Department of Physics
The Department of Physics offers programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. Students may major in physics or in physics with secondary education teacher certification.
The Department of Physics also offers a dual degree program which allows students to receive both a bachelor’s degree in physics from NGCSU and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Georgia Tech, Clemson University or Mercer University.
Students seeking a bachelor of engineering degree may begin their college studies at NGCSU through the Regents Engineering Transfer Program (RETP) or may take a pre-engineering curriculum. Upon successful completion of the pre-engineering curriculum, RETP students transfer to the Georgia Institute of Technology to complete the degree requirements. Non-RETP pre-engineering students take the pre-engineering curriculum and then apply for transfer to the engineering school of their choice. For details see the Engineering Programs section of this Undergraduate Bulletin.
The department provides students with the opportunity to minor in physics.
MAJOR IN PHYSICS
Core Curriculum Requirements - 60 hours
All baccalaureate degree programs at NGCSU have as a requirement the satisfactory completion of at least 60 semester credit hours comprising the six areas of the core curriculum. A complete description of Areas A-E of the core curriculum can be found on page 86. Individual degree programs may specify exceptions and/or particular courses which must be taken within each Area A-E of the core curriculum. Those exceptions and/or course requirements, and Area F of the core curriculum are shown below.
Area A MATH 1113 or MATH 2450
Area B no exceptions
Area C no exceptions
Area D MATH 2450 or MATH 2460. Physics majors may not count PHYS 2211, 2211L, 2212, 2212L in Area D.
Area E no exceptions
Area F. Courses Related to Program of Study
For students starting with MATH 1113 in Area A:
PHYS 2211, 2211L, 2212, 2212L - 8 hours
MATH 2460, 2470 (2450 taken in Area D) - 8 hours
CSCI 1301 - 3 hours
For students starting with MATH 2450 in Area A:
PHYS 2211, 2211L, 2212, 2212L - 8 hours
MATH 2470 (2450 taken in Area A; 2460 in Area D) - 4 hours
2 hour carryover from Areas A and D - 2 hours
CSCI 1301 - 3 hours
1 elective hour - 1 hour
COURSES REQUIRED FOR THE MAJOR
PHYS 3310, 3310L, 3111, 3411, 3610, 3710 or 3720, 4350, 4011L, 4012L, 4990 - 22 hours
CHEM 1211,1211L,1212, 1212L - 8 hours
(may be taken to fulfill part of Area D)
MATH 3000 - 3 hours
Additional 9 hours of upper-level physics or astronomy or engineering courses
Additional 9 hours technical electives (computer science, math, chemistry, engineering, or upper-level geography)
Foreign language (1002 or higher) - 3 hours
Basic Physical Education Requirement - 3 hours
(This is outside the 120 hour graduation requirement.)
Electives to bring the total number of credit hours to 120 (exclusive of the Physical Education Wellness requirement)
OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Senior Assessment — Non-dual-degree physics majors must take a national, standardized physics achievement test before graduation, usually in their last semester.
Regents' Skills Test or exemption (see page 79-80)
U.S. and Georgia Constitution & History Requirement
DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM IN PHYSICS/ENGINEERING
North Georgia College & State University offers a dual degree program which allows students to receive a bachelor’s degree in physics from NGCSU and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Clemson University in South Carolina, or Mercer University in Macon. The dual degree program gives students the opportunity to develop a strong liberal arts background before completing academic coursework in engineering at another institution. Typically, dual degree students attend NGCSU for three years then attend Georgia Tech, Clemson, or Mercer for an additional two to three years.
DUAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
1. Complete credit hours at North Georgia College & State University as outlined in the requirements listed on the following page (exclusive of basic physical education and military courses).
2. Receive a recommendation from NGCSU’s dual degree coordinator.
3. Earn a college grade point average which indicates the student could satisfactorily complete degree requirements at Georgia Tech, Clemson University, or Mercer University.
4. Complete a study program for the standard curriculum of the engineering degree being sought.
5. If the official study program at Georgia Tech, Clemson, or Mercer includes electives and the candidate has excessive hours at NGCSU, he/she may petition that these excess hours be used as transfer credits. Transfer credits shall not amount to more than one half of the official study program.
DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM IN PHYSICS/ENGINEERING
Core Curriculum Requirements - 60 hours
All baccalaureate degree programs at NGCSU have as a requirement the satisfactory completion of at least 60 semester credit hours comprising the six areas of the core curriculum. A complete description of Areas A-E of the core curriculum can be found on page 86. Individual degree programs may specify exceptions and/or particular courses which must be taken within each Area A-E of the core curriculum. Those exceptions and/or course requirements, and Area F of the core curriculum are shown below.
Area A MATH 1113 or MATH 2450
Area B no exceptions
Area C no exceptions
Area D MATH 2450 or MATH 2460. Physics dual degree majors may not count PHYS 2211, 2211L, 2212, 2212L in area D.
Area E no exceptions
Area F. Courses Related to Program of Study
For students starting with MATH 1113 in Area A:
PHYS 2211, 2211L, 2212, 2212L - 8 hours
MATH 2460, 2470 (2450 taken in Area D) - 8 hours
CSCI 1301 - 3 hours
For students starting with MATH 2450 in Area A:
PHYS 2211, 2211L, 2211, 2211L - 8 hours
MATH 2470 (2450 taken in Area A; 2460 in Area D - 4 hours
2 hour carryover from Areas A and D - 2 hours
CSCI 1301 - 3 hours
1 elective hour - 1 hour
COURSES REQUIRED FOR THE MAJOR
PHYS 3310, 3310L, 3111, 3411, 3610 1 - 3 hours
CHEM 1211, 1211L, 1212, 1212L (may be part of Area D) - 8 hours
MATH 3000 - 3 hours
Electives to bring the total number of NGCSU hours to 90
Recommended Courses
Before transferring to the engineering school, it is recommended that dual-degree students take introductory engineering courses offered at NGCSU, such as Introduction to Mechanics, Dynamics, Visual Communications and Engineering Design if their engineering field is aerospace, civil or mechanical.
MINOR IN PHYSICS
A minor in physics requires 8 hours of introductory physics, PHYS 3310 and 3310L, and a minimum of 6 more hours of 3000-4000-level physics or astronomy courses.
COURSES IN PHYSICS
PHYS 1111 Introductory Physics I 3 hours
Prerequisite: Math 1113 or permission of instructor. The introductory physics sequence (PHYS 1111 and PHYS 1112) is a survey of the primary fields of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and modern physics. Elementary algebra and trigonometry will be used in the course. The first course of the sequence will focus on the field of classical mechanics and its applications.
PHYS 1111L Introductory Physics Laboratory I 1 hour
Corequisite: PHYS 1111. The laboratory work is designed to clarify physical concepts and to develop skills in making precise measurements and in the manipulation of apparatus. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 1112 Introductory Physics II 3 hours
Prerequisite: Physics 1111. The introductory physics sequence (PHYS 1111 and PHYS 1112) is a survey of the primary fields of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and modern physics. Elementary algebra and trigonometry will be used in the course. The second course of the sequence will focus on the field of electromagnetism and its applications.
PHYS 1112L Introductory Physics Laboratory II 1 hour
Corequisite: PHYS 1112; prerequisite: PHYS 1111L. Laboratory to accompany PHYS 1112. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 2211 Principles of Physics I 3 hours
Prerequisite or corequisite MATH 2450. The Principles of Physics sequence (PHYS 2211 and PHYS 2212) is a survey of the primary fields of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and modern physics. Elementary calculus will be used in the course. The first course of the sequence will focus on the field of classical mechanics and its applications.
PHYS 2211L Principles of Physics Laboratory I 1 hour
Corequisite: PHYS 2211. Laboratory to accompany PHYS 2211. The laboratory work is designed to clarify physical concepts and to develop skills in making precise measurements and in the manipulation of apparatus. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 2212 Principles of Physics II 3 hours
Prerequisite: Physics 2211. The Principles of Physics sequence (PHYS 2211 and PHYS 2212) is a survey of the primary fields of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, thermodynamics, and modern physics. Elementary calculus will be used in the course. The second course of the sequence will focus on the field of electromagnetism and its applications.
PHYS 2212L Principles of Physics Laboratory II 1 hour
Corequisite: PHYS 2212; prerequisite: PHYS 2011L. Laboratory to accompany PHYS 2212. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 3000 Science for Elementary School Teachers 3 hours
Corequisite: MATH 3100 (Math for Teachers). This course is for teachers of grades P-8. It deals with the everyday aspects of physics, chemistry, and astronomy as they might need to be explained by the elementary teacher. The work will include demonstrations and suitable experiments that can be performed with materials available in the average elementary school and home situation.
PHYS 3310 Modern Physics 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2212. Relativity, early 20th century physics, quantum mechanics, atomic, statistical, condensed matter, nuclear and particle physics, and astrophysics. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 3310L Modern Physics Laboratory 1 hour
Corequisite: PHYS 3310. Laboratory to accompany PHYS 3310. A selection of modern physics experiments to complement the topics in PHYS 3310. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 3111 Mechanics I 3 hours
Prerequisite: Physics 2211. May be taken concurrently with MATH 3000. Topics include kinematics, using vector analysis, dynamics of particles, rotational and planetary motion, the linear harmonic oscillator, studies of energy, momentum and impact, approximation, and perturbation methods. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 3210 Computational Techniques in Physics 3 hours
Prerequisites: MATH 2450 and PHYS 2211. Study of computational techniques applicable to physics. The techniques examined are applied to the solution of problems from various areas of physics. Handouts and software user manuals are provided. Program help files and web references are also used. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 3411 Electricity and Magnetism I 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2212. Topics include Coulomb and Gauss laws, electric and magnetic fields, energy, potentials, Laplace and Poisson equations, electromagnetic induction and Maxwell’s equations. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 3450 Optics 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2212. A study of the principles of geometric optics (ray tracing, the properties of lenses and reflectors) and physical optics (coherence, interference, diffraction, polarization, and the wave equation). Three class periods per week.
PHYS 3610 Thermal Physics 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2212. A unified approach to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics with applications. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 3710 Introduction to Electronics 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 1112 or 2212. A study of the elementary principles of electronics. The laboratory work consists of the study of analog electronic circuits and the use of testing equipment. Two lecture-recitations and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 3720 Digital Electronics 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 1112 or 2212 or permission of instructor. An introduction to digital electronics. Topics include number systems, Boolean algebra, logic circuits and gates, combinational logic devices such as flip-flops, registers and memory elements and the design and implementation in microprocessors and digital systems. Two lecture-recitations and one 3-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 3730 Computer Interfacing 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3720. A course which demonstrates some of the possible applications of microcomputing to scientific data acquisition, display and processing. The students will be provided with hands-on experience with the different types of hardware and interfaces usually found in microcomputer systems. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 4011L, 4012L Advanced Physics Laboratory I & II (W) 1 hour each
Prerequisite: Physics 3310L. Required of all student majoring in physics. Selected experiments from the various branches of physics, clarifying and expanding the work of the classroom and developing good laboratory techniques, including preparation of formal laboratory reports and the evaluation and the interpretation of experimental data. One 3-hour laboratory per week.
PHYS 4112 Mechanics II 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3111. Accelerating and rotating coordinate systems, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, systems of particles and continuum mechanics, dynamics of rigid bodies, non-linear and coupled oscillations. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 4210 Nuclear Physics 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3310. A study of the properties of the nucleus, radioactivity, interaction of radiation with matter, the detection of nuclear radiation, nuclear models, and nuclear reactions. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 4350 Quantum Mechanics 3 hours
Prerequisites: PHYS 3310 and MATH 3000. Historical approach to quantum mechanics. Experimental basis, uncertainty principle, the Schrodinger equation and applications to simple systems, the hydrogen atom, perturbation theory, symmetry principles, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 4412 Electricity and Magnetism II 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 3411. A continuation of Physics 3411 with emphasis on Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves and related topics. Three class periods per week.
PHYS 4910 Introduction to Research Methods 1 hour
Prerequisite: permission of department head. Course designed to prepare the student for employment as a research assistant or engineer upon completion of the B.S. degree. It will also orient the student toward the research work required for an advanced degree. It will consist of literature searches and laboratory work. It may be related to the research of a departmental faculty member. The students will be required to report their work by oral presentations and written reports. Three hours per week for each hour of credit.
PHYS 4920 Introduction to Research Methods 2 hours
PHYS 4930 Introduction to Research Methods 3 hours
PHYS 4940 Directed Study 1 hour
Prerequisite: permission of department head. Directed independent study by advanced students on topics not covered by regular courses. Topics are determined on the basis of faculty interests and availability to direct the study.
PHYS 4950 Directed Study 2 hours
PHYS 4960 Directed Study 3 hours
PHYS 4990 Senior Seminar (O) 1 hour
Prerequisite: Senior standing. A capstone course for all physics majors, taken in the last spring semester before their graduation. Presentation of selected papers by students, faculty members and outside speakers at weekly departmental seminars. Discussion and analysis of experimental and theoretical studies in physics. Each student will make oral presentations to the seminar. One class period per week.
COURSES IN ASTRONOMY
ASTR 1010 Astronomy of the Solar System - 3 hours
Astronomy from early ideas of the cosmos to modern observational techniques. The solar system planets, satellites, and minor bodies. The origin and evolution of the solar system. Slides, films, classroom demonstrations, and planetarium shows aid the discussion of these topics. Three lecture-discussions per week.
ASTR 1010L Solar System Laboratory - 1 hour
Corequisite: ASTR 1010. Laboratory to accompany ASTR 1010. Laboratory exercises will involve the student in observing stars and planets with the 3- to 16-inch telescopes of the college observatory. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
ASTR 1020 Stellar and Galactic Astronomy - 3 hours
The study of the sun and stars, their physical properties and evolution, interstellar matter, star clusters, our galaxy and other galaxies, the origin and evolution of the universe. Slides, films, classroom demonstrations and planetarium shows are used throughout to aid in classroom discussions. Three lecture-discussions per week.
ASTR 1020L Stellar Astronomy Laboratory - 1 hour
Corequisite: ASTR 1020. Laboratory to accompany ASTR 1020. Laboratory exercises emphasize student observations of the star systems, galaxies, and planets. Telescopes of from 3 to 16 inches in size will be used at the university observatory. One 2-hour laboratory per week.
ASTR 3061 Observational Astronomy I - 2 hours
Prerequisite: MATH 1113, Corequisite: PHYS 2212 or permission of instructor. First course of a two-course sequence which introduces students to modern observational methods and data reduction techniques. Students will be involved in observational and data reduction projects using the university observatory and the software package IRAF on the SUN workstations. Two 1-hour lecture sessions per week and at least one hour of observatory duty as a Telescope Operator or observational project work.
ASTR 3062 Observational Astronomy II - 2 hours
Prerequisite: ASTR 3061. Continuation of a two-course sequence which introduces students to modern observational methods and data reduction techniques. Students will be involved in observational and data reduction projects using the college observatory and the software package IRAF on the SUN workstations. Includes one 2-hour seminar per week and at least 1-hour observatory duty as a Telescope Operator or observational project work.
ASTR 3150 Introductory Astrophysics - 3 hours
Prerequisite: PHYS 2211, MATH 2450, or permission of instructor. Corequisite; PHYS 2212, MATH 2460, or permission of instructor. A survey of modern astronomy and astrophysics for the serious science student. Topics include celestial mechanics, stars and stellar evolution, the Milky Way Galaxy, and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Includes three hours of lecture per week and at least 1-hour of observatory duty as a Telescope Operator.
COURSES IN GEOGRAPHY
GEOG 1101 Introduction to Human Geography - 3 hours
A study of fundamental concepts in human geography, including spatial interaction, population dynamics, human-environment interaction, culture, interpreting landscapes, economic development, and political geography. The course also addresses locations and attributes of elements of our world, and introduces certain computer-assisted data manipulation skills. This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of Core Area E.
GEOG 1111 Introduction to Physical Geography - 3 hours
A study of the natural systems that shape our physical environment and the resultant spatial patterns discernable on Earth's surface. The course explores atmospheric processes, and the distribution of soils and life forms, land-forming and modification processes, and the distribution and characteristics of certain recognized landform types. This course along with its laboratory course, GEOG 1111L, may be used to fulfill part of the non-science-major requirement in Core Area D.
GEOG 1111L Introduction to Physical Geography Laboratory - 1 hour
Corequisite or prerequisite: GEOG 1111. Practical experience in making observations, performing measurements and calculations, interpreting physical phenomena, drawing conclusions, and reporting the results of these activities, all related to the natural systems that shape our physical environment and the resultant spatial patterns discernable on Earth's surface.
GEOG 3563 Introduction to Remote Sensing - 3 hours
Prerequisite: GEOG 1101 or GEOG 1111 or permission of the instructor. An introduction to the principles, equipment, technique, and applications of remote sensing, including film and aerial photography, satellite imagery, and radar. Course emphasis will be adjusted to students' interests but will include applications in image interpretation, land use/land cover classification, and photogrammetry.
GEOG 4370 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems - 3 hours
Prerequisites: GEOG 1101 or GEOG 1111; and CSCI 1100 or CSCI 1301; or permission of the instructor. Students should not attempt this course unless they are familiar with spreadsheets. This course explores the basic concepts of spatially referenced data and how these data are requested in, manipulated by, and presented with geographic information systems (GIS). Topics include the nature and accuracy of spatially referenced data, map projections, coordinate systems, map reference systems, raster/vector data representation, as well as methods of data capture, storage, retrieval, visualization, modeling, and output using one or more PC-based GIS software packages.
GEOG 4910 Introduction to Research Methods - 1 hour
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. This course will comprise directed independent study by advanced students of a geographic topic not available in regular courses. Topics will be selected on the basis of shared student - faculty interests and the availability of the instructor to direct the study.
GEOG 4920 Introduction to Research Methods - 2 hours
GEOG 4930 Introduction to Research Methods - 3 hours