Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

PHYS-001, 002. General Physics. 5 crs. ea.
These lecture-laboratory-recitation courses deal with mechanics, heat,and sound in PHYS-001; and light, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics in PHYS-002; and are algebra-based.

PHYS-003. Mathematical Methods for General Physics. 3 crs.
Review and applications of basic mathematics encountered in General Physics 001, 002, 007 and 009. Problems and practical work will be stressed. Not open for credit for students taking General Physics 013,014, and 015.

PHYS-007. Physics for Allied Health Students. 5 crs.
This lecture/laboratory/recitation course treats the topics of general physics, with emphasis on examples for nursing and allied health students.

PHYS-008. Physics for Architecture Students. 5 crs.
Lecture/recitation course treats mechanics, gravity, sound,thermodynamics, fluids, electricity, magnetism, light, optics, waves,and some modern physics topics with emphasis on topics of interest to architecture students.

PHYS-009. General Physics for Human Ecology Students. 5 crs.
Lecture/laboratory/recitation course treats general physics topics with emphasis on examples for human ecology students.

PHYS-010. General Astronomy 3crs.

PHYS-013, 014. General Physics for Science and Engineering Students. 3 crs. ea.
Topics covered in this lecture/recitation course are the same as in PHYS-001 and PHYS-002 with the exception of modern physics, but with more emphasis on engineering and analytical methods and with extensive application of calculus in problem solving. Prereqs. and/or Coreqs: MATH-156 and -157.

PHYS-015. Introduction to Modern Physics. 3 crs.
Topics covered in this lecture/recitation course include special relativity, and an introduction to quantum phenomena with applications in molecular, atomic, nuclear, sub-nuclear and condensed matter physics. Prereqs.: PHYS-014 and MATH-156 and -157.

PHYS-023, 024, 025. General Physics for Science and Engineering Students Lab. 1 cr. ea.
Laboratory courses to accompany introductory physics courses PHYS-013,014 and Modern Physics PHYS-015 respectively.

PHYS-030. Earth &Space Science I. 3 cr.
Topics include an introductory overview; size & distance scale of the Universe; review /introduction to basic physical principles and remote sensing; origins of the Earth & solar system; the solid Earth, its hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere; and the near-Earth space environment. Laboratory exercises include optics, spectroscopy,study of rocks & minerals, use of star charts & globes and a small reflecting telescope. Also, weather permitting, there may be observing sessions using the Locke Hall Observatory telescope.Prereqs.: High school algebra, trigonometry, and physics (introductory college chemistry, physics & calculus recommended).

PHYS-031. Earth &Space Science II. 3 cr.
Topics include the moon and the Earth-moon system; the sun; the solar system (major planets & satellites, and minor members); the stars;the interstellar medium; and galaxies and the Universe. Laboratory exercises include use of star charts & globes and a small reflecting telescope. Also, weather permitting, there may be observing sessions using the Locke Hall Observatory telescope. Prereqs.:PHYS-030.

PHYS-084, 085. Directed Readings in Honors for Sophomores. 1 cr. ea.
Course contents is specified for each offering.

PHYS-088, 089. Directed Readings in Honors for Juniors. 1 cr. ea.
Course contents is specified for each offering.

PHYS-092, 093. Senior Departmental Honors. 3 crs. ea.
Course contents is specified for each offering.

PHYS-131. Plasma Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Topics include single particle motions, plasmas as fluids, waves in plasma, diffusion and resistivity, equilibrium and stability, kinetic theory, nonlinear effects. Course prerequisite or corequisite: physics 178 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-132. Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Topics may include nuclear phenomenology, particle phenomenology, experimental methods, quark dynamics, weak interactions and electroweak unification, models and theories of nuclear physics, nuclear physics applications. Course prerequisite or corequisite: Math 157, Phys 190 or consent of instructor.

PHYS–140, 141. Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics. 3 crs ea. 
Topics include celestial mechanics, light and matter, special relativity, binary systems, stellar spectra, interiors of stars,interstellar medium, stellar evolution, stellar pulsation, massive stars, remnants of stars, terrestrial planets, giant planets, minor bodies in the solar system, galaxies, active galaxies, and cosmology.  Prereq. Phys. 015, Math 157.

PHYS–143.  Observational Astronomy 3 crs.
Topics may include data sources, statistics and probability, data modeling, properties of CCD's, photometry and telescopes, spectroscopy,infrared astronomy, high energy astronomy, radio astronomy, and adaptive optics.  Coreq.  Phys.  140 or instructor’s approval.

PHYS-154, 155. Introduction to Digital Computer Programming. 3 crs. ea.
Presents the basic concepts applicable to computers in general and coding of actual problems. Prereqs.: MATH-007 and consent of instructor.

PHYS-174. Introduction to Biophysics. 3 crs.
Topics considered include the levels of organization within biological systems, flow of energy in living things with an introduction to the thermodynamic systems utilized in biological research; and an introduction to the physical techniques used in the study of biological systems. Prereq.: PHYS-002.

PHYS-175. Thermodynamics. 3crs.
Introduces the laws of thermodynamics and applications, along with kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Prereqs. PHYS-002 or PHYS-014and MATH-157 and -159.

PHYS-176. Optics. 3 crs.
Explores refraction, optical instruments, interference, diffraction,and polarization. Prereqs.: PHYS-002 or PHYS-014 and MATH-157 and -159.

PHYS-178, 179. Electricity andMagnetism. 3 crs. ea.
One year intermediate level course which covers electrostatics,magnetostatics, electric circuits, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Prereqs.: PHYS-002 or PHYS-014, and MATH-156,-157 and -159.

PHYS-180, 181. Electronic Physics. 3 crs. ea.
This lecture/laboratory course provides a solid background in analog and digital electronics and instrumentation. The first semester involves mostly analog electronics and the second semester mostly digital electronics. Prereqs.: PHYS-002 or PHYS-014, and MATH-156 and-157.

PHYS-182, 183. Physical Mechanics. 3 crs. ea.
This one year course examines particle and rigid body dynamics, central forces, vector analysis, oscillatory motion, and Lagrangian mechanics.Prereqs.: PHYS-001 or PHYS-013, and MATH-156, -157 and -159.

PHYS-190, 191. Quantum Physics I & II. 3 crs. ea.
Introduction to quantum physics and relativity. Includes discussion of Schrodinger equation and its application to atomic and molecular spectra, a brief introduction to lasers, solid state, nuclear physics,elementary particles. Prereqs.: PHYS-183 and MATH-156, -157 and -159.

PHYS-192, 193. Introduction to Mathematical Physics. 3 crs. ea.
Treats vectors and tensors, linear transformations, complex variables,calculus of residues, partial differential equations of physics,Green's functions, Strum-Liouville theory, orthogonal functions, and Fourier transform methods. Prereq.: consent of instructor.

PHYS-194, 195. Experimental Physics I & II. 3 cr. ea.
Research training including data reduction and error analysis for physicists. Topics include instrumental and statistical uncertainties,propagation of error, probability distributions, method of least squares, curve fitting, and experimental design. Selected experiments in mechanics, heat, optics, electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics, and electronics, and computer programming. Technical writing skills for the production of scientific publications and reports are emphasized. The course PHYS-194 is the same as PHYS-702 Experimental Physics WRTG. Prereq.: PHYS-013/014.

PHYS-196. Senior Thesis. (1)cr.
Research problems for senior physics majors. Prereq.: PHYS-194 and senior status in physics.