Graduate Study

The Physics Department offers Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. For the M.S. there is both a non-thesis and thesis option. Teaching assistantships are offered to beginning graduate students. Stipends usually include summer support if the student wishes. Usually as students begin research work for their dissertation, they are awarded a research assistantship supported by contracts and grants won by their major professor. 

The physics department welcomes visits by prospective graduate students. Arrangements can be made for lab tours and visits with faculty and often part of the travel costs can be supplied by the physics department. If you would like to visit the physics department, contact Prof. J.D. Hanson to arrange an available day.

AU Physics Graduate Course Catalog

PHYS 6100 APPLICATIONS OF QUANTUM MECHANICE (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 4100. Quantum mechanics applied to atomic physics, solid state physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, electrodynamics, and cosmology.

PHYS 6500 FUNDAMENTALS OF PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., departmental approval. A subject such as Wave Mechanics, Mathematical Physics, Nonlinear Dynamics, Optics, Nuclear Physics, Elementary Particles, Relativity, or Electrodynamics. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit hours.

PHYS 6600 FRONTIERS OF PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 4100 or PHYS 3100 or departmental approval. A subject from the reserarch areas in the Deparment such as Solid State, Atomic, Plasma, Space, or Computational Physics will be selected by the lecturer. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit hours.

PHYS 6610 INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 6100 or departmental approval. Lattice Vibrations, band desctiption of electronic states in metals, semiconductors and insulators, and magnetic, super-conducting and defect properties of solids.

PHYS 6620 SURVEY OF PLASMA PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 3100 or departmental approval. Single particle motions: fluid description of a plasma; plasma waves and oscillations; kinetic description, diffusion, and resistivity; non-linear effects.

PHYS 7100 CLASSICAL MECHANICS (3). lec. 3. Legrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics, canconical transforms. Hamilton-Jacobi theories, action angle variables, rigid rotators, normal modes, and mechanics of continuous media.

PHYSICS 7200 ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM I (3). LEC. 3. Elastrostatics. special function expansions, magnetostatics, linear media and Maxwell's equations.

PHYS 7250 ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM II (3). LEC. 3. Pr. PHYS 7200 or departmental approval. Time dependent Maxwell theory, wave propagation and dispersion, diffraction, scattering, radiation, relativistic covariance and applications.

PHYS 7300 QUANTUM MECHANICS I (3). LEC. 3. Schrodinger wave equation, discrete and continuous spectra, matrix formulation, perturbation theory.

PHYS 7350 QUANTUM MECHANICS II (3). LEC. 3.Pr., PHYS 7300 or departmental approval. Time-dependent approximation methods, relativistic wave equation, and second quantization.

PHYS 7400 STATISTICAL PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Thermodynamic quantities, equilibrium ensambles for classical and quantum systems, fluctuations, phase transitions and critical phenomena.

PHYS 7520 NONLINEAR DYNAMICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 7100 or departmental approval. Dynamical systems, maps, flows, fixed points and neighborhoods, chaos, fractals and fractal dimensions. Lyapunov exponents, strange attractors, dissipative and Hamiltonian systems, controlling chaos.

PHYS 7540 NON0EQUILIBRIUM STATISTICAL MECHANICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 7400 or departmental approval. Introduces the fundamental concepts of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, develops basic transport theories, and simulates statistic properties with Monte-Carlo and molecular dynamic methods.

PHYS 7900 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN PHYSICS (1-5). IND. SU. Pr., Student will work with a faculty member to study a topic of interest. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHYS 7930 DIRECTED READING IN PHYSICS (1-5) IND. Pr., departmental approval. Student will work with a faculty member to study a topic of interest. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHYS 7950 PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM (1) SEM. SU. Offers a series of talks presented by invited speakers on broad fields of physics. Check with graduate advisor for credit allowed. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHYS 7970 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS (1-5). SEM. Pr., departmental approval. Seminar or lecture series in a rapidly advancing specialty of physics. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHYS 7990 RESEARCH AND THESIS(1-10). MST. TD. course may be repeated as often as is appropriate.

PHYS 8100 RELATIVISTIC QUANTUM MECHANICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 7350 or departmental approval. Dirac equation, 1D barrier scattering, 3D central potentials, S-matrix theory, Feynman diagrams, quantum electrodynamics, renormalization, tree and loop level problems.

PHYS 8200 INTRODUCTION TO ATOMIC PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. PR., PHYS 7350 or departmental approval. Hydrogen atom Hartree-Fock theory, radiative transitions, photoionization, autoionization, electron-atom scattering.

PHYS 8600 PLASMA PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 6620 or departmental approval. A detailed study of plasma physics including particle orbit theory, magnetohydrodynamics, plasma waves and transport phenomena.

PHYS 8700 SOLID STATE PHYSICS (3). LEC. 3. Pr., PHYS 6610 or departmental approval. Atomic and electronic structures of solids and the associated electrical, optical and tansport properties.

PHYS 8900 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ADVANCED PHYSICS (1-5). IND. SU. Pr., departmental approval. Students will work with a fauclty member to study a topic of interest. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 10 credit hours.

PHYS 8930 DIRECTED READING IN ADVANCED PHYSICS (1-5). IND. Pr., departmental approval. Student will work with a faculty member to study a topic of interest. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 10 credit hours.

PHYS 8970 SPECIAL TOPICS IN ADVANCED PHYSICS (1-5). LEC. Pr., departmental approval. Topic at the forefront of physics research will be chosen by the lecturer. Course may be repeated for a maximum of 10 credit hours.

PHYS 8990 RESEARCH AND DISSERTATION (1-10). DSR. TD. Course may be repeated as often as is appropriate.