Physics: Course Descriptions

PHY-110 Physics of Everyday Phenomena

Designed to develop an understanding of the phenomena of our everyday life via the laws of physics. The emphasis is not on problem solving but on encouraging students to understand and appreciate their environment from a new perspective. Includes topics in mechanics and other physics subfields such as thermal physics, electrical phenomena. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-155 Special Topics

See department for course description.
Credits: 1.00

PHY-160 Energy & the Environment

In order to live, humans require energy, and methods of energy production significantly affect the environment in which humans live. This course examines fundamental thermodynamic concepts such as energy and power and then explores the comparative environmental costs and benefits, including potential long term consequences, of producing energy from various sources such as fossil fuels, nuclear reactors, wood burning, solar panels, wind turbines, etc. Methods of estimation and risk assessment are emphasized so that meaningful comparisons between energy sources and their environmental consequences can be made. Also listed as ENV 160. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-195 Independent Study

See department for details. Independent study contract required.
Credits: 1.00

PHY-202 Introductory Physics I

The first semester of an algebra-based sequence in physics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, work, momentum, and energy. The lab component includes computer based experiments in mechanics. Prerequisite: MATH 125 with a minimum grade of C-. Corequisite: PHY 202L. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-202L Introductory Physics I Laboratory

Laboratory to accompany Introductory Physics I. Corequisite: PHY 202. 0 credits.
Credits: 0.00

PHY-204 Introductory Physics II

The second semester of an algebra-based sequence in physics. Topics include heat and thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; sound and light waves. The laboratory component includes computer based experiments in heat and thermodynamics; electric circuits. Prerequisite: PHY 202 or PHY 232 with a minimum grade of C-. Corequisite: PHY 204L. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-204L Introductory Physics II Lab

Laboratory to accompany Introductory Physics II. Corequisite: PHY 204. 0 credits.
Credits: 0.00

PHY-232 Gen Physics I-Workshop Phys I

An introductory course in physics (calculus-based) for science and pre-engineering students. First term includes Newtonian mechanics. This course is an inquiry-based, laboratory-oriented course. Corequisite: MATH 226. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-242 General Physics II-Workshop Physics II

A continuation of PHY 232 including electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and nuclear physics. Prerequisite: MATH 226 or MATH 227 with a minimum grade of C-; and PHY 202 or PHY 232 with a minimum grade of C-. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-275 Internship

See department for details. Internship contract required.
Credits: 1.00

PHY-311 Relativity I

The first of a two-course introduction to Einstein's theory of relativity. This course emphasizes special relativity. Topics may include the principle of relativity, space-time effects of the Lorentz transformations, and Minkowski diagrams. Prerequisite: PHY 202 or 232 with a minimum grade of C-; and MATH 226 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-312 Relativity II

The second of a two-course introduction to Einstein's theory of relativity. This course extends the development of special relativity in PHY 311 and introduces general relativity. Topics may include relativistic energy and momentum, the equivalence principle, the geometry of space-time, and gravity. Prerequisite: PHY 311 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-322 Modern Physics With Health Applications

A project-orientated course taught in a workshop environment that covers important topics in modern physics with applications to human health. Topics include the Bohr theory of the atom, wave/particle duality, atomic and nuclear physics, and an introduction to Schrodinger's equation. Projects may include nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, neutron activation analysis, and magnetic resonance imaging. Prerequisite: PHY 204 or 242 with a minimum grade of C-. Corequisite: MATH 227. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-325 Modern Topics in Physics

This course investigates the physics of phenomena that significantly affect the environment in which humans live such as methods of energy production, global climate change, and transport of pollutants. Topics include aspects of thermodynamics, elementary spectroscopy, nuclear physics, and fluid dynamics as they relate to environmental issues. The course explores alternatives to society's current dependence on fossil fuels such as nuclear energy, solar and wind energy, bio-fuels, and hydrogen. Methods of estimation and risk assessment are emphasized so that meaningful comparisons between energy sources and their environmental consequences can be made. Prerequisite: CHEM-230 and MATH-226, each with minimum grade of C-; or PHY-232 or PHY-204, with minimum grade of C-. May be repeated for credit. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-332 Waves and Optics

A course on the mathematical description of waves with application to optics. Topics will include wave addition, an introduction to Fourier analysis, laws of geometric optics, image formation, optical systems, interference and diffraction, polarization, lasers, and an introduction to transform optics including holography. The laboratory component will include selected experiments in wave motion, geometric optics, and physical optics. Prerequisite: PHY 204 or PHY 242 with a minimum grade of C-. Corequisite: MATH 227. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-355 Special Topics

See department for course description.
Credits: 1.00

PHY-364 Electronics

The basic principles underlying circuit analysis and the operation of analog and digital electronic devices, including: diodes; transistors; op-amps; logic gates; multivibrators; counters; registers; memories; and A/D and D/A converters. Prerequisite: MATH 125 with a minimum grade of C-; and PHY 204 or 242 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-377 Engineering Mechanics: Statics I

The first of a two-course introduction to the principles of static mechanics. Special emphasis is given to problem solving techniques in physics and engineering. Topics may include: force analysis, equilibrium in two dimensions, trusses and frames, internal forces, and centroids. Prerequisite: PHY 232 or PHY 202; and MATH 226 each with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-378 Engineering Mechanics: Statics II

The second of a two-course introduction to the principles of static mechanics. Special emphasis is given to problem solving techniques in physics and engineering. Topics may include: equilibrium in three dimensions, distributed forces in cables, centroids of composite bodies, fluid statics, and frictional phenomena. Prerequisite: PHY 377 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-380 Classical Mechanics: Dynamics

Presentation and discussion of the kinematics and dynamics of single particles and systems of particles, both in inertial and non-inertial frames of reference. In addition to the standard analytical techniques, approximation techniques and a computer algebra system will be used for problem solving. Several mechanical systems will be studied experimentally and computationally. Prerequisite: MATH 227 with a minimum grade of C-; and PHY 204 or 242 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-384 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Presentation, discussion, and application of the laws of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics including gas behavior, equations of states, phase transformations, kinetic theory, probability distributions, ensembles, and the partition function. Prerequisites: MATH 227 with a minimum grade of C-; PHY 204 or PHY 242 with a minimum grade of C-; and one upper division PHY course with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-395 Independent Study

See department for details. Independent study contract required.
Credits: 1.00

PHY-420 Quantum Mechanics

An introduction to quantum mechanics and its application to: free particles, barriers, the simple harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, spin, and identical particle systems. A computer algebra system will be utilized for problem solving and visualization. Prerequisite: PHY 322 or PHY 332 with a minimum grade of C-; and MATH 228 or MATH 311 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-460 Electric & Magnetic Fields

Development of the nature and mathematical description of electric and magnetic fields in free space and material media, including: Maxwell's equations, electrostatics, magnetostatics, dielectrics, and solutions of Laplace's and Poisson's equations. Prerequisite: PHY 322 or PHY 332 with a minimum grade of C-; and MATH 228 with a minimum grade of C-. Offered alternate years. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

PHY-470 Advanced Analysis in Physics

This course provides students with experience in analyzing and describing complex physical systems from current topics in physics. Emphasis is on the synthesis of concepts learned throughout the undergraduate physics curriculum in order to approach advanced problems. Prerequisite: Senior standing (90 or more completed credits) and declared Physics major. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-475 Internship

See department for details. Internship contract required.
Credits: 1.00

PHY-491 Physics Capstone I

The first semester of a year-long research experience. Students will work with individual faculty research advisors. At the end of Physics 491 students will give oral presentations on their research progress and submit a draft research paper. Prerequisite: Senior standing (90 or more completed credits) and declared Physics major. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-493 Senior Capstone II

The second semester of a year-long research experience. Students will work with individual faculty research advisors. At the end of Physics 493 students will give final oral presentations on their research and submit a final research paper. Prerequisite: PHY 491 with a minimum grade of C-. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

PHY-495 Physics Research

Student-conducted individual research project. Instructor's consent required. May be repeated for credit. 1-4 credits.
Credits: 1.00