Bulletin--Physics Discipline

PHYSICS


College of Science and Engineering
(See Physics and Astronomy in the Academic Programs section for information on degrees)

Undergraduate Courses

101 Conceptual Physics (3) [GE]

F,S
Prerequisite: high school algebra. A one-semester course covering basic concepts of force, motion, heat, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Designed for the general student. Suitable as preparation for PHYS 111 and 121.

102 Conceptual Physics Laboratory (1) [GE]

F,S
Corequisite: PHYS 101. Laboratory techniques to supplement and amplify the material covered in PHYS 101. Introductory laboratory experience in physics. Extra fee required.

111 General Physics I (3) [GE]

F,S
Prerequisite: MATH 107. Corequisite: PHYS 112. First half of a year course in the fields of mechanics, heat, and sound. Extra fee required. [CAN PHYS 2 and CAN PHYS SEQ A]

112 General Physics I Laboratory (1) [GE]

F,S
Corequisite: PHYS 111. Laboratory experiments in mechanics, heat, and sound. [CAN PHYS 2 and CAN PHYS SEQ A]

121 General Physics II (3)

F,S
Prerequisite: PHYS 111. Corequisite: PHYS 122. Light, electricity, magnetism, atoms, and modern physics. Extra fee required. [CAN PHYS 4 and CAN PHYS SEQ A]

122 General Physics II Laboratory (1)

F,S
Corequisite: PHYS 121. Laboratory experiments in light, electricity, magnetism, atoms, and modern physics. [CAN PHYS 4 and CAN PHYS SEQ A]

134 The Physical World: Atoms and the Universe (3)

Designed for non-science majors. Basic concepts, theories, methods and applications of physical science through concentration upon the nature and scope of the universe and upon atom structure and energy.

140 Preparation for Physics (3)

Corequisite: MATH 220. Preparation for PHYS 220 or 221. Elementary concepts of physics with emphasis on analytical reasoning. Application of mathematical concepts including vectors and calculus to solution of physical problems. Elementary statistical methods as applied to data analysis.

170 The Physical Universe (3) [GE]

F,S
Topics and applications may include: motion with discussions of gravity and space travel; nuclear processes emphasizing fission, fusion, and radiation; the principles of relativity, quantum physics, and uncertainty. Designed for non-science majors. (Also offered as ASTR 170.)

205 Space, Time, and the UniverseóRelativity (3) [GE]

S
Prerequisite: college level science course. Einstein's theory of relativity studied in-depth toward a basic understanding of the nature of space and time. Broad philosophical implications explored by examining the intellectual significance and practical relevance of relativistic thinking. Suitable for non-science majors. (Formerly offered as ASTR 345.)

220 General Physics with Calculus I (3) [GE]

F,S
Prerequisites: high school physics or equivalent, MATH 220 with grade of C or better, and satisfactory score on physics placement exam. Corequisites: PHYS 222; MATH 221. Lectures, demonstrations, discussions in basic mechanics with use of calculus. Optional tutorial discussion. [CAN PHYS 8 and CAN SEQ B]

221 General Physics with Calculus I Honors (3)

Prerequisites: high school physics and MATH 220 with grade of B or better. Corequisites: PHYS 222; MATH 221. Recommended for physics majors. Introduction to mechanics for students with good mathematical ability. Covers same material as PHYS 220 in more depth and with more applications. Classwork, three units; laboratory, one unit. Optional tutorial discussion. Extra fee required.

222 General Physics with Calculus I Laboratory (1) [GE]

F,S
Corequisite: PHYS 220 or 221. Laboratory experiments in basic mechanics. [CAN PHYS 8 and CAN SEQ B]

230 General Physics with Calculus II (3)

F,S
Prerequisites: PHYS 220 or 221 and MATH 221, both with grade of C or better. Corequisites: PHYS 232; MATH 222. Recommended for physics majors. Lectures, demonstrations, discussions in basic electricity and magnetism with use of calculus. Optional tutorial discussion. [CAN PHYS 12 and CAN SEQ B]

231 General Physics with Calculus II Honors (3)

Prerequisites: MATH 221 and PHYS 220 with grade of B or better, or successful completion of PHYS 221. Corequisites: PHYS 232; MATH 222. Recommended for physics majors. Similar to PHYS 230 with greater depth and increased emphasis on mathematical techniques, problem-solving skills, and applications of physics. Optional tutorial discussion.

232 General Physics with Calculus II Laboratory (1)

F,S
Corequisite: PHYS 230 or 231. Laboratory experiments in basic electricity and magnetism. [CAN PHYS 12 and CAN SEQ B]

240 General Physics with Calculus III (3)

F,S
Prerequisites: PHYS 230 or 231 and MATH 222, both with grade of C or better. Corequisites: PHYS 242; MATH 223. Recommended for physics majors. Lectures, demonstrations, and discussions in basic wave motion, optics, and thermodynamics. Optional tutorial discussion. [CAN PHYS 14 and CAN SEQ B]

241 General Physics with Calculus III Honors (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 230 or 231 and MATH 222 with grade of B or better. Corequisites: PHYS 242; MATH 223. Recommended for physics majors. Introduction to waves, optics, and thermodynamics for students with good mathematical ability. Covers same material as PHYS 240 with more depth and with more applications. Optional tutorial discussion.

242 General Physics with Calculus III Laboratory (1)

F,S
Corequisites: PHYS 240 or 241. Laboratory experiments in basic wave motion, optics, and thermodynamics. [CAN PHYS 14 and CAN SEQ B]

305 Science and Human Values (3) [GE]

F,S
Examination of questions of human values related to science, scientists, and the scientific world-life view. Discussion of effects of science on technology, warfare, ecology, population, and the human mind, and of possible solutions or alternatives. Suitable for non-science majors. (Formerly offered as ASTR 305.)

320 Modern Physics I (3)

F,S
Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or 230 and one year of calculus. Theory of relativity, quantum phenomena, the Bohr model, an introduction to quantum mechanics and atomic structure.

321 Modern Physics Laboratory (1)

F,S
Corequisite: PHYS 320. Experiments on quantum physics and other phenomena of modern physics.

325 Modern Physics II (3)

S
Prerequisite: PHYS 320. An introductory treatment of molecules, crystal structure, theory of the solid state, semiconductors, the nucleus, elementary particles, and other selected topics.

327 Nuclear Physics (3)

S
Prerequisites: MATH 245 or 376, PHYS 320 and 321. Nuclear properties, radioactivity, energy levels, interaction with matter, particle detection, reactions, nuclear forces, and nuclear structure.

328 Nuclear Physics Laboratory (1)

S
Corequisite: PHYS 327. Experiments with alpha-rays, beta-rays and gamma-rays using scalors, single and multi-channel analyzers.

330 Analytical Mechanics I (3)

F
Prerequisites: PHYS 230 and MATH 245 or 376. Introduction to vector analysis, fundamentals of statics, kinematics and dynamics of rigid bodies and systems of particles.

331 Analytical Mechanics II (3)

S
Prerequisite: PHYS 330. Introduction to Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations, mechanics of continuous media and small oscillations of mechanical systems.

340 Modern Optics (3)

S
Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or 230, MATH 220 and 221. Physical optics; interference; diffraction; lenses and optical systems; polarization phenomena; topics in modern optics which may include image processing, holography, spectroscopy, and lasers.

341 Optics Laboratory (1)

S
Corequisite: PHYS 340. Experiments in optics.

350 The History of Physics (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 101, ASTR 115, or equivalent introductory course. A general non-mathematical conceptually based survey of the history of physics. Ancient science, Greek thought, the Romans, Galileo and the Renaissance, Newton and the Age of Reason, energy and the Industrial Revolution, relativity, quantum mechanics, quarks, and contemporary ideas.

352 Applications of Electronic Circuits (3)

F
Prerequisite: PHYS 351 or appropriate practical experience in the field of electronics. Applications of solid-state devices and circuit theory to regulated power supplies, special purpose amplifiers such as operational, differential, and high-power amplifiers, feedback applications, transducers, basic principles of electronic communication, and analog instrumentation. Suitable for non-physics majors who desire general knowledge. Classwork, two units; laboratory, one unit.

355 Introduction to Digital Electronics (3)

S
Prerequisites: PHYS 111 and 121 or appropriate practical experience in the field of electricity. Basic principles of digital electronics, including binary number system, Boolean algebra, logic gates, multi-vibrators, gated counters, and analog-to-digital conversion. Applications include electronics controls and timers; digital instrumentation and selected industrial, musical and computational circuits. Classwork, two units; laboratory, one unit.

357 Principles of Electronics (4)

Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or 230 and MATH 221. Problems, discussions and demonstrations in alternating current circuits, transistors, integrated circuits and vacuum tubes; principles of operation of amplifiers, oscillators, and other electronic devices and systems. Laboratory includes activities related to alternating current circuits, transistors and vacuum tubes; operation of amplifiers and oscillators. Classwork, three units; laboratory, one unit.

358 Semiconductor Physics (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or 240 and MATH 220 and 221. Phenomenological properties of semiconductors including electrical, magnetic, optical and thermal properties; electronic processes, energy levels, and energy bands; electron statistics; comparisons of metals, semiconductors, and insulators; extrinsic and intrinsic semiconductors; theory of pn junctions and field channels in semiconductor devices; theory of amplification and special effects in semiconductor devices. Lecture and recitation, three units.

360 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)

S
Prerequisites: PHYS 230 and 330 and MATH 374. Elements of electrostatics, including boundary-value problems; fields in polarizable media; magnetostatics.

370 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (3)

F
Prerequisite: PHYS 240. The laws of classical thermodynamics and an introduction to kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Applications may include the gas laws, black-body radiation, paramagnetic spin systems, and low-temperature phenomena.

385 Introduction to Theoretical Physics I (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 240/242. Corequisite: PHYS 330. The fundamental principles of theoretical physics. General theoretical techniques that are broadly applied throughout mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, relativity, quantum mechanics, etc. Topic to include applications of vector and tensor spaces, coordinate systems, and group theory.

420 Introduction to Astrophysics (3)

Prerequisite: CSC 210; MATH 376 or 245; PHYS 320; and either ASTR 330 or consent of instructor. For course description, see ASTR 420.

425 Introduction to the Theory of Relativity (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 330, PHYS 360, MATH 374. Relativity as a single coherent subject. Includes special relativity, the tensor mathematics used in general relativity, and applications of general relativity.

430 Quantum Mechanics I (3)

F
Prerequisite: PHYS 320 and 360, MATH 374, and either MATH 376 or 245. Introduction to the basic postulates of quantum mechanics, one-dimensional problems, barriers and the WKB approximation, angular momentum, and the hydrogen atom.

431 Quantum Mechanics II (3)

S
Prerequisite: PHYS 430. Problems in three dimensions, matrix mechanics, spin, application to atomic and molecular physics, perturbation theory, and scattering.

450 Introduction to Solid State Physics (3)

F
Prerequisites: PHYS 320-321 and MATH 245 or 376. Physical properties of crystalline solids including dielectrics, ferroelectrics, conductivity, semiconductors and superconductors: problems in solid state physics.

451 Solid State Physics Laboratory (1)

F
Corequisite: PHYS 450. Analysis of crystal structure and experiments on the growth of crystals, and on the physical properties of crystals.

460 Electricity and Magnetism II (3)

F
Prerequisite: PHYS 360. Maxwell's equations; waves in free space and in dielectrics; reflection and refraction; radiation; special-relativistic transformation of the electromagnetic field.

475 Statistical Physics (3)

S
Prerequisites: PHYS 370 and MATH 376. Concurrent registration in or completion of MATH 374 is required. Statistical methods in physics. Topics include probability, kinetic theory, generalized coordinates and phase space, distribution functions, partition functions. Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics.

485 Introduction to Theoretical Physics (3)

F
Prerequisites: PHYS 320 and 360. Advanced concepts and techniques in mathematics as applied to problems of physics such as: mechanics, optics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and atomic physics.

490 Physics Project Laboratory (1-3)

F,S
Prerequisite: PHYS 321. Advanced experiments from the fields of atomic physics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics, and optics are carried out using the techniques of modern experimental physics including electronic instrumentation, computer-assisted data acquisition, and data reduction. May be repeated for a total of six units.

495 Introduction to Apparatus Fabrication (1)

Prerequisites: PHYS 490, major standing, and consent of instructor. To study the essential materials involved in physics research. To study the processes involved in fashioning these materials for use in research. To learn the use of the various apparatuses (lathes, mills, etc.) used to produce research quality structures. Emphasis on safety measures.

500 Physics, Its Evolution Through the Centuries (3)

Prerequisite: one course in college physics with lab, such as PHYS 101/102. Evolution of physics as a science, great physicists and their contributions to the development of our understanding of nature. Physical theories and discoveries which have changed the course of history.

600 Seminar in Science and Society (3) [GE]

F
Prerequisites: senior standing, and at least three units of science. Current and relevant science related issues: warfare, pollution, computers, biological revolution, technocratization, mutagens, ABM systems and government. Each student does an in-depth project relating science and society to his or her major.

690 Seminar in Physics (3)

Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Seminar in a selected area of physics. May be repeated three times for credit when topics vary.

697 Senior Project (1-3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 490 and consent of faculty adviser. Participation in experimental or theoretical project under the direction of faculty member. Written report of specific observations and calculations required. May be repeated for credit.

699 Special Study in Physics (1-3)

F,S
Prerequisites: approval of the department and the instructor concerned. Special study in the laboratory or library under the direction of a member of the department. For advanced students majoring or minoring in physics. The student must present a detailed written report of the work accomplished to the staff of the department. May be repeated for a total of twelve units.

Graduate Courses

701 Classical Mechanics (3)

F
Prerequisite: PHYS 485. Lagrangian mechanics, rigid-body kinematics and dynamics, theory of small vibrations, Hamiltonian mechanics, and canonical transformations.

704 Electricity and Magnetism I (3)

F
Prerequisite: PHYS 485 and 701. Boundary-value problems in electrostatics, magnetostatics; Maxwell's equations and the causal structure of electrodynamics; plane waves and wave propagation.

705 Electricity and Magnetism II (3)

S
Prerequisite: PHYS 704. Physical optics, magnetohydrodynamics, relativistic formulation of electrodynamics, and radiation processes.

706 Quantum Mechanics (3)

S
Prerequisites: PHYS 701, 704. Bound states, collision theory, matrix mechanics, symmetry and groups, perturbation theory.

710 Advanced Laboratory Techniques (3)

Prerequisite: PHYS 490. Advanced laboratory work from the areas of atomic, nuclear, solid state, optics, and particle physics designed to prepare the student for experimental research work in academic and industrial laboratories.

711 Semiconductor Materials and Techniques (3)

A
Prerequisite: PHYS 450. Properties of semiconductor materials; techniques for the construction and manufacture of diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits from silicon and germanium.

712 Physics of Plasmas (3)

A
Prerequisites: PHYS 460, 485. An introductory graduate-level course in plasma physics. Definition and examples of plasmas. Motion of a charged particle in EM fields. The Boltzman and Vlasov equations. Magnetohydrodynamics. Waves, instabilities; applications to controlled thermonuclear fusion and space physics.

714 Low-Temperature Physics (3)

A
Prerequisites: PHYS 360, 430, 485. The London, Pippard, and Ginsberg-Landau phenomenological theories of superconductivity; derivation and application of the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer microscopic theory; applications and super-conductivity including magnets, power transmission, Josephson-junction magnetometers, and computers.

715 Lasers and Quantum Optics (3)

A
Prerequisites: PHYS 430, 460. Atom-field interaction, stimulated emission, dipole oscillations, the ammonia maser, semi-classical laser theory, coherent states, quantum laser theory, Fourier optics, and holographic interferometry.

721 Physics of the Elementary Particles (3)

A
Prerequisites: PHYS 430, 485. Quantum numbers and classification of elementy particles; calculation of scattering cross sections and decay rates; theories of the interaction of fundamental particles, including SU(3), the quark model, and the unified theory of the weak and electromagnetic interactions.

722 Astrophysics (3)

A
Prerequisites: ASTR 420, PHYS 430, 475, 485, or consent of instructor. Radiative transfer theory, radiation processes, and topics selected from the fields of stellar and planetary atmospheres, stellar evolution and nucleo-synthesis, interstellar material, astrophysical plasmas, and other research topics of current interest in astrophysics.

723 Advanced Topics in Classical Mechanics (3)

A
Prerequisite: PHYS 701. Relativistic Lagrangians, Lagrangian densities, canonical transformation theory, Hamilton-Jacobi theory, action functions and the transition to quantum mechanics.

724 Advanced Topics in Quantum Theory (3)

A
Prerequisites: PHYS 705, 706. Approximation methods for bound and unbound states, identical particles and spin, semiclassical radiation theory, atoms, relativistic wave equations and quantum fields.

725 Special and General Relativity (3)

A
Prerequisite: PHYS 704. Tensor formulation of special relativity theory applied to mechanics and electromagnetism. Riemannian geometry and Einstein's geometric theory of gravity. Applications of general relativity to the Solar system, black holes, and cosmology.

726 Quantum Field Theory (3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 430, 431, 706. Relativistic wave equations; quantization of the scalar, Dirac, and Maxwell fields. The LSZ reduction formula for S-matrix elements. Path-Integral evaluation of time-ordered products. Tree-level Feynman diagrams in quantum electrodynamics, and an introduction to non-abelian gauge theory.

730 Seminar (1-3)

F,S
Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Seminar in a selected area in physics. A maximum of four units may be applied to a degree. May be repeated twice for credit when topics vary.

732 Instructional Methods in Physics (2)

Prerequisites: graduate standing. Corequisite: GTA appointment. Problems unique to the instruction of laboratory classes. The introductory lecture; handling of demos, supervision of lab students, the lab write-up, etc. Student presentations are videotaped for review and discussion.

897 Research (1-3)

F,S
Prerequisite: completed undergraduate major in physics. Independent and original laboratory investigation under supervision of a staff member.

898 Master's Thesis (3)

Prerequisite: graduate standing. Graduate Approved Program and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration.

899 Special Study (1-3)

F,S
Prerequisites: approval of the department and the instructor concerned. Special study in the laboratory or library under the direction of a member of the department. For graduate students majoring or minoring in physics. The student must present a detailed written report of the work accomplished to the staff of the department.


Course Disciplines Listing, Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified June 28, 1995


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