PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
 COMPLETE COURSE LISTING  PHYSICS
 COMPLETE COURSE LISTING  PHYSICAL SCIENCE
 BACHELOR OF ARTS
 BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
 MINORS
 CERTIFICATE
 SUBJECT MATTER PROGRAM
 CAREER POSSIBILITIES
 FACULTY
 CONTACT
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Physics is the most fundamental science and underlies our understanding of nearly all areas of science and technology. In a broad sense, physics is concerned with the study of energy, space, and matter, and with the interactions between matter and the laws that govern these interactions. More specifically, physicists study mechanics, heat, light, electric and magnetic fields, gravitation, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Sacramento State offers three degree programs: the BA in Physics, the BS in Physics, a BS in Physics with a concentration in Applied Physics, and one program for a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physics; the Department also offers Minor programs in Physics and Astronomy. The BS degree is recommended for students seeking a career in Physics or planning to pursue a graduate degree. The BA degree is recommended for students who are interested in teaching Physics in high school or who want a liberal arts education with an emphasis in Physics. Physics majors are encouraged to take additional mathematics and to develop skills in the use of computers.
Approximately 50 percent of the graduating physics majors from Sacramento State continue on to graduate school earning advanced degrees in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Medicine or Business. Another 40 percent find job opportunities in industrial and government laboratories or agencies. The remaining 10 percent obtain their teaching credential.
Special Features
 In addition to providing a broad academic background and facility in analytic thinking, the study of physics fosters and emphasizes independent study experiences. Physics students at Sacramento State typically spend a year or two working on the design and building of scientific apparatus, assisting a faculty member in a research project, or doing independent study on a topic of special interest to them. These independent projects not only provide a vehicle for applying material learned in class and give students experience in electronics, measurement systems, computers, and machine shop work, but also teach students to work and think on their own. Faculty in the Department have been active in research in acoustics, atomic physics, astrophysics, energy, holography, nuclear physics, optics, quantum mechanics, relativity, and solid state physics.
 An advising system has been established by the Department of Physics and Astronomy to help students plan their schedules each semester, to discuss independent project possibilities, and to provide career and current job information. Because of the large number of sequential courses in the degree programs, the Department requires that each student contact his/her advisor before registering for classes each semester. Any student without an advisor should contact William DeGraffenreid, Department Chair in Sequoia Hall 230, or call (916) 2786518.
UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS
Requirements  Bachelor of Arts Degree  Physics
Units required for Major: 6567
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120
Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.
A. Required Lower Division Courses (37 units)
(5) 
General Chemistry I (High school chemistry and college algebra; sufficient performance on the college algebra diagnostic test, or equivalent) 

(5) 
General Chemistry II (CHEM 1A with a passing grade of C or better) 

(4) 
Calculus I (MATH 29 or four years of high school mathematics which includes two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of mathematical analysis; completion of ELM requirement and PreCalculus Diagnostic Test) 

(4) 
Calculus II (MATH 30 or appropriate high school based AP credit) 

(4) 
Calculus III (MATH 31) 

(3) 
Differential Equations for Science and Engineering (MATH 31) 

(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) 

(4) 
General Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics (PHYS 11A) 

(4) 
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (MATH 31, PHYS 11A) 

(3) 
Introduction to Modern Physics (MATH 31; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 
B. Required Upper Division Courses (2022 units)
(3) 
Mathematical Methods in Physics (MATH 32; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) OR 

(4) 
Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering I (MATH 32 and MATH 45 ) 

(3) 
Introduction to Modern Physics (MATH 31; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 

(3) 

(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B with instructor permission) OR 

(3) 
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (MATH 45, PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C) 

(3) 

(2) 
Advanced Physics Laboratory (12 units of upper division physics including PHYS 106 and either PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 and satisfaction of the Advanced Writing requirement) 
C. Elective Upper Division Requirements (8 units)
Eight elective units in Physics selected in consultation with a Physics advisor.
D. Physics Colloquium Attendance
Majors must fulfill a minimum attendance requirement at Department Colloquia. Students should consult with their advisor (and/or Department Chair) during their mandatory advising appointments to find out the number of colloquia that are required to satisfy this requirement.
Requirements  Bachelor of Arts Degree  Physics  Concentration in Teacher Preparation
Units required for Major: 8081
Minimum total units required for the BA: 120
Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.
A. Required Lower Division Courses (52 units)
(3) 
Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology (One year of high school geometry or instructor permission) 

(5) 
Biodiversity, Evolution, and Ecology 

(5) 
General Chemistry I (High school chemistry and college algebra; sufficient performance on the college algebra diagnostic test, or equivalent, or minimum grade of "C" in CHEM 4) 

(5) 
General Chemistry II (CHEM 1A with a passing grade of C or better) 

(3) 
Physical Geology 

(1) 
Physical Geology Lab (GEOL 10; may be taken concurrently) 

(4) 
Calculus I (MATH 29 or four years of high school mathematics which includes two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of mathematical analysis; completion of ELM requirement and PreCalculus Diagnostic Test) 

(4) 
Calculus II (MATH 30 or appropriate high school based AP credit) 

(4) 
Calculus III (MATH 31) 

(3) 
Differential Equations for Science and Engineering (MATH 31) 

(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) 

(4) 
General Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics (PHYS 11A) 

(4) 
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (MATH 31, PHYS 11A) 

(3) 
Science and Pseudoscience 
B. Required Upper Division Courses (2223 units)
(3) 
Mathematical Methods in Physics (MATH 32; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 

(3) 
Introduction to Modern Physics (MATH 31; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 

(3) 

(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B with instructor permission) OR 

(3) 
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (MATH 45, PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C) 

(3) 

(2) 
Advanced Physics Laboratory (12 units of upper division physics including PHYS 106 and either PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 and satisfaction of the Advanced Writing requirement) 

(12) 
Senior Project (Department Chair permission) 
C. Elective Upper Division Requirements (6 units)
Six elective units in Physics selected in consultation with an advisor.
(3) 
Advanced Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 115) 

(3) 

(3) 

(13)  PHYS 196 series course  Experimental Offerings in Physics (13 units per semester; 4 unit maximum) 
(13) 
Cocurricular Activities (13 units per semester; 4 unit maximum) 

(13) 
Special Problems (13 units per semester; 4 unit maximum) 
And whichever of the courses below not previously used to fulfill the upper division requirement:
(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B with instructor permission) OR 

(3) 
*It is expected, but not required, that the Senior Project for students enrolled in this concentration will be related to developing and understanding and/or knowledge about the teaching of science based upon guidelines established in the department.
The upper division elective requirements will be customized to meet the needs of the individual students in consultation with an advisor in the department as they prepare for a career in the teaching of physics. PHYS 195 and PHYS 197 will be strongly encouraged for students in the Teacher Preparation Concentration.
Requirements  Bachelor of Science Degree  Physics
Units required for Major: 7476
Minimum total units required for the BS: 120
Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.
Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.
A. Required Lower Division Courses (37 units)
(5) 
General Chemistry I (High school chemistry and college algebra; sufficient performance on the college algebra diagnostic test, or equivalent, or minimum grade of "C" in CHEM 4) 

(5) 
General Chemistry II (CHEM 1A with a passing grade of C or better) 

(4) 
Calculus I (MATH 29 or four years of high school mathematics which includes two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of mathematical analysis; completion of ELM requirement and PreCalculus Diagnostic Test) 

(4) 
Calculus II (MATH 30 or appropriate high school based AP credit) 

(4) 
Calculus III (MATH 31) 

(3) 
Differential Equations for Science and Engineering (MATH 31) 

(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) 

(4) 
General Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics (PHYS 11A) 

(4) 
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (MATH 31, PHYS 11A) 
B. Required Upper Division Courses (3436 units)
(3) 
Mathematical Methods in Physics (MATH 32; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) OR 

(4) 
Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering I (MATH 32 and MATH 45) 

(3) 
Introduction to Modern Physics (MATH 31; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 

(3) 

(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B with instructor permission) OR 

(3)  
(3) 
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (MATH 45, PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C) 

(3) 

(3) 
Electrodynamics of Waves, Radiation, and Materials (PHYS 135) 

(3) 

(3) 
Advanced Modern Physics (PHYS 150) 

(3) 

(2) 
Advanced Physics Laboratory (12 units of upper division physics including PHYS 106 and either PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 and satisfaction of the Advanced Writing requirement) 

(12) 
Senior Project (Department Chair permission) 
C. Elective Upper Division Requirements (3 units)
Three units of upperdivision coursework chosen in consultation with an advisor:
D. Physics Colloquium Attendance
Majors must fulfill a minimum attendance requirement at Department Colloquia. Students should consult with the Department for details.
Notes:
 Students are required to complete 2 units for their Senior project (PHYS 191) either over one or two semesters
 Students with an interest in theoretical physics are encouraged to consider a minor in Mathematics.
 Students graduating with a BS in Physics will not be subject to the University's Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University's Foreign Language Graduation Requirement
Requirements  Bachelor of Science Degree  Physics  Concentration in Applied Physics
Units required for Major: 7577
Minimum total units required for the BS: 120
Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.
Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.
A. Required Lower Division Courses (37 units)
(4) 
General Chemistry for Engineering (High school chemistry; Math 30 or eligibility to take MATH 30 as evidenced by the calculus readiness diagnostic exam; passing score on a standardized Chemistry diagnostic exam given prior to each semestert, or minimum grade of "C" in CHEM 4) 

(3) 

(3) 
Introduction to C Programming 

(4) 
Calculus I (MATH 29 or four years of high school mathematics which includes two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of mathematical analysis; completion of ELM requirement and PreCalculus Diagnostic Test) 

(4) 
Calculus II (MATH 30 or appropriate high school based AP credit) 

(4) 
Calculus III (MATH 31) 

(3) 
Differential Equations for Science and Engineering (MATH 31) 

(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) 

(4) 
General Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics (PHYS 11A) 

(4) 
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (MATH 31, PHYS 11A) 
B. Required Upper Division Courses (2931 units)
(3) 
Mathematical Methods in Physics (MATH 32; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) OR 

(4) 
Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering I (MATH 32 and MATH 45) 

(3) 
Introduction to Modern Physics (MATH 31; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 

(3) 

(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B with instructor permission) OR 

(3) 
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (MATH 45, PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C) 

(3) 

(3) 

(3) 
Scientific Computing: Basic Methods (MATH 26A or MATH 30 and PHYS 5A, or MATH 30 and PHYS 11A, or MATH 105A taken concurrently) 

(2) 
Advanced Physics Laboratory (12 units of upper division physics including PHYS 106 and either PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 and satisfaction of the Advanced Writing requirement) 
Select on of the following (2 units minimum):
(3) 
Advanced Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 115) 

(3) 
Scientific Computing: Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization (PHYS 162) 

(12) 
Senior Project (Department Chair permission) 
C. Elective Upper Division Requirements (9 units)
Nine units of upperdivision coursework in Physics or Engineering courses chosen in consultation with an advisor.
D. Physics Colloquium Attendance
Majors must fulfill a minimum attendance requirement at Department Colloquia. Students should consult with the Department for details.
Notes:
 Students are required to complete 2 units for their Senior project (PHYS 191) either over one or two semesters
 Students with an interest in theoretical physics are encouraged to consider a minor in Mathematics.
 Students graduating with a BS in Physics will not be subject to the University's Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University's Foreign Language Graduation Requirement
Requirements  Minor  Physics
Units required for Minor: 21, all of which must be taken in Physics.
A minimum of 9 upper division units is required.
Written approval from a Physics faculty advisor is required.
Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.
A. Required Lower Division Courses (12 units)
(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) 

(4) 
General Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics (PHYS 11A) 

(4) 
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (MATH 31, PHYS 11A) 
B. Required Upper Division Courses (3 units)
(3) 
Introduction to Modern Physics (MATH 31; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 
C. Additional Upper Division Requirements (6 units)
Six elective units in Physics selected in consultation with an advisor:
(3) 
Mathematical Methods in Physics (MATH 32; PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C or PHYS 5A, PHYS 5B) 

(3) 

(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B with instructor permission) 

(3) 
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (MATH 45, PHYS 11A, PHYS 11B, PHYS 11C) 

(3) 

(3) 

(3) 
Electrodynamics of Waves, Radiation, and Materials (PHYS 135) 

(3) 

(3) 

(3) 

(3) 
Advanced Modern Physics (PHYS 150) 

(3) 
Scientific Computing: Basic Methods (MATH 26A or MATH 30 and PHYS 5A, or MATH 30 and PHYS 11A, or MATH 105A taken concurrently) 

(2) 
Advanced Physics Laboratory (12 units of upper division physics including PHYS 106 and either PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 and satisfaction of the Advanced Writing requirement) 
Note: PHYS
5A, PHYS
5B may be substituted for PHYS
11A, PHYS
11C, but the 21unit minimum must be met by additional
courses in one of two ways:
PHYS 106 plus three other upper division Physics courses OR
PHYS 106 plus PHYS 11B plus two other upper division Physics courses.
Requirements  Minor  Astronomy
Please refer to the Astronomy section within this catalog.
Requirements  Certificate  Scientific Computing and Simulation
Units required for Certificate: 14 minimum
A certificate program in Scientific Computing and Simulation designed for science and engineering majors is offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. It focuses on the basic skills of applying the computer to the solution of scientific problems which today encompass a broad range of applications in science and technology. Such skills include modeling and formulating the problem, solving the resulting equations, and displaying the results graphically. Students that earn this certificate will acquire a good grounding in such skills and be better prepared for today's industrial and academic careers.
Specific course requirements are as described below:
A. Background Courses (8 units)
(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) AND 

(4) 

(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics (MATH 30, MATH 31; or equivalent certificated high school courses; MATH 31 may be taken concurrently) AND 

(4) 
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism (MATH 31, PHYS 11A) OR 

(4) 
Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering I (MATH 32, MATH 45) AND 

(4) 
Advanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering II (MATH 105A) OR 

(4) 
General Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Sound (Recently completed three years of high school algebra and geometry; and a college course in algebra and trigonometry [MATH 9 recommended] for those having an inadequate mathematics background) AND 

(4) 
General Physics: Light, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics (PHYS 5A or instructor permission) 
B. Computing Courses (6 units)
(3) 
Scientific Computing: Basic Methods (MATH 26A or MATH 30 and PHYS 5A, or MATH 30 and PHYS 11A, or MATH 105A taken concurrently) 

(3) 
Scientific Computing: Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization (PHYS 162) 
To receive the certificate in Scientific Computing and Simulation, students must
 achieve a 2.5 GPA in the certificate program courses;
 must be working towards a degree at Sacramento State or have special approval from the Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Requirements  Certificate  Scientific Instrument Development
Units required for Certificate: 11 minimum
A certificate in Scientific Instrument Development is available through the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The Scientific Instrument Development certificate program focuses not only on using scientific instruments, but also will teach the fundamentals of electronics, computer interfacing, and machining. Students that earn this certificate will be prepared to design, prototype, and construct instruments for a wide range of scientific applications.
Specific course requirements are:
(2) 
Introduction to Machine Shop Practices 

(4) 
Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 11C or PHYS 5B, instructor permission) 

(3) 
Advanced Electronics and Instrumentation (PHYS 115) 
(24) Select one of the following:
Chemical Instrumentation (CHEM 31, concurrent enrollment in CHEM 140B or completion of CHEM 142, ENGL 20 or an equivalent second semester composition course) 


Physical Chemistry Laboratory (ENGL 20 or an equivalent second semester composition course, CHEM 140A, CHEM 140B or CHEM 142, instructor permission, CHEM 140B may be taken concurrently) 


Advanced Laboratory Techniques for Geology (Appropriate upper division courses and instructor permission) 


Advanced Physics Laboratory (12 units of upper division physics including PHYS 106 and either PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 and a satisfaction of the Advanced Writing requirement) 
To receive the certificate in Scientific Instrument Development, students must
 achieve a 2.5 GPA in the certificate program courses;
 must be working towards a degree at Sacramento State or have special approval from the Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Requirements  Subject Matter Program (PreCredential Preparation)
Physics majors who intend to pursue a single subject teaching credential must complete a BA in Physics including courses in the Science Subject Matter Program which is described in more detail under the heading "Science Subject Matter Program" in this catalog. Upon successful completion, this program fulfills the subject matter competence requirement and qualifies students to enter the Teaching Credential Program in the School of Education. The science teaching credential with a concentration in Physics allows candidates to teach all four of the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience, and Physics) at the general science level and Physics at an advanced level in high school.
Currently there is a serious need in public school education for welleducated science teachers. Physics majors who have an interest in teaching should see the credential advisor in the Department (Dr. Vera Margoniner, Vera.Margoniner@csus.edu) to plan an academic program and to explore ways to get involved in teachingrelated activities such as tutoring, grading, and working in the schools.
Note: Due to policy changes from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the federal No Child Left Behind mandate, the Subject Matter program was under review at the time of this catalog release and is subject to revision. As a result it is important to consult a credential advisor for current details.
Career Possibilities
A degree in physics will prepare you for a wide range of careers. The advanced problem solving, technical, and communication skills one develops alongside the physics knowledge in our degrees are highly valued by many industries. Recent graduates from our programs have an extremely diverse range of careers including: faculty members at colleges and universities, employees at National and State Laboratories and Agencies, teachers at middle and high school, engineers, scientific technicians, analysts, technical writers, computer programmers, and science policy.
Faculty
Matthew Block, Jerome Buerki, William DeGraffenreid, Mikkel Jensen, Vera Margoniner, Joshua Moss, Zolili Ndlela, Jack Osborne, Michael Ray, Tatiana Sergan, Vassili Sergan, Lynn Tashiro, Christopher Taylor
Contact Information
William DeGraffenreid, Department Chair
Heidi Yamazaki, Administrative Support Coordinator
Sequoia Hall 230
(916) 2786518
www.csus.edu/physics
COMPLETE COURSE LISTING  PHYSICS
COMPLETE COURSE LISTING  PHYSICAL SCIENCE
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