Department of Physics & Astronomy

General Information | Degree Requirements | Courses in ASTR and PHYS

PHY 108, (501) 569-3275, (501) 569-3314 (fax), Website, View/Download PDF Version

Chairperson:
Al-Shukri, Haydar, Professor

Professors:
Adams, Alois J.
Hall, Tony A
Seo, Hye-Won

Associate Professors:
Adams, Alois J.
Cui, Jingbiao
Seigar, Marcus
Seo, Hye-Won

Assistant Professor:
Karabacak, Tansel

Advanced Instructor:
Crawshaw, Steven A., Emeritus

The department offers two degrees:

  1. Bachelor of Science
  2. Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Science degree prepares students for admission to graduate work in physics or astronomy. This degree provides the skill set to be applied to a variety of careers, including industrial and academic settings. Students desiring a career in astronomy normally major in physics.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is suitable for premedical students and others who do not plan professional careers in physics, including those students pursuing a career in secondary education.

Minors are also offered in physics and astronomy.

The department uses a vast assortment of specialized equipment, including a 12-inch (on-campus) and 24 inch (off-site) remote, computer-controlled telescopes. Other resources used by the department include Atomic Layer Deposition, X-ray Diffractometers, Spectrometers, Molecular Beam Epitaxy, and Laser Ablation devices to create and characterize nanostructures and solar cell materials. These devices give students the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and techniques as part of their Physics education.

General Information

The department has active research programs in astronomy, astrophysics, condensed matter physics, material science, nanoscience and nanotechnology, optics, and solid state physics. The department has advanced research facilities for condensed matter physics, solid state, and nanoscience and nanotechnologies research. A state funded nanotechnology research center on campus also provides access to other state of the art equipment for research in these areas.

The department encourages the involvement of undergraduates in research. In recent years undergraduates have participated in research at Kitt Peak National Observatory, Steward Observatory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and research laboratories at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UALR. Nanotechnology and materials research is mainly focused on inorganic semiconductors and organic nanostructures including nanowires, nanocrystals, thin films, and organic/inorganic hybrid structures. Applications of this technology include nanowire solar cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), photonic nanowire arrays, and nanowire photodetectors and sensors. Nanomaterials studied include metal oxides (ZnO, Cu2O, FeO, TiO2, In2O3), nitrides ( GaN, InN, and InGaN), carbon (carbon nanotubes and graphene), light absorbers CIGS/CZTS, and organic polymers.

Astrophysics research includes characterizing and modeling galaxy dynamics and evolution. This is done through the study of mass distribution, supermassive black holes, and Dark Matter. Studies of other celestial bodies including binary star systems, asteroids, X-ray and gamma-ray sources are also conducted. Astrophysics research is conducted utilizing the NF/ Observatory, a remote access observatory located in New Mexico, and a variety of national observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope, Fermi gamma ray telescope, Chandra X-ray telescope, and the Las Campanas Observatory. These and other research activities have helped undergraduates in this program to become nationally competitive for research awards and for jobs that require the application of modern technology.

The department sponsors an active chapter of the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society. Anyone interested in physics is invited to join the chapter.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in majoring in physics should contact the chairperson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy to declare a major and be assigned an advisor to help plan a schedule that will permit graduation in a timely manner. Students interested in majoring in physics are encouraged to discuss curricula and possible career opportunities with members of the physics and astronomy faculty before the end of the freshman year.

Students should take Calculus I (MATH 1451), a prerequisite for Physics for Scientists and Engineers I, early in their academic career. Entering students with preparation in calculus may enroll in Physics for Scientists and Engineers I in the first semester of the freshman year. Most upper-level physics courses require Calculus III (MATH 2453) as a prerequisite. Decisions regarding the equivalency of courses and situations in which students have tested out of courses will be made by the chairperson of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Honors Program in Physics

The department offers an honors program to provide qualified students the opportunity to pursue advanced study and receive appropriate recognition. This program is distinct from graduation with honors and does not replace it. Interested students may apply for admission to this program after they have completed Physics for Scientists and Engineers I and II.

Participants in the honors program are selected by the department faculty during the junior year, usually before the second semester. Minimum requirements for admission into the program are a 3.25 grade point average overall and a 3.50 grade point average in all physics courses. These averages must be maintained for continued participation in the program.

Honors students must take at least four hours of independent study or undergraduate research related to a project in addition to the usual requirements for graduation. The study will be on an advanced topic and will involve research covering two to four semesters. The topic must be approved by the department chairperson, who will assign a faculty member to supervise the study. On successful completion of the project, the student must present the results of the study to an appropriate scientific body and submit a thesis, approved by the faculty supervisor, to the department chairperson.


Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science with a major in physics requires 36 credit hours including at least 28 credit hours of upper-level physics courses.

Bachelor of Science in Physics

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit. (See page 36 for details)

Core (44 hours)

See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency (none required)

Major (36 hours)

Physics Foundation Courses: (30 hours)
    PHYS 2321 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
    PHYS 2121 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I Laboratory
    PHYS 2322 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II
    PHYS 2122 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II Laboratory
    PHYS 3323 Physics for Scientists and Engineers III
    PHYS 3123 Physics for Scientists and Engineers III Laboratory
    PHYS 3350 Electronics
    PHYS 4111 Advanced Laboratory I
    PHYS 4112 Advanced Laboratory II
    PHYS 4310 Statistical Thermodynamics
    PHYS 4311 Classical Mechanics
    PHYS 4321 Electromagnetism I
    PHYS 4350 Quantum Mechanics
    PHYS 4190 Seminar
Plus any 6 hours from the courses below:
    PHYS 3330 Medical Physics
    PHYS 4340 Solid State Physics
    PHYS 4380 Wave Motion and Optics
    PHYS 4330 Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences

Minor (12-29 hours—typical minor requires 18)

Typical minors would include Math or Computer Science. Students can double major in an area instead of Major/Minor.

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), or 30 hours in residence.


Bachelor of Arts in Physics

General: 120 minimum total hours, including 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), and 30 hours in residence

First-Year Colloquium (0-3 hours)

Required of full-time freshmen entering college for the first time and transfer students with less than 12 hours of credit. (See page 36 for details)

Core (44 hours)

See page 25 for requirement details.

Second Language Proficiency ( 0-9 hours)

Completion of 2000-level second language course or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. See page 26 for details.

Major (27 hours)

Physics Foundation Courses: (27 hours)
    PHYS 2321 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
    PHYS 2121 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I Laboratory
    PHYS 2322 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II
    PHYS 2122 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II Laboratory
    PHYS 3323 Physics for Scientists and Engineers III
    PHYS 3123 Physics for Scientists and Engineers III Laboratory
    PHYS 4111 Advanced Laboratory I
    PHYS 4190 Seminar
    PHYS 4311 Classical Mechanics
    PHYS 4321 Electromagnetism I

Plus seven additional credit hours of upper level physics courses.

Minor (12-29 hours—typical minor requires 18)

Typical minors would include Math or Computer Science.
Students can double major in an area instead of Major/Minor.

Unrestricted General Electives

Remaining hours, if any, to reach 120 minimum total hours, 45 hours of upper-level courses (3000-4000 level), or 30 hours in residence.


Secondary Teacher Licensure

This program is designed to prepare students for teacher licensure in secondary education (7th – 12th grades). Students entering this program will earn a B.S. or B.A. in Physics. A minor in secondary education through the UALRTeach program is also required. In order to satisfy licensure requirements, unrestricted general electives will be replaced with approved courses in other sciences and mathematics. For those students who may be interested in teaching, please contact a physics adviser (physics@ualr.edu) and visit the UALRTeach website (ualr.edu/ualrteach).


Minor in Physics

A minor in physics requires at least 18 credit hours of physics courses. At least 10 credit hours of upper-level courses are required.

Required courses:
    PHYS 2321 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
    PHYS 2121 Physics for Scientists and Engineers I Laboratory
    PHYS 2322 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II
    PHYS 2122 Physics for Scientists and Engineers II Laboratory
    PHYS 3323 Physics for Scientists and Engineers III
    PHYS 4111 Advanced Laboratory I
    or PHYS 4112 Advanced Laboratory II
Plus any 6 hours from the below courses:
    PHYS 3350 Electronics
    PHYS 3330 Medical Physics
    PHYS 4310 Statistical Thermodynamics
    PHYS 4311 Mechanics I
    PHYS 4321 Electromagnetism I
    PHYS 4330 Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences
    PHYS 4340 Solid State Physics
    PHYS 4350 Quantum Mechanics
    PHYS 4380 Wave Motion and Optics

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