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Physics

Introduction

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 degree. The Master of Science degree program is a research-based master’s program with a required thesis. It prepares graduates for employment in private or government laboratories, or for further graduate work. This program includes a Medical Physics concentration which deals with computational biology, diagnostic radiology and radiation therapy. The Master of Science in Teaching program is designed to enable students to upgrade their knowledge of physics. It provides a thorough treatment of classical, modern and laboratory physics with an emphasis on best teaching practices.

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

Master of Science in Teaching

This program allows students to increase their physics background so that they may capitalize on a broad 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.

Admission

Master of Science - Physics

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. If the degree is not in Physics, the graduate studies committee may impose additional requirements.

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


Master of Science in Teaching

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

Master of Science - Physics

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.

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

2b. (For the medical physics concentration) complete at least 45 credit hours, including PHY 681, 682, 710, 711, 712; BMS 762; BME 670; and no more than 15 hours of PHY 899 (Research). Suggested electives include BME 671, 732, 734, and BMS 763, 958. In addition, the university radiation safety course is required.

3. Complete EGR 153 or demonstrate equivalent computer experience and ability.

4. Must complete any course or study requirement imposed at admission.

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.

Master of Science in Teaching

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 PHY899.

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.

MST 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.

Details concerning program selection, student evaluation, thesis requirements, 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.

Faculty

Professors
Lok C. Lew Yan Voon (chair), theoretical physics, solid state
Allen G. Hunt, geophysics
Thomas E. Skinner, nuclear magnetic resonance

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

Associate Professors
Beth Basista, physics education
Jerry D. Clark, atomic physics, quantum electronics
Gary C. Farlow, solid state, ion implantation
Brent D. Foy, biomedical physics
Gregory Kozlowski, superconductivity and nanostructures
Douglas T. Petkie, molecular spectroscopy
Sarah Tebbens, geophysics

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

Assistant Professors
Jason Deibel, terahertz physics
Kathy Koenig, physics education
Nephi Thompson, physics education

Research Areas
The Department of Physics is involved in five major areas of research: solid state/materials physics, spectroscopy (optical, laser, molecular, and nuclear magnetic resonance), biomedical physics, geophysics and atmospheric physics, and physics education.

Research in solid state/materials physics includes 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, Photoluminescence, Hall Conductivity, and Rutherford Backscattering techniques. 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. Research into 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 terahertz spectroscopy and the 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. Research into nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) covers theoretical and computational studies of nuclear spin dynamics, yielding new methods for increasing the information yield of NMR experiments.

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

Research into the physics of the earth is conducted in cooperation with the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Environmental Science Ph.D. program. Subjects addressed include multi-phase flow in porous media, optical and transport properties of real media, sediment transport in turbulent flow, and coupled ocean-atmospheric phenomena. 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.

Research in physics education encompasses undergraduate physics curriculum and in-service teacher professional development. Research on undergraduate physics curriculum includes the development of courses for both pre-service teachers and undergraduate science majors and the study of the effectiveness of these courses at increasing student understanding and retention. Research focusing on in-service teachers involves the development of professional development programs and the study of their effectiveness at instilling best teaching practices in the K-12 classroom and subsequent student achievement.

Research

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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