanics of particles and rigid bodies. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326. MATH 3326 may be taken concurrently with PHYS 3351.

    3352 Analytical Mechanics II (3-0)
    Topics in mechanics such as mechanics of deformable bodies and application of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations. Prerequisite: PHYS 3351.

    3359 Astrophysics (3-0)
    The physical basis for stellar radiation, stellar motions, binary and variable stars, stellar interiors, and the formation of energy in stars, interstellar matter, galaxies, and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326.

    4177 Undergraduate Research Problems in Physics (0-0-1)

    4277 Undergraduate Research Problems in Physics (0-0-2)

    4377 Undergraduate Research Problems in Physics (0-0-3)
    Supervised individual research. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a 3.2 grade point average or better and permission of the research advisor.

    4328 Theoretical Geophysics (3-0)
    A study of the theory of potential and thermodynamics of the earth and hydrodynamics. Emphasis is on the solving of various problems associated with the natural force fields of the earth. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326.

    4341 Electromagnetics I (3-0)
    Electromagnetic theory via Maxwell's equations. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411 and MATH 3335.

    4342 Electromagnetics II (3-0)
    Advanced topics in electrodynamic theory such as electrodynamic waves and radiation and relativistic electrodynamics. Prerequisite: PHYS 4341.

    4348 Fundamentals of Acoustics (3-0)
    The principles underlying the generation, transmission, and reception of acoustic waves. Mathematical analysis of the various types of vibration of solid bodies. Propagation of plane and spherical sound waves through fluids, transmission and absorption phenomena, resonators and filters. Prerequisites: PHYS 2411, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326.

    4355 Introductory Quantum Mechanics (3-0)
    Wave mechanics fundamentals, one-dimensional eigenvalue problems, angular momentum and spin, the hydrogen atom, and quantum statistics. Prerequisites: PHYS 3325, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326.

    4356 Atoms, Molecules, and Solids (3-0)
    Multielectron atoms and molecules. Structure of solids, band theory of conduction, and other quantum properties of solids. Prerequisite: PHYS 4355.

    4357 Relativity, Nuclei and Particles (3-0)
    Special relativity, nuclear models, nuclear decay and reactions, and an introduction to elementary particles. Prerequisite: PHYS 4355.

    4370 Health Physics I (3-0)
    The physics of ionizing radiation; charged particle, neutron, and high-energy photon interactions; natural and man-made sources of radioactivity, their production, and detection. Prerequisites: PHYS 3325, and MATH 2326 or MATH 3326.

    4371 Health Physics II (2-3)
    Topics include radiation quantities and units, detection electronics, statistics, detectors, and dosimeters. Also includes topics in radiation dose evaluation, radiation biophysics, and laboratory experiences in electromagnetic and particulate radiation detection and dosimetric methods. Prerequisites: PHYS 4370 and two semesters of PHYS 3243. Laboratory fee required.

    See the Graduate Studies Catalog for graduate programs and courses.


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