Sonoma State University
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Physics Courses: Senior Level
from the 1996-98 catalog
Disclaimer: This is not the official catalog.

400. History of Physical Science (3)  (Spring)
Lecture, 3 hours. A survey of the historical development of the physical sciences. Crosslisted as CHEM 400 and GEOL 400. Prerequisite: major in the physical sciences or consent of the instructor.

411. Laboratory Instruction Practicum (1)
Laboratory, 3 hours. Presentation of experimental techniques and guidance of student activities in a lower-division physics laboratory under the supervision of the instructor in charge of the laboratory. Development and application of instructional experiments in physics. May be repeated for up to 3 units credit, with different subject matter in each repetition. Prerequisites: junior standing in physics and consent of instructor.

412. Microprocessor Applications (2)  (Spring)
Lecture, 2 hours. Topics covered will include: microprocessor architecture, instruction sets, elements of microprocessor-based systems, hardware and software design (with emphasis on peripherals and interfacing techniques) . Use of microprocessors for instrumentation and control purposes will be stressed. Students will be required to complete a microprocessor-based project as part of their course work. Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 412L is mandatory. Prerequisites: PHYS 312 and 312L, or consent of instructor.

412L Microprocessor Laboratory (1)  (Spring)
Laboratory, 3 hours. Laboratory to accompany PHYS 412. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in PHYS 412.

425. Introduction to Mathematical Physics (3) (Fall)
Lecture, 3 hours. Topics selected from: coordinate systems; tensor calculus; differential equations; Sturm-Liouville theory; self-adjoint equations, orthogonal functions, expansions; Fourier series and Fourier integrals; special functions; complex analysis; calculus of variations; numerical methods. Prerequisites: PHYS 314 or 320, MATH 231, or consent of instructor.

447. Lasers and Holography (2)  (Spring)
Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 3 hours. Theory of lasers; laser light detector characteristics; alignment of an external mirror laser; use of the scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer; longitudinal and transverse mode structure and coherence; modulation of laser light techniques of holography, including the making of holograms. Experiments may make use of the Argon ion laser, dye laser, Helium-Cadmium laser, and Helium-Neon lasers. Prerequisites: PHYS 314 and 216.

450. Statistical Physics (3)  (Spring)
Lecture, 3 hours. The laws of thermodynamics; the partition function; Boltzmann, Bose, and Fermi statistics; elementary transport theory; applications to solid state physics, atmospheric physics, plasma physics, and low-temperature physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 314.

460AB. Quantum Physics (3,3)  (A, Fall; B, Spring)
Lecture, 3 hours. The Schrodinger equation; atomic theory; scattering theory; the Dirac equation; axiomatic formulation of quantum mechanics; topics in nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, and field theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 320.

475. Physics of Semiconductors (2)  (Fall)
Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 3 hours. Energy-band structure, statistics of electrons and holes, and some basic thermal, electrical, and optical properties of semiconductors. Basic principles of p-n junctions, Schottky barriers, and photovoltaic cells will be discussed. Students will prepare their semiconductor samples in laboratory, and perform resistivity and Hall-effect measurements and characterize diodes by I-V and C-V measurements. Prerequisite: PHYS 316.

481. Applied Nuclear Chemistry and Physics (2)  (Fall)
Lecture, 2 hours. This course offers working knowledge of nuclear radiations, radioactive sources, and nuclear reactors. Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter; physical, chemical, and biological effects. Radiochemical dating. Nuclear models. Nuclear reactor theory and neutron activation. Radioactive tracer methods. Crosslisted as CHEM 481. Prerequisites: PHYS 214, CHEM 115B, and one upper-division course in the natural sciences.

482. Applied Nuclear Chemistry and Physics Laboratory (2) (Fall)
Laboratory lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 3 hours. The use and production of radioactive sources. Nuclear reactor problems using a neutron howitzer. Applications to detection of trace elements, nuclear chemical phenomena, radiological safety. State-of-the-art instrumentation and laboratory practices. Crosslisted as CHEM 482. Prerequisites: PHYS 216 and previous or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 481.

493. Senior Design Project (2)  (Fall and Spring)
A directed project to develop either a working prototype or a detailed conceptual design for an operational laboratory device. A report on the design characteristics considered and selected for the device will be required. Prerequisites: PHYS 311L and PHYS 330A.

494. Physics Seminar (1)  (Fall and Spring)
A series of lectures on topics of interest in physics, astronomy, and related fields. May be repeated for credit up to 3 units maximum. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

495. Special Studies (1-4)  (Fall and Spring)
The physics and astronomy department encourages independent study and considers it to be an educational undertaking. Students wishing to enroll for Special Studies are required to submit proposals to their supervising faculty members that outline their projects and exhibit concrete plans for their successful completion.

497. Undergraduate Research in Physics (3)
Supervised research in an area of physics that is currently under investigation by one or more members of the physics and astronomy department's faculty. This course may be repeated for up to 6 units of credit. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of instructor.


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last updated 1997-12-05 by JST