PHYS-100 Introductory Astronomy
A general overview of astronomy, covering ancient and modern views of the solar system and beyond, out to the farthest reaches of the observable universe. The course focuses on building a basic understanding of the physical laws that dictate celestial motions and the processes behind the birth, evolution, and death of objects within the universe, as well as the universe itself. It is a primary goal to demonstrate how the scientific method works and how science builds a testable, coherent understanding of natural phenomena. Includes a laboratory component where students gain hands-on experience and are actively engaged in the process of scientific inquiry.
PHYS-101 Digital and Analog Electronics
the fundamental principles of digital and analog electronics are introduced, while emphasizing applications. Guided laboratory investigations are designed to develop an understanding of common electronic devices, as well as scientific instrumentation.
PHYS-105 Independent Thought in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to how physics developed in the last couple of centuries. The objective of this course is to give the foundations for understanding the cornerstones of Physics and a general understanding of the concepts of science. The students will learn how to approach physics problems without a provided outline, and they will be expected to find their own solutions to the assigned problems with subtle but available guidance. The instructors will be on hand for help but will not provide direct solutions to the posed problems. The students will need to work actively and independently at the material. However they will be working in teams of 2-3 people, where collaboration between team members is encouraged. All resources will be provided for the students to successfully complete the assigned task. The posed questions will be common experiences in physics that people generally deal with everyday but don't really understand the concepts behind them and in most cases not even know that they were issues 200 years ago. There are no pre-requisites to this course, just the interest to find out about the world we live in.
PHYS-108 Physics of Music
A study of the acoustics of music. Explores the fundamental scientific principles underlying the physical aspects of music - what music is, how music is produced, how we hear it, and how it is transmitted to a listener. Prerequisites: Familiarity with basic music terminology, music performance experience, a fascination with music, or permission from the instructor.
PHYS-204 Introductory Physics I
Introduces the macroscopic phenomena of the physical universe. Applies concepts of force, work, energy and momentum to waves, fluids and thermodynamics. Laboratory stresses methods of acquiring data, computer data processing and analyzing the causes of errors. Each year two sections of this course will be offered: PHYS:101:L uses high school algebra and trigonometry as the language; PHYS:101:C uses algebra, trigonometry and calculus as the language. Prequisite: MATH-111 recommended but not required.
PHYS-205 Introductory Physics II
Continuation of PHYS:204. Introduces and applies the concept of a field to gravitation, electricity,magnetism, circuits, optics and the atom. Laboratory stresses electronic data acquisition and independent discovery of physical principles. Each year two sections of this course will be offered: PHYS:102:L uses high school algebra and trigonometry as the language; PHYS:204:C uses algebra, trigonometry and calculus as the language. Prerequisites: PHYS-204 and MATH-111.
PHYS-301 Newtonian Mechanics
Studies particle and rigid body motion in two and three dimensions. Uses vectors and differential equations. Introduces Lagrangian and Hamiltonian approaches to mechanics.
PHYS-302 Electric and Magnetic Fields
Studies the concepts of fields. Uses mathematics of multivariable functions and vectors. Covers Maxwell's equations and their use in describing electric and magnetic waves.
PHYS-303 Solid State Physics
Introduces the physics of crystalline materials. Discusses lattice dynamics, electron behavior in metals, semiconductors, and dielectric and magnetic properties. Laboratory builds on concepts introduced in analog electronics. Studies computer-to-instrument interfacing, emphasizing signal processing, measurement, and control of external processing. Prerequisite: PHYS-101 and PHYS-205.
PHYS-304 Classical and Modern Optics
Geometrical optics, including reflection, refraction, thick and thin lenses, stops, mirrors, aberrations and ray tracing. Covers physical optics including interference, diffraction, polarization and optical activity. Discusses quantum optics as they apply to lasers, holography and magneto/electro-optics.
PHYS-305 Topics in Physics
Selected topics not covered in other courses. May include statistical mechanics, nuclear physics, heat and thermodynamics, material science and planetary astronomy.
PHYS-306 Modern Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the physics discovered near the beginning of the 20th Century and beyond. Topics include Special Relativity, the wave nature of matter, the particle nature of light, the Bohr atom, Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, the hydrogen atom, molecular structure, nuclear structure, and nuclear applications. Additional topics may be covered, depending on professor/student interests. A number of seminal experiments are performed and studied, which aids in putting the introduced ideas into both scientific and historical context. Prerequisites: MATH-112 and PHYS-205.
PHYS-401 Electromagnetic and Mechanical Waves
Optical, mechanical and electromagnetic wave phenomena in one, two, and three dimensions. Covers free space, fluids and solids. Begins with Maxwell's equations.
PHYS-402 Quantum Mechanics
FCovers history of quantum mechanics leading to the Bohr Atom. Also focuses on mathematical treatment of quantum mechanics fundamentals. Includes Schrodinger formulation,approximation methods, symmetry and angular momentum. Covers applications to simple atoms and molecules.
PHYS-404 Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics
This course covers the laws of thermodynamics, themodynamic functions, heat engines kinetic theory, and the statistical mechanics of classical and quantum-mechanical systems. Prerequisites: PHYS-204, PHYS-205, and PHYS-306.
PHYS-500 Independent Study
In-depth focus on a selected topic of student interest.
PHYS-530 Physics Internship
Work for government agency or industry under supervision of a physicist or engineer.
PHYS-550 Physics Research
Individual or group research in experimental or theoretical physics under the direction of a principal investigator. Prerequisite: Permission of adviser and principal investigator. To meet the capstone requirement, a minimum of two semester hours is required.