Graduate Courses Offered

The courses you will study in our department will furnish you with a sound foundation in basic and applied physics and astronomy. We will challenge you. And if you are willing to work, we will help you succeed.The following are the physics and astronomy courses offered for graduate level students at UMaine. (If you are interested in the courses of other departments on the UMaine campus, check these sources of information: UMaine Course Catalog.)

Graduate Level Physics Courses available:

Advanced Undergraduate Courses available:


AST 598 Special Topics in Theoretical or Experimental Astrophysics

Prerequisite: departmental permission. *>Cr Ar.

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PHY 500 Topics in Materials Science and Technology

No description available.

Prerequisites: PHY 463, PHY 469, PHY 480 or their equivalents. *>Cr 1-3.

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PHY 501 Mechanics

Covers kinematics and dynamics of particle and rigid body motion, Lagrange’s equations, variational principles, Hamilton’s equations, canonical transformations, Hamilton-Jacobi theory.

Prerequisite: PHY 238 or equivalent. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 502 Electrodynamics I

Topics include boundary-value problems in electrostatics, electrostatic energy, multipoles, dielectrics and magnetostatics.

Prerequisite: PHY 455 or equivalent, partial differential equations or PHY 574. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 503 Quantum Mechanics I

Topics include Dirac notation, state vectors and operators, one dimensional systems, angular momentum, central forces, perturbation theory, scattering.

Prerequisite: PHY 501 or permission of instructor. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 510 Graduate Laboratory

Experience with sophisticated techniques and specialized equipment acquaints students with different areas of experimental physics. For graduate students in physics and for scientists and engineers in allied studies or industry.

Prerequisite: graduate standing in physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, or permission.

*>Cr Ar.

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PHY 512 Statistical Mechanics

A study of macroscopic behavior of matter derived from a statistical consideration of microscopic properties of systems, as well as relationships to Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory.

Prerequisite: PHY 462 or equivalent. Corequisite: PHY 503. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 513 Physical Meas. & Data Anal. With Microcomputers

Computer control of experiments and instrumentation, data acquisition and data analysis. Culminates in individualized final project. Open to non-physics students. Requires some programming and electronics background.

Prerequisite: PHY 441 or permission. Lec 2, Lab 2. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 574 Methods of Theoretical Physics I

Topics may include linear algebra, complex analysis, theory of differential equations, special functions, Green’s functions, integral transforms calculus of variations, with applications from physics.

Prerequisite: permission. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 575 Methods of Theoretical Physics II

Advanced topics in mathematical physics of special interest. Advanced topics in mathematical physics of special interest. May include chaos, complex analysis, theory of integral equations, tensor analysis, elements of group theory, Green’s functions theory.

Prerequisite: PHY 475 or PHY 574 or equivalent. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 588 Graduate Seminar – Condensed Matter Physics

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PHY 598 Special Topics in Theor. or Exp. Physics

Specific topics determined by current interests of students and staff. Offered on demand with approval of the Department Chairperson.

*>Cr Ar.

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PHY 602 Electrodynamics II

Topics may include Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves, radiating systems, scattering and diffraction, special relativity, dynamics of relativistic particles and fields.

Prerequisites: PHY 502, or equivalent. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 603 Quantum Mechanics II

Covers electron spin, spinors, relativistic wave equations, Dirac equation for electron, relativistic treatment of hydrogen atom, second quantization of electromagnetic and electron fields.

Prerequisite: PHY 503 or equivalent. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 624 Solid State Physics I

Covers free electron theory of metals, crystal lattices and reciprocal lattices, X-ray diffraction, electron levels in a periodic potential, semiclassical model of electron dynamics.

Prerequisite: PHY 503 or permission. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 625 Solid State Physics II

A continuation of PHY 624 covering other phenomena in solid state physics with emphasis on current research topics.

Prerequisite: PHY 624 or equivalent. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 688 Graduate Seminar

Report and discussion of recent developments in Physics and related fields based on the literature or results of current investigations.

*>Cr Ar.

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PHY 699 Graduate Thesis

*>Cr Ar.

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AST 451 Astrophysics I

Application of the principles of physics to selected topics in the study of cosmogony, stellar evolution and dynamics, interstellar processes, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and cosmology.

Prerequisite: PHY 236, PHY 238, PHY 455, MAT 259 or permission. Rec 3. *>Cr 1-3.

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AST 452 Astrophysics II

AST 452 Astrophysics II A continuation of AST 451. Prerequisite: AST 451. *>Cr 1-3. .

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AST 497 — Topics in Astrophysics

Selected topics in areas not already covered by regular course offerings in the Department.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. *>Cr 1-3.

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PHY 447 Molecular Biophysics

An introduction to physical properties of biological macromolecules including proteins, nucleic acids and membranes. Solution thermodynamics developed as needed. Some statistical mechanics introduced. Topics include macromolecular structure, dynamics and functions, inter- and intra-molecular interactions, ligand binding equilibria, helix-coil transitions, physical techniques used in biophysics such as calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Four credit version contains additional term project to be arranged with instructor.

Prerequisites: PHY 112 or PHY 122, MAT 126, CHY 121 or permission. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 454 Electricity and Magnetism I

An intermediate level course in the fundamentals of the theory of electricity and magnetism. Treats electrostatics and magnetostatics, both in vacuum and in matter.

Prerequisites: PHY 112 or PHY 122. Corequisite: PHY 476. Rec 3. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 451 Mechanics

A detailed treatment of mechanics using Newtonian and Lagrangian methods.  Newton’s laws, particle motion in a plane, linear oscillations, damped oscillations, coupled oscillators, rigid body rotation, and potential methods.

Prerequisite: A Grade of C- or better in PHY 231. Cr 3.

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PHY 455 Electricity and Magnetism II

A continuation of PHY 454. Treats electrodynamics by developing Maxwell’s equations and applying them to systems of general interest.

Prerequisite: PHY 454. Rec 3. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 463 Statistical Mechanics

Introduces statistical mechanics and thermodynamics with examples chosen from magnetic systems, ideal gases, metals, superfluidity, chemical reactions, phase transformations, mixtures, semiconductors, kinetic theory or related topics. Normally taken as a junior or senior elective by students in the sciences or engineering.

Prerequisites: PHY 236, MAT 258 or MAT 259. Rec 3. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 469 Quantum and Atomic Physics

Introductory quantum mechanics applied to simple systems and molecules. Wavepackets, Schroedinger equation, operator methods and angular momentum.

Prerequisites: PHY 236, PHY 476 or permission. Rec 3. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 470 Topics in Materials Science and Technology

No description available.

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PHY 471 Nuclear Physics Laboratory

Laboratory exercises to accompany PHY 470.

Corequisite: PHY 470 or permission of instructor. Lab 2. *>Cr 1.

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PHY 472 Geometrical and Fourier Optics

Covers geometrical optics, refraction and reflection at plane and spherical surfaces, optical instruments; Fourier optics, interference of waves and diffraction by a single and a double aperture; Lasers – theory of their operation, mode locking and pulse formation.

Prerequisite: PHY 112 or PHY 122; Corequisite: MAT 228. Rec 3. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 473 Modern Optics Laboratory

Laboratory exercises to accompany PHY 472, Geometrical and Fourier Optics.

Corequisite: PHY 472 or permission of instructor. Lab 2-4. *>Cr 1-2.

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PHY 480 Physics of Materials

A senior level introductory course in the physics of materials, primarily solid state physics. Structural, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties of materials are discussed.

Prerequisites: PHY 236, PHY 455. Rec 3. *>Cr 3.

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PHY 497 Topics in Physics

Selected topics in areas not already covered by regular course offerings in the department. Primarily for undergraduates. *>Cr Ar.

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PHY 499 Problems in Physics

A thesis project primarily for undergraduates and ordinarily of an experimental nature.

*>Cr 1-3.

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UMaine Course Catalog

This online resource lists all of the University of Maine graduate courses by Department. There is also a search function available. The available information includes:

  • All UMaine courses listed by department
  • Course designator and title (e.g. PHY 469 Quantum and Atomic Physics)
  • Brief course descriptions
  • Prerequisite courses (e.g. completed PHY 236, or instructor’s permission)
  • Credit hours of study (e.g. Cr 3 is equal to 3 hours of in-class time per week).

Graduate catalog

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