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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Gillet Hall

Chair: John R. Gillespie, Room 131
Phone: (718) 960 - 8542



















UNDERGRADUATE
PROGRAMS

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Physics and Astronomy


PHYSICS CURRICULUM

The Department of Physics and Astronomy prepares students for positions in government and industry, and for graduate study in physics and related fields. Students in the department may choose either a 36-credit major leading to a B.A. degree or a 55-credit major leading to a B.S. degree. The department also offers a variety of basic courses designed for general education and for students in other departments, and cooperates with the Department of Secondary, Adult, and Business Education in preparing students to teach physics in secondary schools.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy administers the Pre-engineering Transfer Program. The requirements for this program are given on p. 15.

36-Credit Major in Physics, B.A.

The B.A. Program in Physics is designed for students who, although not planning a career in physics research and/or college/university-level teaching, have a strong interest in physical science, particularly physics, and wish to prepare for a career in which a good basic knowledge of physics is useful. Among such careers are the health professions, elementary and secondary school science teaching, patent-law practice, industrial management, and science journalism.

Credits
24  In required PHY courses in one of the following three combinations:
10 credits in PHY 166-167 and 14 credits in additional PHY courses or
10 credits in PHY 168-169, with chair's permission, and 14 credits in additional PHY courses or 9 credits in PHY 135 and 167, with chair's permission, and 15 credits in additional PHY courses 
12  In required mathematics courses: MAT 175-176 and MAT 226 
___
36

55-Credit Major in Physics, B.S.

The B.S. degree Program in Physics is designed for students who are planning a career in physics research and/or college/university-level teaching. Any student following this program may elect the B.A. degree instead of the B.S. degree.

The minimum of 55 required credits is distributed among the following courses: (Students receiving credit toward a major in physics for either PHY 166 or 168 may not also receive credit for PHY 135.)
37  

In required PHY courses, in one of the following combinations:

25 credits: [PHY 168 (5), 169 (5), 251 (3), 300 (4), 301 (4), 302 (4)] and 12 credits in additional PHY courses.

or, with chair's permission,

23 credits: [PHY 166 (5), 167 (5), 251 (3), 300 (4), 301 (4), 302 (4)] and 12 credits in additional PHY courses.

or, with chair's permission, 

24 credits: [PHY 135 (4) and 167 (5), 251 (3), 300 (4), 301 (4), 302 (4)] and 13 credits in additional PHY courses

18  In mathematics courses: MAT 175-176 (8), MAT 226 (4), and two additional 3-credit MAT courses. 
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55

Requirements for the Minor in Physics

A Minor in Physics consists of either PHY 166 and 167 or PHY 168 and 169, plus two or more courses at the 200 level or above for a credit-hour total of at least 12.

Preparation for Secondary School Teaching
Students preparing to teach physics and general science at the secondary level are advised to supplement the minimum physics concentration with courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology and education, including ESC 419 (Methods of Teaching Science in Secondary School), which is listed by the Department of Secondary, Adult, and Business Education under ESC 414-440 (Teaching a Subject in Secondary School). That department will also provide information on certification requirements.

Courses in Humanities and Social Studies

Since The City College School of Engineering requires 14 to 21 credits in these areas for graduation, such courses may be taken profitably at Lehman College by pre-engineering students. Students expecting to transfer to City College should note that the School of Engineering does not have any foreign language requirement for graduation.

Students wishing to enter this program should see the pre-engineering adviser in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Lehman College for advice on current requirements at colleges of engineering.

COURSES IN PHYSICS

PHY 135: Fundamental Concepts and Methods of Physics
. 5 hours (3, lecture; 2, lab), 4 credits. An introduction to some of the most significant ideas about the nature of the physical world and the methods by which these ideas are developed and tested experimentally, including Newtonian mechanics, conservation laws, the kinetic-molecular theory of matter, electromagnetic fields, light waves and interference, special relativity, general relativity, quantum mechanics, atoms, nuclei, and elementary particles.

PHY 140: Physics of Music. 5 hours (3, lecture; 2, lab), 4 credits. Vibrations and waves, physics of hearing, harmony and mathematics, analysis of musical sound, physics of musical instruments. No specific musical or scientific background is required.

PHY 166: General Physics I. 6 hours (4, lecture; 2, lab), 5 credits. (Customarily taken by premedical, preveterinary, and predental students.) Mechanics, heat, and sound. PREREQ.: The completion of the College's requirement in mathematics.

NOTE:
Only one of the following courses may be taken for credit: PHY 166 or 168.

PHY 167: General Physics II. 6 hours (4, lecture; 2, lab), 5 credits. Electromagnetism, geometrical and physical optics, and introduction to modern physics. PREREQ.: Either PHY 166 or 168; or PHY 135 and departmental permission.

NOTE: Only one of the following courses may be taken for credit: PHY 167 or 169.

PHY 168: Introductory Physics I. 7 hours (3 lecture, 2 recitation, 2 lab), 5 credits. (Designed for those preparing for careers in the physical sciences and engineering.) Motion, Newton's laws, work and energy, mechanics of rigid bodies, elasticity, mechanics of fluids, temperature, heat, kinetic theory of matter, wave motion, and sound. PRE- OR COREQ.: MAT 175.

NOTE: Only one of the following courses may be taken for credit: PHY 166 or 168.

PHY 169: Introductory Physics II. 7 hours (3 lecture, 2 recitation, 2 lab), 5 credits. Electro-statics, electrodynamics, geometrical and physical optics. PREREQ.: PHY 168. PRE- OR COREQ.: MAT 176.

NOTE: Only one of the following courses may be taken for credit: PHY 167 or 169.

*PHY 215: Medical Physics. 5 hours (3, lecture; 2, lab), 4 credits. PREREQ.: PHY 166 and 167 or PHY 168 and 169, or the equivalent (including courses in anatomy and physiology), with departmental approval.

PHY 251: Intermediate Physics Laboratory I. 4 hours, 4 credits. Individual experimentation in selected areas of physics and introduction to analysis of experimental data. PREREQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169 and MAT 175 and 176.

PHY 300: Modern Physics. 4 hours, 4 credits. Relativity; fundamental physical processes at the atomic level; introductory Schrodinger quantum mechanics; introductory nuclear physics; atomic and nuclear models. PREREQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169. PRE- OR COREQ.: MAT 175.

PHY 301: Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism. 4 hours, 4 credits. Electrostatics, dielectrics, magnetism and electromagnetic induction, magnetic properties of matter, D.C. and A.C. circuits, Maxwell's equations. PREREQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169. PRE- OR COREQ.: MAT 226 or departmental permission.

PHY 302: Intermediate Mechanics. 4 hours, 4 credits. Dynamics of a particle. The harmonic oscillator. The central force problem: planetary orbits. Dynamics of systems of particles: rotation of rigid bodies. Accelerating coordinate systems. PRE-REQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169. PRE- OR COREQ.: MAT 226 or departmental permission.

PHY 303: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. 4 hours, 4 credits. First and second laws of thermodynamics, equation of state, entropy and other concepts of thermodynamics, applications to heat engines, and thermal properties of gases, solutions and solids; introduction to statistical mechanics. PREREQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169 and MAT 226.

PHY 304: Optics. 3 hours, 3 credits. Reflection and refraction, interference, diffraction and polarization, lasers and holography. PREREQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169, and MAT 175.

*PHY (AST) 306: Astrophysics. 3 hours, 3 credits. PREREQ.: Either AST 116 or 136; either PHY 167 or 169; PHY 300 recommended but not required.

PHY 307: Mathematical Physics. 4 hours, 43 credits. Vector calculus, matrix and tensor algebra, Fourier and Laplace transforms, complex variable theory, and solutions of differential equations. Applications to problems in physics. PREREQ.: Either PHY 167 or 169. PRE- OR COREQ.: MAT 226.

PHY 310: Nuclear Physics. 3 hours, 3 credits. Systematics of nuclei: nuclear levels, transitions, and decay modes. Models of nuclear forces and structure. Quantum scattering theory and nuclear form factors. Methods of particle production, acceleration, and detection. Topics from nuclear astrophysics. PREREQ.: PHY 167 and 167 or PHY 168 and 169; PHY 300 or departmental approval.

PHY 350: Intermediate Physics Laboratory II. 4 hours, 2 credits. Individual experimentation, with emphasis on modern experimental techniques. PREREQ.: PHY 250 and 300.

PHY 351: Intermediate Physics Laboratory III. 4 hours, 2 credits. PREREQ.: PHY 350.

PHY 355: Special Topics in Physics. 1-3 hours, 1-3 credits. Course content will be chosen from topics valuable to physics majors or students from other departments. Topics to be covered and number of hours and credits will be announced in advance. Can be taken repeatedly as long as course content is not the same. PREREQ.: Chair's permission.

PHY 400: Introductory Quantum Mechanics. 3 hours, 3 credits. Wave and particle nature of matter and radiation. The uncertainty principle. Operators and the Eigen-value equations; Schrodinger formulation; stationary states. Harmonic oscillator and potential barrier problems. Angular momentum. Central potential and the hydrogen atom. Perturbation theory of energy levels. Spin and statistics. PRE-REQ.: PHY 301. PRE- OR COREQ.: Either MAT 229 or 323.

PHY 401: Solid State Physics. 3 hours, 3 credits. Principles of crystallography; crystal structure; reciprocal space; crystalline defects. Lattice dynamics; phonon statistics and lattice specific heats. Thermal conduction. Electrons in metals; classical and quantized free electron theory. Band theory of solids. Dynamics of electron motion. Superconductivity. Semiconductors. Dielectric and magnetic properties of solids. PREREQ.: PHY 300 and MAT 226.

*PHY 403: Theoretical Mechanics. 3 hours, 3 credits. PREREQ.: PHY 302 and either MAT 229 or 323.

*PHY 404: Electromagnetic Theory. 3 hours, 3 credits. PREREQ.: PHY 301 and either MAT 229 or 323.

PHY 489: Honors Course. One semester, 6 or 9 hours, 2 or 3 credits (maximum 6 credits). Independent study or participation in a research project under faculty direction. PREREQ.: PHY 350 and departmental permission.

COURSES IN ASTRONOMY

AST 117: Astronomy of Stellar Systems. 5 hours (3, lecture; 2, lab), 4 credits. Stars, interstellar matter, and stellar systems. Pulsars and quasars. Introduction to modern theories of stellar evolution and cosmology. PREREQ.: COR 106 and 108.

AST 136: Astronomy of the Solar System. 5 hours (3, lecture; 2, lab—some evening lab hours), 4 credits. The sun and its planets, satellites, and comets. Laws of motion and gravitation. Techniques of astronomical observation. PREREQ.: COR 106 and 108.

AST 137: Solar Astronomy. 3 hours (3, lecture; several evening observations required), 3 credits. (Open only to students who entered Lehman prior to September 1984.) The sun and its planets, satellites, and comets. Laws of motion and gravitation. Techniques of astronomical observation.

AST 180: General Astronomy I. 3 hours, plus 2 hours additional lab/observation, 3 credits. (Closed to students who have taken either AST 116 or 136.) Solar and stellar astronomy. PREREQ.: One year of physics.

AST 181: General Astronomy II. 3 hours, plus 2 hours additional lab/observation, 3 credits. (Closed to students who have taken either AST 116 or 136.) Astrophysics, relativity, and modern cosmology. PREREQ.: AST 180.

*AST (PHY) 306: Astrophysics. 3 hours, 3 credits. PREREQ.: Either AST 116 or 136; either PHY 167 or 169; PHY 300 recommended but not required. 


Graduate Courses | Department Faculty | Department's Home Page
Physics and Astronomy




















































GRADUATE COURSES

Undergraduate Programs | Department Faculty | Department's Home Page
Physics and Astronomy


Graduate Program in Physics
Graduate programs in physics for all units of The City University of New York are located at the Graduate Center. Full information can be found at:

www.gc.cuny.edu/ACADEMICPROGRAMS/DISCIPLINES/physics.htm

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers courses designed to meet the needs of students in the programs for secondary school teachers of natural science.


COURSES IN PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

PHY 601: Advanced General Physics. 45 hrs., 3 crs. (Intended primarily for graduate students in the teaching of mathematics.) A mature synthesis of basic concepts in classical and modern physics. PREREQ.: One year of college physics.

PHY 602: Modern Physics. 5 hours (3 lecture, 2 lab), 4 credits. (Intended primarily for high school science and mathematics teachers, but open to other qualified graduate students.) Study of various aspects of the physics of the twentieth (and twenty-first) century. Emphasis will be on the theory of relativity and on quantum physics including applications to technology. Relevant laboratory exercises will be performed. PREREQ.: Two semesters of general physics and one semester of calculus.

* PHY 603: Selected Topics in Physics for Biology Students. 45 hrs., 3 crs. (Intended primarily for graduate students in the teaching of biology and general science.) Particular emphasis will be placed on the discussion and demonstration of those basic phenomena and laws especially useful to teachers of biology and general science. PRE-REQ.: One year of college physics.

AST 601: Foundations of Astronomy. 75 hrs., 4 crs. (Designed especially for high school science teachers, but open to other qualified graduate students.) The solar system: laws of motion, planets, asteroids, and comets. Stellar evolution: star formation, pulsars, quasars, and black holes. Basic observational techniques. PREREQ.: One semester of college physics.


Undergraduate Programs | Department Faculty | Department's Home Page
Physics and Astronomy















































DEPARTMENT FACULTY

Undergraduate Programs | Graduate Courses | Department's Home Page
Physics and Astronomy


Distinguished Professor:   Eugene Chudnovsky
Professors:   John R. Gillespie (Chair)
Christopher C. Gerry (Acting Dean of Natural and Social Sciences)
Associate Professor:   Dimitra Karabali
Senior Laboratory Technician:   Elpidio Jimenez