• Physics
    It's not unusual for physics majors to come to the field from other areas
  • Physics
    Physics professor Daniel Erenso uses laser beams to investigate sickle cell diseases
  • Physics
    Ebony Rowe finds physics as fascinating as basketball
  • Physics
    Senior Travis Lauback uses a
    modern slingshot in a physics experiment

Physics

Physics is a lot like chocolate—it goes with everything. That may be one reason so many of MTSU's physics majors started out in pursuit of a different degree (in recording industry, pre-medicine, music, etc.) only to discover that it was the physics of it all that fascinated them. Physics may take them on a different road back to their original interest—a career as a medical physicist, for example.

Lauren Rigsby, future medical physicist

The healing power of physics

Originally a Biology major, Lauren Rigsby planned to go to medical school until a math professor pointed out she might be bored by the memorization and lack of applied problem-solving. Now, she's set her sights on career as a medical physicist. (Among other things, medical physicists help create treatment plans that ensure patients receive the right radiation dose in the correct area.)

Hillary Ball chose teacing over graduate school

Eureka!

After teaching the phases of the moon and planets to a second grade class during an outreach program, physics major Hillary Ball decided to choose teaching over graduate school. “I loved the eureka moments,” she says, “the looks on their faces when the light went on.” She is fascinated with the wonders of physics and the beauty of what it reveals and found support for her desire to teach through the College of Education.

There's almost no field of endeavor that doesn't have some part of it touched by physics. Not surprisingly, a B.S. in Physics can be that first step to any number of diverse careers! Examples include 

  • Acoustics researcher
  • Architect
  • Astrophysicist
  • Doctor
  • Engineer
  • High school physics teacher
  • Medical physicist
  • Naval mine warfare analyst
  • Patent attorney
  • Pilot
  • Software developer
  • Spacecraft designer
  • Radio Frequency (RF) specialist
  • Video game developer


Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • AFL Global
  • Arlington High School
  • Cheezburger Network
  • Corvel Corporation
  • Energetics Technology
  • Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
  • Gearbox Software
  • JET Programme, Japan
  • Robert Half Technology
  • RF Signatures
  • Memorial Hospital, Chattanooga
  • Middle Tennessee Medical Center
  • MiraCosta College
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Maryland

Dr. Daniel Erenso
Associate Professor
daniel.erenso@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-8853
Office | Room 203, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2003)
M.S., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2002)
M.S., Addis Ababa University (1997)
B.S., Addis Ababa University (1990)

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JanaRuth Ford
Instructor
janaruth.ford@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-8639
Office | Room 206A, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
M.S., University of Western Sydney (2004)
B.A., Vanderbilt University, TN (1977)
 

Dr. Brian Frank
Assistant Professor
brian.frank@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-7844
Office | Room 208, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park (2009)
M.S., Arizona State University, Tempe (2006)
B.A., Johns Hopkins University, MD (2003)
 

Dr. Ron Henderson
Department Chair
ron.henderson@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-2130
Office | Room 219, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Virginia (1996)
M.S., Duke University, NC (1991)
B.S.E.E., University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1989)
 

Dr. Chuck Higgins
Associate Professor
chuck.higgins@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5946
Office | Room 206, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 471, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Florida (1996)
M.S., University of Florida (1993)
B.S., University of Alabama, Huntsville (1988)

Homepage
 

Dr. Eric Klumpe
Professor
eric.klumpe@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-2483
Office | Room 216, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 73, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin (1999)
M.A., University of Texas, Austin (1996)
M.S., University of Memphis, TN (1991)
M.S., Stanford University, CA (1981)
B.S., California Institute of Technology (1980)
A.A., Pasadena City College, CA (1977)
 

Dr. Victor Montemayor
Professor
victor.montemayor@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-2108
Office | Room 204, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., University of Toledo, OH (1986)
B.S., Bucknell University, PA (1979)

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Dr. William Robertson
Professor
william.robertson@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5837
Office | Room 207, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box x116, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Purdue University, Main Campus, IN (1988)
M.S., Purdue University, Main Campus, IN (1982)
B.S.C., University of London (1980)

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Dr. Nat Smith
Assistant Professor
nat.smith@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-8852
Office | Room 216A, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Australian National University (2006)
B.S., Australian National University (2001)

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Dr. John Wallin
Professor
john.wallin@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-7735
Office | Room 217, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 71, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Iowa State University (1989)
B.S., Minnesota State University, Mankato (1984)
B.S., Minnesota State University, Mankato (1984)
B.S., Minnesota State University, Mankato (1984)

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Dr. Martha Weller
Professor
martha.weller@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-2792
Office | Room 217A, Wiser-Patten Science Building (WPS)
Mail | MTSU Box 403, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology (1979)
B.A., Rice University, TX (1973)
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Students in the Physics program can pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics or the same degree with a concentration in Physics Teaching, Professional Physics, or Astronomy. Within the Professional Physics concentration are tracks in medical physics and astrophysics.

Undergraduate students can pursue a minor in Physics, Electro-Acoustics, or Astronomy.

A minor in Physics is available for graduate students, as well.

Professional Physics Physics Teaching Applied Physics 

An academic map is a suggested four-year schedule of courses based on degree requirements in the undergraduate catalog. This sample schedule serves as a general guideline to help build a full schedule each term. Milestones, courses, and special requirements necessary for timely progress to complete a major are designated to keep you on track to graduate in four years. Missing milestones could delay your program. 

This map based on the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog is not a substitute for academic advisement - contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements. Also see the current undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.Note: Requirements are continually under revision, and there is no guarantee they will not be changed or revoked; contact the department and/or program area for current information. 

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years (see below). NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map.

Professional Physics Academic Map

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to www.mtsu.edu/scholarships/ for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
MATH 1910 (Math)4Take MATH 1730 first if weak background in Math; may take MATH 1910 with acceptable Math ACT score (26). MATH 19204 
CHEM 1110/1111 (Nat Sci)4  CHEM 1120/11214
PHYS 2010/2011 or PHYS 2110/2111 (Nat Sci)4Consult with advisor PHYS 2020/2021 or PHYS 2120/21214Consult with advisor
PHYS 1010 1     
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
PHYS 31003  PHYS 31103 
PHYS 31503  PHYS 31111 
MATH4MATH 3110 rec. PHYS 31603 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  MATH3MATH 3120 rec.
    ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL13 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
PHYS 3610* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 3300 odd yr. PHYS 3200* (offered every other yr.)2PHYS 4330 odd yr.
PHYS 4380* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 4310 odd yr. PHYS 39001 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
Elective3Consult with advisor Electives6Consult with advisor
    Elective0–3Not needed if started fall of odd yr.
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15–18 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
PHYS 3300* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 3610 odd yr. PHYS 38001 
PHYS 4310* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 4380 odd yr. PHYS 4330* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 3200 odd yr.
PHYS 48502  PHYS 49002 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
Elective3Consult with advisor Electives6Consult with advisor
Elective3Consult with advisor Elective0–3Needed if started odd yr.
SUBTOTAL17  SUBTOTAL15–18 
*NOTE: If degree was started in fall of ODD year, use alternate course listed.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  MATH 1910 (Math)4Take MATH 1730 first if weak background in Math; may take MATH 1910 with acceptable Math ACT score (26).
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL4 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
ENGL 1020 (Comm)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
CHEM 1110/1111 (Nat Sci)4  CHEM 1120/11214 
PHYS 2010/2011 or PHYS 2110/2111 (Nat Sci)4Consult with advisor PHYS 2020/2021 or PHYS 2120/21214Consult with advisor
MATH 19204  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
PHYS 10101     
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL14 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
PHYS 31003  PHYS 31103 
PHYS 31503  PHYS 31111 
MATH 4MATH 3110 rec. PHYS 31603 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  MATH3MATH 3120 rec.
    ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL13 
JUNIOR SUMMER
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
PHYS 3610* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 3300 odd yr. PHYS 3200* (offered every other yr.)2PHYS 4330 odd yr.
PHYS 4380* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 4310 odd yr. PHYS 39001 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
Elective3Consult with advisor Elective3Consult with advisor
    Elective3Consult with advisor
    Elective3Consult with advisor
    Elective*0–3Not needed if started fall of odd yr.
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL15–18 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
PHYS 3300* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 3610 odd yr. PHYS 38001 
PHYS 4310* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 4380 odd yr. PHYS 4330* (offered every other yr.)3PHYS 3200 odd yr.
PHYS 48503  PHYS 49002 
Elective3Consult with advisor Elective3Consult with advisor
    Elective3Consult with advisor
    Elective*0–3Needed if started odd yr.
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12–15 
*NOTE: If degree was started in fall of ODD year, use alternate course listed.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed at www.mtsu.edu/records/grad.php.



Physics Teaching Academic Map

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to www.mtsu.edu/scholarships/ for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
MATH 1910 (Math)4Take MATH 1730 first if weak background in Math; may take MATH 1910 with acceptable Math ACT score (26). MATH 19204 
CHEM 1110/1111 (Nat Sci)4  CHEM 1120/11214
PHYS 2010/2011 or PHYS 2110/2111 (Nat Sci)4  PHYS 2020/2021 or PHYS 2120/21214Consult with advisor
PHYS 10101  MSE 20100–1Sec. Ed. minor
MSE 10100–1Sec. Ed. minor    
SUBTOTAL16–17  SUBTOTAL15–16 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
YOED 3520 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor ASTR 10303 
MATH 3120 or PHYS 31503  MATH 20503 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  PHYS 3110 (OR PHYS 3080)3Consult with advisor
PHYS 3100 (OR PHYS 3070)3Consult with advisor PHYS 31111 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
PHYS 39001  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL16 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
BIOL 1110/11114  PHYS 38001 
PHYS 39501  PHYS 48502 
YOED 3550 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor PHYS 39303 
PHIL 3120 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
PHYS 3610 (OR PHYS 3510) 3Consult with advisor Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3     
SUBTOTAL17  SUBTOTAL12 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
PHYS 39601  YOED 4400 (or elective)12Sec. Ed. minor
PHYS 49002     
YOED 4040 (or elective)4Sec. Ed. minor    
PHYS 4740 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor   
Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3     
YOED 4050 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor    
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL12 
NOTE: The minimum number of hours for graduation is 120; however, the number of hours required for this program may exceed 120 if students choose the Secondary Education minor in addition to the Physics Teaching concentration.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  MATH 1910 (Math)4Take MATH 1730 first if weak background in Math; may take MATH 1910 with acceptable Math ACT score (26).
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL4 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
MATH 1920 (Math)4  COMM 2200 (Comm)3 
PHYS 10101     
CHEM 1110/1111 (Nat Sci)4  CHEM 1120/11214 
PHYS 2010/2011 or PHYS 2110/2111 (Nat Sci)4  PHYS 2020/2021 or PHYS 2120/21214Consult with advisor
MSE 10100–1Sec. Ed. minor MSE 20100–1Sec. Ed. minor
ENGL 1020 (Comm)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL16–17  SUBTOTAL14–15 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
YOED 3520 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor ASTR 10303 
MATH 3120 or PHYS 31503  MATH 20503 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  PHYS 3110 (OR PHYS 3080)3Consult with advisor
PHYS 3100 (OR PHYS 3070)3Consult with advisor PHYS 31111 
PHYS 39001  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL13 
JUNIOR SUMMER
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
BIOL 1110/11114  PHYS 38001 
PHYS 39501  PHYS 48502 
YOED 3550 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor PHYS 39303 
PHIL 3120 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
PHYS 3610 (OR PHYS 3510)3Consult with advisor Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL14  SUBTOTAL12 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
PHYS 39601  YOED 4400 (or elective)12Sec. Ed. minor
PHYS 49002     
YOED 4040 (or elective)4Sec. Ed. minor   
PHYS 4740 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor   
YOED 4050 (or elective)3Sec. Ed. minor    
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL12 
NOTE: The minimum number of hours for graduation is 120; however, the number of hours required for this program may exceed 120 if students choose the Secondary Education minor in addition to the Physics Teaching concentration.

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed at www.mtsu.edu/records/grad.php.



Applied Physics Academic Map

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to www.mtsu.edu/scholarships/ for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
PHYS 10101  PHYS 2020/2021 or PHYS 2120/21214Consult with advisor
PHYS 2010/2011 or PHYS 2110/2111 (Nat Sci)4Consult with advisor MATH 19204 
MATH 19104Take MATH 1730 first if weak background in Math. May take MATH 1910 with acceptable MATH ACT score (26). CHEM 1120/11214
CHEM 1110/CHEM 1111 (Nat Sci)4  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3     
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
PHYS 3100 (or PHYS 3070)3Consult with advisor PHYS 3110 (or PHYS 3080)3Consult with advisor
PHYS 3150 (or MATH 3120 or MATH 3110)3  PHYS 31111 
CSCI 11704  PHYS 39001 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
Elective3Consult with advisor HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
    Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL14 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
PHYS 3610 (or PHYS 3510 or PHYS 3400)3  Cognate3 
PHYS/ASTR upper division3–4  Cognate3 
Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3  Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3 
Elective3  Elective3Consult with advisor
SUBTOTAL15–16  SUBTOTAL15 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
PHYS 48502  PHYS 49002 
PHYS/ASTR upper division2–3  PHYS 38001 
Cognate3  Cognate3 
Cognate3  Elective3 
Elective3Consult with advisor Elective3 
    Elective3 
SUBTOTAL13–14  SUBTOTAL15 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
PHYS 2010/2011 or PHYS 2110/2111 (Nat Sci)4Consult with advisor PHYS 2020/2021 or PHYS 2120/21214Consult with advisor
MATH 1910 (Math)4Take MATH 1730 first if weak background in Math. May take MATH 1910 with acceptable MATH ACT score (26). MATH 19204 
CHEM 1110/1111 (Nat Sci)4  CHEM 1120/11214
ENGL 1020 (Comm)3     
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL12 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
PHYS 31003  PHYS 31103 
PHYS 3150 (or MATH 3120 or MATH 3110)3  PHYS 31111 
Elective3  PHYS 10101 
Elective3  CSCI 11704 
    Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 
JUNIOR SUMMER
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
PHYS 3610 (or 3510 or 3400)3  Cognate3 
PHYS/ASTR upper division2–3  Cognate3 
Elective3Consult with advisor Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3
Elective3Consult with advisor Elective3 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303     
SUBTOTAL14–15  SUBTOTAL12 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
PHYS 48502  PHYS 49002 
PHYS/ASTR upper division3  PHYS 38001 
Cognate3  Cognate3 
Cognate3  Elective3 
PHYS 39001  Elective3 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed at www.mtsu.edu/records/grad.php.

Physics

PHYS 1010 - Physics Colloquium
1 credit hour
Introduces new physics and astronomy students to the physics major. Topics include degree requirements, faculty resources, research opportunities, and career options. Half of the meetings will involve one hour lectures during class, and half will involve attending talks, some of which may occur outside the scheduled class meting time.

PHYS 1110 - Discovering Physics
4 credit hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1710, MATH 1730, or MATH 1630. Uncovers the fundamental concepts of physics in a hands-on approach that involves observations, measurements, forming hypotheses, and validation of ideas in groups of students' peers. Combined lecture/laboratory sessions.

PHYS 1600 - Physics of Music
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1710 or consent of instructor. The physics of music, acoustics, and sound for students without prior physics background.

PHYS 2010 - Non-Calculus-Based Physics I
0 credit hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1710 with a minimum grade of C (2.0) or MATH 1730. Required corequisite: PHYS 2011. Web-based discussion class to be taken in conjunction with cooperative-learning based problems lab PHYS 2011. Classical mechanics traditionally covered in a first-semester college physics course. Kinematics, forces, momentum, angular motion, calorimetry, and sound waves. Class time used for discussion of the Web-lecture material and for the administration of exams.

PHYS 2011 - Physics Problems Laboratory I
4 credit hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1710 with a minimum grade of C (2.0) or MATH 1730. Required corequisite: PHYS 2010. Group-oriented problems course taken in conjunction with the Web-based discussion class PHYS 2010. Students work in groups with the topics presented in the PHYS 2010 discussion class. Covers kinematics, forces, momentum, angular motion, calorimetry, and sound waves. Skills associated with the development of experimental investigations including graphical analysis and estimation of uncertainties emphasized. Two two-and-one-half-hour laboratory sessions.

PHYS 2020 - Non-Calculus-Based Physics II
0 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2011. Required corequisite: PHYS 2021. Web-based discussion class taken in conjunction with the cooperative-learning based problems lab PHYS 2021. Fundamentals of optics, modern physics, and electronics traditionally covered in a second-semester college physics course. Reflection and refraction, vision, diffraction effects, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, and analog and digital electronics. Scheduled class time is used for discussions of the Web-lecture material and for the administration of exams.

PHYS 2021 - Physics Problems Laboratory II
4 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2011. Required corequisite: PHYS 2020. Group-oriented problems course to be taken in conjunction with the Web-based discussion class PHYS 2020. Students work in groups with the topics presented in the PHYS 2020 discussion class. Optics, modern physics, and electronics traditionally covered in a second-semester college physics course. Reflection and refraction, vision, diffraction effects, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, and analog and digital electronics. The skills associated with the development of experimental investigations including graphical analysis and estimation of uncertainties emphasized. Two two-and-one-half-hour laboratory sessions.

PHYS 2110 - Calculus-Based Physics I
0 credit hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1910 with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Corequisite: PHYS 2111. A calculus-based introduction to mechanics and wave motion. One and one-half hours lecture.

PHYS 2111 - Calculus-Based Physics Laboratory I
4 credit hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1910 with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Corequisite: PHYS 2110. Laboratory course to accompany PHYS 2110. Experiments in mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Data reduction, error analysis, and report writing. Two three-hour sessions.

PHYS 2120 - Calculus-Based Physics II
0 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2111; MATH 1920 with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Required corequisite: PHYS 2121. A lecture course that supplements the discussion in PHYS 2121. Topics include a microscopic view of electrical force and field, polarization, electric circuits, magnetic force and field, electric potential, symmetries of fields, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic radiation, optics, and wave phenomena. One and one-half hours lecture.

PHYS 2121 - Calculus-Based Physics Laboratory II
4 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2111; MATH 1920 with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Required corequisite: PHYS 2120. A laboratory-based course to accompany PHYS 2120. Includes discussions, group problem solving, and hands-on activities. Two three-hour sessions.

PHYS 3000 - Acoustics and Signal Analysis
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 1600 and MATH 1910. Detailed overview of acoustics including an introduction to digital signals and their analysis. Application areas include architectural, musical, and environmental acoustics. Intended for students interested in the technical side of the music industry.

PHYS 3050 - Directed Study in Physics
1 to 4 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 and approval of department chair. Individualized intensive study of a specific topic in physics not normally covered to the extent desired in the standard curriculum. Arrangements must be made with an approved faculty member prior to registration.

PHYS 3070 - Concepts in Modern Physics I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 and MATH 1920. Introduction to the concepts of twentieth-century physics. Discusses fundamental concepts of modern physics including relativity, atomic physics, wave optics, and quantum mechanics. Not intended to prepare students for graduate school in physics.

PHYS 3080 - Concepts in Modern Physics II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3070 or PHYS 3100. Introduction to the concepts of twentieth-century physics. Discusses the fundamental concepts of modern physics including molecular physics, statistical distributions, solid state physics, and nuclear particle physics. Not intended to prepare students for graduate school in physics.

PHYS 3100 - Modern Physics I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 and MATH 1920 with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Introduction to the fundamental principles of modern physics (special relativity and quantum mechanics) and their application to atomic physics.

PHYS 3110 - Modern Physics II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3100. Survey of major topics including molecular physics, statistical physics, solid state physics and solid state devices, nuclear models, nuclear decay and reaction, and elementary particle physics.

PHYS 3111 - Modern Physics Laboratory
1 credit hour
Prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 3080 or PHYS 3110. Concepts and ideas which formed the basis for an understanding of the atom and atomic phenomena. One hour lecture and one three-hour independent laboratory.

PHYS 3150 - Topics and Methods of Theoretical Physics I
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 and MATH 1920 with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Theoretical techniques used for problem solving in physics. Reference frames and coordinate systems, approximation techniques, solution of electrical circuits and mechanical systems, simple harmonic motion and wave motion, Maxwell's equations.

PHYS 3160 - Topics and Methods of Theoretical Physics II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3150. A continuation of PHYS 3150. The Schroedinger equation, heat flow, diffusion, the Lagrangian description of motion.

PHYS 3200 - Scientific Modeling and Problem Solving
2 credit hours
Prerequisites: One year of physics and MATH 1920 or consent of instructor. Techniques of computational physics as applied to the solution of scientific problems.

PHYS 3300 - Classical Mechanics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3150 (or PHYS 2110 and MATH 3120). Mechanics (including statics and dynamics) of particles in three dimensions using vector analysis, motion of rigid bodies, Lagrangian mechanics, and Hamilton's equations.

PHYS 3310 - Concepts and Applications of Digital Electronics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 or ET 3610. Investigates applications of modern digital technology. Fundamentals of logic gates and programmable devices examined along with contemporary integrated circuits for use in data acquisition and the control of scientific experiments. Sound cards, alarm systems, and laboratory measurement circuits typify projects constructed in the hands-on laboratory. Two hours lecture and one three-hour laboratory.

PHYS 3330 - Health Physics and Radiation Protection
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120. Radiation protection methods, dosimetry techniques, and survey instruments. Practical knowledge of the methodology for paramedical personnel, industrial workers, and others who deal with radioisotopes and X-ray equipment. Two hours lecture and one three-hour laboratory.

PHYS 3350 - Concepts and Applications of Analog Electronics
4 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 or  ET 3610. Introduction to contemporary analog electronics utilizing integrated circuits to treat traditional circuits, power supplies, operational amplifiers, comparators, and multivibrators. Conversion of analog to digital signal for interfacing to microcomputers. Emphasis on practical applications. Three hours lecture and one three-hour laboratory.

PHYS 3400 - Intermediate Physics
3 credit hours
 Prerequisite: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2121 and MATH 1920. Provides an intermediated treatment of the principles of thermodynamics, electromagnetics, and oscillatory behavior with applications. Course is not intended for physics majors participating in the Professional Physics concentration. Three hours lecture.

PHYS 3510 - Concepts in Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3080 or PHYS 3110. Introduction to the concepts of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Discusses the fundamentals of thermodynamics from both the macroscopic and microscopic points of view including entropy, enthalpy, heat engines, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energy, the partition function, and quantum statistics. Not intended to prepare students for graduate school in physics.

PHYS 3600 - Radiation Oncology Physics
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: MATH 1910 and a one-year introductory sequence in physics. Introduction to  field of radiation oncology physics, including a discussion of fundamental physics and techniques associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer using electromagnetic radiation and particle beams. Includes experiences in a radiation oncology clinic and interactions with practicing medical physicists.

PHYS 3601 - Medical Physics Practicum
1 credit hour
Prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 3600. Real-world/clinical applications of concepts and theory from PHYS 3600, especially those associated with detectors and dosimetry. May include hands-on activities at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

PHYS 3610 - Thermodynamics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3110 and PHYS 3150 or consent of instructor. Introduction to statistical physics, kinetic theory, and thermodynamics from a unified microscopic point of view. Selected applications to various systems of interest presented.

PHYS 3800 - Physics Seminar
1 credit hour
Prerequisite: PHYS 3070 or PHYS 3100. Develops and refines inquiry, communication, and presentation skills through exposure to new developments in physics, technical brief writing, and resume and job interview preparations.

PHYS 3900 - Physics Practicum
1 credit hour
Prerequisites: PHYS 3070 or PHYS 3100 and consent of instructor. Refines thinking, communication, and interpersonal skills through exposure to on-the-spot technical questions and a laboratory teaching experience as an assistant in an introductory physics laboratory.  One hour lecture and two two-and-one-half  hour experiences as a teaching assistant to be scheduled with department faculty.

PHYS 3910 - Advanced Physics Laboratory
1 credit hour
Prerequisites:  PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 and PHYS 2121. The skills, art, and physics important in pursuing independent research. Experiments dealing with mechanical, optical, or thermodynamic principles explored. Report writing, literature research, and the use of analysis tools emphasized. One hour lecture and one three-hour independent study laboratory.

PHYS 3920 - Advanced Physics Laboratory
1 credit hour
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2120 and PHYS 2121. The skills, art, and physics important in pursuing independent research. Experiments dealing with mechanical, optical, or thermodynamic principles explored. Report writing, literature research, and the use of analysis tools emphasized.

PHYS 3930 - The Teaching of Physics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3950. Introduces physics teaching pedagogies resulting from physics education research. Methods studied to include inquiry, discovery, and modeling-based approaches. Seminar meeting will be supplemented with extensive experience as a learning assistant in a hands-on cooperative-learning and/or discovery-learning based introductory physics course.

PHYS 3950 - Physics Licensure I
1 credit hour
Prerequisites: PHYS 2021 or PHYS 2121 and MATH 1920. Overview of fundamental physics topics covered on licensure exams leading to endorsement to teach high school physics. Focuses on topics typically covered in the first semester of introductory physics. One one-hour, twenty-five minute lecture per week.  

PHYS 3960 - Physics Licensure II
1 credit hour
 Prerequisite: PHYS 3950. Overview of fundamental physics covered on licensure exams that lead to endorsement to teach high school physics. Subject matter will focus on topics typically covered in the second semester of introductory physics. One-hour twenty-five minutes lecture per week.                    

PHYS 4310 - Electricity and Magnetism
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3160. Topics including electric and magnetic fields, electrostatic potential, and potential energy and fields in matter, discussed in a mathematically rigorous manner. A variety of good applications of mathematical methods in physics.

PHYS 4330 - Electricity and Magnetism II
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 4310. Topics include theory of electromagnetic radiation, production and propagation of electromagnetic waves, and the solution of boundary-value problems with applications to optics, wave guides, and lasers.

PHYS 4380 - Quantum Mechanics
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 3110 and PHYS 3160. Topics include both one- and three-dimensional solutions to the Schroedinger equation, including the infinite square-well, finite square-well, tunneling, the harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom with a discussion of angular momentum at a mathematically rigorous undergraduate level.

PHYS 4390 - Advanced Quantum Mechanics
3 credit hours
 Prerequisite: PHYS 4380. Advanced topics in quantum mechanics, including time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, systems of indistinguishable particles, the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Fermi's Golden Rule, and an introduction to quantum field theory.

PHYS 4600 - Topics in Medical Physics
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 3110 and PHYS 3160. Topics in medical physics at an advanced undergraduate level. Possible topics include charged-particle interactions and equilibrium in matter, cavity theory, dosimetry, CTs, and MRIs.

PHYS 4630 - Principles of the Solid State
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 3110 and PHYS 3150. Includes crystal structures, lattice dynamics, statistics of conductors and semiconductors, thermal properties, the metallic state, free electron theory, band theory of solids, dielectric and magnetic properties of solids, and the low temperature behavior of matter, particularly solids. Three hours lecture.

PHYS 4740 - Research Methods
3 credit hours
(Same as BIOL/CHEM/MATH 4740.) Prerequisite: YOED 3520. Provides secondary science and mathematics teacher candidates with the tools that scientists use to solve scientific problems. Students will use these tools in a laboratory setting, communicate findings, and understand how scientists develop new knowledge.

PHYS 4800 - Special Topics in Physics, Special Topics A
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: An extensive physics background and permission of instructor. Detailed study of a selected topic of current interest in physics not normally covered in the regular undergraduate physics curriculum. Possible topics include advanced atomic physics, high-energy physics (nuclear and elementary particles), scattering theory, astrophysics, and general relativity.

PHYS 4810 - Special Topics in Physics, Special Topics B
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: An extensive physics background and permission of instructor. Detailed study of a selected topic of current interest in physics not normally covered in the regular undergraduate physics curriculum. Possible topics include advanced atomic physics, high-energy physics (nuclear and elementary particles), scattering theory, astrophysics, and general relativity.

PHYS 4850 - Physics Research
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Independent study of a selected research problem in physics. Includes experimental and/or theoretical investigation of an important, yet unexplored, problem. Includes literature research, experiment design/problem formulation and execution, resulting in oral and written presentation of results suitable for submission for publication in a suitable journal. One hour lecture and significant time working with research mentor.

PHYS 4860 - Physics Research
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Independent study of a selected research problem in physics. Includes experimental and/or theoretical investigation of an important, yet unexplored, problem. Includes literature research, experiment design/problem formulation and execution, resulting in oral and written presentation of results suitable for submission for publication in a suitable journal. One hour lecture and significant additional time working with research mentor.

PHYS 4900 - Physics Senior Thesis
2 credit hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 4850 and consent of department chair. Brings undergraduate experience to focus on a specific research problem; chosen with the consent of the thesis committee and with the potential for original discovery or for creative development of a tool or technique applicable to scientific research. Independent pursuit of research objectives outlined in a research proposal results in a written thesis whose approval will include an oral defense. One hour lecture and independent writing of thesis.