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Wright State University    
  Sep 26, 2017
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

Physics, MST

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Program Description:

The Department of Physics offers two programs of graduate study leading either to the Master of Science or to the Master of Science in Teaching degree. The Master of Science degree program is a research-based master’s program with a required thesis. It prepares graduates for employment in private or government laboratories, or for further graduate work. The department participates in PhD programs in Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, and Environmental Sciences.

Admissions Requirements:

For admission to graduate study leading to the M.S.T. degree, candidates must:

  1. Meet the requirements of the Graduate School.
  2. Present evidence of completion of an introductory physics sequence equivalent to the PHY 2400, 2410, and 2420 sequence at Wright State.


Major facilities include a machine shop, a clean room, an electron accelerator, an ion implanter, Proton/alpha Rutherford backscattering, C-V:I-V system, vapor phase deposition system Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy, Hall measurements system, Photoluminescence using He-Cd excitation, Micro-scale Raman measurement, 3 meter Czerny- Turner spectrometer, THz imaging system/THz time domain spectrometer, microwave evanescent imaging systems, nano-particle precipitation system, sputter deposition system, photo reflectance system, fs/ultra-fast lasers, high resolution infrared camera, spectrum analyzers, temperature controlled optical/THz absorption cell, high frequency radar systems, liquid helium bolometers, mm-wave scattering systems.

For additional information:

Program Requirements

To be awarded the M.S.T. (Physics) degree, the candidate must:

  1. Meet the requirements of the graduate school for award of a degree.
  2. Complete 30 credit hours of course work listed for graduate credit, including PHY 5510 , PHY 6450 , PHY 6460 , PHY 6510 , PHY 6600 , PHY 6610 , PHY 6830 , PHY 6990 ; and 1 CH of PHY 8000 .
  3. Submit a report on a research project that was approved by an advisory committee.
  4. Successfully complete an examination on the research project administered by an advisory committee.

Dept Core

  1. This curriculum is intended to prepare a student for teaching physics at a Community or Technical College. It does not satisfy State licensure for teaching in middle or high school. If combined with licensure, it would satisfy the professional content requirement for “Highly Qualified” in Physics according to the state rules as of 2009.
  2. Admission requires equivalent of WSU BA-Physics background. It would not require existing, nor prior teaching experience.


  • Two courses that would count toward the Physics MS program:. Credit Hour(s): 6

Total: 30 Hours

  1. These courses may be waived based on the student’s transcript. They must be replaced by electives in the college of Science and Mathematics numbered 6000 or above. SM 6450 is a recommended substitution (see note (3)).
  2. A graduate course in QM may be substituted for these two courses. The remaining credit hours must be made up by electives from the College of Science and Mathematics numbered 6000 and above.
  3. The project must involve pedagogical research such as writing curriculum, preparing and evaluating demonstrations, preparing and evaluating experiments, or evaluating the effectiveness of curriculum in a classroom environment. These should be at least at an algebra-based, introductory physics level.
  4. SM 6450 is recommended for methods background in addition to these courses.

Research/Areas of Expertise:

The Department of Physics is involved in five broad areas of research: solid state/materials physics, spectroscopy (optical/laser, molecular/terahertz, and nuclear magnetic resonance), computational biology, geophysics/atmospheric physics, and physics education. Many of these involve significant collaboration with researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) and their contractors.

Research in solid state/materials physics include semiconductors, superconductors, nanostructures, and solid state sensors. The materials considered include Si, GaAs, GaN, ZnO SiC, and graphene. Research in semiconductors includes high speed electronic transport, and radiation damage characterized by Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy, Photoluminescence, and Hall Conductivity techniques. Research in superconductors is centered on the processing and preparation of high-temperature superconducting materials. It involves the enhancement of the critical current density and the study of pinning mechanisms and relaxation effects and their dependence on the microstructure of the material. Research into nanostructures involves fabrication of metallic nanoparticles using the solution-phase method, electrochemical deposition, and condensation techniques. Research in solid-state sensor devices involves all aspects of device analysis and design including the basic solid-state physics, optimal sensor geometry and coupling (electromagnetic, thermal, acoustic, etc), noise mechanisms, and readout electronics. Emphasis is placed on high-frequency to infrared devices, with THz sensors as the focus area. Both detectors (e.g., novel pyroelectric materials and capacitor arrays) and sources (e.g., novel ultrafast photoconductive switches and photomixers) are being pursued.

Research in the spectroscopy laboratories focuses on temporal and wavelength resolved spectroscopy. Specific research areas include terahertz spectroscopy and the study of high band gap semiconductor materials with techniques of photoreflectance, photoabsorption, and photoluminescence. In addition theoretical and computational studies are directed toward the understanding of energy and particle flow in gas discharge plasmas. Research in the Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory includes high-resolution spectroscopy, chemical physics, remote and in-situ sensing and molecular collisions. Experimental studies are in the millimeter-wave region of the electromagnetic spectrum on molecules related to the ozone chemistry of the upper atmosphere and astrophysics-related molecules found in the interstellar medium. Research into nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) covers theoretical and computational studies of nuclear spin dynamics, yielding new methods for increasing the information yield of NMR experiments and imaging protocols.

Research in computational biology includes quantitative modeling of biological processes at the molecular, cellular, and organ level. Bioinformatics research on cellular genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic responses to interventions is done in association with scientists at Wright- Patterson Air Force base and other departments at Wright State University

Research into the physics of the earth is conducted in cooperation with the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Environmental Science Ph.D. program. Subjects addressed include multi-phase flow in porous media, optical and transport properties of real media, sediment transport in turbulent flow, and coupled ocean-atmospheric phenomena. In a broader sense this research addresses the questions of the relative roles of non-linear physics, stochastic forcing, and heterogeneous surroundings in fundamental natural phenomena. Research in atmospheric physics includes the physics, chemistry, and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Mathematical and computational methods are used, utilizing data from satellites and planetary probes to construct models of planetary atmospheres, including the earth’s atmosphere.

Research in physics education encompasses undergraduate physics curriculum and in-service teacher professional development. Research on undergraduate physics curriculum includes the development of courses for both pre-service teachers and undergraduate science majors and the study of the effectiveness of these courses at increasing student understanding and retention. Research focusing on in-service teachers involves the development of professional development programs and the study of their effectiveness at instilling best teaching practices in the K-12 classroom and subsequent student achievement.

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