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Doctoral

Administration

Chairman:

Prof. Andres Larraza

Associate Chairs:

Academics:

Prof. Dick Harkins

Research:

Prof. Kevin B. Smith

Contact Us:

Department of Physics
Spanagel Hall, Room 203
833 Dyer Road
Monterey, CA 93943-5216
(831) 656-2145
DSN: 756-2145

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Mission Statement

 

DOCTORAL STUDY IN PHYSICS OR IN APPLIED PHYSICS

            The Department of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School offers to qualified students a program of studies leading to the degree Doctor of Philosophy with major in Physics, and a program of studies leading to the degree Doctor of Philosophy with major in Applied Physics.  These programs include course work, written and oral examinations, and research.  A student wishing to embark on either program must present evidence of suitable undergraduate preparation in physics, and of having excelled in previous academic endeavors.  Completion of a doctoral program can be expected to require a minimum of three years of full time graduate study.
            Specific requirements for pursuing studies towards the PhD degree in Physics or in Applied Physics are as follows:

            1. Preliminary Examination.  A student intending to pursue doctoral studies in physics or in applied physics should begin by taking the departmental Preliminary Examination.  In this written examination, the student is expected to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of classical and modern physics at the undergraduate level.  A more detailed discussion of the areas covered by the Preliminary Exam is given in Appendix I.  The examination is prepared, administered, and read by the PhD Committee of the Department of Physics.  Passage of this examination permits the student to embark on a PhD program.  A student who fails to pass this exam may, at the discretion of the PhD Committee, be allowed to retake the examination once.  Prospective students not presently enrolled at the Naval Postgraduate School may, if they wish, take the Preliminary Examination (in Monterey) and receive the Committee's decision before enrolling.

            2. Doctoral Committee.  As soon as possible after successful completion of the Preliminary Examination, the Chairman of the Department of Physics will appoint a Doctoral Committee for the student.  This committee shall consist of at least three members of the Department of Physics and two members of other departments (including a member of the minor department, or from each minor department if more than one).  The Chairman of the Doctoral Committee shall be a member of the Department of Physics.  The student's Dissertation Supervisor shall be a member of the Doctoral Committee.  The Doctoral Committee must be approved by the Academic Council.

            3. Minor Field of Study. The student, with approval of his Doctoral Committee, must select one or more minor fields of study, normally chosen from among the mathematical, scientific, or engineering disciplines.  The criteria for satisfying the minor requirement are set by the academic department or group offering the minor.  The student should select the minor field(s) early in his/her program, not only to ensure that the minor requirements will be met in a timely manner, but also to incorporate the minor field studies into the study of physics.

            4. Course Work.
A. Study for the PhD in Physics requires a minimum of 40 credit hours of physics courses at the 4000 level.  These 40 credit hours must include the following courses, or their equivalents:

            PH4353 Topics in Advanced Electricity & Magnetism (4-0)
            PH4771 Statistical Physics I (3-0)
            PH4971 Quantum Mechanics I (3-0)
            PH4972 Quantum Mechanics II (3-0)

            Physics courses making up the remainder of the required 40 credit hours must be approved by the student's Doctoral Committee, and should include a sequence of courses in each of two physics specialties (for example, plasma physics and electro-optics) in order to expand the student's breadth of knowledge and prepare him/her for the Qualifying Examination.

B. Study for the PhD in Applied Physics requires a minimum of 40 credit hours of courses at the 4000 level.  These 40 credit hours must include the following three courses, or their equivalents:

            PH4353 Topics in Advanced Electricity & Magnetism (4-0)
            PH4771 Statistical Physics I (3-0)
            PH4971 Quantum Mechanics I (3-0)

            In addition, the 40 credit hours must include a choice of three courses from an approved list of applied physics courses determined by the Physics Department PhD Committee.  The current (June 1994) approved list is:

            PH4050 Sensors & Devices (4-2)
            PH4054 Physics of Directed Energy Weapons (4-0)
            PH4455 Sound Propagation in the Ocean (4-0)
            PH4515 Physics of the Satellite Environment (3-0)
            PH466l Plasma Physics I (4-0)
            PH4856 Physics of Nuclear Weapons (4-0)

The remainder of the 40 credit hours of 4000 level courses can be in physics or in technical subjects related to physics.

as approved by the student's Doctoral Committee. However credit hours used to satisfy the minor requirements cannot also be used to satisfy this 40 hours requirement.

5. Qualifying Examination.  Approximately one year, but no more than three years, after successful completion of the Preliminary Examination, the student will take a comprehensive examination covering the course work outlined in Section 4, above.  This examination will be given in two parts, written and oral.  Successful completion of the entire Qualifying Examination (written and oral) requires a unanimous vote of the student's Doctoral Committee.

A. Written Portion. The written portion of the Qualifying Examination requires one full day, and is prepared and administered by the Physics Department PhD Committee, augmented by members of the student's Doctoral Committee.  The written examination will be read by the augmented PhD Committee.  This examining committee will act upon the written examination in one of the following ways:

            a) recommend the student for oral examination
            b) require re-examination (written)
            c) not recommend the student for oral examination

B. Oral Portion. As soon as practical (normally within a month) after successful completion of the written portion of the Qualifying Examination, the Doctoral Committee will hold an open oral examination and will invite the Academic Council and members of the Department of Physics and minor department(s) to attend.

            6. Advancement to Candidacy.  After

                        a) the Doctoral Committee and Dissertation Supervisor are approved by the Academic Council,
                        b) the proposed dissertation topic is approved by the Doctoral Committee,
                        c) the minor requirement is satisfied, and
                        d) the Qualifying Examination is successfully completed,

the Doctoral Committee will notify the Academic Council that these steps have been completed and recommend the student for advancement to candidacy for the doctorate.

            7. Dissertation Research.  The distinct requirement for the PhD degree in Physics or in Applied Physics is the successful completion of a scholarly investigation leading to an original and significant contribution to knowledge in the corresponding discipline.

8. Final Examination.  At least six months after advancement to candidacy, and after acceptance of a draft of the student's dissertation by the Doctoral Committee, this committee will schedule a final oral examination and invite the Academic Council and members of the of Physics to attend.  The examination will and defense of the dissertation, include questioning in the field of specialization.


APPENDIX I.
PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION

The preliminary examination is designed to test the potential candidate's knowledge of physics at the undergraduate level.  The examination is broad in scope and emphasizes concepts and general principles.  Successful completion of this examination indicates that the student has demonstrated sufficient background and ability in physics to undertake a program of graduate study which could lead to the Ph.D. degree.  The following partial list of topics is. representative of the areas covered. The textbooks listed are appropriate to the level expected.

Classical Mechanics  (Symon, MECHANICS; Fowles, ANALYTICAL MECHANICS)
            Work and energy
            Conservation laws
            Particle motion in three dimensions
            Satellite motion
            Rigid body motion
            Small oscillations
            Lagrange's equations of motion
            Rotating coordinate systems

Electricity and Magnetism (Reitz, Milford, and Christy, FOUNDATIONS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY; Wangsness, ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS)
            Electrostatics
            Magnetostatics
            Dielectrics
            Maxwell's Equations
            The vector potential and gauge transformations
            Electromagnetic wave propagation, reflection, and transmission in various media
            Motion of charged particles

Physical Optics (Hecht, OPTICS; Pedritti and Pedrotti, INTRODUCTION TO OPTICS)
            Interference and diffraction
            Resolving power
            Dispersion
            Polarization
            Optical instruments

Modern Physics (Tipler, FOUNDATIONS OF MODERN PHYSICS; Eisberg and Resnick, QUANTUM PHYSICS OF ATOMS, MOLECULES, SOLIDS, NUCLEI, AND PARTICLES)
            Wave-particle duality
            Special theory of relativity
            Spectra
            The hydrogen atom
            Atomic structure -the periodic table
            Elements of quantum mechanics
            Elementary nuclear physics
            Optical pumping and lasers


APPENDIX II
AREAS OF RESEARCH SPECIALIZATION
IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS

I. optical propagation through the atmosphere
2. laser-produced plasma
3. spacecraft environment interactions -spacecraft charging
4. ionospheric photochemistry and uv spectroscopy
5. optoelectronic detector systems
6. infrared imaging, systems analysis and simulation
7. optical and x-ray transition radiation
8. parametric x-radiation
9. free electron lasers
10. VLF and whistler waves in the magnetosphere
11. radiation effects in novel materials
12. generation of electromagnetic radiation with relativistic electrons
13. nonlinear acoustics and nonlinear waves
14. thermoacoustic heat transport
15. elastic wave propagation in fluid-filled porous solids
16. propagation of sound in the ocean
17. reflection and transmission of sound at the sea bottom
18. non-acoustic ASW techniques
19. fiber-optic sensor systems
20. infrared sensor systems for remote sensing, imaging, spectroscopy, and multispectral imaging

 

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