Current (or Recent) Semester Courses

Phys 459 (Special Topics and/or undergraduate research topics)

Students can get credit for special topics working with a faculty member - and - students can get started sophomore or junior year. It isn't necessary to wait until senior year!

Most of the professors have web pages that list their publications and research interests. However, It can be hard for and undergraduate students to get a sense of what exactly he or she might actually do and what sorts of activities would be involved.

For getting more concrete ideas of what faculty might suggest as initial activities for undergraduate students interested in participating in their research programs, see the topics listed in the Phys 498/499. Also, check out the URAP opportunities when they get posted in the college! While those are not for academic credit, they do come with a little bit of stipend attached.

Phys 460/560 (Quantum Physics) Fall 2016

Meets Mon. Wed. Fri. 10-10:50 a.m. - LaTourette Hall 237

Likely this will be the Required Textbook (at present being 04/2016) I am still reading through several others - so consider this as just a good book for now)

Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers: David ABMiller, (2008) Publisher: Cambridge Press. This is a quite nice book, it has a more pragmatic approach than the UG texts that attempt to mimic a graduate physics QM course I think that it fits well for this course (460/560) - where students will go off in many directions after this course - some to graduate school in physics (where having good visualizations and intuition of what works will help them when they tackle the math again at a deeper level) and for those going to interdisciplinary areas, they will have enough solid background to understand (and even calculate models) applicable to their fields.

Background textbooks

Pull your Phys III (intro modern physics, i.e, Phys 283) and Intro Modern Physics (i.e, Phys 383) textbooks out of storage! Please see me for other suggestions and loaners of other helper textbooks at the level if necessary.

Additional textbooks at the upper-level UG level (similar to this course) that have good material covered in different ways or problems for practice

  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: in Chemistry, Materials Science, and Biology, SMBlinder, Academic Press

The following are very classic text often used for 2 semester UG quantum physics courses

  • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, David JGriffiths, Pearson Prentice Hall;
  • Introductory Quantum Mechanics, Richard Liboff, Addison-Wesley Publishing;
  • Quantum Mechanics: Concepts and Applications, Nouredine Zettili, Wiley Publishing

I have not seen the following - but just ran across it and was able to see the table of contents - has a broad and interesting selection of topics

  • The Quantum Mechanics Solver: How to Apply Quantum Theory to Modern Physics,
  • Jean-Louis Basdevant and Jean Dalibard, Springer Press

Note to Phys 560 students (graduate credit)

Phys 560 students will usually have extra required problems added into the homework, or some problems replaced by more sophisticated versionsTypically, one of their exam problem choices will be replaced with a problem that requires a deeper level of understandingI otherwise will use the same 'percentage' weighting for the final grade.

PHYS 498 and 499 (Senior Seminar and Honors) Fall 2016

Meets Friday 2:00-4:50 p.m. (Physics Colloquium (with refreshments) will generally be 3:00-4:30) - LaTourette Hall 227

Catalog description:

PHYS 498 SENIOR SEMINAR (1 credit) Topics of current interest in physics and physics educationAttendance at the Department of Physics Colloquium series requiredPRQ: PHYS 374 and senior standing in physics

PHYS 499 SENIOR PROJECT IN PHYSICS (3 credits, honors credit) Program of study and research in a special area of physics selected in consultation with a faculty member and approved by the department chairProject results evaluated by a faculty panelA student who receives credit for PHYS 499 may not also receive credit towards the major in PHYS 459PRQ: PHYS 374 and senior standing in physics

Faculty and either their suggestions for topics or description of their expertise. The research-active faculty in the department will have websites that discuss their interests and expertiseStudents are encouraged to start talking to faculty NOW!The topic and its boundaries need to be defined (and approved by faculty mentor) in under 2 weeks into the semester.

Where faculty and research faculty have provided them, some links to an article or site that illustrate the topic is provided.

Jahred Adelman

  • The Higgs boson: Why was it needed, and how was it discovered?
  • The Standard Model: Why is it incomplete, and where might we find new physics?

Gerald Blazey (on leave)

Dennis Brown

  • Mossbauer Spectroscopy

Dhiman Chakraborty

  • The mysteries of dark matter and/or dark energy
  • The universal preponderance of matter over antimatter
  • What is the origin of mass?

Swapan Chattopadhyay

  • Accelerator Physics

Omar Chmaissem

  • Neutron Scattering techniques

George Coutrakon

  • Medical Physics

Bogdan Dabrowski

  • Energy conversion: Thermoelectrics and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
  • Energy utilization: Oxygen Storage and High-Temperature Superconductors
  • Multiferroics and Magnetic Semiconductors for Spintronics
  • Paradigm of oxides orbitronics: Creating order at atomic scale

Bela Erdelyi

Michael Fortner

Andreas Glatz

  • Simulation techniques in condensed matter physics

David Hedin

  • Detecting particles and searching for new phenomena

Yasuo Ito

  • Electron Tomography

Laurence Lurio

  • X-ray lasers
  • Thermodynamics of membranes

Stephen Martin

  • Triggers for new high energy physics discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider(The student will learn the basics of the requirements for new particle discoveries at the LHC, including the meaning of a 'trigger' and some of the more important examplesThe end product will include a simple table listing as many as possible of the triggers used in searches at the LHC, including the recent discovery of the Higgs boson)

Susan Mini (on leave)

Philippe Piot

  • Photon and Electron beams: Interactions, Synergies and Applications

Youngmin Shin

  • Metamaterials: Novel optoelectronic RF structures for future accelerator and radiation source application

Carol Thompson

Michel van Veenendaal

  • Observing changes with X-rays in a split picosecond
  • X-ray absorption and X-ray scattering

Roland Winkler

  • Aharonov-Bohm effect (a "quantum paradox": tuning the interference of electrons by means of a magnetic field though the electrons never "see" the field)
  • Berry phase (another "quantum paradox": if we "rotate" a quantum system by 2pi, it can be different from the system before the rotation)
  • Schrodinger's cat (another "quantum paradox": Why is Schrodinger's cat dead and alive at the same time?)
  • Datta-Das spin transistor (a transistor that uses the electrons’ spin degree of freedom instead of the electric charge of the electron)
  • Coulomb blockade and single-electron tunneling (in the nanoworld, one electron more or less on a device can make a big difference)
  • Giant magnetoresistance (tuning electric resistance by means of a magnetic field, useful for modern hard disk read heads)

Zhili Xiao

  • Nanoscale Superconductors
  • Nanomaterials based gas sensors
  • New superconductors

Vishnu Zutshi

  • Detectors in HEP and medical physics

Past Courses

Contact Info

LaTourette Hall 207
Department of Physics
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115 USA

Phone: 815-753-1772
Fax: 815-753-8565

Argonne Phone: