Wright State University 2005-2006Undergraduate Catalog
About UsAcademic ProgramsStudent LifeAdmission, Advising, and RegistrationAcademic Standards & RequirementsGeneral Education RequirementsColleges and SchoolsCourse DescriptionsFaculty and OfficersAppendixAddendumIndex
Admissions and
  Advising

Degrees and Areas of
  Study

Student Organizations
Biochemistry and
  Molecular Biology

Biological Sciences
Chemistry
Earth and Environmental
  Sciences

Integrated Science
Mathematics and
  Statistics

Physics
Neuroscience, Cell
  Biology and Physiology

Psychology

Physics

Professors Bambakidis, Lew Yan Voon (chair), Skinner
Associate Professors Basista, Clark, Farlow, Foy, Hunt, Kozlowski, Tebbens
Assistant Professors Koenig, Petkie
Lecturer Locker
Research Faculty Fang, Fox, Gershenzon, Look, Yu
Adjunct Faculty Hangartner, Reo

The Department of Physics offers programs leading either to a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics. The Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical Engineering jointly offer a program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in engineering physics; see the Engineering Physics section of the College of Engineering and Computer Science section for more information on this program. Students in secondary education may earn the Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and enter the Professional Year Experience program of the College of Education and Human Services for licensure in physics physical sciences, life sciences/physics, or earth sciences/physics.

Minimum requirements for the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in physics include successfully completing the required courses, with a GPA of at least 2.0 for all physics courses, as well as completing university and college degree requirements.

In addition to the required courses, the department requires, for the Bachelor of Science degree, that every physics major take PHY 494 or 499. The physics major who plans to pursue graduate study also is strongly urged to take PHY 480, 481, 482 and additional mathematics courses.

Degree Requirements-Physics

Bachelor of Science Degree
General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental core requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 260, 371, 372 10
PHY 315, 316, 322 10
PHY 420, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462 25
PHY 494 or 499 6
 
Related Course Requirements

MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 253 25
MTH 332, 333 6
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EGR 153 or equivalent 4
   
Electives 33

Total 190

Since the order in which courses are taken is important, students should closely follow the suggested programs for the required courses.

Bachelor of Arts Degree
General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in math requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental core requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 260, 371, 372, 450 13
PHY 315, 316, 322, 420, 451 16
 
Math Course Requirements

MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233 25
 
Related Course Requirements

CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
MTH 253 or 255 3
Electives 27

Electives outside the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Engineering and Computer Science

General Electives 28

Total 183

The results of the mathematics placement examination are used to determine the initial mathematics course best suited for the student. Students who do not have a strong science and mathematics background might choose to delay PHY 240, 242, 244. Since this will impact course selection in the junior and senior years, these students should work closely with their departmental advisors. Since the order in which courses are taken is important, students are encouraged to consult with their departmental advisor before registering for classes each quarter. Programs for teaching licensure based on a B.A. in physics require PHY 107/117 and substitution of PHY 446 and 447 for two of the three courses PHY 322, 372, 451.

The Department of Physics encourages students interested in interdisciplinary study to pursue a dual major in physics and a related discipline. A departmental advisor will help students arrange a suitable program of study. In addition, there are three formal physics degree option programs that follow.

Degree Requirements-Physics/Earth and Environmental Science Option

Bachelor of Science Degree
The Department of Physics, in cooperation with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Physics with a geophysics option. This option is designed for students who plan a career in physics in a geology-related setting or who plan to pursue graduate study in geophysics.

Students following the physics program with the geophysics option must meet the requirements of the basic physics degree program. In addition, the following courses are required.

General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental core requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 260, 371, 372 10
PHY 315, 316, 322 10
PHY 420, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462 25
PHY 494 or 499 6
 
Related Course Requirements

MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 253 or 255 28
MTH 332, 333 6
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EGR 153 or equivalent 4
 
Earth and Environmental Science Option Requirements

EES 251, 253 6
EES 252, 254 3
PHY 422, 423, 420 13
   
Electives chosen from EES 255, 311, 333, 424, 450, 463 12

Total 194

In addition to these required courses, the department recommends that students pursuing the geophysics option also take EES 434 and participate in the geophysics seminars.

Degree Requirements-Physics/Computing Option

Bachelor of Science Degree
The Department of Physics offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a computing option. This option is designed for students who plan a career in any of the many areas of theoretical or experimental physics that involve extensive use of digital computers.

Students following the physics program with the computing option must meet the requirements of the basic physics degree program. In addition, the following courses are required.

General Education 40
Required Substitutions:

Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 260, 371, 372 10
PHY 315, 316, 322 10
PHY 420, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462 25
PHY 494 or 499 6
 
Related Course Requirements

MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 253 or 255 28
MTH 332, 333 6
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EGR 153 or equivalent 4
Electives 3
 
Computing Option Requirements

CS 240, 241, 242 12
MTH 257 3
CS 400 4
CS 316, 317 8

Total 190

Students who wish to learn about microprocessors may wish to take further courses in computer engineering, such as CEG 260, 320, and 360. For these students, CEG 430 and 431 may be taken in place of CS 317.

Degree Requirements-Physics/Biology Option

Bachelor of Science Degree
The Department of Physics, in cooperation with the Department of Biological Sciences, offers a program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a biology option. This option is designed for students who plan a physics career in a biology-related setting or who want to pursue graduate study in biophysics or medical physics. Students following the physics program with the biology option must meet the requirements of the basic physics degree program. In addition, the following courses are required.

General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 260, 371, 372 10
PHY 315, 316, 322 10
PHY 420, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462 25
PHY 494 or 499 6
 
Related Course Requirements

MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 253 or 255 28
MTH 332, 333 6
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EGR 153 or equivalent 4
 
Biology Option Requirements

BIO 111, 112, 115 12
CHM 211, 212 12
   
Electives chosen from: BIO 210, 212, 213, 271, 306, 312, 471, 492, BMB 421, 422 11

Total 195

Physics Education

Students who wish to teach physics in Ohio public high schools can pursue the B.A. degree in physics. Upon completion of this undergraduate degree program in the College of Science and Mathematics, students then must complete the Professional Educators Program (PEP) through Wright State's College of Education and Human Services. Graduates of the B.A. in physics and the Professional Educators Program are eligible to seek licensure from the Ohio Department of Education in Physics/Physical Sciences. Licensure in Life Sciences/Physics, or Earth Sciences/Physics can also be sought upon completion of programs based on the B.A. in Physics and the PEP.

Degree Requirements-Physical Sciences Education

Bachelor of Arts Degree (Physics/Physics Licensure Program)
The Adolescence to Young Adult Physics Licensure Program is based on an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 107/117, 260, 315, 316, 371, 420, 446, 447, 450 31
Physics Elective: PHY 322 or 372 or 451 3
 
Related Course Requirements

BIO 111, 112, 115 12
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EES 251/252, 253/254, 255/256 13.5
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233 25
MTH 253 or 255 3
 
Electives

Electives outside the College of Science and Mathematics and College of Engineering and Computer Science (must include ED 221, 223, 301, 303, EDS 333) 27

Total 185.5


Bachelor of Arts Degree (Physical Sciences)

The Adolescence to Young Adult Physical Sciences Licensure Program is based on an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

General Education40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 107/117, 260, 315, 316, 371, 420, 446, 447, 450 31
Physics elective: PHY 322 or 372 or 451 3
 
Related Course Requirements

BIO 111, 112 8
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
CHM 211/215, 212/216, 213/217, 312/314, 451 28.5
EES 251/252, 253/254, 255/256 13.5
Math 253 or 255 3
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233 25
   
Electives 27

Electives outside the College of Science and Mathematics and College of Engineering and Computer Science (must include ED 221, 223, 301, 303, EDS 333)

Total 210

Degree Requirements-Life Sciences/Physics Education

Bachelor of Arts Degree
The Adolescence to Young Adult Life Sciences/Physics Licensure Program is based on an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 107/117, 260, 315, 316, 371, 420, 446, 447, 450 31
Physics elective: PHY 322 or 372 or 451 3
 
Related Course Requirements

BIO 111, 112, 115, 210, 211, 212, 213, 230, 231, 492 36
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EES 251/252 4.5
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233 25
MTH 253 or 255 3
   
Electives 27

Electives outside the College of Science and Mathematics and College of Engineering and Computer Science (must include ED 221, 223, 301, 303, EDS 333)

Total 201.5

Degree Requirements-Earth Sciences/Physics Education

Bachelor of Arts Degree
The Adolescence to Young Adult Earth Sciences/Physics Licensure Program is based on an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

General Education 40

Required Substitutions:
Area I: MTH 229 and 230 (counted in related course requirements)
Area V: PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 (counted in departmental requirements)
Area VI: Choose one: AFS 200, ATH 241, ATH 242, HST 220, HST 221, PHL 200, FIN 205, EES 260, PSY 110, SM 205
 
Departmental Core Requirements

PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
PHY 107/117, 260, 315, 316, 371, 420, 446, 447, 450 31
Physics elective: PHY 322 or 372 or 451 3
 
Related Course Requirements

BIO 112 4
CHM 121/125, 122/126, 123/127 15
EES 201 or 304, 251/252, 253/354, 255/256, 309, 311 or 424, 401, 417, 419 or 442 or 399, 499 43.5
MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233 25
MTH 253 or 255 3
   
Electives 27

Electives outside the College of Science and Mathematics and College of Engineering and Computer Science (must include ED 221, 223, 301, 303, EDS 333)

Total 207.5

Physics Honors Program

The Department of Physics offers an honors program designed to provide superior students with a program that offers greater creativity and intellectual challenge. Students who wish to participate in this program must apply to the department during the spring quarter before they plan to enter the honors program. Interested students should have at least a 3.0 GPA overall and at least a 3.0 in physics courses numbered 300 and above. To graduate with honors in physics, students are required to complete PHY 480, 481, 482, and nine hours of honors research (499) with grades of B or better.

Dual Major Program in Physics and Mathematics

The dual major in physics and mathematics is designed for students majoring in physics who wish to gain a strong background in mathematics. This can be particularly valuable for those planning graduate study.

Since the physics major program for the Bachelor of Science degree requires 34 hours of mathematics, and the mathematics component of the major requires 45 hours, 11 additional hours of mathematics need to be taken. To earn a dual major, students must take the following mathematics courses:

  1. MTH 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 332, 333
31
  1. MTH 255 and 355 (Matrix Algebra) must be taken in place of MTH 253. If MTH 253 has already been taken, the student must still take MTH 355.
6
  1. Eight hours of electives must be selected from restricted lists of courses. For a student in this program, the natural choice would be to select three courses from MTH 431, 432, 433, 480, 481, 482.
8
Total 45

In addition, students must
  1. take CS 141 and CS 142 or EGR 153 or equivalent (total eight hours); and
  2. complete the other nonmathematical requirements of the physics major.

Minor Programs

Students majoring in another department may earn a minor in physics. A minor can help prepare students for an interdisciplinary graduate program or serve as a supportive credential for employment. The minor requires a minimum of 35 credit hours as specified in the following.

Minor Requirements-Physics
Departmental Requirements 35

Required Courses
PHY 240/200, 242/202, 244/204 16
(or PHY 111/101, 112/102, 113/103, 240, 242)
PHY 260, 315, 371 10
   
Elective Courses  

(Nine hours chosen from the following courses as approved in advance by the Department of Physics)
PHY 316, 322, 372, 400, 401, 420, 432, 450, 451, 452, 460, 461, 462, 494 (maximum three hours) 9
 
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