Physics

M.S., Ph.D.

401.874.2633

Faculty: Associate Professor Andreev, chair. Professors Heskett, Kahn, Kaufman, Malik, Meyerovich, Muller, Nightingale, and Steyerl; Associate Professors Andreev and Reshetnyak; Adjunct Professor McCorkle; Adjunct Associate Professors Bozyan, Karbach, and Ruffa; Professors Emeriti Desjardins, Hartt, Letcher, Nunes, and Pickart.

Specializations

Astronomy: low-frequency radio sources and optical counterparts.

Biological physics: membrane biophysics, molecular motors, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy.

Computational physics: classical and quantum Monte Carlo methods, large-scale parallel computations, optimization, many-body interactions and invariants, finite-size scaling, recursion method.

Experimental condensed matter physics: electronic and structural properties of surfaces and thin films studied via low-energy electron diffraction, Auger electron spectroscopy, X-ray standing wave and photoemission techniques (in-house and at the Brookhaven National Laboratory synchrotron facility); surfaces and interfaces in thin films and multilayers studied via X-ray and neutron reflection and diffraction (in-house and at the National Institute of Standards and Technology reactor facility); epitaxial growth, magnetism in nanoparticles and on surfaces via neutron and X-ray scattering; characterization of electromigration by electrical and optical techniques, Rutherford backscattering, and scanning tunneling microscopy.

Experimental neutron physics: ultracold neutrons used to study beta-decay, neutron optics (at the Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble).

Medical physics and nanotechnology: drug delivery, whole-body fluorescence imaging, cancer nanotechnology.

Nonlinear dynamics and chaos: turbulence, Hamiltonian chaos, integrability in quantum mechanics.

Theoretical condensed matter physics: surface physics, phase transitions and critical phenomena, critical dynamics, superconductivity, quantum transport, nano-scale films and clusters, disordered systems, low-dimensional systems, spin dynamics, Bethe ansatz.

Theoretical low-temperature physics: Fermi and Bose quantum liquids, solids and gases; spin-polarized quantum systems.

Master of Science

Admission requirements: GRE and advanced test recommended; bachelor’s degree with major in physics preferred.

Program requirements: PHY 510, 520, 525, 530, 560, 570, and 580 are required of all students. For both the thesis and the nonthesis options, the student will complete 30 credits, of which no more than six may be below the 500 level. For the nonthesis option, at least one course will require a substantial paper involving significant independent study, and the student must pass a final written and oral examination.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission requirements: GRE and advanced test recommended; bachelor’s degree with major in physics preferred. Master’s degree is not required.

Program requirements: PHY 510, 520, 525, 530, 570, 580, 610, 625 (or 626), 630, 670, and 680. There is no formal departmental language requirement, although the candidate’s committee may require demonstration of language proficiency. Successful completion of a qualifying examination is required of all students. This examination is normally expected to be taken in the summer preceding the second year of studies.

Five-Year Program in Medical Physics

The Physics Departments also offers a five-year program of studies leading to a B.S. in physics and a M.S. in medical physics. The M.S. degree part of the program requires that the student take PHY 540, 545, 550, 552, 555, 560, 565, 691, 610; SOC 224; ELE 562 + lab, ELE 564 + lab. The rest of the courses are those indicated on the schedule in the undergraduate section of this catalog (see “Medical Physics” under Physics in Arts and Sciences).