Physics Courses

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Physics Courses

The following courses are offered within the Physics Department:

PHYS 118: Introduction to Physical Science (4 credit hours – Fall)

This course presents the evolution of fundamental scientific theories and covers important topics in the three basic areas of physical science: physics, chemistry, and astronomy. This course also explores the nature of the physical universe and the role of human beings in it.

PHYS 119Earth-Space Science (4 credit hours – Odd year Spring)

This course is designed for those students who need or are interested in both earth science and space science. Topics in earth science include minerals and rocks, internal structure of the earth, structure of its surface, earthquakes, fossils and geological time, the earth’s atmosphere and waters, weather and climate. Topics in space science are: structure of the universe, the H-R diagram, stars’ evolution, galaxies, the Milky Way, the solar system, comets, asteroids, the Moon and its phases, and eclipses.

PHYS 120: Introductory Physics (4 credit hours – On demand)

The fundamentals of physics are presented, along with an emphasis on understanding physical concepts and laws through examples and applications. Topics include: Newtonian mechanics, heat transfer, states of matter, vibrations and waves, sound, electricity and light. Prerequisite: high school algebra.

PHYS 133: Astronomy (4 credit hours – Even year Spring)

This course is a qualitative study of the sun, earth, planets, stars and galaxies; a survey of what is known about the universe. Astronomical observation from the University’s 16-inch telescope in the observatory of Peters Science Hall is included. Prerequisite: Completion of Liberal Studies mathematics requirement or by consent of instructor.

PHYS 145: General Geology (4 credit hours – On demand)

Physical geology stressing the development of the earth through an analysis of rocks, fossils and landforms. Topics covered include minerals, rocks, geologic time, fossils, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, streams, groundwater, glaciers, weathering, soil and mineral resources. Laboratory work and field trips are used to acquaint the student with geologic processes.

PHYS 148: Introduction to Engineering (2 credit hours – Even year Fall)

This course is an introduction to engineering concepts, showing how to solve problems in basic engineering with the use of elementary mathematics and computers. Prerequisite: high school algebra.

PHYS 221: General Physics I (4 credit hours – Fall)

Classical mechanics is the main focus including kinematics, Newton’s Laws, rotation, momentum and energy. Calculus will be used when appropriate. This course is offered with concurrent enrollment in laboratory PHYS221L. Corequisite: MATH145 or by consent of instructor.

PHYS 221L: General Physics I Laboratory (1 credit hour – Fall)

Laboratory is to accompany PHYS 221 General Physics I.

PHYS 222: General Physics II (4 credit hours – Spring)

A necessary extension of General Physics I, this course covers electrostatics, electricity, magnetism, wave motion, sound, light, interference, and diffraction. Calculus will be used when necessary. Concurrent enrollment in laboratory PHYS 222L is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 221 or by consent of instructor.

PHYS 222L: General Physics II Laboratory (1 credit hour – Spring)

Laboratory is to accompany PHYS 222 General Physics II.

PHYS 227: Modern Physics (3 credit hours – Even year Fall)

A conceptual and elementary course on developments in physics beyond Newtonian mechanics, including special relativity, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, nuclear physics and elementary particles. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 and MATH 245, or equivalents.

PHYS 320: Statics (3 credit hours – On demand)

This course deals with equilibria of rigid bodies acted on by force systems with a focus on applications to simple structures, trusses, frames, cables and machine elements. The course is designed for both physics and engineering majors. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 and MATH 145, or by consent of instructor.

PHYS 321: Dynamics (3 credit hours – Odd year Fall)

An analysis of the motion of a particle and a rigid body and its causes, including relative motion, and covering Newton’s laws, work and energy, impulse and momentum, rotation, central force motion, and vibrations. It is designed for both physics and engineering majors. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 and MATH 145, or by consent of instructor.

PHYS 323: Optics with Laboratory (4 credit hours – Even year Spring)

Geometric and wave optics will be studied, which include reflection, refraction, mirrors, lenses, optical instruments, interference, diffraction, polarization, and lasers. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 and MATH 145, or equivalents.

PHYS 325: Thermodynamics with Laboratory (4 credit hours – Odd year Spring)

Study of fundamental thermodynamic concepts including temperature, heat, work, internal energy, entropy, kinetic theory of gases, equations of state, and first and second laws of thermodynamics. Applications of thermodynamics principles are emphasized. Prerequisites: PHYS 222 and MATH 145, or equivalents.

PHYS 329: Circuit Analysis and Electronics Laboratory (4 credit hours – Odd year Spring)

Analysis of DC circuits and AC networks containing resistors, capacitors and inductors. Analog and digital electronics are studied including diodes, transistors, op-amps, flip-flops, gates, counters, ROM’s and RAM’s.

PHYS 335: Electromagnetic Theory (3 credit hours – Even year Spring)

The properties of electric and magnetic fields, including electrostatics, magnetostatics, and Maxwell’s Equations. Prerequisite: PHYS222 and MATH246 or by consent of instructor.

PHYS 425: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3 credit hours – On demand)

This is a study of the foundations of quantum theory, which involve fundamental concepts and principles such as the wave-particle duality, the uncertainty principle, the correspondence principle, and state functions. Also included are the development of Schroedinger’s equation and its applications to solving simple problems. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 and MATH 245, or equivalents.

PHYS 485: Special Topics (Variable credit – On demand)

A focused investigation into a selected area(s) of Physics that will include such topics as lasers, special and general relativity, statistical thermodynamics, elementary particles, stars’ evolution, electronics projects, etc.

PHYS 495: Physics Seminar (1 credit hour – Odd year Fall)

Seminar focusing on current research areas in physics and engineering. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing.