Department of Physics

Chairman

Kevin B. Smith, Ph.D.

Code PH/Sk, Spanagel Hall, Room 200A

(831) 656-2896, DSN 756-2896

kbsmith@nps.edu

Associate Chairman, Instruction and Administration

Christopher Smithtro, Ph.D.

Code PH/Sc, Spanagel Hall

Room 206A

(831) 656-3939, DSN 756-3939

cgsmitht@nps.edu

Associate Chairman, Research

Joseph Hooper, Ph.D.

Code PH/Hj, Spanagel Hall

Room 114

(831) 656-2601, DSN 756-2601

jphooper@nps.edu

 

Fabio Durante Pereira Alves, Associate Professor (2018)*, Ph.D., Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica, Brazil, 2008.

Joseph Blau, Research Associate Professor (1989); Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, 2002.

Abram Clark IV, Assistant Professor (2017); Ph.D., Duke University, 2014.

Keith Cohn, Senior Lecturer (2009); Ph.D., Stanford University, 2007.

Bruce C. Denardo, Associate Professor (1998); Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1990.

Raymond M. Gamache, Associate Professor (2016); Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1999.

Oleg A. Godin, Professor (2016); Ph.D., Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1984.

Dragoslav Grbovic, Associate Professor (2010), Ph.D., University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 2007.

Joseph Hooper, Professor (2011); Ph. D., Tulane University, 2006.

Emil P. Kartalov, Associate Professor (2016); Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2004.

Gamani Karunasiri, Distinguished Professor (2000); Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1984.

Andres Larraza, Associate Professor and Chair, Undersea Warfare Academic Group (1994); Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1987.

Frank A. Narducci, Associate Professor (2017); Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1996.

Richard Christopher Olsen, Professor (1987); Ph.D., University of California at San Diego, 1980.

Craig F. Smith, Research Professor (2004); Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1975.

Kevin B. Smith, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics (1995); Ph.D., University of Miami, 1991.

Christopher Smithtro, Col, USAF (ret), Senior Lecturer (2017), Ph.D., Utah State University, 2004.

 

Professors Emeriti:

Robert Louis Armstead, Associate Professor Emeritus (1964)*; Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1964.

Steven Richard Baker, Associate Professor Emeritus (1985); Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1985.

Brett Borden, Professor Emeritus (2002); Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1986.

Fred Raymond Buskirk, Professor Emeritus (1960); Ph.D., Case Institute of Technology, 1958.

William Boniface Colson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1989); Ph.D., Stanford University, 1997.

Alfred William Madison Cooper, Professor Emeritus (1957); Ph.D., The Queens University of Belfast, 1961.

Peter P. Crooker, Senior Lecturer Emeritus (2001); Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, 1967.

David Scott Davis, Associate Professor Emeritus (1989); Ph.D., Purdue University, 1976.

Richard M. Harkins, Senior Lecturer Emeritus (2000); MS, Naval Postgraduate School, 1988, MA Naval War College, 1993.

Otto Heinz, Professor Emeritus (1962); Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1954.

Daphne Kapolka, LCDR, USN (ret), Senior Lecturer Emeritus (2000); Ph.D., Naval Postgraduate School, 1997.

James H. Luscombe, Professor Emeritus (1994); Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1983.

Xavier K Maruyama, Professor Emeritus (1987); Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971.

James Vincent Sanders, Professor Emeritus (1961); Ph.D., Cornell University, 1961.

Gordon Everett Schacher, Professor Emeritus (1964); Ph.D., Rutgers, 1961.

David M. Trask, Col, USAF (ret), Professor of the Practice Emeritus (2001); M.B.A., Embry-Riddle University, 1991.

Donald Lee Walters, Professor Emeritus (1983); Ph.D., Kansas State University, 1971.

Karlheinz Edgar Woehler, Professor Emeritus (1962); Ph.D., University of Munich, 1962.

* The year of joining the Naval Postgraduate School faculty is indicated in parentheses.

 

Current expertise in the Department of Physics includes the following specializations:

Optical and Electromagnetic Signal Propagation, Detection and Sensor Systems.

Underwater Acoustics

Conventional weapons and their effects

Explosives and high strain rate deformation of materials

Directed Energy Weapons Physics

Physical Acoustics

Condensed-Matter, Device and Sensor Physics

Micro-Electrical and Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

Autonomous Systems and Sensors

Energy

All of these specializations are of relevance to modern and future weapons technologies. The faculty supports an ongoing research program in these areas and student thesis topics are available in all of them.

Degree Requirements

The Department of Physics offers the Master of Science in Physics, Applied Physics, and Combat Systems Technology as well as the Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics. It also offers the Master of Science and PhD in Engineering Acoustics and the Master of Engineering Acoustics jointly with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Upon approval by the department, courses taken at other institutions may be applied toward satisfying degree requirements to the extent allowed by the general Postgraduate School regulations.

Degree

A student is able to earn an academic degree listed below while enrolled in Applied Physics of Combat Systems (Curriculum 533), Undersea Warfare (Curriculum 525/526), Space Systems Engineering (Curriculum 591), Applied Physics PhD (Curriculum 537), or Engineering Acoustics PhD (Curriculum 536).

Master of Science in Physics

A candidate for the Master of Science in Physics degree must satisfactorily complete a program of study approved by the Chairman of the Physics Department that includes:

  1. A minimum of 32 quarter-hours of physics courses at the graduate level.
  2. Successful completion of the following specific courses (or their equivalents): PH3152 Analytical Mechanics, PH3352 Electromagnetic Waves, PH3991 Theoretical Physics, PH3782 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics, PH4353 Topics in Advanced Electricity and Magnetism, PH4656 Quantum Mechanics, plus a sequence of two graduate level physics courses, at least one of which must be at the 4000 level.
  3. Of the 32 quarter-hours the student must complete a minimum of 15 at the 4000 level. Upon approval of the Chairman of the Physics Department, a maximum of 4 hours of courses taken in another department may be applied toward satisfying the total physics requirement.
  4. An acceptable thesis advised by a member of the Physics Department.

The following specific course requirements (or equivalent) must be successfully completed for a student to earn the Master of Science in Physics degree:

1. PH3152: Analytical Mechanics
PH3352: Electromagnetic Waves
PH3991: Theoretical Physics
PH3782: Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics.
PH4353: Topics in Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
PH4656: Quantum Mechanics 
2. In addition to the above, a graduate sequence containing at least two physics courses, at least one of which must be at the 4000 level.

All programs leading to the degree Master of Science in Physics must be approved by the Chairman of the Department of Physics.

Master of Science in Applied Physics

A candidate for the Master of Science in Applied Physics degree must satisfactorily complete a program of study approved by the Chairman of the Physics Department that includes:

  1. At least 32 quarter-hours of graduate level courses in physics, mathematics, and engineering including 20 at the 4000 level. Of these 32 hours, at least 20 will be physics courses including 12 at the 4000 level.
  2. At least one graduate level course in each of the following areas: mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum physics. Students will demonstrate additional breadth by taking at least one 4000 level physics course outside their concentration area.
  3. An area of concentration containing a four-course sequence of graduate-level courses in addition to the above requirements, at least two at the 4000 level, in an area related to applied physics.
  4. An acceptable thesis advised or co-advised by a member of the Physics Department.

Master of Science in Combat Systems Technology

A candidate for the Master of Science in Combat Systems Technology degree must satisfactorily complete a program of study approved by the Chairman of the Physics Department that includes:

  1. A minimum of 32 quarter-hours of graduate work in Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering, with at least 18 quarter-hours at the 4000 level. Included in these hours must be at least 20 quarter-hours of graduate-level physics, including 12 quarter-hours at the 4000 level.
  2. Two approved sequences of courses related to combat systems technology. Each sequence must consist of at least four graduate-level courses with at least two courses at the 4000 level. A list of approved sequences is available from the Chairman.
  3. A thesis advised or co-advised by a member of the Physics Department.

Master of Science in Engineering Acoustics

A candidate for the Master of Science in Engineering Acoustics degree must satisfactorily complete a program of study approved by the Chair, Engineering Acoustics Academic Committee, that includes:

  1. A minimum of 32 graduate credit quarter-hours of course work of which at least 20 must be taken in acoustics and its applications.
  2. At least three 4000 level courses from any three of the following six areas: wave propagation; transducer theory and design; noise, shock, and vibration control; sonar systems; signal processing; and communications.  These courses must include at least one from each of the sponsoring disciplines (physics and electrical engineering).
  3. Completion of an acceptable thesis on a topic approved by the Engineering Acoustics Academic Committee.

Master of Engineering Acoustics

A candidate for the Master of Engineering Acoustics degree must complete the same program of study listed above for the Master of Science degree with the exception of the thesis.  An acceptable one-quarter capstone project advised by a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering or Physics Departments replaces the thesis requirement for this degree.

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics

The Department of Physics offers the Ph.D. in several areas of specialization which currently include acoustics, electro-optics, free electron lasers, space physics, and theoretical physics.

Requirements for the degree may be grouped into three categories: courses, dissertation research, and examinations.

The required examinations are outlined under the general school requirements for the Ph.D. In particular, the department requires a preliminary examination to show evidence of acceptability as a doctoral student. This examination may be taken before or after commencement of graduate studies at NPS.

The department offers the Ph.D. in Applied Physics requiring 40 credit hours of 4000 level courses, but a portion of these hours may be taken in other departments in technical subjects related to physics.

A more detailed description of departmental requirements for the Ph.D. is contained in the booklet "Doctoral Study in Applied Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School," available from the Academic Associate.

An applicant to the Ph.D. program who is not already a student at NPS should submit transcripts of previous academic and professional work, plus results of a current Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test, to the Director of Admissions, Code 01C3, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California 93943-5100.

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Acoustics

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Physics jointly sponsor an interdisciplinary program in Engineering Acoustics leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Areas of special strength in the departments are physical acoustics, underwater acoustics, acoustic signal processing, and acoustic communications. A noteworthy feature of this program is that a portion of the student's research may be conducted away from the Naval Postgraduate School at a cooperating laboratory or other federal government installation. The degree requirements and examinations are as outlined under the general school requirements for the doctorate degree. In addition to the school requirements, the departments require a preliminary examination to show evidence of acceptability as a doctoral student.

Physics Laboratories

The physics laboratories are equipped to carry on instruction and research work in acoustics, atomic and molecular physics, electro-optics, spectroscopy, laser physics, computational physics, optical propagation, and sensor physics.

The Optical Physics and Sensors Laboratory uses imaging, spectroscopic and sensing systems from far infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths, including instrumentation for seagoing, airborne and ground-based measurements.

The Acoustics Laboratory equipment includes a large anechoic chamber, a small reverberation chamber and a multiple-unit acoustics laboratory for student experimentation in acoustics in air. Sonar equipment, test and wave tanks and instrumentation for investigation in underwater sound comprise the Underwater Acoustics Laboratory.  The Physical Acoustics Laboratories are equipped with a variety of modern data collection and processing equipment.

The Sensor Research Laboratory is capable of design, packaging and characterization of optical and infrared detectors using I-V measurement, Fourier transform spectroscopy and variable temperature photocurrent spectroscopy. Facilities exist for advanced micro-characterization, including cathodoluminescence, EBIC, X-ray analysis, and transport imaging in a scanning electron microscope with variable temperature capability.

The Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory provides microfabrication capabilities including photolithography, thermal and PECVD thin film deposition, dry and wet etching and carbon nanotube growth. It also has a range of thin film characterization capabilities and optical profilometer. This cleanroom laboratory supports design and fabrication of sensors based on MEMS (Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems).

The Undersea Sensing Systems Laboratory supports deployable platforms for exploring the development, integration, and application of novel acoustic and other undersea sensing systems with an emphasis on environmental assessment, undersea networking, and directional acoustic sensing, tracking, and localization.

Physic Course Descriptions

PC Courses

PH Courses