DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
Charles E. Bland, Interim Chairperson, N-209 Howell Science
L. H. Toburen, Director of Graduate Studies, E-110 Howell Science Complex
MS IN PHYSICS
The Department of Physics offers the master of science in physics with concentrations in applied physics and medical physics. The applied physics concentration requires the completion of a thesis whereas the medical physics concentration requires 6 s.h. of clinical study in lieu of thesis. A satisfactory knowledge of an acceptable computer language or of an acceptable foreign language is required. Attendance at a minimum of one-half of the regular Department of Physics seminars given during the student’s residence in the graduate program is required.
PHYS 5400*, 5600, 5601, 5900, 5901, 6816
||Concentration (Choose one area.).||
*Students in the medical physics concentration who have had an undergraduate course in quantum mechanics may substitute the 3 s.h. elective, listed above, for PHYS 5400.
In addition, a student in the medical physics concentration must demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of medical terminology through taking BIOL 2130 (preferred) or HIMA 3000.
PhD IN BIOMEDICAL PHYSICS
The primary objective of the PhD program in biomedical physics is to graduate scientists who can apply the tools and concepts of physics to solve significant biological and medical problems and advance our understanding of fundamental biomedical processes. Core curricula in both applied physics and biomedical areas are designed to provide training for students with diverse backgrounds in physics, applied physics, biochemistry and engineering. All students are required to complete a dissertation project under supervision of a faculty advisor.
The applicant must have a master's degree in physics, applied physics, medical physics, or related fields or must have shown a significant progress towards obtaining a master's degree in the above fields. Acceptable performance on the GRE and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in graduate work are required.
The following documents are required before final admission is approved: completed application form for admission to Graduate School, official transcripts from colleges and universities attended, official or certified copy of score reports of the GRE and TOEFL (if applicable), letters of reference from three persons who can attest to the applicant's academic competence, and an essay describing the applicant's career goals and research interests which are consistent with the educational opportunities offered in the PhD program.
Course and Residence Requirements
The PhD program requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of courses beyond the master’s degree. The student will take a minimum of 6 s.h. of courses from a physics core, a minimum of 6 s.h. of courses from a biomedical core, and a minimum of 18 s.h. of dissertation research courses. Additional courses may be required by the executive committee, depending on the individual student's preparation. Students must demonstrate a working knowledge of at least one high-level computer language, such as FORTRAN or C. Students must pass doctoral candidacy exam and write and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation.
Students must complete at least five consecutive semesters in residence (excluding summers).
Because of the broad interest and collaborative nature of the PhD program, the executive committee will evaluate transfer credits on a case-by-case basis. A maximum of 6 s.h. of transfer credit may be accepted.
If a student enrolls in this program and already has the equivalent of the 12 s.h. beyond the master's degree, he or she may petition the executive committee for a waiver of or substitution for these courses. After a majority of the core courses have been completed, students in this program must pass the doctoral candidacy examination before being admitted to candidacy for the PhD in biomedical physics.
The PhD program should be completed by the end of three years following the student's initial enrollment. With the endorsement of the advisory committee, a student having deficiencies in preparation may request an extension of no more than two years.
5311. Mathematical Physics I (3) Same as MATH 5311 P: MATH 4331; PHYS 2360; or consent of instructor. Mathematical methods important in physics. Emphasis on application. Functions of complex variables, ordinary and partial differential equations, integrals and integral transforms, and special functions.
5400. Quantum Mechanics I (3) P: Intermediate modern physics. Fundamentals of quantum theory as applied to atomic and molecular systems.
5600, 5601. Modern Electronics (3,0) 2 lecture and 2 lab hours per week. P: PHYS 4610. Theory and application of modern electronic devices. Circuit design using linear, nonlinear, and hybrid integrated circuits and their application in a graphical (GUI), computer-based environment for scientific instrument and process control.
5700. Health Physics (3) P: PHYS 2600, 4417; or consent of instructor. Broad spectrum of topics in radiation protection. Emphasis on interactions of radiation with matter, methods of radiation detection, dosimetry, principles of shielding, and regulations pertaining to work with radiation.
5715. Biomedical Physics (3) P: BIOL 1050; CHEM 1160; PHYS 2360; or consent of instructor. Applications of physics principles in biology and medicine. Topics include statistical analysis, biomechanics, structure of cells and membranes, transport in medium and through membranes, interaction of photons and charged particles with biological systems.
5900, 5901. Computational Physics (3,0) 1 lecture and 4 lab hours per week. P: MATH 4331; PHYS 2360 or 5311. Application of modern computer program with symbolic, numerical, and graphical capabilities to problems in physics.
6100. Mathematics Physics II (3) P: MATH 5311 or PHYS 5311 or consent of instructor. Math methods important in physics. Emphasis on application, including conformal mapping, eigenfunctions, eigenvalues, and Green’s functions, integral equations, calculus of variations, numerical methods, probability and statistics, and group therapy.
6200. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (3) P: Intermediate thermodynamics. Classical thermodynamics with applications and introduction to statistical thermodynamics. Topics include heat engines, thermodynamic potentials, Maxwell relations, phase changes, ideal gases, kinetic theory of gases, and quantum statistics.
6250. Classical Mechanics (3) P: Intermediate mechanics. Theoretical classical mechanics including Lagrange's equations, central force motion, rigid body motion, special relativity, and oscillations.
6300. Electrodynamics I (3) P: Intermediate electromagnetic theory. Boundary value problems in electrostatics. Emphasis on use of Green’s functions and special functions, multipoles and dielectrics, magnetostatics Maxwell’s equations, and plane EM waves, wave guides and resonant cavities.
6310. Electrodynamics II (3) P: PHYS 6300. Advanced electromagnetic theory, including dynamics or relativistic particles, collisions between charged particles, and scattering and absorption of radiation.
6400. Quantum Mechanics II (3) P: PHYS 5400. Relativistic quantum theory and theories of second quantization and angular momentum with applications to structure of light nuclei.
6450. Solid State Physics (3) P: PHYS 5400 or consent of instructor. Coherent picture for understanding complex properties of solids. Topics include periodic structure of crystal lattice, phonons, electronic properties in framework of energy band theory, basic concepts of quasiparticles and their interactions in solid materials.
6526, 6527, 6528. Readings in Physics I, II, III (1,2,3) Equivalent of 1 classroom hour per week, per credit hour. P: Consent of dept chair. Intensive readings or problem research in some physics-related field under supervision of faculty.
6620, 6621. Advanced Techniques in Experimental Physics (2,1) 2 classroom and 3 lab hours per week. P: Graduate standing in PHYS or CHEM. Experimental techniques in radio frequency spectroscopy (NMR, ESR, and NEQR), microwave applications, and accelerator-based atomic physics (trace element analysis using x-rays), which includes theory of phenomena and operation of lab instruments.
6710. Nuclear Medicine Physics (3) P: PHYS 4417 or consent of director of medical physics. Comprehensive overview of physical aspects of diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radionuclides, radiation beams and measurements, imaging systems, and related equipment with lab activities in facility design, instrumentation essentials, quality assurance, and survey techniques.
6718. Therapeutic Radiological Physics (3) Same as RONC 6718 P: Consent of director of medical physics. Production, application, and measurement of electromagnetic radiation and high energy particle beams in therapeutic practice. Emphasis on conceptual, instrumental, and methodological aspects of therapeutic radiology.
6720. Physics of Medical Imaging (3) P: PHYS 6710 or consent of director of medical physics program. Physical principles of diagnostic radiology. Analog and digital x-ray radiography (including mammography), fluoroscopy, and computed tomography. Principles and applications of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, diagnostic calibration, radionuclide sources, counters, scanners, cameras, dosimetry, recording media, film densitometry, non-film media, and image evaluation.
6810. Topics in Atomic Collisions (3) P: Consent of instructor. Review of processes in atomic collisions and their quantitative understanding, Introduction to theories required to describe experimentally-observed behavior in electron-atom, ion-atom, and/or molecule collisions, and methods of observations. Emphasis on general topics of interest as found in current literature and particular areas of research at ECU Accelerator Laboratory.
6816, 6817. Seminar (1,1) Equivalent of 1 lecture hour per week. Areas of research in progress in physics department.
6900. Introduction to Research (3) Literature and lab research on individual problems in major field.
6910. Research Problems in Biomedical Physics (3) May be repeated. P: Consent of instructor and dept chair. Research on specialized topic or topics related to biomedical application of physics under supervision of faculty member.
6992. Radiation Therapy Physics (3) Same as RONC 6992 P: PHYS 6718 or RONC 6718. Radiation dose calculation and measurement of high energy photon and electron beams, high and low dose rate brachytherapy sources in clinical radiation therapy, cavity theory in ion chamber calibrations of photon and electron beams. Quality assurance, acceptance testing, and commissioning of equipment for clinical radiation therapy (linear accelerators, HDR, TLD, simulator, CT scanner).
6993. Clinical and Medical Dosimetry (3) Same as RONC 6993 P: PHYS 6992 or RONC 6992. Practical patient dosimetry problems in radiation oncology. Irregular field calculations, two-and three-dimensional treatment planning, isodose distribution, high and low dose rate brachytherapy planning for intracavitary, and interstitial radioactive sources.
7000. Thesis (3) May be repeated. May count maximum of 6 s.h.
9000. Dissertation (3) May be repeated. May count maximum of 18 s.h.
PHYS Banked Courses
5060. The Conceptual Development of Physics (3)
5321. Applied Mathematics I (3)
5350. Modern Optics (3)
5610. Applied Electromagnetism (3)
5630. Gaseous Conductors (3)
5640, 5641. Solar Energy (3,0)
5710, 5711. Topics in Health Physics I (3,0)
5720, 5721. Topics in Health Physics II (3,0)
5800. Biophysics (2)
6322. Applied Mathematics II (3)
6991. Clinical Rotation in Diagnostic Physics (3)