Physics

Contact Information
Paul Morris, Chair
ACU Box 27963
Abilene, Texas 79699-7963
Foster Science Building, Room 317

 

Phone: 325-674-2165
Fax: 325-674-2146
Email: morrisp@acu.edu
Web: www.acu.edu/physics

 

Majors:Engineering Science (BS)
                  - Electrical Engineering        
                  - Industrial and Manufacturing 
                     Systems Engineering

             Physics (BS)

 

Minors:Engineering Science
             Physics

Faculty
Jeff E. Arrington, Associate Professor
Tim Head, Assistant Professor

Donald Isenhower, Professor
Paul Edwin Morris, Professor
Michael Ervin Sadler, Professor
Rusty Towell, Professor
Joshua Willis, Assistant Professor

  

Course Descriptions
Please see the Course Descriptions section of this catalog. Courses offered by the Department of Physics include those with the following

designations: ENGR, PHYS.

 

Other Page Link:

Pre-Engineering Program 

 

The Department of Physics offers the Bachelor of Science degree in physics and engineering science (cooperative). The BS in Physics has four tracks: Physics (PHYS), Applied Physics (PHYA), Engineering Physics (PHYE), and Computational Physics (PHYC). The department works with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to offer teacher certification in physical science (see the Chemistry and Biochemistry section of this catalog). A minor in engineering science or physics may be added to other majors.  

Introduction

In the Abilene Christian University Department of Physics, students share in an intellectual atmosphere that promotes the growth of individual abilities. The faculty and students in physics do not confine learning to the classroom, but rather join in a broad spectrum of activities that includes doing basic research, teaching in the laboratory, participating in the Society of Physics Students and working in the astronomical observatory.

Students involved in research work extensively with computers utilizing Unix computer farms.

Many of our graduates have gone into graduate programs under fellowships and assistantships at excellent universities in physics, engineering physics, medicine, medical physics, computer science, astronomy, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering throughout the country while others have gone directly into industrial positions. These graduates have stated that their undergraduate training at ACU was particularly well suited for their endeavors.

In 1999, the ACU Department of Physics entered into a new articulation agreement with the Texas Tech University Department of Physics where students may obtain automatic acceptance in an applied physics program. The program awards a Master of Science degree after two years and is concentrated on VLSI semiconductor study and design.

The curriculum stresses up-to-date approaches to ensure strong degree programs. Laboratory work includes microprocessor, computer and digital electronic applications as well as training in modern physics and optics.

Electronics and Instrumentation
The department is well-equipped to offer electronics and instrumentation to science majors and others who will need this training. The instrumentation laboratory contains modern equipment and features microprocessor technology. The emphasis is on microprocessor interfacing and hardware techniques. The laboratory includes work with SPICE simulation software for electronic circuits and VME/VXI systems.

Cooperative Pre-Engineering
Most engineering schools maintain a somewhat uniform program for all students for the first two years. A prospective engineering student may elect to stay one, two or three years at ACU while mastering the basic concepts of science, and then transfer to an engineering school to complete a degree. Most engineering schools require a grade of “C” or better to grant transfer credit for a course taken at another institution.

The three-year pre-engineering program broadens the basic engineering and science background to include courses from the liberal arts fields. A student wishing to spend three years at ACU may, after receiving his or her engineering degree, be awarded the Bachelor of Science degree by ACU. To qualify for this degree, a student must complete at least 95 hours at ACU, including at least 17 hours of mathematics, 8 hours of chemistry and 21 hours of physics or engineering course work. All general requirements for the BS degree must also be completed. Course selections are made in consultation with the engineering academic advisor.

Applied Physics M.S. Program at Texas Tech University
Under a 1999 articulation agreement, ACU students are guaranteed acceptance into Texas Tech University’s MS degree program in physics after completing a BS degree at ACU in physics or engineering physics with the following stipulations:

          1. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and GPA of 3.25 in advanced physics courses;

          2. Receive at least a “B” in PHYS 432, 491, 472, and 342; and

          3. Meet all of the requirements of the Texas Tech Graduate School.

Special Offerings for Non-Majors
Physics can help students explore the universe with a telescope, consider the stewardship of creation, think about the influence which science has had on the world, and think about the relationship between science and religion. The Department of Physics has courses for non-majors which explore each of these areas. PHYS 101, Astronomy, uses telescopes to look into the universe. PHYS 102, Physical Science, considers pollution, energy resources, medicines, and consumer goods in a modern physics context. PHYS 378, History and Philosophy of Science, and PHYS 379, Religion and Science, both explore the relationship of science, religion, literature, social science and the arts.

Any one of these courses will satisfy three hours of the core science requirement, and none of these courses assumes any science background.

 

Study Abroad Expectations

All students are encouraged to participate in ACU’s Study Abroad program. Classes offered at Study Abroad sites vary depending on the site. Academic advisors can assist students in planning ahead for their Study Abroad experience and should be consulted during the freshman year.

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Bachelor of Science Degrees (BS)

General Departmental Requirements
The physics major must develop mathematical skills as well as experimental, theoretical, and computational abilities. When the student takes PHYS 120/121, the student’s mathematics level must at least enable the student to take Calculus I. If the student does not qualify to take Calculus I when the student enters ACU, his or her graduation may be delayed.

Admission Requirements
Before being admitted to one of these programs, students must satisfy the requirements listed in the ACT/SAT Placement Information section of this catalog.

 

PHYSICS (BS)

BS: PHYSICS DEGREE PLAN (PHYS)

______________________________________________________________________

UNIVERSITY CORE
Bible

     BIBL 101 Life and Teachings of Jesus.....................................................................

     BIBL 102 Acts-Revelation .....................................................................................

     BIBL 211 Message of the Old Testament ................................................................

     BIBL 212 Christianity in Culture ............................................................................

     Advanced Bible ...................................................................................................

3

3

3

3

3

English

     ENGL 111 Composition and Rhetoric ......................................................................

     Sophomore Literature ..........................................................................................

3

3

Speech
     COMS 111 Fundamentals of Communication ..........................................................3
History
     HIST 100-299 .....................................................................................................3
Science

     CHEM 133 General Chemistry I ............................................................................

     PHYS 120 Engineering Physics I ............................................................................

3

3

Mathematics
     MATH 185 Calculus I ...........................................................................................3
Exercise Science
     EXSC 100 + 3 activities .......................................................................................4
University Seminar
     UNIV 100 ...........................................................................................................1
TOTAL UNIVERSITY CORE ......................................................................................41
BS DEGREE CORE
English
     Sophomore Literature orENGL 326 Business and Professional Writing ......................3
Social Sciences/Humanities

     PHIL 379 Philosophy, Religion and Science ...........................................................

     Choose from: anthropology, economics (also AGRB 261), geography, history,

          political science, psychology (also EDUC 221), sociology

          (maximum one course per area) .....................................................................

3

 

 

6

Fine Arts
     Choose one: ART 101, MUSM 230, MUSM 231, MUSM 232, MUSM 233
                        THEA 220 or THEA 250 .....................................................................

3
TOTAL BS CORE .....................................................................................................15
MAJOR REQUIREMENTS
Physics

     PHYS 121 Engineering Physics I Lab ......................................................................

     PHYS 122/123 Engineering Physics II Lecture/Lab ..................................................

     PHYS 230/231 Modern Physics Lecture/Lab ............................................................

     PHYS 360 Electricity and Magnetism ......................................................................

     PHYS 362/363 Optics ...........................................................................................

     PHYS 371 Classical Mechanics ..............................................................................

     PHYS 385 Math of Physics and Engineering ............................................................

     PHYS 481 Thermodynamics ..................................................................................

     PHYS 491 Quantum Mechanics (writing-intensive course) ........................................

1

4

4

3

4

3

3

3

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................28
CONCENTRATIONS (CHOOSE ONE)
Physics Track (PHYS)
     12 additional hours from PHYS 300-499 (except 378) .............................................12
TOTAL ....................................................................................................................12
Applied Physics (PHYA)

     CS 130 Programming II and Data Structures .........................................................

     DSGN 245 Architectural Drafting ...........................................................................

     MATH 325 Linear Algebra orMATH 341 Numerical Methods or

          MATH 377 Statistical Methods I ........................................................................

     PHYS 335/336 Introduction to Electronics Lecture/Lab .............................................

     PHYS 342/343 Instrumentation Lecture/Lab ...........................................................

     PHYS 388 Network Analysis ..................................................................................

     3 additional hours from PHYS 300-499 (except 378) ...............................................

3

3

 

3

3

3

3

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................21
Engineering Physics (PHYN)

     CS 130 Programming II and Data Structures .........................................................

     DSGN 245 Architectural Drafting ...........................................................................

     ENGR 220 Engineering Mechanics: Statistics ..........................................................

     ENGR 222 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics .........................................................

     MATH 341 Numerical Methods or MATH 377 Statistical Methods I ..............................

     PHYS 335/336 Introduction to Electronics Lecture/Lab .............................................

     PHYS 342/343 Instrumentation Lecture/Lab or PHYS 388 Network Analysis................

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................21
Computational Physics (PHYC)

     CS 130 Programming II and Data Structures .........................................................

     MATH 341 Numerical Methods ...............................................................................

     MATH 377 Statistical Methods I .............................................................................

     PHYS 451 Computational Physics I: Simulation and Modeling ...................................

     PHYS 453 Computational Physics II: Pattern Recognition ........................................

     3 additional hours from CS 300-499 or PHYS 300-499 (except 378) .........................

     3 additional hours from PHYS 300-499 (except 378) ...............................................

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................21
SUPPLEMENT FOR MAJOR
Chemistry/Computer Science/Mathematics

     CHEM 131 General Chemistry I Lab ......................................................................

     CHEM 132/134 General Chemistry II Lecture/Lab ...................................................

     CS 120 Programming I ........................................................................................

     MATH 186 Calculus II ..........................................................................................

     MATH 286 Calculus III .........................................................................................

     MATH 361 Ordinary Differential Equations ..............................................................

1

4

3

3

3

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................17
ELECTIVES

     Physics Track (PHYS) ..........................................................................................

     Applied Physics (PHYA) ........................................................................................

     Engineering Physics (PHYN) ..................................................................................

     Computational Physics (PHYC) .............................................................................

     Minimum Electives ...............................................................................................

15

6

6

6

6-15

OTHER GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

     Minimum grade for PHYS courses .........................................................................

     Minimum GPA for graduation ................................................................................

     Minimum advanced hours ....................................................................................

     Minimum total hours ............................................................................................

C

2.00

33

128

Courses numbered 0** do not count in minimum hours required for degree.

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Cooperative Bachelor of Science Degrees

Admission Requirements
Before being admitted to a program, a student must satisfy the requirements listed in the ACT/SAT Placement Information section of this catalog.

ENGINEERING SCIENCE (BS)

The Department of Physics at Abilene Christian University offers two cooperative degrees in association with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). The ACU degree is a 128-hour Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science. The student will receive a BS degree in engineering science after the successful completion of three years at ACU and one year (29 hours of “C” or better) of specified course work (or approved substitutions) at UTA. Courses taken at ACU to satisfy this degree also satisfy part of the requirements toward a degree in engineering at UTA in electrical engineering (BSEE) or industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (BSIE). The total number of hours for the BSEE is 156 (100 at ACU and 56 at UTA). The total number of hours for the BSIE is 159 (100 at ACU and 59 at UTA).

The ACU-UTA cooperative program in engineering offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the strengths of each of the participating schools resulting in a solid well-rounded education in engineering. Graduates from these programs will be well-prepared to pursue employment in industry or to pursue graduate degrees in engineering or other fields.

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 is required.  A grade of “C” or better is required for any course to transfer from ACU to UTA.

The undergraduate programs in electrical and industrial engineering at UTA are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

 

BS: (COOPERATIVE) ENGINEERING SCIENCE DEGREE PLAN (ENGS)

BSIE: Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington

______________________________________________________________________

UNIVERSITY CORE
Bible

     BIBL 101 Life and Teachings of Jesus.....................................................................

     BIBL 102 Acts-Revelation .....................................................................................

     BIBL 211 Message of the Old Testament ................................................................

     BIBL 212 Christianity in Culture ............................................................................

3

3

3

3

English

     ENGL 111 Composition and Rhetoric .....................................................................

     Sophomore Literature ..........................................................................................

3

3

Speech
     COMS 111 Fundamentals of Communication ..........................................................3
History
     HIST 221 American History I ................................................................................3
Science

     CHEM 133 General Chemistry I ............................................................................

     PHYS 120 Engineering Physics I ............................................................................

3

3

Mathematics

     MATH 185 Calculus I ...........................................................................................

3
Exercise Science
     EXSC 100 + 3 activities .......................................................................................4
University Seminar
     UNIV 100 ...........................................................................................................1
TOTAL UNIVERSITY CORE ......................................................................................38
BS DEGREE CORE
English
     ENGL 112 Composition and Literature ...................................................................3
Social Sciences/Humanities

     HIST 222 American History II ...............................................................................

     POLS 225 National Government ............................................................................

     POLS 226 States and Federal System ....................................................................

3

3

3

Fine Arts
     Choose one: ART 101, MUSM 230, MUSM 231, MUSM 232, MUSM 233
                        THEA 220 or THEA 250 .....................................................................

3
TOTAL BS CORE .....................................................................................................15
MAJOR REQUIREMENTS
Physics

     PHYS 121 Engineering Physics I Lab ......................................................................

     PHYS 122/123 Engineering Physics II Lecture/Lab ..................................................

1

4

Engineering

     ENGR 220 Engineering Mechanics: Statics ..............................................................

     ENGR 222 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics .........................................................

     ENGR 335/336 Introduction to Electronics Lecture/Lab ............................................

     ENGR 388 Network Analysis .................................................................................

     Successful completion of 32 hours of engineering courses at the University of Texas

          at Arlington (≥C) .........................................................................................

3

3

3

3

 

32

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................49
SUPPLEMENT FOR MAJOR
Chemistry

     CHEM 131 General Chemistry I Lab ......................................................................

     CHEM 132/134 General Chemistry II Lecture/Lab ...................................................

1

4

Computer Science

     CS 120 Programming I ........................................................................................

     CS 130 Programming II and Data Structures .........................................................

3

3

Mathematics

     MATH 187 Calculus Computer Lab ........................................................................

     MATH 186 Calculus II ..........................................................................................

     MATH 286 Calculus III .........................................................................................

     MATH 287 Projects in Calculus ..............................................................................

     MATH 361 Ordinary Differential Equations ..............................................................

1

3

3

1

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................22
ELECTIVES
     Minimum ............................................................................................................4
OTHER GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

     Only courses ≥C transfer to UTA

     Only courses ≥C at UTA can be used toward completion

     Minimum GPA for acceptance to UTA .....................................................................

     Minimum advanced hours ....................................................................................

     Minimum total ACU hours .....................................................................................

     Minimum total hours ............................................................................................

 

 

2.50

33

96

128

Courses numbered 0** do not count in minimum hours required for degree.

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BS: (COOPERATIVE) ENGINEERING SCIENCE DEGREE PLAN (ENGS)

BSEE: Electrical Engineering From The University of Texas at Arlington

________________________________________________________________________________ 

UNIVERSITY CORE
Bible

     BIBL 101 Life and Teachings of Jesus.....................................................................

     BIBL 102 Acts-Revelation .....................................................................................

     BIBL 211 Message of the Old Testament ................................................................

     BIBL 212 Christianity in Culture ............................................................................

3

3

3

3

English

     ENGL 111 Composition and Rhetoric .....................................................................

     Sophomore Literature ..........................................................................................

3

3

Speech
     COMS 111 Fundamentals of Communication ..........................................................3
History
     HIST 221 American History I ................................................................................3
Science

     CHEM 133 General Chemistry I ............................................................................

     PHYS 120 Engineering Physics I ............................................................................

3

3

Mathematics

     MATH 185 Calculus I ...........................................................................................

3
Exercise Science
     EXSC 100 + 3 activities .......................................................................................4
University Seminar
     UNIV 100 ...........................................................................................................1
TOTAL UNIVERSITY CORE ......................................................................................38
BS DEGREE CORE
English
     ENGL 112 Composition and Literature ...................................................................3
Social Sciences/Humanities

     HIST 222 American History II ...............................................................................

     POLS 225 National Government ............................................................................

     POLS 226 States and Federal System ....................................................................

3

3

3

Fine Arts
     Choose one: ART 101, MUSM 230, MUSM 231, MUSM 232, MUSM 233
                        THEA 220 or THEA 250 .....................................................................
3
TOTAL BS CORE .....................................................................................................15
MAJOR REQUIREMENTS
Physics

     PHYS 121 Engineering Physics I Lab ......................................................................

     PHYS 122/123 Engineering Physics II Lecture/Lab ..................................................

     PHYS 230/231 Modern Physics Lecture/Lab ............................................................

1

4

4

Engineering

     ENGR 220 Engineering Mechanics: Statics ..............................................................

     ENGR 222 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics .........................................................

     ENGR 335/336 Introduction to Electronics Lecture/Lab ............................................

     ENGR 388 Network Analysis .................................................................................

     Successful completion of 32 hours of engineering courses at the University of Texas

          at Arlington (≥C) .........................................................................................

3

3

3

3

 

32

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................53
SUPPLEMENT FOR MAJOR
Chemistry

     CHEM 131 General Chemistry I Lab ......................................................................

     CHEM 132/134 General Chemistry II Lecture/Lab ...................................................

1

4

Computer Science

     CS 120 Programming I ........................................................................................

     CS 130 Programming II and Data Structures .........................................................

3

3

Mathematics

     MATH 187 Calculus Computer Lab ........................................................................

     MATH 186 Calculus II ..........................................................................................

     MATH 286 Calculus III .........................................................................................

     MATH 287 Projects in Calculus ..............................................................................

     MATH 361 Ordinary Differential Equations ..............................................................

1

3

3

1

3

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................22
ELECTIVES
     Minimum ............................................................................................................0
OTHER GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

     Only courses ≥C transfer to UTA

     Only courses ≥C at UTA can be used toward completion

     Minimum GPA for acceptance to UTA .....................................................................

     Minimum advanced hours ....................................................................................

     Minimum total ACU hours .....................................................................................

     Minimum total hours ............................................................................................

 

 

2.50

33

96

128

Courses numbered 0** do not count in minimum hours required for degree.

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Pre-Engineering Program

After completing this program of study, a student can transfer to an engineering school. A student may even elect to have conferred the BS from ACU in addition to the engineering degree. Also, if a student decides to remain at ACU after having been in the pre-engineering program for some time, he or she will be able to fit all of his or her course work into the engineering physics degree program. ACU has a program designed to fit his or her needs and desires for future employment. 

 

Minor in Engineering Science

MINOR: ENGINEERING SCIENCE (ENGS)

     ENGR 220 Engineering Mechanics: Statics ..............................................................

     ENGR 222 Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics .........................................................

     PHYS 335/336 Introduction to Electronics Lecture/Lab..............................................

     Additional hours approved by engineering academics advisor...................................

3

3

3

9

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................18

 

  

Minor in Physics

MINOR: PHYSICS (PHYS)

     PHYS 120/121 Engineering Physics I Lecture/Lab ...................................................

     PHYS 122/123 Engineering Physics II Lecture/Lab ..................................................

     PHYS 230/231 Modern Physics Lecture/Lab ............................................................

     Choose from: PHYS 300-499 ................................................................................

4

4

4

6

TOTAL ....................................................................................................................18

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