Physics Courses

For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

PHYS-025  Laboratory Techniques: Machine Shop

$30 lab fee. 1 credit. (EL)

PHYS-100  How Things Work

Introduction to physical concepts behind modern technology. Studies of science of every day phenomena considered, including how electricity is generated, how refrigerators operate, and how CDs and DVDs contain information. Lecture, readings, writing, and discussion. Recommended: MATH 105 or equivalent. 3 credits. (NW)

PHYS-101  Descriptive Astronomy

The solar system, stars and their evolution, galaxies and cosmology. Emphasis on observational evidence. Lecture, discussion, and occasional evening observing sessions. 3 credits. (NW)

PHYS-102  The Physics of Art & Music

Ways that artistic expression are explained through physical mechanisms. Studies of light, color, and sound will be explored. Lecture, discussion, and occasional evening trips. $50 lab fee. 3 credits. (NW)

PHYS-103  Physical Geology

The earth's crust and mantle with emphasis on physical and chemical processes. Concepts of energy, uniformity, and plate tectonics. Erosion by various agents, volcanism, earthquakes, and mountain building. Lecture, discussion, and laboratory, including mapping and field work. 3 credits. (NW)

PHYS-107  Energy & The Environment (also Listed As ENVS 107)

Introduction to the concept of energy (kinetic, potential, thermal) and the physical laws governing energy transformation. Forms of energy consumed by society (fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewable energy) and their impacts on the environment (nuclear waste, global warming, air pollution). 3 credits. (QR)

PHYS-109  Aviation Physics & Ground School

Introduction to all physical aspects of flying: aerodynamics, forces, meteorology, electromagnetic spectrum, and vectors. Complete ground school training coverage for those seeking a private pilot's license for single-engine land planes. 3 credits. (NW)

PHYS-210  Introduction To Mechanics

Introduction to the various ways in which the mechanical universe is described, using the concept of particles, waves, and flows. Extensive treatment of Newtonian mechanics, including motion, forces, energy, and waves. The special theory of relativity and basic ideas of quantum mechanics are introduced. Lecture, discussion, and laboratory. $15 lab fee. Prerequisite: MATH 170 (may be taken concurrently). 5 credits. (QR)

PHYS-211  Introduction To Electromagnetism

Introduction to the study of electromagnetic force, including the basic laws of electricity and magnetism, the concept of a field, Maxwell's equations, basic circuits, electromagnetic radiation, and optics. The relationship of electromagnetism to the special theory of relativity. Lecture, discussion, and laboratory. $15 lab fee. Prerequisites: 210 and MATH 170. Recommended: 175 concurrently. 5 credits. (QR)

PHYS-215  Modern Physics

Developments since 1900; relativity, the nature of radiation and matter and their interaction, radioactivity, elementary quantum mechanics, introductory atomic and nuclear physics. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: 211 and MATH 175. Recommended: 385 and CHEM 210 concurrently. Offered fall. 4 credits. (NW)

PHYS-220  Thermal & Statistical Physics

Study of solids, liquids, and gases at the atomic level to develop appreciation for and mathematical understanding of their thermal properties. Topics derive from thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and solid state physics including transport processes, energy distributions, classical and quantum statistical development. Prerequisite: 211 and MATH 175. Recommended: CHEM 210. Offered spring. 3 credits.

PHYS-252  Engineering Statics and Dynamics

Newtonian mechanics with emphasis on problem-solving and engineering applications: force, mass, and acceleration; force systems; free-body diagrams; distributed forces; particle kinematics; motion of rigid bodies; conservation of energy; translational and angular momentum; systems of particles; applications of vector algebra and calculus. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: 210 and MATH 200 (may be taken concurrently). Offered fall of odd numbered years. 4 credits.

PHYS-253  Strength of Materials

Continuation of study of engineering mechanics following 252. Equilibrium and geometric compatibility in devices and structures; Hooke's Law, stress and strain in variously loaded members; deformation and deflection; theory of failure. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisites: 210 and 252. Offered spring of even numbered years. 3 credits.

PHYS-303  Introduction To Materials Science

Introduction to the science of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and semiconductors). Crystal structures and designations. Techniques of materials characterization. Mechanical, thermal, electrical, and magnetic properties. Forming and materials processing. Problem solving, lecture, discussion, and field trips. Prerequisite: 215. 3 credits.

PHYS-315  Circuits and Electronics I

Electrical concepts and measurements. Circuit laws and theorems. Analysis of dc and ac steady state circuits, including phasor analysis techniques and Bode plots. Operational amplifiers and diodes. Digital combinational and sequential logic circuitry. Lecture, discussion, and laboratory. Prerequisite: MATH 170. Recommended: 211, junior standing. Offered fall. 4 credits. (NW)

PHYS-316  Circuits and Electronics II

Semiconductor materials and solid-state devices. Diode and transistor circuits. Selected topics such as magnetism, inductors, and transformers; second-order ac and dc circuit analysis; Laplace and Fourier transforms; analog to digital conversion; and electronic system design. Completion of an independent project. Lecture, discussion, and laboratory. Prerequisite: 315. Offered spring of odd-numbered years. 4 credits. (QR)

PHYS-325  Computational Physics

Use of computers in scientific problem-solving using MATLAB, algorithm development, numerical differentiation and integration, sorting, data analysis, simulation development. Laboratory and lecture. Prerequisite: 211 or consent of instructor. 3 credits. (QR)

PHYS-370  Advanced Topics In Physics

Selected advanced physics topics. Prerequisite: 215 or consent of instructor. 3 credits.

PHYS-385  Great Experiments In Physics

Experiments in modern physics, thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism. Introduction to planning and executing physics experiments. Introduction to writing reports in the standard journal style. Prerequisite or corequisite: 215. 1 credit.

PHYS-386  Exploration In Experimental Physics

Design and execution of physics experiments. Most projects will be drawn from topics in modern physics, thermal physics, and electricity and magnetism. Results will be reported using standard journal style. Prerequisite: 385. Offered spring. 1 credit.

PHYS-420  Classical Mechanics

Classical theories and analytical methods of statics and dynamics: kinematics, vectors and tensors, potential theory, moving coordinate systems and generalized methods. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisites: 211 and MATH 200. Recommended: MATH 210. Offered fall. 4 credits.

PHYS-440  Electricity and Magnetism I

Review of vector analysis, electrostatic and magnetostatic theory, field properties in matter. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisites: 211 and MATH 200. Recommended: MATH 210. Offered fall. 3 credits.

PHYS-441  Electricity & Magnetism II

Electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, radiation, relativity. Prerequisite: 440. Offered spring. 3 credits.

PHYS-475  Quantum Physics

Quantum mechanics and its application in studies of atomic systems and nuclei. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisites: 215 and MATH 200. Recommended: 420, MATH 210,250, and junior standing. Offered spring. 4 credits.

PHYS-480  Independent Study

Supplemental work for students with advanced standing in physics. By permission. 1-5 credits.

PHYS-485  Physics Colloquium

Presentations of topics of current interest by visiting speakers, faculty, and students. May be repeated for credit. 1 credit.

PHYS-488  Research

Individual research projects for Physics and Applied Physics majors. Work done in collaboration with faculty. Departmental permission required. May be repeated for credit. 1-5 credits.

PHYS-489  Thesis Research

Required of all Physics and Applied Physics majors in the senior year. Prerequisite: 386. 1-5 credits.

PHYS-490  Senior Thesis

Comprehensive written report on advanced level individual investigative project. Also requires public oral presentation of project and participation in Physics Colloquium. Baccalaureate thesis required of all Physics and Applied Physics majors. Prerequisites: 489 and senior standing. Offered spring. 3 credits. (MWI)

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