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Courses: Physics (PHYS)

Undergraduate Bulletin
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Undergraduate & Graduate Dates to Remember*

Fall Term 2009

August 26-30 Wolfpack Welcome
August 31 Classes begin
September 4
Add deadline
October 30 Last day to withdraw & last day
to apply for graduation
December 11 Last day of classes
December 12-18 Final Exams

Spring Term 2010

January 8 New Student Orientation
January 11 Classes begin
January 15 Add deadline
March 12 Last day to withdraw & last day to apply for graduation
April 28 Last day of classes
April 30 - May 6 Final Exams
May 8 Commencement - all colleges

*College of Law dates on Law Bulletin

Humanities and Natural Sciences

 

PHYS A101 Introduction to Mechanics 4 crs.

This is a calculus-based introductory course in Newtonian mechanics intended for physical science and math majors.

Co-requisite: PHYS A112, MATH A257

 

PHYS A102 Introduction to Electromagnetism 4 crs.

This course is an introduction to the physics of electricity and magnetism culminating in an elementary treatment of Maxwell’s equations. We will then introduce students to Einstein’s special relativity.

Co-requisite: PHYS A113, MATH A258

 

*PHYS A110 Basic Physics I 4 crs.

This is an introductory course in physics intended for students whose majors are chemistry, math, physics, or pre-engineering. Three lectures and one review are included per week.

Co-requisite: PHYS A112, MATH A257

 

*PHYS A111 Basic Physics II 4 crs.

Same description as PHYS A110

Co-requisite: PHYS A110

 

PHYS A112 Physics Lab I 1 cr.

Co-requisite: PHYS A101, A110 or A115.  Lab fee $75.

 

PHYS A113 Physics Lab II 1 cr.

Co-requisite: PHYS A102, A111 or A116.  Lab fee $75.

 

PHYS A115 Physics of Life Sciences I 3 crs.

The principles of mechanics, heat, sound, light, magnetism, electricity, and fundamentals of atomic physics. In presenting these topics, the special interest of the biological sciences and the general education groups are kept in view. Included are three lectures per week.

Co-requisite: PHYS A112

 

PHYS A116 Physics of Life Sciences II 3 crs.

This course is a continuation PHYS A115

Prerequisite: PHYS A115

Co-requisite: PHYS A113

 

PHYS A195 Special Projects I 1 cr.

 

*PHYS A220 Electromagnetic Theory I 3 crs.

This course concerns detailed development and application of the laws of electromagnetism and an introduction to vector calculus. Applications of Maxwell’s equations are covered including plane waves, reflection and refraction, and radiation.

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A111

 

*PHYS A225 Electromagnetic Theory II 3 crs.

Same description as PHYS A220

Prerequisite: PHYS A220

 

*PHYS A228 Modern Physics 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the basic physical theories governing the atomic, nuclear, and subnuclear domains, with emphasis on the computational solution of problems suitable to the second-year level.

Prerequisite: PHYS A111

Co-requisite: MATH A259

 

PHYS A230 Introduction to Electronics I 3 crs.

This course is a two-semester lecture laboratory course treating circuit theory and the properties of electronic tube and solid state devices. Two lectures and one lab are held per week.  Lab fee $75.

Prerequisites: PHYS A111

 

PHYS A231 Introduction to Electronics II 3 crs.

Same description as PHYS A230. 

Prerequisite: PHYS A230

 

PHYS A240 Introduction to Waves and Quantum Physics 3 crs.

This is a sophomore level course that describes wave physics and introduces basic concepts of quantum physics.

Prerequisites: PHYS A102, MATH A258

 

PHYS A241 Introduction to Thermal Physics 3 crs.

This is a sophomore level course that introduces the basic thermodynamic concepts of temperature, heat, and entropy. Classical thermodynamics as well as statistical mechanics will be covered.

Prerequisites: PHYS A102, MATH A258

 

PHYS A295 Special Projects II arr.

 

*PHYS A300 Classical Mechanics I 3 crs.

This course is a lecture course on classical mechanics, statics, and dynamics.

Prerequisites: MATH A259, A310, PHYS A111

*PHYS A301 Classical Mechanics II 3 crs.

This course is a continuation of A300, including special relativity and an introduction to general relativity.

Prerequisite: PHYS A300

 

PHYS A335 Mathematical Physics II 3 crs.

This third-year course is designed to give the student a full mastery of the techniques of mathematical physics relating to linear and nonlinear differential equations and related areas with special emphasis on the equations of classical mechanics, the Schroedinger equation, and the Dirac equation. (With departmental approval, equivalent mathematical sciences courses may be substituted.)

Prerequisites: MATH A259, A310, PHYS A117

 

PHYS A295 Environmental Physics 3 crs.

This course discusses physical foundations of environmental science. It revisits basic physics principles relevant to environmental science and then applies them to phenomena such as climate change, pollution, energy conversion etc.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 or PHYS A116

 

PHYS A340 Classical Mechanics 4 crs.

This is a junior level course that introduces methods of classical mechanics. It gives a rigorous treatment of Newtonian and Lagrangian formulations of classical mechanics, including numerous applications. It is a continuation and extension of the introductory course (Introduction to Mechanics PHYS-A101).

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240

 

PHYS A350 Electromagnetism 4 crs.

This course gives a rigorous treatment of laws of electromagnetism. It covers applications of Maxwell’s equations, including electromagnetic waves. It is a continuation and extension of the introductory course (Introduction to Electromagnetism and Relativity PHYS-A102).

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240

 

PHYS A395 Special Projects III arr.

 

*PHYS A400 Quantum Mechanics I 3 crs.

This course is an introductory course in quantum mechanics starting with definition of the wave function and basic properties of the Schroedinger equation and including an elementary presentation of underlying axiomatic structure.

Prerequisites: PHYS A228, A301

 

*PHYS A401 Quantum Mechanics II 3 crs.

This course is a continuation PHYS A400

Prerequisite: PHYS A400

 

*PHYS A410 Thermal Physics 3 crs.

This is an intermediate level single-semester course starting with discussion and applications of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. An introduction to statistical mechanics is presented with applications of Boltzman, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein distributions.

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A228

 

PHYS A425 Lasers and Modern Optics 3 crs.

Discussions will involve principles and practical aspects of laser operation and applications in modern optics; propagation of plane electromagnetic waves; diffraction and interference of light; gaussian beam propagation and optical resonators; theory of laser oscillation; gas, solid, semiconductor and dye lasers; detectors of optical radiation; nonlinear optics; applications in research and industry. Laboratory exercises include polarization, interference, Fourier optics, holography, gas, diode, and tunable lasers.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241

 

PHYS A430 General Relativity 3 crs.

Beginning with Special relativity, we will review Einstein's development of his general relativistic theory of gravity in terms of the differential geometry of spacetime.

Prerequisite: PHYS A240, MATH A259

 

PHYS A432 Solid State Physics 3 crs.

This course is an introductory course in solid state physics.  Some of the areas covered are thermal properties, free electron theory of metals, band theory, semiconductors, superconductivity and magnetic properties. 

Prerequisite: PHYS A241

 

PHYS A436 Cellular Biophysics 3 crs.

This course is concerned with selected physiological phenomena occurring in biological cells, such as action potential in neurons. Although these are fundamentally biological phenomena, the analysis is inherently multidisciplinary, involving both physical and chemical principles. The course also introduces students to basic mathematical modeling of biophysical phenomena.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 or PHYS A116

 

PHYS A438 Introduction to Astrophysics 3 crs.

This introduction to astrophysics is an elective course for the physics major sequences.  Topics include the physical principles of the tools of astronomy; the physics of stars and planetary systems; galaxies and cosmology. 

Prerequisites: PHYS A240, PHYS A241, MATH A259

 

*PHYS A440 Advanced Physics Lab I 2 crs.

This is an advanced lab with minimum supervision with the objectives of training students to be self-reliant and resourceful in planning and performing experiments not ordinarily performed at the elementary level in mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, acoustics, atomic physics, solid state physics, spectroscopy, and electronics. Two labs are held per week.  Lab fee $75.

Prerequisitea: PHYS A228, A231

 

*PHYS A441 Advanced Physics Lab II 2 crs.

Same description as PHYS A440.  Lab fee $75.

Prerequisite: PHYS A440

 

PHYS A445 Advanced Laboratory Physics 3 crs.

This is an advanced laboratory course for physics majors with the objective of training students to be self-reliant in planning and performing experiments not ordinarily done at the elementary level. Experiments are performed in such areas as electronics, mechanics, atomic physics and spectroscopy and emphasis will be placed on experimental error analysis.  Lab fee $75.

Prerequisites: PHYS A240, PHYS A241

 

PHYS A450 Quantum Mechanics 4 crs.

This course gives an introductory treatment of quantum mechanics. Starting with the experimental evidence, it introduces the Schroedinger and Heisenberg formulations of quantum theory, discusses basic properties of the Schroedinger equation and provides an elementary introduction to axiomatic structure of quantum mechanics.

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240

 

PHYS A495 Special Projects IV arr.

Prerequisite: PHYS A395

 

PHYS A496 Seminar/Workshop arr.

A seminar is a supervised group of students sharing the results of their research on a common topic. A workshop is a supervised group of students participating in a common effort.

 

PHYS A497 Internship/Practicum arr.

An internship is supervised practical experience. A practicum is supervised practical application of previously studied theory.

 

PHYS A498 Research Project arr.

This project focuses on empirical or historical investigation, culminating in a written report.

 

PHYS A499 Independent Study arr.

 

PHYS H234 Faith, Science, and Religion 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course will critically analyze various ways of knowing: faith, science, and theology (critical analysis of faith). The methods of the physical sciences and the life sciences will be discussed. Topics will include the epic of creation, evolution, and quantum theory.

 

PHYS H498 Honors Thesis 3 crs.

 

PHYS T122 Introduction to Physics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Introductory

The purposes of the course are (1) to familiarize the student with the behavior of physical reality, (2) to consider the manner in which scientists across the ages have philosophized on physical reality, (3) to contrast classical physics with modern physics, and (4) to foster within the students a scientific literacy.

 

PHYS T123 Introduction to Physics Laboratory 1 cr.

Common Curriculum: Introductory

For education students

 

PHYS Z130 Faith, Science, and Religion 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course will critically analyze various ways of knowing: faith, science, and theology (critical analysis of faith). The methods of the physical sciences and the life sciences will be discussed. Topics will include the epic of creation, evolution, and quantum theory.

 

PHYS Z131 Physics of Sound 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course explores the science underlying the phenomena of sound, with particular emphasis on topics related to musical sound. Students will gain an understanding of basic physical and mathematical concepts relating to sound production, propagation and perception – as well as sound recording and sound reproduction.

 PHYS Z134 Astronomy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

The purpose of this course is to place the participant in one of the cultural mainstreams of mankind’s past, present, and future by making available the rich mines of historical and practical astronomy, as well as modern space age discoveries and theories, in a comprehensive form.

Prerequisite: Any MATH A100 or above

 

* note that these courses will be removed over the next several years as the new curriculum is phased in