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The University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Catalog 2002-2004

Department of Physics
Admission Criteria | M.S. Degree Requirements | Ph.D. Degree Requirements | Courses

Areas of Study and Degrees



Physics and Applied Physics


Mathematical Sciences


(See Interdepartmental and Intercampus Programs.)

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis and Non-Thesis


John L. Fry
108 Science Hall, 817-272-2266

Graduate Advisor (M.S. Programs)

Q. Zhang
202B Science Hall, 817-272-2020

Graduate Advisor (Ph.D. Programs)

A. K. Ray
102E Science Hall, 817-272-2503

Graduate Faculty


Black, Fry, Koymen, Musielak, Ray, Rubins, Sharma, Weiss, West, White

Associate Professors

De, Zhang

Assistant Professors

Brandt, Cuntz, Yu


The objective of graduate work in physics is to prepare the student for continued professional and scholarly development as a physicist. The Physics MS Degree Programs are designed to give the student advanced training in all fundamental areas of physics through formal courses and the options of some degree of specialization or participation in original research in one of a variety of projects directed by the faculty.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Applied Physics Program combines the traditional elements of a science doctoral program with courses in specifically applied topics and internship in a technological environment. It is designed to produce highly trained professionals with a broad perspective of the subject which may prepare them equally well for careers in academic or in government or industrial laboratories. Current research in the department is predominantly in the areas of condensed matter physics, materials science, and high-energy physics and includes a wide range of theoretical work in solid state physics and experimentation in laser physics, optics, positron physics, solid state and surface physics, and high-energy physics.

Admission Criteria

Master of Science Program

For unconditional admission to the Master of Science program in physics, the candidate must satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, including a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the Graduate School and favorable letters of recommendation from individuals able to assess the applicant's potential for success in a Masters program. In addition, the candidate should have satisfactorily completed at least 24 undergraduate hours of advanced physics and supporting courses and obtained a score of 1,000 (verbal + quantitative) in the GRE.

Doctor of Philosophy Program

For unconditional admission to the Doctor of Philosophy program, an applicant must have a master's degree or 30 semester hours of graduate credit in physics or a related field and satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, including a minimum graduate coursework GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the Graduate School and favorable letters of recommendation from individuals able to assess the applicant's potential for success in a Ph.D. program. In addition, the applicant should have a score of 1,000 (verbal + quantitative) in the GRE.

Applicants not meeting the minimum requirements of the department or the Graduate School for either program may still be considered for unconditional acceptance if other information in their application indicates a reasonable probability of success in graduate studies in physics.

Probationary Admission

If an applicant does not meet a majority of standards for unconditional admission outlined above, they may be considered for probationary admission after careful examination of their application materials. Probationary admission requires that the applicant receive a B or better in their first 12 hours of graduate coursework at UTA.

Deferred and Provisional Admission

A deferred application decision may be granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate. An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements may be granted provisional admission.

Denial of Admission

A candidate may be denied admission if they have less than satisfactory performance on the admission criteria described above.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Students that are admitted will be eligible for available scholarship and/or fellowship support. Award of scholarships or fellowships will be based on consideration of the same criteria utilized in admission decisions. To be eligible, candidates must be new students coming to UTA in the Fall semester, must have a GPA of 3.0 in their last 60 undergraduate credit hours plus any graduate credit hours as calculated by the Graduate School, and must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours of coursework in both long semesters to retain their fellowships.

Degree Requirements:
Master of Science

A minimum of 30 hours is required for the Master of Science degree, of which 24 hours, including a six hour thesis (minimum registration), will be in physics, and six hours may be selected from physics, mathematics, chemistry, geology, biology, or engineering as approved by the Graduate Advisor.

Degree Requirements:
Doctor of Philosophy

Each candidate must complete the following program requirements:

1. Demonstration of competence in a minimum of 39 credit hours of core courses chosen under the guidance of the supervising committee from the following (or from courses approved in advance by the Graduate Studies Committee):

Traditional core courses:

PHYS 5306 Classical Mechanics
PHYS 5307, 5308 Quantum Mechanics I, II
PHYS 5309, 5313 Electromagnetic Theory I, II
PHYS 5310 Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 5311, 5312 Mathematical Methods in Physics I, II
PHYS 5315, 5316 Solid State I, II

Applied Physics core courses:

PHYS 5314 Advanced Optics
PHYS 5319 Mathematical Methods in Physics III
PHYS 6301, 6302, 6303 Methods of Applied Physics I, II, III

Computer Science as required by the supervising committee.

2. Internship: PHYS 6304, 6604, 6904; or 6 credit hours of research with a written report plus 3 hours of Applied Physics courses.

3. Dissertation and additional research and elective courses chosen under the guidance of the supervising committee.

The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; it cannot be changed by completing course requirements in a later semester. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

An incomplete grade (the grade of X) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded X. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an X, the student must complete the course requirements. A grade of X cannot be changed by enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour thesis courses and nine-hour dissertation courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

Physics (PHYS)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes at Please refer to this Web site for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

5190. PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM (1-0). Lectures by students, faculty and invited speakers on current topics in physics. May be repeated for credit. Graded P/F/R only.

5305. CHAOS AND NONLINEAR DYNAMICS (3-0). Introduction to basic principles and concepts of chaos theory and their applications in diverse fields of research. Topics include chaotic and non-chaotic systems, stability analysis and attractors, bifurcation theory, routes to chaos and universality in chaos, iterated maps, Lyapunov exponents, fractal dimensions, multifractals, hamiltonian chaos, quantum chaos, controlling chaos, self-organized systems, and theory of complexity. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor

5306. CLASSICAL MECHANICS (3-0). General principles of analytical mechanics, the kinematics of rigid bodies, canonical transformation, Hamilton-Jacobi theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 4319 or permission of Graduate Advisor.

5307. QUANTUM MECHANICS I (3-0). Matrix formulation, theory of radiation, angular momentum, perturbation methods. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5308. QUANTUM MECHANICS II (3-0). Approximate methods, symmetry and unitary groups, scattering theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 5307 or permission of Graduate Advisor.

5309. ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY I (3-0). Boundary value problems in electrostatics and magnetostatics, Maxwell's equations. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5310. STATISTICAL MECHANICS (3-0). Fundamental principles of statistical mechanics, Liouville theorem, entropy, Fermi-Dirac distribution, Bose-Einstein distribution, Einstein condensation, density matrix, quantum statistical mechanics, kinetic methods, and transport theory. Prerequisite: PHYS 4315 or permission of Graduate Advisor.

5311. MATHEMATICAL METHODS IN PHYSICS I (3-0). Algebraic and analytical methods used in modern physics. Algebra: matrices, groups, and tensors, with application to quantum mechanics, the solid state, and special relativity. Analysis: vector calculus, ordinary and partial differential equations, with applications to electromagnetic and seismic wave propagation. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5312. MATHEMATICAL METHODS IN PHYSICS II (3-0). Continuation of PHYS 5311 with a selection from the following topics. Algebra: matrix representations of the symmetric and point groups of solid state physics, matrix representations of the continuous groups O(3), SU(2), SU(3), SL(2,C), general covariance. Analysis: further study of analytic functions, Cauchy's theorem, Green's function techniques, orthogonal functions, integral equations. Prerequisite: PHYS 5311 or permission of Graduate Advisor.

5313. ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY II (3-0). Modern tensorial treatment of classical electrodynamics, force on and field of a moving charge, derivation and application of 4-vector potential, Maxwell's equations in tensor form, field momentum and radiation. Prerequisite: PHYS 5309 or PHYS 5311 or permission of Graduate Advisor.

5314. ADVANCED OPTICS (3-0). Electromagnetic wave equations, theory of diffraction, radiation scattering and dispersion, coherence and laser optics. Additional advanced topics of current interest. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5315. SOLID STATE I (3-0). Crystal structure, lattice vibration, thermal properties, and band theory of solids. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5316. SOLID STATE II (3-0). Electrical and magnetic properties of crystalline solids, magnetic resonance, and optical phenomena. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5317. STATISTICAL MECHANICS II (3-0). Methods in applied statistical mechanics. Topics may include fluctuations and critical phenomena, the Ising model, the master equation, transport in solids, and chaos. Prerequisites: PHYS 5310 and PHYS 5307, or permission of instructor.

5319. MATHEMATICAL METHODS IN PHYSICS III (3-0). Numerical methods for applied physics; computer techniques, numerical differentiation, integration, interpolation, extrapolation; differential equations, integral equations, statistical analysis; scientific computer library; artificial intelligence programming. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

5320. QUANTUM MECHANICS III (3-0). Quantum theory of radiation; relativistic equations; elements of quantum field theory; symmetries and gauge theories. Applications in elementary particle physics and solid-state physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 5308 and PHYS 5312.

5325. INTRODUCTION TO ELEMENTARY PARTICLES I (3-0). An overview of particles and forces. Particle detectors and accelerators. Invariance principles and conservation laws. Standard model. Electromagnetic, weak, strong, and unified interactions. Prerequisite: basic quantum mechanics, special relativity.

5326. INTRODUCTION TO ELEMENTARY PARTICLE PHYSICS (3-0). Systematics of the quark model; the fundamental interactions of elementary particles; spin and relativistic kinematics; Dirac Equation; the standard electroweak model. Prerequisite: knowledge of quantum mechanics, special theory relativity.

5328. SURFACE PHYSICS (3-0). Experimental and theoretical
methods for the study of solid surfaces. Geometric and electronic structure of metals and semiconductors. Surfaces as model systems of reduced dimensionality. Adsorption phenomena and film growth.

5330. PHYSICS OF SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING AND CHARACTERIZATION (3-0). Selection from the following topics: physics of crystal growth, lattice defects, impurity diffusion, ion-implantation, thin film growth and plasma etching. Physics of characterization techniques utilizing resistivity, carrier mobility and lifetimes, electrons, x-rays, ions, Rutherford backscattering, neutron activation analysis, positron annihilation spectroscopy, deep-level transient spectroscopy.

5391. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS (3-0). Topics in physics, particularly from areas in which active research is being conducted, are assigned to individuals or small groups for intensive investigations. May be repeated for credit. Graded P/F/R. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

5193-5393. READINGS IN PHYSICS. Conference course. May be repeated for credit. Graded P/F/R. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

5194, 5294, 5394, 5694. RESEARCH IN PHYSICS. Conference course with laboratory. May be repeated for credit. Graded P/F/R. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

5398, 5698. THESIS. 5398 graded R/F only; 5698 graded P/F/R. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

6301. METHODS OF APPLIED PHYSICS IELECTRONICS (3-0). The analysis and design of electronic circuits for use in the laboratory. Transistors and integrated circuits in analog instrumentation. Digital logic. Information theory and signal processing.

6302. METHODS OF APPLIED PHYSICS IICOMPUTERS IN PHYSICS (3-0). Applications of computers in physics. Acquisition and analysis of experimental data. Vector and parallel processing, image processing, simulation.

6303. METHODS OF APPLIED PHYSICS IIISPECTROSCOPY (3-0). The principles (interactions, cross-sections, elastic and inelastic scattering, diffraction, coherence), the methodologies (sources, detectors, visualization), and applications (structure, dynamics, composition, excitations) of neutral and charged particle spectroscopies to condensed matter physics and materials science.

6304, 6604, 6904. APPLIED PHYSICS INTERNSHIP. Applied physics and engineering research and training in industry or other science or engineering departments of U.T. Arlington or other institutions requiring applied physicists. Faculty supervision and submission of technical progress reports required. Graded P/F only. Prerequisite: permission of Graduate Advisor.

6391. SELECTED TOPICS IN APPLIED PHYSICS (3-0). Topics chosen from research areas in the Department of Physics or at one of the institutions or corporations participating in the traineeship program in applied physics; emphasis on industrial and engineering applications. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

6399, 6699, 6999. DISSERTATION. 6399 and 6699 graded R/F only; 6999 graded P/F/R. Prerequisite: admission to candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Science in Applied Physics.

DISSERTATION -- See also Mathematical Sciences.


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