2012-2013 Physics Majors Handbook PDF

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Handbook for CurrentandProspective Physics MajorsAugust, 2017Department of PhysicsUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstContact ListPhysics Department web pagewww.physics.umass.eduPhysics Department main officePhysics Department Hasbrouck officeLederle 1126 (413) 545-2545Hasbrouck 411 (413) 545-2407Department HeadProf. Narayanan Menon (413) [email protected] Program DirectorProf. Anthony Dinsmore (413) [email protected] CoordinatorProf. Andrea Pocar, (413)[email protected] College web pageHonors College main officewww.honors.umass.edu201 Commonwealth Honors College(413) 545-2483This Handbook is available at http://www.physics.umass.edu/undergraduate1

ContentsAdvising and Counseling ResourcesOther Links and ContactsIntroduction to the Physics MajorUniversity and College RequirementsPhysics Department RequirementsProfessional TrackApplied TrackGeneral TrackSample Plans of StudyProfessional TrackApplied TrackGeneral TrackDepartmental Honors in PhysicsRequirements for the Minor in PhysicsDepartmental Support and ActivitiesAdvisingIndependent StudyUndergraduate ResearchSociety of Physics Students and Sigma Pi SigmaForeign and Domestic Exchange ProgramsThe Physics Major in the Job MarketDepartmental Honors ChecklistProfessional-Track ChecklistApplied-Track ChecklistGeneral-Track 25

Advising and Counseling ResourcesPhysics Department academic advisors meet with every physics major at least once everysemester. Students are required to meet with an advisor prior to enrolling in the nextsemester’s classes. At other times, if questions arise about classes, careers, summer jobs orinternships, research opportunities, personal stresses, or any other aspect of UMass life, pleasecontact your advisor.If you are . not currently a physics major but want to learn more about it, please contact the ChiefUndergraduate Advisor. already a physics major (as a primary major), then one of these advisors should havebeen assigned to you on SPIRE. If not, please contact the appropriate advisor or theChief Undergrduate Advisor a second major in physics (SM-PHYS), then you might not have a physics advisorappointed on SPIRE. However, we still recommend that you visit a physics advisoreach semester. Please contact the appropriate advisor from the list below. If you arenot in the standard course sequence, then contact the Chief Undergraduate advisorinstead.Who we are:Chief Undergraduate Advisor: Prof. Anthony Dinsmore, Hasbrouck 404,[email protected] of Fall 2017: Prof. Chris Santangelo, [email protected] of 2018:Prof. Lorenzo Sorbo, LGRT 417C, [email protected] [last names A-K]Prof. Mark Tuominen, Has402,[email protected] [last names L-Z]Class of 2019:Prof. Ben Brau, LGRT 1040, [email protected] Andrea Pocar LGRT 418, [email protected] of 2020:Prof. Benny Davidovitch, Has 303, [email protected] David Kawall, LGRT 417B/429, [email protected] of 2021:Prof. Lori Goldner, Has 407B, [email protected] Nikolay Prokof’ev, Has 406, [email protected] coordinator: Prof. Andrea Pocar LGRT 418, [email protected] resources:The College of Natural Sciences advising center. They can advise on GenEd andlanguage requirements, courses added or dropped after the initial Add/Drop period,or a ‘credit overload’ ( 19). They also offer career advice (in addition to youradvisor).(413) 545-1969, 220 Morrill II, https://www.cns.umass.edu/advisingWhere to go when you are in distress: Dean of Students Office (DOSO).(413) 545-2684. 227 Whitmore. https://www.umass.edu/dean students/DOSO is a resource for you – not just a disciplinary office! Don’t hesitate to call themif you need help with personal, medical and other emergencies. Thy can communicatewith your instructors, help with medical exceptions to academic rules, etc. They can3

also refer you to other resources. The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), (413) 545-2337. CCPHis a go-to resource for students who struggle with anxiety, depression or any other kindof emotional stress. They are on-call 24/7. They can handle emergency and nonemergency/evaluation/advisory meetings. Calling them will not trigger a majorresponse or commit a student to treatment.Other Links and ContactsSPS Society of Physics Students – An association for all students interested in physics. Thegroup meets weekly, usually Mon or Wed evenings at 7pm in LGRT 1033, with pizza.Each year, SPS members elect their President, Vice President, and Treasurer. Forinformation , please visit http://blogs.umass.edu/umasssps/ ization/sps or their Facebook page.INTRODUCTIONPhysics is the basic science that underlies all of the physical sciences and influences most ofthe biological sciences. Physics treats matter, energy, and interactions at the fundamental level.It is a perpetually changing science, with interdisciplinary aspects that shift as technology andstudy bring new fields and new possibilities to light. After physicists establish the fundamentalprinciples within a field, the field is often "handed over" to another discipline for furtherexploration. Thus, much of the physics of yesterday is now regarded as part of chemistry orengineering.Physics provides an excellent background for a variety of careers in science, technology,teaching, and beyond. Physicists entering research generally need to choose among multiplepossible branches. Physicists can work in either basic or applied research. The scientistengaged in the former typically works in a university or a national laboratory, delvinginto the fundamental processes of nature. Applied research concerns itself with applicationsof our knowledge by way of technological advances, in an industrial or commercial setting.There is also a choice between working in theory or experiment. Experimentalists create anduse a given apparatus to test hypotheses and theories, to make unexpected discoveries of newphenomena, or to develop new applications of ideas. Theorists either use that data, or operateindependently of data, to develop new explanations, hypotheses, or theories. Particularlybroad scientists can act as both, often using computer simulations to gain insight into both thetheoretical and experimental aspects of a given problem. Research physicists choose to workin some specific area, such as nuclear, condensed matter, or high-energy particle physics.The Department of Physics offers a variety of courses and a variety of possibilities for majors.Since physics is an ever-changing field, the focus of the department is to impart a set ofskills that can be applied over a wide range of disciplines. The Applied and General Tracks formajors exist to address the needs of students moving into the job market, or graduate school inanother field, after graduation. The Professional Track exists for those students who plan onpost- bachelor's education in physics or closely related fields, or for those students who want topursue a rigorous BS degree in physics.You can also join our faculty in research (see p. 17). Most faculty members are engaged inbasic experimental or theoretical research in the following areas: biophysics, hard and softcondensed-matter physics, experimental and theoretical particle physics, experimental andtheoretical gravity, low-temperature physics, nano-science, nuclear physics, and polymer4

research. Excellent facilities and federal research funds make undergraduate researchopportunities widely available through independent study, honors research, or summeremployment.University and College RequirementsTo receive a bachelor's degree in physics a student must meet graduation requirements set by(i) the University, (ii) the College of Natural Sciences, and (iii) the Physics Department. TheUniversity requirements (total number of credits, number of credits in residence, GPA, generaleducation requirements) are explained in the 2011/2012 Guide to Undergraduate Programs,available at www.umass.edu/ug programguide/. The College of Natural Sciences degreerequirements are available at irements .Physics Department RequirementsThe Physics Department offers three different degree tracks for study. These degree tracks arethe Professional, the Applied, and the General tracks. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required forcourses counted toward the Physics major for all three degree tracks.Physics Curriculum: Professional TrackThe Professional Track provides a broad background in physics. It is intended for majors whoplan to attend graduate school in physics or in related fields, or for students who want to pursuea rigorous and traditional physics curriculum. P-track majors might take on jobs aftergraduation or go to graduate school. The track concentrates heavily on the operational materialneeded for introductory-level graduate courses, and requires no outside concentration in anotherfield. This option results in the earning of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.1. Introductory SequenceFallPHYSICS 181 Physics I – Mechanics LabPHYSICS 185 Freshman Colloquium4 credits1 creditSpringPHYSICS 182 Physics II – Electricity and Magnetism LabPHYSICS 186 Freshman Colloquium4 credits1 creditFor special circumstances, your advisor can authorize an alternate introductorysequence.2. Sophomore SequenceFallPHYSICS 281 Computational PhysicsPHYSICS 287 Physics III - Thermodynamics, Waves, OpticsPHYSICS 289 Physics III LabSpringPHYSICS 282 Techniques of Theoretical PhysicsPHYSICS 284 Modern Physics IPHYSICS 286 Modern Physics Lab53 credits3 credits1 credit3 credits3 credits2 credits

3. Intermediate SeriesPHYSICS 440 Intermediate Lab(Fall and Spring)3 creditsPHYSICS 421 Mechanics(Fall)3 creditsPHYSICS 422 Intermediate Electricity & Magnetism (Spring)3 creditsPHYSICS 423 Statistical Physics & Thermodynamics (Spring)3 creditsPHYSICS 424 Quantum Mechanics(Fall)3 credits4. Writing RequirementPHYSICS 381 Writing in Physics(Fall)3 creditsStudents with double majors should take the writing course offered by theirprimary major department5. Advanced Courses and LabsOne advanced course must be selected from the following:PHYSICS 531 Electronics for Scientists I(Fall)PHYSICS 553 Optics with Lab(Spring)PHYSICS 556 Nuclei and Elementary Particles(Fall)PHYSICS 558 Solid State Physics(Fall)PHYSICS 562 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism (Spring)PHYSICS 564 Advanced Introductory QM(Fall)PHYSICS 568 General Relativity(Fall)PHYSICS 590M Medical Physics(Spring)ASTRON 337 Optical and Infrared AstronomyASTRON 338 Techniques of Radio AstronomyASTRON 451 Astrophysics IASTRON 452 Astrophysics II4 credits4 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits4 credits4 credits4 credits4 creditsSome of the courses listed here are not offered every year. Typically, theseclasses are held based on student interest and pre-enrollment. Students shouldcontact their advisors for information on planned course offerings.6. Math RequirementsMATH 131 Calculus I (co-requisite for P181)MATH 132 Calculus II (co-requisite for P182)MATH 233 Multivariate CalculusMATH 331 Ordinary Differential Equations(Fall and Spring) 4 credits(Fall and Spring) 4 credits(Fall and Spring) 3 credits(Fall and Spring) 3 creditsA course in linear algebra, Math 235, is also recommended.6

Physics Curriculum: Applied TrackThe Applied Track is intended for students with an interest in a technical subject that is notwithin the standard canon of physics. Applied track students might plan to enter the job marketimmediately after graduation, or may plan to attend graduate school in a topic outside physics.Although the Applied Track requires less physics courses than the Professional Track, this isbalanced by the requirement of an 18-credit concentration in a coherent scientific or technicalsub-field. Courses in the 18-credit concentration cannot be used to satisfy degree requirementsfor another major or minor. This option results in the a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.1. Introductory SequenceFallPHYSICS 181 Physics I – Mechanics LabPHYSICS 185 Freshman Colloquium4 credits1 creditSpringPHYSICS 182 Physics II – Electricity and Magnetism LabPHYSICS 186 Freshman Colloquium4 credits1 creditFor special circumstances, your advisor can authorize an alternate introductorysequence.2. Sophomore SequenceFallPHYSICS 287 Thermodynamics, Waves, OpticsPHYSICS 289 Thermodynamics, Waves, Optics LabPHYSICS 281 Computational Physics3 credits1 credit3 creditsSpringPHYSICS 284 Modern Physics I3 creditsPHYSICS 286 Modern Physics Lab2 creditsPhysics 282, Techniques of Theoretical Physics, is strongly recommended, as itis needed for the upper-level classes especially 422 and 424.3. Intermediate SeriesPHYSICS 440 Intermediate Lab(Fall and Spring) 3 creditsand students must also take at least two of the following:PHYSICS 421 Intermediate Mechanics(Fall)PHYSICS 422 Intermediate Electricity & Magnetism (Spring)PHYSICS 423 Statistical Physics & Thermodynamics (Spring)PHYSICS 424 Quantum Mechanics(Fall)3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits4. Writing RequirementPHYSICS 381 Writing in Physics3 creditsStudents with double majors normally take the writing course offered by theirprimary major department.7

5. Advanced Courses and LabsOne advanced course must be selected from the following:PHYSICS 531 Electronics for Scientists I(Fall)PHYSICS 553 Optics with Lab(Spring)PHYSICS 556 Nuclei and Elementary Particles(Fall)PHYSICS 558 Solid State Physics(Fall)PHYSICS 562 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism (Spring)PHYSICS 564 Advanced Introductory QM(Fall)PHYSICS 568 General Relativity(Fall)PHYSICS 590M Medical Physics(Spring)ASTRON 337 Optical and Infrared AstronomyASTRON 338 Techniques of Radio AstronomyASTRON 451 Astrophysics IASTRON 452 Astrophysics II4 credits4 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits3 credits4 credits4 credits4 credits4 creditsSome of the courses listed here are not offered every year. Typically, theseclasses are held based on student interest and pre-enrollment. Students shouldcontact their advisors for information on planned course offerings.6. Math RequirementsMATH 131 Calculus I (co-requisite for P181)(Fall and Spring) 4 creditsMATH 132 Calculus II (co-requisite for P182)(Fall and Spring) 4 creditsMATH 233 Multivariate Calculus(Fall and Spring) 3 creditsA course in linear algebra, Math 235, is also recommended.7. Concentration in Technical ElectivesFor this requirement, the student must take a minimum of 18 credits with a specific scientific ortechnical focus. The purpose of the concentration is to develop coherent, expert competency in ascientific or technical subfield. Therefore, a broadly defined concentration such as "Astronomy"or "Computer Science" would not be suitable, nor would Gen-Ed or independent study courses.Course

PHYSICS 181 Physics I – Mechanics + Lab 4 credits . PHYSICS 185 Freshman Colloquium 1 credit . Spring. PHYSICS 182 Physics II – Electricity and Magnetism + Lab 4 credits . PHYSICS 186 Freshman Colloquium 1 credit . For special circumstances, your advisor can authorize an alternate introductory sequence. 2. Sophomore Sequence. Fall