Wright State University
2004-2006 Graduate Catalog
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The Department of Physics offers two programs of graduate study leading either to the Master of Science or to the Master of Science in Teaching degrees. The program leading to the Master of Science degree is a research master’s program with a required thesis and prepares graduates for employment in private or government laboratories or for further graduate work. This program includes a medical physics concentration, which deals with diagnostic radiology and magnetic resonance aspects. The Master of Science in Teaching program is designed to enable high school physics teachers to upgrade their knowledge of physics by providing a thorough treatment of those areas of physics that form the basis of our modern knowledge.

In addition to the above programs, the department supports the Interdisciplinary Science and Mathematics Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) program offered by the College of Science and Mathematics.


For admission to graduate study in physics leading to the M.S. degree, candidates must:
1. meet the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.

2. hold a B.S. or B.A. in physics from an accredited institution in the United States, or hold a B.S. or B.A. in an allied field and provide scores from the GRE-Physics or other comprehensive exam in physics.

3. be recommended for admission by the graduate studies committee of the physics department.

4. complete an orientation exam administered by the physics department for use in determining the program of study.

Degree Requirements

To be awarded the M.S. degree in physics, candidates for the degree must:
1. meet the degree requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.

2. complete 45 credit hours of course work listed as available for graduate credit; 36 hours must be physics courses numbered 680 and above, including PHY 680, 681, 682, 710, 711, and 712, and no more than 15 hours of PHY 899 (Research).

3. for the medical physics option, complete at least 45 credit hours, including PHY 681, 682, 710, 711, 712; BMS 762; BME 670; and no more that 15 hours of PHY 899 (Research). Suggested electives include BME 671, 732, 734, and BMS 958. In addition, the university radiation safety course is required.

4. complete EGR 153 or demonstrate equivalent computer experience and ability.

5. pass a thesis defense administered by the advisory committee over research work and any topics in the core physics curriculum the committee may deem appropriate.

6. present an approved thesis to the graduate school.

Details concerning program selection, student evaluation, thesis requirements, and orientation examination may be obtained from the Department of Physics.

Performance Standards
Graduate students in good standing in physics must maintain a cumulative average of 3.0. A grade of C is considered a minimum passing grade. Candidates whose average is below 3.0 after 12 hours of graduate work will be placed on probationary status; they will be removed from this status when the average of 3.0 is earned. Students whose average is below a 3.0 after 18 hours of graduate work may be asked to withdraw from the program.

Master of Science in Teaching
This program allows secondary teachers to increase their physics background so that they may capitalize on a diversified exposure to physics in their own teaching of students at the secondary school level. Further, it provides an opportunity for optional courses in the area of professional education so that proficiency in the presentation of scientific materials can be augmented.

For admission to graduate study leading to the M.S.T. degree, candidates must:
1. meet the requirements of the graduate school.

2. present evidence of completion of an introductory physics sequence equivalent to the PHY 240, 242, 244, and 260 sequence at Wright State.

3. have received certification or provisional licensure to teach.

Prior teaching experience is not required but is strongly recommended.

Degree Requirements
To be awarded the M.S.T. degree in physics, the candidate must:
1. meet the requirements of the graduate school for award of a degree.

2. complete 45 credit hours of course work listed for graduate credit; 36 hours must be for physics courses numbered 620 and above, including PHY 646, 647, 746, 747, and no more than nine hours of 899.

3. submit a report on a research project that was approved by an advisory committee.

4. successfully complete an examination on the research project administered by an advisory committee.

Research Project
Each student, under the direction of the advisory committee and an advisor approved by this committee, is responsible for planning and satisfactorily completing a research project in the areas of physics or the teaching of physics. This project may consist of one of the following:
1. Research into more effective means for the presentation of physics in the classroom

2. Development of groups of classroom experiments or demonstrations

3. Writing texts or other classroom materials

4. Original experimental or theoretical research in an area of physics


Gust Bambakidis , theoretical physics, solid state physics
Thomas N. Hangartner, medical physics, medical imaging
Lok C. Lew Yan Voon (chair), nanostructures, semiconductor theory, mathematical physics
Thomas E. Skinner, magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Research Professors
Jane L. Fox, atmospheric physics
David C. Look, semiconductor and device physics
Phil Yu, semiconductors

Associate Professors
Beth Basista, physics education
Jerry D. Clark, atomic physics, quantum physics, optical spectroscopy
Gary C. Farlow, solid state physics, ion implantation
Brent D. Foy, biomedical physics, bioinformatics
Allen G. Hunt, disordered systems, environmental physics
Nicholas V. Reo, biomedical physics, biomodeling
Gregory Kozlowski, superconductivity and materials science
Sarah Tebbens, geophysics, environmental physics

Research Associate Professors
Zhaoqiang Fang, semiconductor and device physics
Naum I. Gershenzon, geophysics and mathematical physics

Assistant Professors
Douglas T. Petkie, millimeter, submillimeter-wave, Thz molecular spectroscopy
Kathy Koenig, physics education


The Department of Physics is involved in four major areas of research: solid state physics and materials, spectroscopy (optical, laser, molecular, and nuclear magnetic resonance), geophysics and atmospheric physics, and biomedical physics.
Research interests in solid state/materials physics include semiconductors, superconductors and nanostructures. The work on semiconductors involves defects in GaN, ZnO and SiC. Among typical phenomena of interest are the effects of radiation damage on electrical properties. Radiation damage and annealing treatments are characterized by Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy, Photo-Luminescence, Hall Conductivity, and Rutherford Backscattering techniques.

The research in superconductors is centered on the processing and preparation of high-temperature superconducting materials. It involves the enhancement of the critical current density and the study of pinning mechanisms and relaxation effects and their dependence on the microstructure of the material. This work is done in collaboration with researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The work in nanostructures involves fabrication of metallic nanoparticles using the solution-phase method, electrochemical deposition, and condensation techniques. Physical characterization of the properties is currently based on the optical behavior of the nanoparticles. In particular the relationship between size and shape of the nanoparticles and their absorption spectra is studied theoretically and experimentally.

Research in the Optical and Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory focuses on temporal and wavelength resolved spectroscopy. Specific research areas include study of high band gap semiconductor materials with techniques of photoreflectance, photoabsorption, and photoluminescence. In addition theoretical and computational studies are directed toward the understanding of energy and particle flow in gas discharge plasmas.

Research in the Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory includes high-resolution spectroscopy, chemical physics, remote and in-situ sensing and molecular collisions. Experimental studies are in the millimeter-wave region of the electromagnetic spectrum on molecules related to the ozone chemistry of the upper atmosphere and astrophysics-related molecules found in the interstellar medium.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) research covers a broad range of topics with applications in chemistry, biochemistry, and medicine. Nuclear spin interactions can be used as powerful probes of atomic and molecular structure and dynamics, making NMR one of the most important techniques available for obtaining information on the spatial structure, mobility, and interaction of molecules in aqueous solutions. Theoretical and computational studies of nuclear spin dynamics yield new methods for increasing the information yield of NMR experiments. Experimental work in areas of metabolic profiling and phospholipid biochemistry is performed on shared instrumentation at the Cox Institute of Kettering Medical Center.

Research in physics of the earth is conducted in cooperation with the department of Geological Sciences as well as through the Institute for Environmental Quality. Subjects addressed include seismoelectromagnetism, geodynamics, multi-phase flow in porous media, optical and transport properties of red media, sediment transport in turbulent flow, and coupled ocean-atmospheric phenomena. Much of this work is related to petroleum and water resources and earthquake precursors. In a broader sense this research addresses the questions of the relative roles of non-linear physics, stochastic forcing, and heterogeneous surroundings in fundamental natural phenomena.

Research in atmospheric physics includes the physics, chemistry, and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Mathematical and computational methods are used, utilizing data from satellites and planetary probes to construct models of planetary atmospheres, including the earth’s atmosphere.

The program in biomedical physics is in association with researchers at the Cox Institute of Kettering Medical Center and at Miami Valley Hospital. It includes radiological and magnetic resonance diagnostics. Related research in computational biology includes quantitative modeling of biological processes at the molecular, cellular, and organ level. Bioinformatics research on cellular genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic responses to interventions is done in association with scientists at Wright- Patterson Air Force base and other departments at Wright State University.

Graduate School
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Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
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