Jul 23, 2019  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 

Physics (PHYS)

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The Department of Physics offers the B.S. degree in physics with three emphases. Physics majors should complete at least one year of a foreign language and consult with the department chair before choosing one of the three emphases below.

The department also offers a minor in physics, which is attractive to other science and mathematics majors as well as to students in technical programs. Several of the lower-division courses offered by the department can be used by non-majors toward fulfilling the science area requirement in the university’s general education program. Certain courses are also required in majors in other departments. In addition, the department also offers astronomy courses. Illinois state teacher certification is available through the physics teacher certification program.

Students who want to choose the emphasis in secondary teaching should consult with the physics department education adviser. Applicants are admitted to this emphasis upon completion of a successful interview. Students pursuing the emphasis in secondary teaching need to enter the physics teacher certification program only if they also wish to become certified to teach within the state of Illinois. Students seeking a degree in physics who also wish to become certified to teach must see the physics department adviser at the earliest possible date. Failure to do so may make it impossible for the student to satisfy NIU and physics department graduation requirements as well as Illinois certification requirements in four years.

The department provides academic advisement to incoming preengineering students who plan to transfer to another university after a few years at NIU. The department offers two courses of study to prepare students for the study of engineering at other universities. The first is a two-year pre-professional course of study in science and mathematics which can be tailored to the prerequisites of specific engineering programs. The second requires approximately three years at NIU and two years at the University of Illinois and leads to a B.S. degree in physics from Northern Illinois University and an engineering degree from the University of Illinois. (See “Pre-professional Studies.”)

Physics Faculty

Laurence Lurio, Ph.D., Harvard University, professor, chair
Ralph Benbow, Ph.D., Iowa State University, associate professor
Gerald Blazey, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Distinguished Research Professor
Courtlandt L. Bohn, Ph.D., University of Chicago, Distinguished Research Professor
Dennis Brown, Ph.D., Stanford University, associate professor
Dhiman Chakraborty, Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook, Presidential Research Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Omar Chmaissem, Ph.D., Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble), assistant professor
Bogdan Dabrowski, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Distinguished Research Professor
Bela Erdelyi, Ph.D., Michigan State University, associate professor
Michael Fortner, Ph.D., Brandeis University, assistant professor
David Hedin, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Distinguished Research Professor, Board of Trustees Professor
Zdenek D. Hurych, Ph.D., Charles University, Distinguished Research Professor, emeritus
Yasuo Ito, Ph.D., Cambridge University, associate professor
Stephen P. Martin, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara, Distinguished Research Professor, Presidential Teaching Professor
Susan M. Mini, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, professor
Philippe Piot, Ph.D., University of Grenoble (France), associate professor
Carol Thompson, Ph.D., University of Houston, professor
Michel van Veenendaal, Rijksuniversity (Groningen), Presidential Research Professor
Suzanne E. Willis, Ph.D., Yale University, professor, assistant chair
Augden Windelborn, Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, assistant professor
Roland Winkler, Ph.D., University of Regensburg (Germany), associate professor
Zhili Xiao, Ph.D., University of Konstanz (Germany), Presidential Research Professor

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