# Physics & Astronomy Courses

## Courses in Physics and Astronomy

PHYS 103### Moons and Planets

Includes laboratory. An introductory course concentrating on the solar system. Topics to be covered include: observational astronomy; the history and development of astronomy; Kepler's laws of planetary motion; Newton's laws of motion and gravity; the Earth-moon system; the structure and composition of the planets with an emphasis on comparative planetology; asteroids, comets, the formation of the solar system, the sun and the exploration of space. Emphasis is placed on investigating the methods by which astronomers gain knowledge about the solar system. Evening laboratory periods will emphasize observation and will help students develop quantitative skills in interpreting data. *PHYS 103 and PHYS 104 may be taken in either order. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | High school algebra and trigonometry | 1 course |

PHYS 104

### Stars and Galaxies

Includes laboratory. An introductory course concentrating on the astronomy of stars and stellar systems. Topics to be covered include: properties of stars; stellar evolution; white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes; the interstellar medium; the Milky Way; galaxies; Hubble's Law; and cosmology. Emphasis is placed on investigating the methods by which astronomers gain knowledge about the universe. Evening laboratory periods will emphasize observation and will help students develop quantitative skills in interpreting data. *PHYS 103 and PHYS 104 may be taken in either order. Not open to students with credit in PHYS 320. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | High school algebra and trigonometry | 1 course |

PHYS 110

### Physics and Society

Includes laboratory. The fundamental concepts of classical and modern physics presented with particular attention to their application to questions of importance to members of technological society (such as energy and energy policy). Topics may include Newtonian mechanics, special and general relativity, quantum and nuclear physics and modern cosmology. *This course does not fulfill the prerequisites for advanced courses in physics, nor the requirements for medicine, engineering or secondary teaching. Prerequisite: high school algebra and trigonometry.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | High school algebra and trigonometry | 1 course |

PHYS 120

### Principles of Physics I

Includes laboratory. An introductory calculus-based course covering fundamental concepts of physics including: momentum, energy, conservation laws, particle interactions, Newton's laws, oscillations, orbits and planetary motion. Laboratory sessions will provide a hands-on opportunity to explore the concepts of physics. This course is designed for students majoring in the sciences and mathematics and those in pre-professional programs in health sciences, medicine, engineering and teaching. *Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 136 or MATH 151 .*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | MATH 136 or MATH 151. May be taken in the same semester as PHYS 120. | 1 course |

PHYS 130

### Principles of Physics II

Includes laboratory. This course builds on PHYS 120 and covers fundamental concepts of physics including: electric and magnetic fields, circuits, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, waves, interference and diffraction. Laboratory sessions will provide a hands on opportunity to explore the concepts of physics. This course is designed for students majoring in the sciences and mathematics and those in pre-professional programs in health sciences, medicine, engineering and teaching. *Prerequisite: PHYS 120 and MATH 151 or MATH 136*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | PHYS 120 and MATH 151 or MATH 136 | 1 course |

PHYS 156

### Advanced Placement in Physics

Advanced placement credit for physics. A. Mechanics B. Electricity and Magnetism.

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

1 course |

PHYS 190

### Topics

A. Astronomy. P. Physics. Selected topics in astronomy or physics. May be an independent study project. *Prerequisites: Depends on the topic. *May include a laboratory, depending on the topic. The course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | Depends on the topic | 1 course |

PHYS 203

### Cosmology

An examination of fundamental questions about the origin of the Universe, its evolution, and its ultimate fate. Topics include: what we learn about the universe by studying light, motion and gravity, galaxies and their distribution through space, atoms and nucleosynthesis, the fabric of space-time, the evidence for the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe, and the current observational work being done to determine the fate of the Universe. This course emphasizes the process of science: how do astronomers and physicists use observation, data, and theory to put together a cohesive picture of the nature of our universe.

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | 1 course |

PHYS 210

### EM Waves, Relativity & Thermal

This course provides an introduction to fluids, thermal physics, electromagnetic waves and special relativity. It continues the coverage of fundamental physics begun in PHYS 120 and PHYS 130. Topics to be covered include the laws of thermodynamics, Maxwell's equations, and Einstein's theory of special relativity. Includes laboratory *Prerequisite: PHYS 130. Pre- or Co-requisite: MATH 152*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, Pre- or Co-requisite MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 220

### Principles of Physics III

This course provides an introduction to relativity, thermodynamics, statistical and quantum mechanics, and completes the survey of fundamental physics begun in PHYS 120 and 130. Topics to be covered include special relativity, wave packets, the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the Schrodinger equation for one dimensional potentials, the hydrogen atom, multi electron atoms, quantum statistics, and an introduction to the physics of molecules, solids, nuclei, and particles. *Prerequisite: PHYS 130, Pre- or Co-requisite MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, Pre- or Co-requisite MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 231

### Statics

This is a core course in mechanical and civil engineering and related fields. The course will develop mathematical methods for analysis of force systems for rigid bodies, including equilibrium requirements, stresses in frames and trusses, forces in beams and cables, friction, centroids and moments of inertia. Students will present case studies of engineering disasters and the impact of these disasters on subsequent projects of a similar nature.*Prerequisite: PHYS 120 and MATH 151.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 120 and MATH 151 | 1/2 course |

PHYS 240

### Electronics

Includes laboratory. Experimental and theoretical treatment of direct current and alternating current circuits. Topics include: diode applications, transistors, operational amplifiers, feedback, analog-digital conversion, digital logic and microprocessors. *Prerequisite: One semester of a laboratory science course.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | One semester of a laboratory science course. | 1 course |

PHYS 250

### Optics

Includes laboratory. Experimental investigation of geometrical and physical optics. Specific topics investigated include: image formation by lenses and mirrors, optical instruments, image processing, interference, diffraction, polarization, optical communication, lasers and holography. *Prerequisite: One semester of a laboratory science course.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | One semester of a laboratory science course. | 1 course |

PHYS 251

### Dynamics (formerly PHYS 351)

A theoretical treatment of the physical laws governing the motion of particles and rigid bodies, including studies of energy and momentum, kinematics, curvilinear motion and central forces. *Prerequisite: PHYS 120 and MATH 151.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 120 and MATH 151 | 1/2 course |

PHYS 270

### Mathematical Methods

Methods in applied mathematics for students in physical sciences and engineering. Topics include: partial differentiation, vector analysis, complex numbers, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, multiple integrals, and Fourier series. *Prerequisite: PHYS 120 and MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 120 and MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 280

### Experimental Methods

Includes laboratory. An introduction to the techniques, methods and necessary skills used in experimental physics. Data will be collected by using a variety of instruments, including oscilloscopes, nuclear instrumentation, and other data sensors. The course will introduce a variety of statistical and data analysis techniques. Machine shop skills will be developed during the course. *Prerequisite: PHYS 120.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 120 | 1/2 course |

PHYS 290

### Topics

A. Astronomy. P. Physics. Selected topics in astronomy or physics. May be an independent study project. *Prerequisite: depends on the topic.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | Depends on the topic | 1 course |

PHYS 300

### Historical Astronomy

This course explores the development of mankind's understanding of the universe. We will follow the development of astronomical thinking from ancient cultures to the time of Newton. This course places emphasis on the tools, techniques and discoveries relevant to the development of astronomy. Topics include calendars, sundials (we'll spend some time making some of our own), astrolabes (we'll also make some of these), lunar and solar eclipses, the use of a quadrant and a horologium nocturnum, precession of the equinoxes and the Ptolemaic and Copernican planetary models. There is an accompanying evening lab for the course which will often involve observing the sky. The only prerequisite is high school algebra and trigonometry.

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | High school algebra and trigonometry | 1 |

PHYS 310

### Observational Astronomy

Includes Laboratory. The overall goal of this course is to develop the skills needed to become knowledgeable life-long observers of the night sky. It includes the study and understanding of celestial coordinate systems, motions of the Sun and stars, seasons, phases of the moon, motion of the planets, systems of time keeping, and similar phenomena. The course teaches the skills necessary to observe objects our Solar system (the Moon, the planets, the Sun, comets, and asteroids), and well as objects outside of our solar system (stars, galactic nebulae and external galaxies) through observing with the naked eye, binoculars and telescopes. It includes the use of astronomical reference tools such as star charts and planetarium software. Digital recording of astronomical observations through astrophotography and CCD imaging will be covered.

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

1 course |

PHYS 320

### Astrophysics I

In astrophysics the concepts of classical and modern physics are applied to the study of astronomy, providing a physical basis for understanding the components and structure of our universe. The focus of Astrophysics I is stars. Topics to be covered include: spectroscopy, stellar classification, stellar properties, binary stars, stellar structure, stellar evolution, and the end states of stars (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes). *Prerequisite: PHYS 130, one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 330

### Astrophysics II

In astrophysics the concepts of classical and modern physics are applied to the study of astronomy, providing a physical basis for understanding the components and structure of our universe. Topics covered in Astrophysics II include: the Milky Way, galaxies and galactic structure, active galactic nuclei, high energy phenomena, dark matter, and an introduction to cosmology. *Prerequisite: PHYS 130 and either PHYS 104 or 320 and either PHYS 210 or 220, and MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130 and either PHYS 104 or 320 and either PHYS 210 or 220, and MATH 152. | 1 course |

PHYS 340

### Biophysics

In biophysics we apply fundamental physics concepts, such as force and energy, along with statistical analysis, to describe and understand the form and function of living systems. In this class we will focus our attention on the physics of cells and subcellular molecules. Along with a review of forces, energy and entropy, we will explore topics such as molecular diffusion, osmotic pressure, micelles and membranes, enzyme kinetics, protein motors, and nerve impulses. *Pre-requisites: PHYS 130 and one of PHYS 210 or PHYS 220, MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, and one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 350

### Lasers

Introduction to lasers, their operating principles, design and applications. *Prerequisite: PHYS 130 and MATH 152*.

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Science and Mathematics | PHYS 130 and MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 360

### Gravitation and Cosmology

This is a course about gravity: its description as spacetime curvature, its effect on the motion of bodies, and its role in shaping the evolution of the universe. The first part of the course is devoted to a discussion of the main features of General Relativity, with an emphasis on the behavior of light and matter in the vicinity of black holes. Part two of the course constitutes an introduction to Big Bang cosmology. Topics covered include the physics of the early universe, the cosmic microwave background, the evidence for dark matter and dark energy, and inflation. *Prerequisites: PHYS 130, one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 370

### Atomic and Molecular Physics

Includes laboratory. A theoretical and experimental investigation in atomic, molecular and condensed matter physics. Topics to be covered may include: atomic models, magnetic dipole moments, multielectron atoms, x-ray excitations, optical excitations, atomic spectroscopy, quantum statistic, molecules, molecular bonding, molecular spectra, band theory of solids, conductors, semiconductors, superconductors, and collective phenomena. *Prerequisite: PHYS 220 and PHYS 280, MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 220 and PHYS 280, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 380

### Nuclear and Particle Physics

Includes laboratory. A theoretical and experimental investigation in nuclear and particle physics. Topics to be covered may include: nuclear phenomenology, nuclear models, radiation, nuclear reactions, experimental methods in nuclear physics, particle interactions and detection, properties of elementary particle, symmetries, the standard model, and theories beyond the standard model. *Prerequisite: PHYS 220 and PHYS 280, MATH 152*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 220 and PHYS 280, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 390

### Topics

A. Astronomy. P. Physics. Selected topics in astronomy or physics. May be an independent study project. *Prerequisite: depends on the topic.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Depends on the topic. | 1/4-1/2-1 course |

PHYS 410

### Thermal Physics

Treatment of the laws of thermodynamics and the concepts of temperature, pressure, entropy, chemical potential and free energy as related to the quantum statistical behavior of microscopic systems. Included are applications to kinetic theory of gases, heat engines, photons and phonons, systems in magnetic and electric fields, transport phenomena, and biological and engineering problems. *Prerequisite: PHYS 130, PHYS 210, MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, PHYS 210, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 420

### Classical Mechanics

Basic definitions and principles of classical mechanics, conservation laws, systems of particles and motion of rigid bodies, oscillating phenomena and an introduction to generalized coordinates and the methods of Lagrange and Hamilton. *Prerequisite: PHYS 120, one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 120, one of PHYS 210 or 220, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 430

### Electricity and Magnetism

Theoretical investigation of electrostatics and magnetostatics, both in vacuum and in the presence of matter. Further topics include the Maxwell equations and electromagnetic waves. *Prerequisite: PHYS 130, PHYS 210, MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, PHYS 210, MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 440

### Quantum Mechanics

Non-relativistic wave mechanical treatment of physical systems. Definition and interpretation of state functions; construction of wave packets; solutions of the Schrodinger equation for simple one-dimensional systems; the hydrogen atom; various approximation methods, including perturbation theory. *Prerequisite: PHYS 130, PHYS 220 and MATH 152.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

PHYS 130, PHYS 220 and MATH 152 | 1 course |

PHYS 480

### Senior Seminar

Individual presentations and group discussions cover a wide range of topics. *Prerequisite: A senior physics major or permission of instructor. Required of all physics majors.*

Distribution Area | Prerequisites | Credits |
---|---|---|

Senior major or permission of instructor | 1/2 course |