Physics

Course Offerings

PHYS–100 Conceptual Physics (3 credits)
Presents basic principles of physics through descriptive and demonstrative techniques. For non-science majors. (Credit may not be counted toward graduation for physics or engineering majors.) Prerequisite: One year of high school algebra.
PHYS–121 Algebra Physics I (4 credits)
Presents basic principles of mechanics, fluid statics, fluid dynamics, heat, and sound. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: Mathematics 105 or two years high school algebra. Recommended: One year high school physics.
PHYS–121L Algebra Physics I Lab
Presents basic principles of mechanics, fluid statics, fluid dynamics, heat, and sound. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: Mathematics 105 or two years high school algebra. Recommended: One year high school physics.
PHYS–122 Algebra Physics II (4 credits)
Continues Physics 121. Presents basic principles of electricity, magnetism, light, relativity, atomic, and nuclear physics. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: Physics 121.
PHYS–122L Algebra Physics II Lab
Continues Physics 121. Presents basic principles of electricity, magnetism, light, relativity, atomic, and nuclear physics. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: Physics 121.
PHYS–190 Physics Today (0.5 credits)
Presents the nature of the work of a physicist and opportunities in the field of physics. An individualized course where topics of interest to each student are pursued through projects or selected readings. Recommended for all freshmen contemplating a major in physics.
PHYS–195 Special Topics-Physics/Tech (1-3 credits)
Introduction to special topics in physics or technology that are not included in regular course offerings. Offered depending on interest or demand. Prerequisite: One year high school algebra.
PHYS–200 Physics of Music (3 credits)
Designed primarily for students of music. Includes basic principles of acoustics, response of the ear to sound, musical tuning scales, auditorium acoustics, and the production and analysis of instrumental and vocal sounds.
PHYS–210 Calculus Physics I (4 credits)
Calculus-based treatment of mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: Mathematics 221. Recommended: One year high school physics.
PHYS–210L Calculus Physics I Lab
Calculus-based treatment of mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisite: Mathematics 211 or 221. Recommended: One year high school physics.
PHYS–211 Calculus Physics II (4 credits)
Calculus-based treatment of electricity, magnetism, and light. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisites: Mathematics 222; Physics 210.
PHYS–211L Calculus Physics II Lab
Calculus-based treatment of electricity, magnetism, and light. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisites: Mathematics 222; Physics 210.
PHYS–213 Intro to Modern Physics (3 credits)
Introduction to the quantum nature of matter and radiation. Examines the developments in physics since the late 19th century, primarily in the areas of relativity, atomic, nuclear, and particle physics. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Mathematics 323; Physics 211.
PHYS–214 Modern Physics Lab (1 credit)
Complements Physics 213 by providing laboratory experience in relativity, atomic, nuclear, and particle physics. Two hours lab. Corequisite: Physics 213.
PHYS–305 Mathematical Physics (3 credits)
Examines a variety of mathematical methods and their application in the solution of physics problems. Topics include vector and function spaces, special functions such as Bessel functions and Legendre polynomials, curvilinear coordinates, Fourier transforms, ordinary and partial differential equations. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Mathematics 323; Physics 211.
PHYS–312 Classical Mechanics (4 credits)
Emphasizes Newton's Second Law in differential form. Covers driven damped harmonic motion, central fields, rigid bodies, Lagrange and Hamilton equations, and accelerated reference frames. Four hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 121 or 210, 305.
PHYS–320 Astrophysics (3 credits)
Detailed study of the physical processes that drive a variety of astrophysical phenomena. Topics include radiation production and interaction with matter, accreting systems, and observational techniques from radio to gamma-rays. Specific applications may include (depending on student interest) stellar structure and evolution, compact objects, galactic composition and dynamics, and the origin and structure of the universe. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Mathematics 323; Physics 213. Recommended: Astronomy 101. Same as Astronomy 320.
PHYS–322 Biological Physics (3 credits)
Introduces biophysical methods from a physics perspective and discusses the application of these methods toward research questions in biology. Topics include biomolecular structures, structure determination and simulation, and molecular motors. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Mathematics 221; Physics 210 or 121. Same as Biology 322.
PHYS–330 Nuclear Physics (2 credits)
Examines the following topics in nuclear physics: radioactivity, atomic masses, nuclear models, and nuclear fission and fusion. Two hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 213, 305.
PHYS–331 Condensed Matter (2 credits)
Examines the following topics in condensed matter physics: classical and quantum free electron models, crystal and reciprocal lattice vectors, lattice vibrations and phonons, energy bands in solids, metals, semiconductors and superconductors. Two hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 213, 305.
PHYS–340 Computational Physics (3 credits)
Provides physics majors with a functional understanding of how to apply modern programming languages to the solution of a wide variety of problems in physics. Topics include solutions to differential equations using a variety of techniques, cellular automata, Monte Carlo techniques, and high performance computing. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Mathematics 323; Physics 213.
PHYS–350 Electronics (4 credits)
Treats topics in both digital and analog electronics relevant to the study of physics. The study of analog electronics includes basic circuit analysis, filters, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers. Topics in digital electronics include logic systems and gates, analog to digital conversion, and digital to analog conversion. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisites: Mathematics 221; Physics 122 or 211.
PHYS–350L Electronics Lab
Treats topics in both digital and analog electronics relevant to the study of physics. The study of analog electronics includes basic circuit analysis, filters, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers. Topics in digital electronics include logic systems and gates, analog to digital conversion, and digital to analog conversion. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Prerequisites: Mathematics 211 or 221; Physics 122 or 211.
PHYS–401 Advanced Electronmagnetics (4 credits)
Examines Maxwell's equations, electric and magnetic fields, vector and scalar potentials, gauge transformations, boundary value problems, electromagnetic radiation, and relativistic electrodynamics. Four hours lecture. Prerequisite: Physics 305.
PHYS–405 Advanced Mathematical Physics (2 credits)
Examines a variety of advanced mathematical methods and their application in the solution of physics problems. Topics include functions of complex variables, complex analysis, Laplace transforms, introduction to group theory and Green's functions. Two hours lecture. Prerequisite: Physics 305.
PHYS–414 Advanced Laboratory (3 credits)
Introduces advanced measurement techniques employed in experimental physics research. Emphasis on the entire experimental process, including literature search, experiment construction, data acquisition, data and error analysis, and technical writing for publication. Six hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Physics 214.
PHYS–416 Statistical Thermodynamics (3 credits)
Develops thermodynamics from a microscopic point of view and then relates this microscopic view to macroscopic parameters through statistical methods. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 213, 305.
PHYS–421 Atomic Physics (2 credits)
Examines the Bohr model and wave mechanical approach to the hydrogen atom, magnetic dipole moments, spin-orbit interaction, energy states and transitions in multi-electron atoms, Xrays, and the Zeeman effect. Two hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 213, 305.
PHYS–422 Cosmology (2 credits)
Explores history and evolution of the universe with emphasis on theoretical models that may be tested by modern experimental and observational techniques. Topics include the Big Bang, cosmic microwave background radiation, dark energy, dark matter, the origins of structure in the universe, general relativity, and specific topics of interest to researchers in the field. Two hours lecture. Prerequisite: Physics 305. Recommended: Astronomy 101, 320. Same as Astronomy 422.
PHYS–423 Particle Physics (2 credits)
Introduction to the physics of elementary particles. Topics include relativistic particle dynamics, scattering processes, and Feynman diagrams, with applications to quantum electrodynamics (QED). Two hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 213, 305.
PHYS–427 Optics (3 credits)
Investigation of the interaction of light with matter, physical optics, Fourier optics, and lasers. Two and one-half hours lecture, two hours lab every other week. Prerequisite: Physics 305.
PHYS–427L Optics Lab
Investigation of the interaction of light with matter, physical optics, Fourier optics, and lasers. Two and one-half hours lecture, two hours lab every other week. Prerequisite: Physics 305.
PHYS–471 Quantum Mechanics (3 credits)
Systematic introduction of formal aspects of quantum mechanics. Includes Schrodinger (wave representation) and Heisenberg (matrix representation) approaches. In-depth examination of the simple harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atom in terms of quantum mechanics, followed by additional applications and methods. Three hours lecture. Prerequisites: Physics 213, 305.
PHYS–493 Physics GRE Preparation (0.5 credits)
Prepares students for the physics Graduate Record Examination through review of physics concepts, practice tests, and evaluation of test taking strategies.
PHYS–494 Physics Seminar (1 credit)
Seminar presentation and written paper on research projects by students. Senior physics majors are required to complete the Major Field Test in physics. Course may be repeated for additional credit.
PHYS–495 Special Topics-Physics/Tech (1-3 credits)
Advanced special topics in physics and/or technology that are not offered regularly. Offered depending on interest or demand. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
PHYS–498 Physics Internship (1-12 credits)
Provides off-campus research experience for physics majors. Prerequisites: Junior standing, permission of instructor and department chair.
PHYS–499 Research/Independent Study in Physics (1-4 credits)
Allows individuals laboratory research or independent study on a problem or topic of special interest. Subject and credit to be arranged with instructor and department chair. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.