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Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

Academic Requirements
Course Descriptions
Physics Graduate Faculty By Rank

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences offers a program of study leading to the doctor of philosophy in physics degree.  The primary objective of the doctorate program in physics is to provide talented graduate students with a rigorous academic environment in which to conduct research and to develop the analytical, empirical, and leadership skills required for mathematical, scientific and technological careers.  The program's specific goals focus on producing research physicists of the highest caliber.

The design of the Ph.D. program is such that it will complement the ongoing research at FAMU.  The areas of specialty include (1) experimental high energy and nuclear physics, (2) experimental fluid dynamics and plasma physics, (3) computational physics, (4) molecular physics, (5) quantum chemistry, (6) astrophysics, (7) experimental condensed matter physics, and (8) accelerator and laser physics.

Admission to the Doctorate of Philosophy in Physics program is granted in conformity with the uniform requirements established by the Board of Govenors for the State University System of Florida.  These include: (1)  the possession of a bachelor and/or master of science in physics degree from an accredited institution of higher education.  Official academic transcripts are required;  (2) a GPA of 3.0  on a scale of 4.0 covering the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate preparation and/or a GPA of 3.0 on all graduate work attempted or a combined score of 1000 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam;  (3) have received two (2) strong letters of support from undergraduate or graduate faculty who are familiar with the applicant's academic ability and work experience;  and (4) Foreign students whose native language is not English must make a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL.

Academic Requirements
A full-time student in the doctoral graduate program will take nine credit hours each Fall, Spring, and Summer term.  A maximum of 90 credit hours or 72 hours for the minimum FAMU residence requirement and 18 hours of dissertation research activities are required for the Ph.D. in Physics. The average time to complete the physics doctorate is five years

Admission with a Bachelor of Science Degree

(1)    Student will take the advanced graduate laboratory and five (5) elective courses.
(2)    Student will take written qualifying exam at the end of first year.
(3     Student will take additional elective courses to expand his/her knowledge in chosen specialty in the second year.
(4)    Student will be required to successfully complete the Ph.D. candidacy or "A" exam  after completing courses with a GPA of 3.00 or higher.
(5)    Student must demonstrate proficiency in graduate-level classical mechanics, electrodynamics, and quantum mechanics in order  to pass the candidacy exam.

Admission with a Master of Science Degree

(1)    Student will be given the option of either writing the qualifying exam immediately upon entering the program or spending a year taking supplementary course work.
(2)    Student will then join the Ph.D. program after  passing the qualifying exam, M.S., at the second-year level.
(3)    Each student, after passing the "A" exam, will then begin thesis research supervised by a faculty member.
(4)    The student, upon successful completion of research, will then be required to take the "B" exam on his or her written dissertation
(5)    The oral defense will be conducted by a committee of three physics faculty:  the research advisor and two faculty from different research specialties.
(6)    Recommendation to either pass or fail a candidate will then be forwarded to the School of Graduate Studies and Research, which will award the Ph.D. in physics degree.

Course Descriptions

PHY 5909r Directed Individual Study (1-12): Individual study directed by graduate faculty on a topic of mutual student and faculty interest.
PHY 5920r Colloquium (1) Physics colloquia as scheduled.
PHY 5971r Thesis (3-6) Course to be taken while preparing the Master’s thesis-supervised by the thesis advisor.
PHY 6110 Supervised Teaching (1-6):  Supervised teaching practicum for physics graduate students.  Individual assignments will be given in either the General Physics Lab, General Physics Recitation and /or  College Physics Lab.
PHY 6157 Computation Physics (3):  Computational methods of theoretical physics with applications to atomic, molecular, condensed matter, and many body physics.
PHY 6246 Classical Dynamics-I (3): Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations of motion, variational methods, symmetry, kinematics and dynamics of rigid body motion, special relativity, canonical variables and transformations.
PHY 6247  Classical Dynamics-II (3):  Hamilton-Jacobi theory, small oscillations, continuous systems and theory of classical fields, non-linear dynamics and recent developments in chaotic dynamics.
PHY 6346 Electrodynamics-I (3):  Electrostatics and magnetostatics, boundary-value problems in macroscopic media and dielectrics, electromagnetic waves and  Maxwell's equations, conservation laws.
PHY 6347 Electrodynamics-II (3):  Propagation of electromagnetic waves in wave-guides, resonant cavities and optical fibers, radiating systems, scattering and diffraction of electromagnetic waves, special relativity, dynamics of relativistic particles and electromagnetic fields, radiation by moving charges.
PHY 6524 Quantum Statistical Mechanics (3):  Canonical structure and formulation of statistical mechanics, the thermodynamic limit, gas and liquid theory, phase transitions and critical phenomena, virial expansion, quantum statistics.
PHY 6645 Quantum Mechanics-I (3):   Quantum theory of measurement, wave mechanics, Schrodinger theory, semi-classical WKB approximation, bound state techniques, periodic potentials, angular momentum, scattering theory,  phase shift analysis.
PHY 6646 Quantum Mechanics-II (3):  Spin  and other two dimensional systems, matrix mechanics, rotation group, symmetries, time independent or time dependent perturbation theory, atomic and molecular systems, Feynman diagrams, basic scattering theory.
PHY 6653  Advanced Collision Theory (3):  Formal solutions of multi-channel scattering theory in both time-dependent and time-independent formalism.  Approximations including Born, Semi-classical, variational.  Applications to simple atomic and molecular systems.   Role of orientation and alignment on cross sections and/or other observable.  Numerical techniques, computer programming and implementation.
PHY 6656 Quantum Theory of Angular Momentum (3):  Angular  momentum operators and wave functions, couplings  of  two  angular  momentum, vectors, rotation transformations coupling of more than two angular momenta, spherical tensor operators, the rigid rotor model.
PHY 6668  Quantum Field Theory-I (3):  Elementary relativistic quantum field theory: the Klein-Gordan field, the Dirac field, interacting fields and Feynman diagrams, elementary processes of quantum electrodynamics, introduction of radiative corrections, renormalization theory.
PHY 6669  Quantum Field Theory-II (3):  The non-abelian gauge theories: the Parton model of hadron structure, quantization of non-abelian gauge theories, quantum chromodynamics (QCD), gauge theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking, quantization of spontaneously broken gauge theories.  Continuation of PHY 6668.
PHY 6675 Quantum Theory of Many Particle Systems (3): Second quantization, zero-temperature Green's functions formalism and field theory, applications to Fermi systems, Bose systems and linear response theory, finite temperature Green's function formalism and applications.
PHY 6815 Advanced Graduate Laboratory in Physics (3): Individualized work in experimental physics.  There are over thirty experiments which represent early quantum physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, monte carlos and stochastic processes, photonics, renewable energy source, bubble memory, electron spin resonance, atomic spectroscophy.  Students are required to complete six experiments during the term.
PHY 6918r Supervised Research (1-9): Graduate student research supervised by the dissertation advisor.  Available to graduate students who have passed the qualifying examination for the physics doctoral program and have not taken the advancement to candidacy examination for the doctorate in physics.
PHY 6938r Special Topics in Physics (2-4):  Special topics is a faculty supervised study of advanced subjects in experimental and/or theoretical physics.
PHY 8966r Master's Comprehensive Examination (0) :  (S/U grade):  Course to be taken during semester in which the Master's comprehensive examination is to be taken.
PHY 8976 Master's Thesis Defense (0):  Course to be taken during semester of Master's thesis defense.
PHY 8980  Doctoral Dissertation (1-9):  The doctoral dissertation course is designed for physics graduate students who have successfully passed the qualifying and advancement to candidacy examinations; finished all dissertation research requirements; and are preparing for the dissertation defense.
PHZ 6115  Mathematical Methods for Physics-I (3):  Analytical function theory, linear vector spaces, tensor calculus , function space, orthogonal polynomials, Fourier analysis and introduction to group theory.
PHZ 6116 Mathematical Methods for Physics-II (3):  Ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, Strum-Liouville theory, linear operators in Hilbert space, Fourier transforms and fast Fourier transforms for spectrum analysis.
PHZ 6136 Group Theory in Physics-I (3): Introduction to group theory: generators of continuous groups, orbital angular momentum, angular momentum coupling, homogenous Lorentz and inhomogeneous Poincare groups, symmetries and invariance principles.
PHZ 6137 Group Theory in Physics-II (3): Born-Oppenheimer approximation, rotational and vibrational molecular wave functions, multi-electron wave functions and operators, Hartree-Fock approximations, configuration interaction, pair and coupled pair theories, many-body perturbation theory.
PHZ 6156 Advanced Computer Methods in Physics (3):  Introduction to computer operating systems and compliers, scientific programming, vector and parallel processing solutions to linear algebraic equations, Fourier transforms and spectral methods, boundary value problems, partial differential equations and graphical methods.
PHZ 6236 Theory of Atomic and Molecular Collisions (3):  Classical and quantum scattering by central forces, phase shifts analysis and cross sections, elastic and inelastic scattering, multi-channel scattering theory, Schwinger, Kohn,  and Newton methods, scattering in  the  laboratory and  center of mass reference frames, fundamentals of experimental techniques, and selected topics from different collision theories:  electron-atom, electron-molecule, atom-atom, atom-ion, and atom-molecule.
PHZ 6304  Nuclear Physics (3):  Nuclear symmetries and conservation laws, the force between nucleons, nuclear structure,  nuclear models.
PHZ 6426 Condensed Matter Physics-I (3):  Application of group theory to crystal structures, band structure of metals and semiconductors.  The tight-binding method and applications to insulator bands and impurity states.  Thermodynamics, transport and optical properties of metals and semiconductors.
PHZ 6427 Condensed Matter Physics-II (3):  Electro-phonon interactions, pseudo-potentials and phonon dispersion, magnetism, low-temperature super-conductivity, high-temperature superconductivity, two-dimensional phenomena.
PHZ 6480  Fluid and Plasma Physics I (3):  Introduction to modern fluid physics including: ideal viscous and non-equilibrium flow; thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of equilibrium plasmas; transport phenomena; high temperature hydrodynamics; kinetic equations, non-linear systems; and turbulence.
PHZ 6607 General Relativity (3):  The Einstein field equations are developed via a tensor and geometric approach  and used to describe astronomical systems and cases of matter under extreme conditions.
PHZ 6651 Quantum Scattering Theory (3):  Time-dependent, formal scattering theory, time-independent formal scattering theory, physical cross sections, methods and approximations for formal solutions, single-channel scattering in three dimensions, complex angular momentum (Watson-Regge method), multi-channel theory, decay of unstable states.
PHZ 6656 Quantum Theory of Angular Momentum (3):   Angular momentum operators and wave functions, coupling of two angular momentum vectors, rotation transformations, coupling of more than two angular momenta, spherical tensor operators, the rigid rotor model.
PHZ 6676 Particle Physics (3):  Leptons, mesons, and baryons, introduction to the Standard Model of Electroweak Interactions and its applications, Higgs mechanism, construction of the standard model, phenomenology of weak interactions, QCD and scaling violation.

Physics Graduate Faculty By Rank
Professor Emeritus: Greenfield, Mark B.
Professors: Etemadi, Babak; Johnson III, Joseph A.; Kennedy, Robin J.; Mochena, Mogus; Saha, Bidhan, C.; Treadwell, Elliott; Weatherford, Charles A.; Williams, Ronald L.
Associate Professors: Appartaim, Richard; Belay, Kalayu; Encinosa, Mario R.; Johnson, Lewis; E.; Mezonlin, Ephrem; Niculescu, Halina; O’Neal, Ray;  Stampe, Patricia A.
Assistant Professors:  Jack, Mark A.; Williams, Kyron