Professors: G. Lacueva (Chair), A. R. Day; Associate Professors: J. S. Dyck, N. K. Piracha; Assistant Professor: P. Tian

The Physics Department plays a central role in the University’s mission of educating students to live in an increasingly technological, highly complex society. The department provides a range of physics/engineering programs for its majors, support courses for other science majors, and courses which fulfill the science requirements of the University Core Curriculum for non-science majors. The department has modern, well-equipped undergraduate laboratories, and many of the courses have a laboratory component that emphasizes the central role of experiments in science.

Research plays an essential role in the education of students majoring in physics. Students have the opportunity of working under the guidance of a faculty member on campus, and the department encourages all students to spend at least one summer participating in a research program at a major research university or national laboratory.

Four major programs are offered. Three lead to a Bachelor of Science degree in physics, and one leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. The Bachelor of Science programs are physics, engineering physics, and interdisciplinary physics. The physics major is an excellent preparation for a diverse range of careers. Many graduates have gone directly into the workforce in physics, engineering, business, and teaching. Others have continued their academic careers with graduate study in a variety of fields, including physics, engineering, computer science, law, and medicine.

B.S. Physics Major

The major adds to the physics core a selection of upper-division courses such as thermal physics, optics, condensed matter physics, or other engineering electives. This program provides a solid preparation for graduate study in physics, materials science, or medical physics.

B.S. Engineering Physics Major

This major adds to the physics core a selection of engineering physics courses. Typically, this program leads to employment in the fields of engineering development or applied physics, or to graduate study in related fields.

Major and Minor Requirements


B.S. in Physics Major.
53-55 credit hours. The physics core (see below) plus 14 credit hours of upper-division technical electives approved by the Physics Department (normally PH, EP, MT, or CS courses). The 14 hours of electives must include at least 6 hours of PH lecture credit and 2 hours of PH or EP lab credit.

Required Mathematics Support Courses. 12 hours: MT 135, 136, 233.

Required Chemistry Support Courses. 5 hours: CH 141 or 151H; 143 or 153.

B.S. in Engineering Physics Major. 53-55 credit hours: The physics core (see below) plus 14 credit hours of upper-division technical electives approved by the Physics Department (normally PH, EP, MT, or CS courses). The 14 hours of electives must include at least 6 hours of EP lecture credit and 2 hours of EP lab credit.

Required Mathematics Support Courses. 12 hours: MT 135, 136, 233.

Required Chemistry Support Courses. 5 hours: CH 141 or 151H; 143 or 153.

B.S. in Interdisciplinary Physics Major. 57-65 credit hours. The physics core (see below) plus interdisciplinary support courses from BL, CH, MT, CS, PS, or the Boler School of Business:

Either

An additional 24 credit hours of lower-division courses which must include 4 credit hours of laboratory courses.

Or

An additional 18 credit hours, at least 9 of which must be upper-division courses.

Required Mathematics Support Courses. 12 hours: MT 135, 136, 233.

Required Chemistry Support Courses. 5 hours: CH 141 or 151H; 143 or 153.

Note: For all B.S. programs, up to 6 hours of electives may be satisfied by courses in science or engineering offered at other colleges and universities participating in the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education Cross Registration Program (subject to approval by the Physics Department).

B.A. in Physics Major. 39-41 credit hours: The physics core (see below).

Required Mathematics Support Courses. 12 hours: MT 135, 136, 233.

Required Chemistry Support Courses. 5 hours: CH 141 or 151H; 143 or 153.

The Physics Core. 39-41 credit hours: PH 135, 135L, 136, 136L, 246, 247, 315, 315L, 347, 348, 365, 365L, 407 or 408, 445, 445L; EP 217, 260, 260L, 451, 451L.

Minors in Physics and Engineering Physics. 24 credit hours: PH 135, 135L, 136, 136L, 246; EP 217; and at least 8 hours of upper-division EP or PH electives.

Required Mathematics Support Courses. 12 hours: MT 135, 136, 233.

B.S. Interdisciplinary Physics Major

This major adds to the physics core a selection of courses from the departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics and Computer Science, or from the Boler School of Business. This is the best choice for students who are interested in medical school. It is also the best choice for students interested in the five-year M.B.A. program of the Boler School of Business. In addition, this program can be arranged to prepare for environmental science, technical sales, or patent law.

B.A. Physics Major

This major is the physics core with no additional courses. It is the most flexible of all the physics majors and fits well with an environmental studies concentration, preparation for law, or business school.

Engineering Programs

Students interested in engineering have the following options:

  1. Participate in the binary (3-2) program with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Students attend John Carroll University for three years and then transfer to CWRU for two years; they receive both a B.S. from John Carroll University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from CWRU. The program is open to any student who completes the prerequisite courses (in calculus, physics, chemistry, and computer science) and maintains an overall 3.0 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in science and mathematics courses.
  2. Participate in the 2-2 program with University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). Students complete a two-year pre-engineering program at John Carroll University and then transfer to UDM for two years of engineering. They receive a Bachelor of Engineering degree from UDM.
  3. Complete a B.S. in Engineering Physics at John Carroll University and then pursue graduate work in engineering. Students who choose this option may start taking engineering courses while at John Carroll University by taking advantage of the Northeast Ohio Commission on Higher Education Cross-Registration Program.

For further details concerning engineering programs, see the section of this Bulletin entitled “Preparation for Graduate and Professional Study.”

Teaching Licensure

Students interested in majoring in physics in preparation for teaching physics at the secondary level should consult both the Department of Physics and the Department of Education and Allied Studies at the earliest opportunity. The B.A. in physics provides a comprehensive background in physics while allowing some flexibility for completing the licensure requirements of the State of Ohio.

PHYSICS (PH)

101. EARTH SCIENCE I 3 cr. Corequisite: PH 101L. Primarily for students who are not majoring in the physical sciences. Physical and historical geology. Rocks and minerals, weathering the hydrologic cycle, glaciers, earthquakes, plate tectonics, igneous activity, geologic time, earth history, and oceanography.

101L. EARTH SCIENCE LABORATORY I 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 101. Application of basic concepts of earth science presented in PH 101 to collecting facts, examining information, and drawing conclusions in a scientific manner.

102. EARTH SCIENCE II 3 cr. Corequisite: PH 102L. Primarily for students not majoring in the physical sciences. Structure and composition of the atmosphere, moisture, pressure and winds, weather and climate, human impact.

102L. EARTH SCIENCE LABORATORY II 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 102. Application of basic concepts of earth science presented in PH 102 to collecting facts, examining information, and drawing conclusions in a scientific manner.

107. INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS BY EXPERIMENT I 4 cr. Corequisite: PH 107L. For students who are not majoring in the physical sciences, especially students majoring in education. An inquiry-based introduction to fundamental concepts of physics. Meets for 5 hours per week in a laboratory setting.

107L. INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS BY EXPERIMENT LABORATORY I 0 cr. Corequisite: PH 107. This laboratory is an integral part of PH 107.

113. INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY 3 cr. Corequisite: PH 113L. For students who are not majoring in the physical sciences. Historical development of the understanding of the universe; tools and techniques. The sun as a star; stellar origin and evolution; galaxies and the universe; the solar system as known through space exploration. Slides, films, and observing with telescopes.

113L. INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 113. Experiments designed to develop an appreciation of the scientific method and the methodology used to acquire data. Software developed in the CLEA Project provides experiments involving the measurement of properties of stars and the study of planetary motion.

115. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCE 3 cr. Corequisite: PH 115L. Interdisciplinary approach to the study of our planet, from its origins to current challenges. Formation of the earth, matter and minerals, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, water and air movement, climate change.

115L. ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCE LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 115. Experiments and field trips designed to complement PH 115. Two hours of laboratory per week.

125. GENERAL PHYSICS I 3 cr. Corequisite: PH 125L. Suitable for biology, premedical, and predental majors. Topics from the areas of mechanics, vibration and sound, wave motion, solids and fluids, and thermodynamics. High school physics or a conceptual physics course such as PH 107 is strongly recommended as a prerequisite. Students who have not had high school physics should consult with the department chair prior to registering.

125L. GENERAL PHYSICS LABORATORY I 1 cr. each. Prerequisite or corequisite: PH 125. Experiments designed to complement PH 125. Two hours of laboratory per week.

126. GENERAL PHYSICS II 3 cr. Prerequisite: PH 125; corequisite: 126L. Suitable for biology, premedical, and predental majors. Topics from the areas of optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics.

126L. GENERAL PHYSICS LABORATORY II 1 cr. each. Prerequisite or corequisite: PH 126. Experiments designed to complement PH 126. Two hours of laboratory per week.

135-136. PHYSICS I, II 4 cr. each. Prerequisites or corequisites: MT 135, 136; PH 135L-136L. For science, mathematics, and pre-engineering majors. 135: mechanics and thermal physics; 136: electricity, magnetism, vibrations, and waves. Emphasis on the foundations of physics and applications to the physical sciences and engineering. High school physics or a conceptual physics course such as PH 107 is strongly recommended as a prerequisite. Students who have not had high school physics should consult with the department chair prior to registering.

135L-136L. PHYSICS WORKSHOPS I, II 1 cr. each. Corequisites: PH 135-136. Experiments and simulations designed to aid assimilation of selected topics treated in PH 135-136. Two hours of laboratory per week.

197. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS 1-3 cr. Corequisite: PH 197L. For non-science majors. Topics are published in the schedule of classes for the applicable term.

197L. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: appropriate section of PH 197. Experiments designed to complement the material covered in PH 197. For non-science majors.

206. EARTH SYSTEMS SCIENCE 3 cr. Prerequisite: PH 115. A study of earth’s systems, including soil, water, and the energy flow between them. Focus on biogeochemical cycles and how they relate to resource use and management. Two Saturday field trips will be required.

246. MODERN PHYSICS 3 cr. Prerequisite: PH 136. Basic physical theories governing elementary particles, nuclei, atoms, molecules, and their interactions; relativity, quantum theory.

247. MODERN PHYSICS LABORATORY 1 cr. Prerequisite: PH 246. Experiments from modern physics. Measuring fundamental constants. Error propagation and analysis. Two hours of laboratory per week.

315. CLASSICAL MECHANICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: PH 136, EP 217; corequisite: PH 315L. Kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, oscillatory motion, central-force motion, rotating reference frames, and dynamics of rigid bodies. Mathematical concepts that arise in mechanics, including vector analysis.

315L. CLASSICAL MECHANICS WORKSHOP 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 315. Two hours of workshop per week supporting PH 315. Includes mathematical, computer, and experimental exercises.

325. THERMAL PHYSICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: PH 136, EP 217. Laws of thermodynamics, entropy, phase transitions, classical and quantum statistical mechanics. Application to ideal and non-ideal systems.

347. ADVANCED LABORATORY 2 cr. Prerequisite: PH 247. Four hours of laboratory per week. Students will perform a range of experiments in contemporary physics. The main focus will be on advanced laboratory techniques using research-grade equipment and on data analysis and presentation.

348. PHYSICS SEMINAR 0 cr. All physics majors are required to complete two semesters of PH 348. Students must attend the monthly physics colloquium, where speakers from a variety of physics and engineering fields present their research. Graded SA/FA.

365. ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM 3 cr. Prerequisites: PH 136, EP 217; corequisite: PH 365L. Classical theory of electricity and magnetism. Electrostatics, dielectrics, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s equations, and radiation. Mathematical concepts that arise in E & M, including boundary value problems.

365L. ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM WORKSHOP 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 365. Two hours of workshop per week supporting PH 365. Includes mathematical, computer, and experimental exercises.

395. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: junior standing and acceptance of the study topic by a member of the Physics Department who agrees to monitor the study.

396. INDEPENDENT LABORATORY STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: junior standing and acceptance of the study topic by a member of the Physics Department who agrees to monitor the study.

397. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: junior standing. Topics may be published in the schedule of classes for the applicable term.

407, 408. SENIOR RESEARCH OR DESIGN PROJECT 2 cr. each. Prerequisite: senior standing. Four hours of laboratory per week. Participation in an independent research or design project under the supervision of a faculty member.

445. QUANTUM PHYSICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: PH 246, EP 217; corequisite: PH 445L. Origin of quantum theory, Schrödinger’s wave mechanics, one-dimensional systems, operators, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, harmonic oscillator, angular momentum, the hydrogen atom. Perturbation theory and application to atoms and molecules. Mathematical concepts that arise in quantum mechanics, including operators, eigenvectors and eigenvalues, and boundary value problems.

445L. QUANTUM PHYSICS WORKSHOP 1 cr. Corequisite: PH 445. Two hours of workshop per week supporting PH 445. Includes mathematical, computer, and experimental exercises.

485. CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: PH 246, EP 217. Atomic structure of crystals, electronic structure of metals, insulators, and semiconductors; electron transport; optical properties.

495. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: senior standing and acceptance of the study topic by a member of the department who agrees to monitor the study.

496. INDEPENDENT LABORATORY STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: senior standing, permission of the department chair, and acceptance of the study topic by a member of the department who agrees to monitor the project.

497. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: senior standing. Topics may be published in the schedule of classes for the applicable term.

ENGINEERING PHYSICS (EP)

217. MATHEMATICAL METHODS OF PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING 3 cr. Prerequisite: MT 136. Complex numbers, complex exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Introduction to MATLAB® First and second-order differential equations, including use of Laplace transformation; Fourier series; matrices and determinants; systems of linear equations.

260. ELECTRONICS 3 cr. Prerequisites: PH 136, MT 136; corequisite: EP 260L. Topics include DC/AC circuits and their analysis and basic semiconductor devices and their application.

260L. ELECTRONICS LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 260. Two hours of laboratory per week. Familiarization with oscilloscopes and other test instruments. D.C. and A.C. circuit measurements. Experiments with diode and transistor circuits.

451. NUMERICAL PHYSICS 3 cr. Prerequisite: EP 217; corequisite: EP 451L. Computational methods for physics and engineering using MATLAB®. Topics include curve fitting, solution of systems of equations, solution of ordinary and partial differential equations.

451L. NUMERICAL PHYSICS WORKSHOP 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 451. Two hours of workshop per week supporting PH 451. Includes mathematical and computer exercises.

454. INTRODUCTORY APPLIED OPTICS 3 cr. Prerequisite: EP 217; corequisite: EP 454L. Geometric and physical optics, lasers, fiber optics, and optical instruments.

454L. INTRODUCTORY APPLIED OPTICS LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 454. Two hours of laboratory per week. Experiments in optics including lenses and mirrors, polarization, diffraction, and lasers.

467. SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EP 217; EP 260; corequisite: EP 467L. Methods of dealing with discrete-time and continuous-time signals in linear systems, in both the time domain and the frequency domain. Fourier analysis applied to engineering problems.

467L. SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 467. Experiments complementing EP 467. Practical experience with discrete-time and continuous- time signals. Simulation of discrete-time and continuous-time systems using MATLAB®. Two hours of laboratory per week.

475. ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EP 217; EP 260; corequisite: EP 475L. Analysis and design of circuits using discrete or special electronic devices. Transistors, FETs, and thyristors; power supply circuits; optoelectronic devices.

475L. ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 475. Experiments complementing EP 475. Practical experience in designing, breadboarding, testing circuits using discrete solid-state devices. Two hours of laboratory per week.

478. DIGITAL DESIGN 3 cr. Prerequisite: MT 136; corequisite: EP 478L. Boolean algebra, combinational and sequential logic design, arithmetic and logic circuits. Hardware description languages and design using complex programmable logic devices. Offered every other year.

478L. DIGITAL DESIGN LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 478. Two hours of laboratory per week. Practical experience in designing, implementing, and testing fairly complex digital circuits using Xilinx® software and prototyping circuit boards.

479. FEEDBACK SYSTEMS 3 cr. Prerequisites: EP 217, EP 260; corequisite: EP 479L. Discussion of feedback systems and design and analysis of circuits using integrated circuit operational amplifiers and other analog circuits. Characteristics of operational amplifiers and their limitations. Frequency and transient response using Laplace techniques, pole-zero diagrams, and Bode plots; active filters.

479L. FEEDBACK SYSTEMS LABORATORY 1 cr. Corequisite: EP 479. Experiments complementing EP 479. Practical experience in designing, breadboarding, and testing circuits employing operational amplifiers and other analog circuits. Simulation of such circuits using PSpice® and MATLAB® software. Two hours of laboratory per week.

495. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: senior standing, permission of the department chair, and acceptance of the study topic by a member of the department who agrees to monitor the study.

496. INDEPENDENT LABORATORY STUDY 1-3 cr. Prerequisites: senior standing, permission of the department chair, and acceptance of the study topic by a member of the department who agrees to monitor the project.

497. SPECIAL TOPICS 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: senior standing. Topics may be published in the schedule of classes for the applicable term.