Physics (PHYS)

PHYS 102  Introductory Topics in Physics: Energy  (3)  

An introduction to concepts, and applications of physics through the lens of energy. This course deals with the science of national and global energy concerns. The laboratory introduces fundamental principles of scientific investigation via experimental exploration. This course is intended for students not majoring in science. (Three hours lecture and a two-hour laboratory). Prerequisite: None.

PHYS 105  Astronomy  (3)  

A study of stars and galaxies within the Universe from our Earth based perspective. Scientific techniques and the history of scientific observation are included in addition to the properties of light and gravity. This course is intended for students not majoring in science or mathematics. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisite: None.

PHYS 111  College Physics I: Mechanics and Waves  (4)  

An introduction to mechanics, and waves. This is the first semester of a two-part algebra-based physics sequence designed primarily for students in life-sciences (biology, and neuroscience), communications sciences and disorders, and environmental studies. (Three hours of lecture and two hours laboratory.) Prerequisite: MATH 103.

PHYS 111L  College Physics I Laboratory  (0)  

One two-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: PHYS 111.

PHYS 112  College Physics II: Temperature, Electricity, and Light  (4)  

An introduction to thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and optics. This is the second semester of a two-part algebra-based physics sequence designed primarily for students in life-sciences (biology, and neuroscience), communications sciences and disorders, and environmental studies. (Three hours of lecture per week and a two-hour laboratory.) Prerequisite: PHYS 111.

PHYS 112L  College Physics II Lab  (0)  

One two-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: PHYS 112.

PHYS 121  General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves  (4)  

An introduction to mechanics, and waves. This is the first semester of a two-part calculus-based physics sequence designed for students in science, math, and engineering. (Three hours of lecture and two hours laboratory.) Prerequisite: either MATH 131, MATH 132, or MATH 133. (High school physics strongly recommended)

PHYS 121L  General Physics I Lab  (0)  

One two-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: PHYS 121.

PHYS 122  General Physics II: Temperature, Electricity, and Light  (4)  

An introduction to thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and optics. This is the second semester of a two-part calculus-based physics sequence designed for students in science, math, and engineering. (Three hours of lecture per week and a two-hour laboratory.) Prerequisite: PHYS 121; and either MATH 132 or MATH 133.

PHYS 122L  General Physics II Laboratory  (0)  

One two-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: PHYS 122.

PHYS 215  Materials Science  (3)  

A study of material properties at the intersection of physics, chemistry and engineering. Materials such as polymers, ceramics, and metals will be explored. This physics elective is intended for students interested in science and engineering. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisites: PHYS 122 and CHEM 122.

PHYS 235  Nuclear Astrophysics  (3)  

A study of the intersection of nuclear physics and astrophysics. This course includes a survey of astrophysics and the scientific, mathematical, and ethical issues concerning topics from nuclear physics. Concepts in nuclear medicine, nuclear power and nuclear weapons are discussed in detail. This physics elective is intended for students interested in science and engineering. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisites: PHYS 122 and CHEM 122.

PHYS 253  General Physics III: Modern Physics  (3)  

An introduction to the conceptual and mathematical foundations of elementary quantum physics, and the historical framework and methodology of twentieth century physics, including contributions of women scientists. Special relativity and atomic physics are also discussed. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisite: PHYS 112 or PHYS 122 and MATH 231.

PHYS 272L  Computational Physics Laboratory  (1)  

Computational methods in physics are explored. This course covers computational topics in physics, primarily in astrophysics, biophysics, and quantum mechanics. Offered in the spring on a three-year rotation. (Three hours laboratory). Prerequisite: PHYS 122.

PHYS 282L  Modern Experimental Laboratory  (1)  

Experimental methods in modern physics are explored. This course covers experimental topics primarily from modern physics and materials science. Offered in the spring on a three-year rotation. (Three hours laboratory). Prerequisite: PHYS 122.

PHYS 292L  Wave Mechanics Laboratory  (1)  

Laboratory methods in physics are explored. This course covers experimental and computational topics related to wave mechanics in both mechanical phenomenon and circuit analysis. Offered in the spring on a three-year rotation. (Three hours laboratory). Prerequisite: PHYS 122.

PHYS 321  Lagrangian Mechanics  (1)  

This course will cover topics in classical mechanics including wave motion. The primary focus is the Lagrange formalism which is used to setup simple differential equations and solve for equations of motion. This course covers the same material as PHYS 323 but only lasts for the first third of the semester. This course is intended for students who are also required to take additional courses in mechanics. Typically offered fall of even-numbered years. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisite: PHYS 253.

PHYS 323  Classical Mechanics  (3)  

A detailed study of classical mechanics including Newton’s laws, and conservation laws. Equations of motion are derived based on the Lagrange and Hamiltonian formalisms. Typically offered fall of even-numbered years. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisite: PHYS 253.

PHYS 341  Statistical Mechanics  (1)  

This course will cover topics in thermodynamics from a statistical mechanics viewpoint. Systems containing large numbers of particles will be analyzed using Boltzmann statistics. This course covers the same material as PHYS 343 but only lasts for the first third of the semester. This course is intended for students who are also required to take additional courses in Thermodynamics. Typically offered fall of odd-numbered years. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisite: PHYS 253.

PHYS 343  Thermodynamics  (3)  

A detailed study of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Systems containing large numbers of particles will be analyzed using Boltzmann statistics. The laws of thermodynamics will be introduced. Cyclic processes and other thermodynamic concepts will be developed. Typically offered fall of even-numbered years. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisite: PHYS 253.

PHYS 424  Quantum Mechanics  (3)  

A detailed physical and mathematical study of quantum mechanics including wave mechanics. Physical applications of quantum mechanics are also discussed. Typically offered fall of even-numbered years. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisites: PHYS 253 and MATH 326.

PHYS 444  Electricity and Magnetism  (3)  

A detailed physical and mathematical study of electricity and magnetism focusing on applications from vector calculus. Interactions between electric and magnetic fields are explored including the use of Maxwell’s equations. Typically offered fall of odd-numbered years. (Three hours lecture). Prerequisites: PHYS 253 and MATH 326.

PHYS 485  Research  (1-3)  

Participation in original experimental or theoretical investigation in collaboration with a member of the faculty. Prerequisite: Permission of the department chair. May be repeated.

PHYS 490  Special Topics in Physics  (1-5)  

Topics in Physics not covered in the regular department offerings and selected according to the interests of the students and the instructor. Offered according to student demand. (Two or three lectures per week) Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit with a different topic.

PHYS 497  Independent Study  (1-3)  

Enables properly qualified students to carry out independent study under the guidance of an instructor. Content dependent on student need and interest. Elective with permission of the department chair. Generally graded S/U; may be letter graded. May be repeated with a different topic.