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Required Physics Courses

First Semester*

PHY 810 - Methods of Theoretical Physics
3 credits - Fall Semester
Theoretical methods used in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and statistical mechanics. This course focuses on mathematical tools and can be waived by the Graduate program Director if the student has taken a similar or more advanced coursework as an undergraduate.

PHY 820 - Classical Mechanics**
3 credits - Fall Semester
Two-body central force problem, Hamilton's principle, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian equations of motion, variational methods, small oscillations, classical fields. Newly enrolled students can choose to take the Classical Mechanics Subject Exam in August, just after their orientation. If the students pass the exam with a score of 3.5 or 4.0, the requirement to take the course is waived. If the students score a 3.0, they are advised to take the course.

PHY 851 - Quantum Mechanics I
3 credits - Fall Semester
Axioms of quantum and wave mechanics, applications to spherically symmetric potentials. Hydrogen atom, harmonic oscillator, matrix mechanics, angular momentum theory, rotations.

Second Semester*

PHY 841 - Classical Electrodynamics I**
3 credits - Spring Semester
PHY 810
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, time-varying fields and Maxwell's equations. Gauge transformations. Poynting's theorem and conservation laws.

PHY 852 - Quantum Mechanics II**
3 credits - Spring Semester
Prerequisites: PHY 851

Third Semester*

PHY 831 - Statistical Mechanics**
3 credits - Fall Semester
Equilibrium statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Boltzmann transport equations and hydrodynamics. Brownian and Langevin motion.

PHY 842 - Classical Electrodynamics II
3 credits - Fall Semester
Recommended Background: PHY 841, PHY 810
Plane electromagnetic waves, polarization states, reflection, refraction. Wave guides and resonant cavities. Radiating systems, dipole fields, radiated power. Special theory of relativity. The requirement for Electrodynamics II (PHY 842) may be waived with approval from the student’s guidance committee.

* Typical sequence followed by most graduate students. This ensures you complete all required courses and subject exams within a year and a half.
** The final for this course also serves as a Subject Exam. The final for 852 includes content from 851. A minimum average of 3.375 is required for the four exams, with a 3.0 minimum on each individual exam. A maximum of two attempts is allowed for each exam.