Applied Physics, MS

On Campus

Applied Physics/Nanophysics

As an MS student in the Applied Physics program at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, you will be prepared to master and apply the most fundamental and influential science. You will learn in an innovative environment and gain the skills needed to thrive in sectors such as alternative energy, physics-based nanotechnology, quantum mechanics, optical technology, health and wellness and global information technology. The MS Applied Physics program fosters an understanding of the evolution of the science and will emphasize modern advancements in physics, in addition to classical methods.

The graduate program in Applied Physics strongly supports research initiatives by students. With only two required courses, and manifold electives, the Master of Science in Applied Physics leaves opportunities open for student-conducted research projects inspired by the range of available coursework. There is no better time to continue to build upon your foundation of physics as the field changes both academically and professionally.

About the Program

A bachelor’s degree with good academic standing in physics, applied physics or a closely-related discipline from an accredited college or university is required for admission to the applied physics graduate program. Applicants with degrees from fields other than physics or applied physics may be admitted, but must fulfill certain prerequisite courses before being considered for acceptance. These courses may include electromagnetism, modern physics, and/or mechanics. Students are expected to enter the program with at least an introductory background in physics, mathematics, chemistry and computer science. Undergraduate courses specified for this purpose cannot count toward credits needed for the master’s degree. Letters of recommendation, GRE and TOEFL scores and application letters will also be considered in the admissions process.


To satisfy the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Applied Physics, the student must complete a minimum of 30 semester credits. Students are required to take six credits of basic courses, which include two 3-credit experiences: Quantum Mechanics and Graduate Seminar. In the Graduate Seminar, which is taken over two semesters, students present current topics in applied physics to their fellow students and supervising faculty. The remaining 24-credits will be earned from elective physics courses. Departmental electives include courses from the applied physics department at the 5000 and 6000 levels. The elective courses may include a 6-credit research project or a 9-credit thesis in physics. Choice of a research project or thesis option and elective courses must be made with the approval of the graduate adviser. Opportunities for work as research or graduate assistants are occasionally available in the applied physics department. With the approval of a graduate adviser, as many as 9 physics credits earned at another institution at the graduate level may be applied toward a student’s degree. No comprehensive examination is required for the master’s degree in applied physics. A student must hold a B/3.0 GPA at the time of graduation. The graduate applied physics program is flexible for working professionals, so courses will be offered primarily in the evening and only on the Brooklyn Campus.


The Master of Science program in Applied Physics at NYU Tandon School of Engineering is an unparalleled advantage for professionals seeking to advance in today’s leading physics positions. As technology continues to extend human life and harness new energy sources, those with extensive experience in applied physics are in high demand. NYU-Poly’s multi-faceted applied physics curriculum will enable you to meet these challenges and go on to build a career in research or consulting for government or privately owned technology-based agencies.


This is your opportunity to learn from the best

You will benefit from NYU-Poly’s highly respected faculty, made up of full-time and adjunct professors in applied physics from around the world. Departmental research is concentrated in areas of biophotonics, alternative energy sources, nanotechnology and nanoelectronics, quantum computing, terahertz sources and detectors, atomic and plasma physics, transport phenomena and optical physics. Faculty works closely with students to ensure an invested mentorship and extensive research experience. These individuals will help you excel in positions suited for those with a background in physics, including the emerging fields of health, green technology, energy conservation and nanotechnology research.

Tailored to meet today’s challenges

Our programs will enable you to fill the growing need for applied physics specialists and excel in those positions. As research is continually needed for the discovery of better technology both for alternative sources of energy and human wellness, the Applied Physics department at NYU-Poly provides a diverse sampling of what the science of physics can be applied to, allowing you to use your strengths to make a contribution to solving the problems facing the world in the 21st century.

Classes will fit into your busy schedule

You will have the opportunity to take graduate courses at the main campus at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn. To meet the needs of working professionals, courses are typically offered during evenings.


Curriculum

Admitted students will be expected to have a BS in physics, applied physics, or a closely-related discipline and to make up any deficiencies before commencing graduate studies. Letters of recommendation, undergraduate GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores, and application letters will be considered in the admission process.


Completion of the Master of Science in Applied Physics requires a minimum of 30 semester credits. Students are required to take 6 credits of basic core courses (a 3-credit course in quantum mechanics and two semesters of graduate seminar) with the balance of the necessary credits earned in elective courses. The elective courses may include a 6-credit research project or a 9-credit thesis in applied physics. Up to 9 credits of Tandon engineering, science or computer science courses may also be used as electives in the program. Choice of a project or thesis option and of elective courses should be made with the approval of the graduate adviser.  As many as 9 transfer credits of physics courses taken outside NYU, or up to 3 suitable courses from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may be accepted towards the degree, with the approval of the graduate adviser.  No comprehensive examination is required for the master’s degree in applied physics.


3 Credits Quantum Mechanics I PH-GY6673
Quantum mechanics with applications to atomic systems. The use of Schrodinger’s equations. Angular momentum and spin. Semi-classical theory of field-matter interaction.
Prerequisites: MA-UY 2122, PH-UY 3234 equivalents.
1.5 Credits Graduate Seminar I PH-GY9531
Students presenting current topics in Physics in a seminar setting to other students and supervising faculty. Topics chosen by the student with guidance from faculty.
1.5 Credits Graduate Seminar II PH-GY9541
Students presenting current topics in Physics in a seminar setting to other students and supervising faculty. Topics chosen by the student with guidance from faculty.


Of the elective courses, up to 4 will be allowed at the 5000 level. Suitable applied physics elective courses include:

3 Credits Physical Basis of Nanotechnology PH-GY5343
This course focuses on the underlying physical basis of nanotechnology. Introduction to nanotechnology, examples of nanoscale systems. Systematics in miniaturization from the mm to the nm scale. Limits to miniaturization. Quantum concepts and elementary Schrodinger theory. Quantum effects in the behavior of chemical matter. Examples of self-assembled nanosystems from nature and from contemporary industrial products.
Prerequisite: PH-UY 2004 or PH-UY 2033
3 Credits Physical Techniques and Application of Nanotechnology PH-GY5443
This course focuses on physical techniques and applications of nanotechnology. Scanning probe microscopes for observation and fabrication. Photolithographic methods of patterning, deposition techniques. Dense memory based on arrays of cantilevers. Magnetic Tunnel Junctions as elements of magnetic disc memory read heads and in Magnetic Random Access Memory. Nanoscale high-electric-field devices. Nanoscale confinement techniques and devices. Applications of carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanowires. Assembly methods for nanoscale objects.
Prerequisite: PH-UY 2004 or PH-UY 2033
3 Credits Modern Optics PH-GY5473
The course covers the physics of optics, using both classical and semi-classical descriptions. Topics include the classical and quantum interactions of light with matter. Diffraction of waves and wave packets by obstacles. Fourier transform optics, holography, Fourier transform spectroscopy. Coherence and quantum aspects of light. Geometrical optics. Matrix optics. Crystal optics. Introduction to electro-optics and nonlinear optics.
Prerequisites: MA-UY 2122 and PH-UY 3234 equivalents.
3 Credits Physics of Nanoelectronics PH-GY5493
This course covers limits to the ongoing miniaturization (Moore’s Law) of the successful silicon-device technology imposed by physical limitations of energy dissipation, quantum tunneling and discrete quantum electron states. Quantum physical concepts and elementary Schrodinger theory. Conductance quantum and magnetic flux quantum. Alternative physical concepts appropriate for devices of size scales of 1 to 10 nanometers, emphasizing role of power dissipation. Tunnel diode, resonant tunnel diode, electron wave transistor; spin valve, tunnel valve, magnetic disk and random access memory; single electron transistor, molecular crossbar latch, quantum cellular automata including molecular and magnetic realizations. Josephson junction and “rapid single flux quantum” computation. Photo- and x-ray lithographic patterning, electron beam patterning, scanning probe microscopes for observation and for fabrication; cantilever array as dense memory, use of carbon nanotubes and of DNA and related biological elements as building blocks and in self-assembly strategies.
Prerequisites: PH-UY 2004 or PH-UY 2033.
3 Credits Physics of Quantum Computing PH-GY5553
This course explores limits to the performance of binary computers, traveling salesman and factorization problems, security of encryption. The concept of the quantum computer based on linear superposition of basis states. The information content of the qubit. Algorithmic improvements enabled in the hypothetical quantum computer. Isolated two-level quantum systems, the principle of linear superposition as well established. Coherence as a limit on quantum computer realization. Introduction of concepts underlying the present approaches to realizing qubits (singly and in interaction) based on physical systems. The systems in present consideration are based on light photons in fiber optic systems; electron charges in double well potentials, analogous to the hydrogen molecular ion; nuclear spins manipulated via the electron-nuclear spin interaction, and systems of ions such as Be and Cd which are trapped in linear arrays using methods of ultra-high vacuum, radiofrequency trapping and laser-based cooling and manipulation of atomic states. Summary and comparison of the several approaches.
Prerequisites: PH-UY 2004 or PH-UY 2033
3 Credits Physics of Alternative Energy PH-GY5663
The course examines non-petroleum sources of energy including photovoltaic cells, photocatalytic generators of hydrogen from water, and nuclear fusion reactors. The advanced physics of these emerging technical areas are introduced in this course. Semiconductor junctions, optical absorption in semiconductors, photovoltaic effect. Energy conversion efficiency of the silicon solar cell. Single crystal, polycrystal, and thin film types of solar cells. Excitons in bulk and in confined geometries. Excitons in energy transport within an absorbing structure. Methods of making photocatalytic surfaces and structures for water splitting. Conditions for nuclear fusion. Plasmas and plasma compression. The toroidal chamber with magnetic coils as it appears in recent designs. Nuclear fusion by laser compression (inertial fusion). Small scale exploratory approaches to fusion based on liquid compression and electric field ionization of deuterium gas.
Prerequisites: PH-UY 2004 or PH-UY 2033
3 Credits Physical Concepts of Polymer Nanocomposites PH-GY6403
This course presents fundamental aspects of polymer nanocomposites and updates on recent advancements and modern applications. Topics include nanostructured materials; assembly at interfaces; interactions on surfaces; properties of polymer nanocomposites; reliability; nanodevices.
3 Credits Introduction to Solid-state Physics I PH-GY6513
Phenomena and theory of physics of crystalline solids. Topics from thermal, magnetic, electrical and optical properties of metals, insulators and semiconductors.
Prerequisite: PH-UY 2344 or equivalent.
3 Credits Introduction to Solid-state Physics II PH-GY6523
Phenomena and theory of physics of crystalline solids. Topics from thermal, magnetic, electrical and optical properties of metals, insulators and semiconductors.
Prerequisite: PH-GY 6513
3 Credits Advanced Quantum Computing PH-GY6553
Advanced topics in quantum computation are explored.
Prerequisites: PH-GY 5553.
3 Credits Quantum Mechanics II PH-GY6683
Quantum mechanics with applications to atomic systems. The use of Schrodinger’s equations. Angular momentum and spin. Semi-classical theory of field-matter interaction.
Prerequisites PH-GY 6673.
3 Credits Selected Topics in Advanced Physics PH-GY8013
Current or advanced topics of particular interest to graduate students are examined. Subject matter is determined each year by students and faculty. The course may be given in more than one section. Consult department office for current offerings.
Note: this course is not offered every semester.
3 Credits Selected Topics in Advanced Physics PH-GY8023
Current or advanced topics of particular interest to graduate students are examined. Subject matter is determined each year by students and faculty. The course may be given in more than one section. Consult department office for current offerings.
Note: this course is not offered every semester.
Readings in Applied Physics PH-GY955X
These guided studies courses in physics are supervised by faculty member.
Prerequisite: Graduate Physics advisor approval. Note: Course may be repeated for additional credit.
MS Project in Applied Physics PH-GY996X
This project course in applied physics is supervised by a faculty member. A written project proposal and final report must be submitted to the department chair and the advisor, and may be extended to a thesis with the project advisor's recommendation.
Prerequisite: Advisor Approval
MS Thesis in Applied Physics PH-GY997X
Independent research project performed under guidance of thesis advisor. Bound thesis volume and oral defense in presence of at least three faculty members. Continuous registration with total 9 credits required.