The physics curriculum is designed to develop a strong foundation in classical and modern physics, which will serve as a basis for future specialization, for additional study at the graduate level, and for design and development work in industrial laboratories. The curriculum emphasizes basic physical concepts, and includes extensive work in mathematics and related areas. Laboratory facilities are available for work in optics, acoustics, X-ray diffraction, nuclear physics, and solid-state physics. Course topics included in the curriculum are Many Particle Physics, Physical Optics, Biophysics, Biomedical Optics, Theoretical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Celestial Mechanics, Acoustics, Microsensors, Semiconductor Materials and Devices, X-rays and Crystalline Materials, Electro-Optics, and Laser Physics.

The Physics program places an emphasis on laboratory courses with a hands-on approach. The students have the opportunity to take a variety of courses in disciplines such as math and chemistry allowing them to tailor their education. The Physics curriculum is flexible enough that one can double major in computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. National interest in our program has been generated by our basic physics courses that use new methodologies of teaching such as studio format lectures.

We have a wide range of research programs accessible to undergraduates including areas such as: Astronomy, Solid State Devices, Electro-optics, Non-linear Optics, X-ray absorption, Semiconductor Materials and Devices, Magnetics, Chaos, Lasers, Fiber Optics, Holography, Microsensors. In addition, we are very successful in placing our students in summer internship positions with various research facilities such as NASA, Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and CSPAAR.

PHYSICS

Freshman Year
Fall Term

Credit

MA 
PH 
CLSK 
RH 

HSS
EM
111
111
100
131


104 
Calculus I 
Physics I 
College and Life Skills 
Rhetoric and Composition
   or
Elective
Graphical Communications
  5
  4 
  1

  4

  2
     


16

Winter Term

Credit

PH 
MA
CHEM
 
112 
112 
111
 
Physics II 
Calculus II
General Chemistry I
Computing Elective*
4
5
4
2-4


15 or 17

Spring Term

Credit

PH
MA
CHEM
HSS

RH
113
113
113


131
Physics III 
Calculus III
General Chemistry II 
Elective
or
Rhetoric and Composition
  4
  5
  4

  4
     


17

Sophomore Year
Fall Term

Credit


PH 
MA
PH

235
211
292
Free Elective†
Many Particle Physics 
Differential Equations
Physical Optics
4
4
4
4
     


16

       
Winter Term

Credit

PH

HSS

MA
255 



212
Fund. of Modern Physics
Elective 
Technical Elective
Matrix Algebra and Systems of Differential Equations
4
4
4

4
     


16

Spring Term

Credit

PH
HSS
MA 
 
314

 371
 Theoretical Mechanics I 
 Elective 
 Linear Algebra I 
 Math Elective†
4
4
4
4
     


16

       
Junior Year
Fall Term

Credit

HSS
PH

PH

316

405
Elective 
Electric and Magnetic Fields 
Technical Elective† 
Semiconductor Materials and Applications
4
4
4
4
     


16

Winter Term

Credit

PH
PH
HSS
 
317
401
Electromagnetism 
Intro Quantum Mechanics 
Elective
Physics Elective†
  4
  4
  4
  4
     


16

Spring Term

Credit

PH
HSS
OE


PH
 
325

450


327
Advanced Physics Lab I
Elective
Laser Sys & App
   or
Physics Elective†
Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics
  4
  4

  4

  4
     


16

Senior Year
Fall Term

Credit

Math 

HSS
 
  Elective† 
Technical Elective†
Elective
Free Elective
  4
  4
  4
  4
     


16

Winter Term

Credit

PH
HSS

 
425 Advanced Physics Lab II
Elective 
Technical Elective†
Free Elective†
  4
  4
  4
  4
     


16

Spring Term

Credit


OE



 

450



 
Technical  Elective†
Laser Sys & App
    or
Physics Elective 
Free Elective 
Physics Elective†
  4
  
  4

  4
  4
     


16

       
   

Total credits required:  192

* Computing elective: 2 or 4 credit course on computing from the following course: AB 140, CHE 110, CSSE 120, and ME 123. CSSE 120 is required for physics majors who are planning to double major with CSSE, CPE, EE, MA, and ME

†Free, Math and technical electives are only suggestions and can change subject to offering. Electives must be approved by PHOE advisor.

SUMMARY OF GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PHYSICS MAJORS

  1. All the courses listed above by the number.
  2. The program must be approved by the advisor.
  3. Twelve credits of physics courses, besides those listed by number. At least two of these credits must be directed research (PH290 or PH490) with at least one credit of PH490.
  4. Twenty credits of technical electives of which at least eight must be in courses other than physics courses (cannot include ECE340).
  5. Cross reference for the following courses:
    ECE340 and ECE341 for PH316 and PH317
    ES202 and ES204 for PH235
  6. Sixteen credits of free electives (cannot include ECE340).
  7. Thirty-six credits of humanities or social sciences courses. The distribution of these courses must meet the requirements of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. A technical elective is any RHIT course in chemistry, computer science, engineering, applied biology, mathematics, or physics.
  9. A free elective is any course offered at RHIT.
  Course by Subjects Hours
Physics Course work 
Physics Electives* 
Chemistry and Mathematics Course work** 
Mathematics Electives*** 
Humanities and Social Science (Standard requirement) 
Technical Electives† 
Free Electives†† 
Miscellaneous and OE450††† 
Total
56
12
35
8
36
20
16
9
192
       
*Listed below are the PH elective courses, from which a physics major is required to take 12 hours.
            
Course Course Title Hours
PH 215
PH 231
PH 241
PH 250
PH 265
PH 270
PH 290
PH 302
PH 310
PH 315
PH 322
PH 330
PH 402
PH 404
PH 407
PH 437
PH 440
PH 460
PH 470
PH 480
PH 490
PH 497+
PH 498+
PH 499+
PH 512
PH 514
PH 530
PH 537
PH 538
Introduction to Chaos 
Intro to Astronomy and Astrophysics 
Physics of Stars
Planets and Galaxies
Fundamentals of Nuclear Physics
Special Topics in Physics
Directed Research 
Biophysics 
Intro to Relativity 
Theoretical Mechanics II
Celestial Mechanics and Solar 
Material Failure 
Introduction to Atomic Physics 
Acoustics 
Solid State Physics 
Introduction to Image Processing 
X-rays and Crystalline Materials
Directed Study 
Directed Research
Seminar
Directed Research 
Senior Thesis
Senior Thesis
Senior Thesis 
Methods of Mathematical Physics
Quantum Mechanics
Advanced Acoustics
Advanced Image Processing
Introduction to Neural Networks
2
4
4
4
4
Arranged
Arranged
4
2
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
Arranged
Arranged
Arranged
Arranged
Arranged
Arranged
Arranged
4
4
4
4
4
+Students wanting to pursue the Senior Thesis option must find a faculty advisor (from the Physics and Optical Engineering Faculty) by the Fall Term of their Senior Year. At that time, the thesis topic should be decided and the research plan developed. Students in the thesis option should enroll in Senior Thesis courses for each of the three terms of their Senior Year for a total number of 8 credit hours over the three quarter sequence. Students working on a Senior Thesis will present their thesis near the end of the Spring Term of their Senior Year.

**Math and Chemistry Courses:
            
Course Course Title Hours
MA 111
MA 112
MA 113 
MA 211 
MA 212 

MA 371 
CHEM 111
CHEM 113
Total
Calculus I 
Calculus II 
Calculus III
Differential Equations 
Matrix Algebra and Systems of Differential Equations 
Linear Algebra 
General Chemistry I 
General Chemistry II 
 
5
5
5
4

4
4
4
4
35
 
***Listed below are the mathematics elective courses, of which a physics major must choose two, or have the consent of the advisor to take any other mathematics courses.
            
Course Course Title Hours
MA 336
MA 330
MA 367 
MA 433
Boundary Value Problems
Vector Calculus
Functions of a Complex Variable
Numerical Analysis
4
4
4
4
        
†Twenty credits of technical electives are required for a physics major, of which at least eight must be in courses other than physics courses (cannot include ECE340).
        
††A physics major may take sixteen credit hours of free electives, which may include any of the electives mentioned above or any other course offered at RHIT.
        
†††Miscellaneous Courses
            
Course Course Title Hours
CLSK 100 
EM 104 
OE 450 
 
Total
College and Life Skills
Graph Comm.
Laser System and Applications
Computing Elective
 
1
2
4
2
9
        

Area Minor Programs
   The course requirements and advisors for Area Minors in Physics, Astronomy, Solid State Physics/Materials Science, and Optical Engineering are listed below. Successful completion of an Area Minor is indicated on the student’s grade transcript. A student interested in pursuing an Area Minor should consult with the appropriate advisor.

Area Minor in Physics
Eligibility: Students in any major degree program except for Physics and Engineering Physics

Advisors: all Physics and Optical Engineering faculty members.

Required courses:
               
Course Course Title Hours
PH 314
PH 325
Theoretical Mechanics I 
Advanced Laboratory I
4
4
         
Plus 12 credit hours from the following courses:
               
Course Course Title Hours
PH 270/470
PH 290/490
PH 292* 
PH 310
PH 315 
PH 316** 
PH 327 
PH 401
PH 460
Special Topics in Physics †
Directed Research †
Physical Optics
Introduction to Relativity
Theoretical Mechanics II
Electric and Magnetic Fields
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics
Directed Study †
ARR
ARR
4
2
4
4
4
4
ARR
         

† A maximum of 4 credit hours total from PH270/470, PH290/490, and PH460 may be counted towards the area minor.

*Students majoring in Optical Engineering may not count PH292 for the minor requirements. Such students may substitute here any PH course numbered 300 or greater which is not a named requirement for the OE major.

**ECE340 may be substituted here for students who take it as part of their major degree requirements.

An Area Minor Completion Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in order for the Area Minor to be posted on your official transcript. The forms are available in the Physics and Optical Engineering Departmental Office, CL106.

Area Minor in Astronomy
Eligibility: Students in any major degree program

Advisors: Drs. Ditteon, Duree, Kirkpatrick, McInerney and Syed

Required Courses

Course Course Title Hours
PH 231 Observational Astronomy 2
PH 241 Physics of Stars 4
PH 250 Planets and Galaxies 4
PH 290/490 Directed Research 2

It is recommended, but not required, that the required courses be taken in the order listed above.

Plus eight hours of:
PH 270 Special Topics in Physics 2
PH 310 Introduction to Special Relativity 2
PH 322 Celestial Mechanics 4
PH 460 Directed Study 1
PH 470 Special Topics in Physics 2
PH 290/490 Directed Research 1

The optional courses must be on a topic approved by one of the astronomy advisors.

Normally, only one credit of directed research or directed study is taken each quarter. Directed study and directed research may be repeated (4 hours maximum) and must be on a topic approved by one of the astronomy advisors.

In order to have the area minor posted to your transcript you must submit an area minor completion form to the registrar. Forms are available in the Physics and Optical Engineering office.

Area Minor in Solid State Physics/Materials Science
Eligibility: Students in any degree program, except students who are working for the Semiconductor Materials and Devices Certificate.

Advisors: Dr. Bunch, Dr. McInerney, Dr. Moloney, Dr. Siahmakoun, Dr. Syed, Dr. Wagner

Required courses:
               
Course Description Hours
PH 405 Semiconductor Materials and Applications 4
EP 406 Semiconductor Devices and Fabrication 4
ME 328/CHE 315 Materials Engineering/Material Science & Engineering 4
         
Plus at least two of:
               
Course Description Hours
OE 360 Opto-mechanics and Optical Materials 4
PH 330 Material Failure 4
PH 407 Solid State Physics 4
EP 408 Microsensors 4
PH 440 X-Rays and Crystalline Materials 4
PH 490/ME 490 Directed Research 4
ME 408 Heat Transfer 4
ME 417 Advanced Materials Engineering 4
     

An Area Minor Completion Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in order for the Area Minor to be posted on your Official Transcript. The forms are available in the Physics and Optical Engineering Departmental Office, CL106.

Area Minor in Optical Engineering
Eligibility: Students in any degree program, except Optical Engineering.

Advisors: Drs. Bunch, Ditteon, Duree, Granieri, Joenathan, Lepkowicz, Siahmakoun, Wagner, F. Berry, and Black.

Required courses:
               
Course Description Hours
OE 280
PH 292 
OE 295
Paraxial Optics
Physical Optics
Optical Systems
4
4
4
         
Plus at least two* courses from one of the areas listed below:
             
Lens Design Area
  OE 360
OE 415 
OE 480 
OE 490
Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics
Optical Engineering Design I
Lens Design and Aberrations
Directed Research (4 Credits Only)
4
4
4
4
 
Photonics/Electro-optics Area
  Course Description Hours
OE 360
OE 415 
OE 450 
OE 485 
OE 490 
OE 493
Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics
Optical Engineering Design I
Laser Systems and Applications
Electro-optics and Applications
Directed Research (4 Credits Only)
Fundamentals of Optical Fiber Communications
4
4
4
4
4
4
             
Image Processing Area
  Course Description Hours
OE 360 Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics  
OE 415 
OE 490
Optical Engineering Design I 
Directed Research (4 Credits Only)
4
4
PH 437/ECE 480    Introduction to Image Processing
PH 537/ECE 582    Advanced Image Processing
4
4

An Area Minor Completion Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in order for the Area Minor to be posted on your Official Transcript. The forms are available in the Physics and Optical Engineering Departmental Office, CL106.

Area Minor in ECE
Eligibility: Only students in Physics and Optical Engineering

Advisors: Physics and Optical Engineering faculty and Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty

Course Number Course Title Credits
ECE 203 Required
ECE 204 Required
DC Circuits
AC Circuits
4
4
ECE 205
ECE 300
ECE 310
ECE 380
Dynamical Systems
Continuous-Time Signals and Systems
Communication Systems
Discrete-Time Signals and Systems
4
4
4
4

To see the complete list of optional courses available for this minor, please see the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Area Minor Listing. Taking courses other than the ones listed here may require the student to take additional courses to fulfill the prerequisites for the other courses.

An Area Minor Completion Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in order for the Area Minor to be posted on your Official Transcript. The forms are available in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Departmental Office.

Also see Certificate Program in Semiconductor Materials and Devices

You may view all information regarding Physics and Optical Engineering at our web site: http://www.rose-hulman.edu/physics.aspx