Physics

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Physics

Bachelor of Science

General Physics Option

Physical Science Option

Electrical Engineering Option

Minor

Physics

Faculty

John Price, Department Chair

Michael K. Durand, Kenneth S. Ganezer, James E. Hill

Clyde A. Tokumoto, Technician

Department Office: NSM B-202, (310) 243-3591

Emeritus Faculty

H. Keith Lee, Samuel L. Wiley

Program Description

Physics is the study of the natural world at its foundation. As such it is the basis of other disciplines such as biology, medicine, chemistry, computer science, geology, astronomy and engineering. Physicists study the world from the smallest particles of matter (quarks and leptons), nuclei, atoms, and molecules; through forces and motions which determine properties of solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas; to descriptions of the behavior of matter on all scales up to stars, galaxies, and even the origin and fate of the universe. The department encourages student-faculty interaction in all these areas.

For the traditional physics baccalaureate degree, the department offers a General Physics Option, which provides access to advanced theoretical and technical careers. In addition, students may gain experience by participating in research projects (e.g. neutrino experiments, medical imaging).

Since many physics majors find their niche in teaching, the department offers a Physical Science Option tailored to meet education standards and satisfy waiver requirements for a single subject teaching credential. The Physics faculty are committed to teaching excellence, and to teacher education in the sciences. The department provides essential laboratory hands-on experience in understanding and demonstrating science.

For students intending to pursue graduate work or employment in Electrical Engineering, the department offers an Electrical Engineering option, intended to facilitate a seamless transition after graduation. An agreement in place with the CSU Fullerton College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science allows students to satisfy all of the course requirements for admission to an MS program at CSU Fullerton.

The Physics Minor has flexible upper division requirements to encourage students majoring in other fields to broaden their expertise to fit a niche in contemporary technology or research. Students are invited to meet with a physics advisor to map areas of interest and expertise. The most successful physics minors distinguish themselves as mathematics majors in applied math, computer science majors in computer hardware, chemistry students in physical chemistry, music majors in electronics and instrumentation, and clinical science majors with elements of nuclear physics (modern physics).

Features

The most important feature of the Physics Department is its excellent full-time faculty, all members of which hold the doctorate. They are dedicated to excellence in teaching and are active in research and other scholarly activities.

Another attractive feature of the department is its small class size, allowing students to interact frequently and effectively with instructors within and outside of class. It also permits instructors to easily identify students in need of additional assistance, and to supply such assistance. Many of our majors work part-time in local high-tech organizations. Upper-division courses are often offered in late afternoon or evening to make courses more accessible for these students.

Progress in this science often depends on our innovation in designing advanced experimentation to observe natural phenomena (when driven to its limits), or in computational or mathematical modeling to match a complex phenomenological response. Since new discoveries and techniques are instantly shared with the global community, the department is committed to introducing students to computer analysis techniques and internet web literacy. Excellent computer facilities are available on campus.

Academic Advising

All prospective students should meet with a Physics department faculty member to learn more about the physics major and minor and to receive assistance in planning a schedule of courses. All physics majors must review their course list with a physics advisor prior to registration each semester.

Preparation

Prior to beginning a program in physics students are required to complete two years of high school algebra, one year of trigonometry and one year of geometry. Two years of laboratory science and four years of college preparatory English are required. Prior courses in computer programming and calculus are recommended.

Students transferring from an articulating community college should have completed three semesters of calculus (through differential and integral calculus of several variables), two semesters of calculus-based physics and one semester of general chemistry. If those students have not had an introduction to modern physics and/or mathematical physics, they must take PHY 134 and PHY 306 as soon as possible upon arrival at CSUDH. Transfer students are responsible for checking in advance that their general electives will meet transfer requirements. A transfer student who is given credit for the lower division should be able to complete our physics upper division in two years.

Career Possibilities

Graduates find technical positions in industry, government or teaching; or pursue advanced degrees for research, design, or analysis in physics, engineering or related fields. The campus is surrounded with electronics, aerospace, and semiconductor companies, among others, who hire physicists to work in applications of optics, electrical engineering, biophysics, computer science, geophysics, aerospace, and astronomy.

Scholarships for Full-time Physics Majors

Upper-division physics majors may apply at the Physics Office, NSM B-202, for the Philip Johnson Scholarship early in the Spring semester.

Graduation with Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in the Physics major provided he or she has fulfilled the following:

  1. Has filed an approved graduation check for a B.S. in Physics during the current academic year with the General Physics, Physical Science, or Electrical Engineering option;
  2. Has attained an overall CSUDH GPA of 3.35 and a GPA in the Physics major of 3.25;
  3. Has or will have taken upon graduation the last 12 semester units of upper division requirements and the last 20 units overall in residence at CSUDH.  Transfer units may be included if they help the student satisfy the GPA requirements;
  4. Has been reviewed and recommended by the Physics faculty for graduation with honors in Physics.

Departmental-Professional Organizations

The CSUDH Science Society, Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma (National Physics Honor Society) cooperate in offering lectures, social programs and field trips to promote student participation in and enjoyment of the sciences. These activities are enriching and greatly enhance our students' growth within our community of scholars. In addition, faculty are willing to sponsor inexpensive student memberships in national physics organizations which publish ongoing research in a variety of areas of physics and engineering.

 

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

See the "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 or a maximum of 132 units.

General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the "General Education" requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Please note that the classes required for the Physics major satisfy the B1, B3, and B4 General Education requirements.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" in the University Catalog.

Minor Requirements

Single field major, no minor required.

Major Requirements (75-80 units)

Students must select one of the options listed. The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

Each student must select one of the options listed.

Electrical Engineering Option (77 units)

The Electrical Engineering Option provides a broad understanding of physical principles and a solid preparation for advanced study in electrical engineering as well as theoretical and experimental physics including problem-solving. This option should be undertaken by those planning on pursuing continued studies towards an advanced degree in electrical engineering or other fields within engineering, physics, or related fields as well as careers as a technical staff member in a government or industrial lab. By virtue of an agreement with the CSU Fullerton College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, this option satisfies all of the course requirements for admission to an MS program in electrical engineering at CSU Fullerton.

A.  Lower Division Requirements (38 units):

CHE 110. General Chemistry I (5)

MAT 191. Calculus I (5)

MAT 193. Calculus II (5)

MAT 211. Calculus III (5)

PHY 130. General Physics I (5)

PHY 132. General Physics II (5)

PHY 134. General Physics III (4)

CSC 121. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming (4)

 

B.  Upper Division Requirements (39 units)

1.  Required Courses (23 units):

PHY 306. Mathematical Methods in Physics (3)

PHY 310. Theoretical Mechanics I (3)

PHY 320. Physical Optics (3)

PHY 333. Analog Electronics (3)

PHY 341. Advanced Laboratory (2)

PHY 346. Thermal Physics (3)

PHY 350. Electromagnetic Theory I (3)

PHY 460. Quantum Mechanics I (3)

2.  Required courses that are electives for the General Physics Option. Classes with the EE course prefix are to be taken in the Electrical Engineering department at CSU Fullerton (16 units)

EE 309. Network Analyses (3)

EE 310. Electrical Circuits and Laboratory (5)

EE 323. Engineering Probability and Statistics (3)

PHY 335. Digital Electronics (3)

PHY 494. Independent Study (2) or

PHY 498. Directed Research (2) or

EE 498. Directed Research or EE elective from CSU Fullerton (2)

NOTE: This option requires taking 11-13 units of electrical engineering courses at CSU Fullerton during regular or summer sessions through concurrent enrollment while a student at CSUDH. Advising for the Electrical Engineering option will be provided by CSUDH as well as CSU Fullerton.

General Physics Option (78-79 units)

The General Physics Option provides a broad understanding of physical principles and a solid preparation in both theoretical and experimental problem-solving in physics. This option should be chosen by students planning a technical career in industry or government laboratories, or planning to continue study toward an advanced degree in physics, engineering or a related field. PHY 306 should be taken as early as possible in preparation for the upper division courses in Physics.

A.  Lower Division Requirements (37-38 units)

1.  Required Courses (34 units):

CHE 110. General Chemistry I (5)

MAT 191. Calculus I (5)

MAT 193. Calculus II (5)

MAT 211. Calculus III (5)

PHY 130. General Physics I (5)

PHY 132. General Physics II (5)

PHY 134. General Physics III (4)

2.  Select one course from the following (3-4 units):

CSC 111. Introduction to Computers and BASIC Programming (3)

CSC 121. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming (4)

 

B.  Upper Division Requirements (41 units)

1.  Required Courses (23 units):

PHY 306. Mathematical Methods in Physics (3)

PHY 310. Theoretical Mechanics I (3)

PHY 320. Physical Optics (3)

PHY 333. Analog Electronics (3)

PHY 341. Advanced Laboratory (2)

PHY 346. Thermal Physics (3)

PHY 350. Electromagnetic Theory I (3)

PHY 460. Quantum Mechanics I (3)

2.  Electives (18 units):

     Select 12 upper division units from Physics and 6 upper division units from Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics.

Physical Science Option (75-76 units)

The Physical Science Option provides a broad understanding of the physical sciences, in particular, physics, chemistry, geology and mathematics. This option is designed for students interested in teaching physical science in secondary school or pursuing a general science field such as science journalism.

A.  Lower Division Requirements (50-51 units)

1.  Required Courses (47 units):

CHE 110. General Chemistry I (5)

CHE 112. General Chemistry II (5)

EAR 100. Introduction to Earth Sciences (3)

EAR 101. Earth Sciences Laboratory (1)

EAR 200. Earth History and Evolution (3)

EAR 201. Earth History Laboratory (1)

MAT 191. Calculus I (5)

MAT 193. Calculus II (5)

MAT 211. Calculus III (5)

PHY 130. General Physics I (5)

PHY 132. General Physics II (5)

PHY 134. General Physics III (4)

2.  Select one course from the following (3-4 units):

CSC 101. Introduction to Computer Education (3)

CSC 111. Introduction to Computers and BASIC Programming (3)

CSC 121. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming (4)

 

B.  Upper Division Requirements (25 units)

1.  Required Courses (11 units):

PHY 320. Physical Optics (3)

PHY 333. Analog Electronics (3)

PHY 341. Advanced Laboratory (2)

PHY 346. Thermal Physics (3)

2.  Select additional work from CHE, CSC, EAR and/or PHY (14 units).

NOTE: Consult with a physics advisor to choose classes consistent with the requirements for the subject matter preparation program in physical science.

 

Minor in Physics (33 units)

The Physics minor has flexible upper division requirements to encourage students majoring in other fields to broaden their expertise in consultation with a physics advisor in preparation for careers bridging across several fields of study.

A.  Lower Division Required Courses (24 units):

MAT 191. Calculus I (5)

MAT 193. Calculus II (5)

PHY 130. General Physics I (5)

PHY 132. General Physics II (5)

PHY 134. General Physics III (4)

 

B.  Upper Division Required Electives (9 units):

     Select three upper division PHY courses with career guidance from advisors in both major and minor.

 

Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.

Lower Division

PHY 100         Patterns in Nature (3).

Unifying principles of elastic, sound, light and matter waves. Models of nature. Successes and failures of wave and particle models and their synthesis. Designed for non-science students. Partially meets the lower division General Education requirement in Natural Sciences.

PHY 120         Elements of Physics I (4).

Prerequisite: High school or college algebra.

Motion, energy, waves and heat treated from a non-calculus point of view. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 122         Elements of Physics II (4).

Prerequisite: PHY 120.

Electricity, magnetism and light. Nuclear radiation. Quantum phenomena. Atomic structure. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 130         General Physics I (5).

Prerequisite: MAT 191 or concurrent enrollment.

Kinematics and dynamics of particles, rigid bodies and fluids. Kinetic theory, temperature and thermodynamics. Calculus-based course. Four hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 132         General Physics II (5).

Prerequisites: MAT 193 or concurrent enrollment, and PHY 130.

Waves, light, electricity and magnetism. Four hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 134         General Physics III (4).
(formerly PHY 230)

Prerequisite: PHY 132 or consent of instructor.

Twentieth century physics, including concepts of relativity and quantum theory and particle classification. Applications to radiation, atoms, elementary particles and nuclei. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 195         Selected Topics in Physics     (1-4).

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor

The study of an area of Physics that is not normally available in other courses. Repeatable course.

PHY 295         Selected Topics in Physics (1-4).

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

The study of an area of Physics that is not normally available in other courses. Repeatable course.

Upper Division

PHY 300         Physical Science for Teachers (4).

Prerequisite: Admission to the Liberal Studies major.

Designed specifically for future elementary and middle school teachers. Emphasis on the fundamental concepts of physical science and their applications. Laboratory experiments use mostly low cost everyday objects. Topics include mechanics, fluids, heat, waves, electromagnetism, light, atoms, periodic table and chemical bonding. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 306         Mathematical Methods in Physics (3).

Prerequisite: MAT 211.

Application of the following techniques to physics: vectors, Gauss' and Stokes' theorems, series solutions of differential equations, Sturm - Liouville theory, and Fourier Series.

PHY 310         Theoretical Mechanics I (3).

Prerequisites: PHY 130, PHY 306 and MAT 211.

Newtonian dynamics of one and two particles. Introduction to Lagrange's equations. Includes computer simulations.

PHY 320         Physical Optics (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 132 or consent of instructor.

Scalar wave equations, interference and diffraction, spacial filtering, coherence and holography.

PHY 331         Audio Electronics (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 100 or consent of instructor.

Selection and utilization of electronic components and instrumentation. Solid state circuit design and construction. Fundamental electronics through linear amplifiers, power supplies, filters and feedback. A project is required. Designed for students interested in audio techniques. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 333         Analog Electronics (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 122 or PHY 132 or consent
of instructor.

Selection and utilization of electronic components and instrumentation. Solid state circuit design and construction. Amplifiers, feedback techniques, operational amplifiers, SCRs, FETs, etc. A project is required. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 335         Digital Electronics (3).

Prerequisites: PHY 122 or PHY 132 or consent of instructor is required, PHY 333 is recommended.

Design and use of systems employing digital integrated circuits. Gates, Boolean algebra, combinatorial and sequential design. Multiplexers, flip-flops, shift registers, ALUs and memories. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 341         Advanced Laboratory (2).

Prerequisites: PHY 132 (or 122) and 333.

Advanced experimental work, including data acquisition and error analysis techniques. Experiments are taken from several of the major areas of physics, such as optics and spectroscopy, solid state, acoustics, nuclear physics and electronics. Course may be repeated for credit with instructor's approval. One hour of lecture and one three hours laboratory period per week.

PHY 346         Thermal Physics (3).

Prerequisites: PHY 130 and MAT 211.

Laws of thermodynamics. Equations of state, entropy, free energies, kinetic theory and concepts of statistical physics.

PHY 350         Electromagnetic Theory I (3).

Prerequisites: PHY 132, PHY 306 and MAT 211 are required; MAT 213 is recommended.

Electro- and magnetostatics. Electromagnetic properties of matter, Faraday's law of induction, direct and alternating currents. Includes computer simulations.

PHY 352         Electromagnetic Theory II (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 350.

Derivation and applications of Maxwell's equations in vacuum and material media. Electromagnetic radiation. Includes computer simulations.

PHY 380         An Introduction to Nonlinear Phenomena (3).

Prerequisites: MAT 311 or PHY 306; PHY 310 recommended.

Linear systems, iterated maps, differential flows, conservative systems, routes to chaos, strange attractors, fractals, coherent structures, and pattern formation. Visits to computer lab will be included.

PHY 395         Selected Topics in Physics (1-4).

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

The study of an area of Physics that is not normally available in other courses. Repeatable course.

PHY 460         Quantum Mechanics I (3).

Prerequisites: PHY 134, PHY 306 and MAT 211.

Quantum phenomena; postulates and interpretation; Schroedinger's equation in one, two and three dimensions. Applications to atoms and barrier penetration.

PHY 462         Quantum Mechanics II (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 460.

Spin, identical particles. Applications of quantum mechanics to problems of current interest in physics, such as solid state, nuclear, astrophysics and particle physics.

PHY 494         Independent Study (3).

Prerequisites: Upper division standing and completion of an independent study contract are required.

A reading program on a specialized topic in Physics under the supervision of a faculty member. Repeatable course.

PHY 495         Selected Topics in Physics (3).

Prerequisites: Upper division standing and consent of instructor.

The study of an area of Physics that is not normally available in other courses. Repeatable course.

PHY 498         Directed Research (1-3).

Prerequisites: Upper division standing and consent of instructor.

Advanced laboratory work in an area related to physics or instrumentation. The student participates in an independent investigation under faculty supervision. Repeatable course. Three to nine hours
of laboratory per week.

Infrequently Offered Courses

The following courses are scheduled only on a "demand" basis. Students should consult the department office for information about the next scheduled offering.

 

PHY 201         Experimental Methods (1).

Fabrication techniques applicable in the laboratory per week. Properties of materials. Three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 207         Physics with Clinical Science Applications (4).

Prerequisites: High school algebra, CHE 110 and CHE 112.

Electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic waves. Light, including the photon model. Laboratory emphasis on solid state devices and electronic instrumentation. Designed for students in the Clinical Sciences. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 302         Workshop in Physical Science for Teachers (3).

Lecture-demonstration-laboratory covering fundamental concepts in physical science, designed especially for in-service teachers (K-12). Class emphasizes on hands-on activities using everyday objects. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Not for physics majors or minors. CR/NC grading.

PHY 337         Microprocessors (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 335 or consent of instructor.

Architecture, programming and interfacing of microcomputers. Input/output, instruction sets, subroutines, interrupts, serial communications and process control. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 339         Instrumentation (3).

Prerequisite: PHY 333.

Measurement techniques, transducers, noise reduction, signal processing in the analog and digital domains. Computer controlled instrumentation and data acquisition. Bus configurations and interfacing. Two hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

PHY 356         Astrophysics (3).

Prerequisites: PHY 132 and PHY 134.

Quantitative study of stellar astronomy with emphasis on stellar evolution and cosmology. Includes computer simulations.