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Courses: Physics (PHYS)

Undergraduate Bulletin
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Undergraduate & Graduate Dates to Remember*

Fall Term 2010

August 20-22 MBA Orientation
August 25-29 Wolfpack Welcome
August 30 Classes begin
September 3 Add deadline
October 29 Last day to withdraw & last day
to apply for graduation
December 10 Last day of classes
December 11-17 Final Exams

Spring Term 2011

January 8 New Student Orientation; MBA Orientation
January 10 Classes begin
January 14 Add deadline
March 4 Last day to withdraw
May 4 Last day of classes for undergraduate students
May 5 Last day of classes for graduate students
May 6-12 Final Exams for day division
May 9-12 Final Exams for graduate and evening students
May 14 Commencement - all colleges

*College of Law dates on Law Bulletin

Humanities and Natural Sciences

PHYS A101 Introduction to Mechanics 4 crs.  

This is a calculus-based introductory course in Newtonian mechanics intended for physical science and math majors.

Co-requisite: PHYS A112, MATH A257

PHYS A102 Introduction to Electromagnetism 4 crs. 

This course is an introduction to the physics of electricity and magnetism culminating in an elementary treatment of Maxwell’s equations. We will then introduce students to Einstein’s special relativity.

Co-requisite: PHYS A113, MATH A258

PHYS A103 Mechanics Lab 1 cr.

Co-requisite: PHYS A101, A110 or A115.  Lab fee $50. 

PHYS A104 Electricity and Magnetism Lab 1 cr.

Co-requisite: PHYS A102, A111 or A116.  Lab fee $50.

PHYS A115 Physics of Life Sciences I 3 crs.

The principles of mechanics, heat, sound, light, magnetism, electricity, and fundamentals of atomic physics. In presenting these topics, the special interest of the biological sciences and the general education groups are kept in view. Included are three lectures per week.

Co-requisite: PHYS A112

PHYS A116 Physics of Life Sciences II 3 crs.

This course is a continuation PHYS A115

Prerequisite: PHYS A115

Co-requisite: PHYS A113

PHYS A195 Special Projects I 1 cr.

PHYS A240 Introduction to Waves and Quantum Physics 3 crs.

This is a sophomore level course that describes wave physics and introduces basic concepts of quantum physics.

Prerequisites: PHYS A102, MATH A258 

PHYS A241 Introduction to Thermal Physics 3 crs.

This is a sophomore level course that introduces the basic thermodynamic concepts of temperature, heat, and entropy. Classical thermodynamics as well as statistical mechanics will be covered.

Prerequisites: PHYS A102, MATH A258  

PHYS A295 Special Projects II arr. 

PHYS A295 Environmental Physics 3 crs.

This course discusses physical foundations of environmental science. It revisits basic physics principles relevant to environmental science and then applies them to phenomena such as climate change, pollution, energy conversion etc.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 or PHYS A116 

PHYS A340 Classical Mechanics 4 crs.

This is a junior level course that introduces methods of classical mechanics. It gives a rigorous treatment of Newtonian and Lagrangian formulations of classical mechanics, including numerous applications. It is a continuation and extension of the introductory course (Introduction to Mechanics PHYS-A101).

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240  

PHYS A350 Electromagnetism 4 crs.

This course gives a rigorous treatment of laws of electromagnetism. It covers applications of Maxwell’s equations, including electromagnetic waves. It is a continuation and extension of the introductory course (Introduction to Electromagnetism and Relativity PHYS-A102).

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240  

PHYS A395 Special Projects III arr.

PHYS A425 Lasers and Modern Optics 3 crs.

Discussions will involve principles and practical aspects of laser operation and applications in modern optics; propagation of plane electromagnetic waves; diffraction and interference of light; gaussian beam propagation and optical resonators; theory of laser oscillation; gas, solid, semiconductor and dye lasers; detectors of optical radiation; nonlinear optics; applications in research and industry. Laboratory exercises include polarization, interference, Fourier optics, holography, gas, diode, and tunable lasers.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 

PHYS A430 General Relativity 3 crs.

Beginning with Special relativity, we will review Einstein's development of his general relativistic theory of gravity in terms of the differential geometry of spacetime.

Prerequisite: PHYS A240, MATH A259  

PHYS A432 Solid State Physics 3 crs.

This course is an introductory course in solid state physics.  Some of the areas covered are thermal properties, free electron theory of metals, band theory, semiconductors, superconductivity and magnetic properties. 

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 

PHYS A436 Cellular Biophysics 3 crs.

This course is concerned with selected physiological phenomena occurring in biological cells, such as action potential in neurons. Although these are fundamentally biological phenomena, the analysis is inherently multidisciplinary, involving both physical and chemical principles. The course also introduces students to basic mathematical modeling of biophysical phenomena.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 or PHYS A116  

PHYS A438 Introduction to Astrophysics 3 crs.

This introduction to astrophysics is an elective course for the physics major sequences.  Topics include the physical principles of the tools of astronomy; the physics of stars and planetary systems; galaxies and cosmology. 

Prerequisites: PHYS A240, PHYS A241, MATH A259

PHYS A445 Advanced Laboratory Physics 3 crs.

This is an advanced laboratory course for physics majors with the objective of training students to be self-reliant in planning and performing experiments not ordinarily done at the elementary level. Experiments are performed in such areas as electronics, mechanics, atomic physics and spectroscopy and emphasis will be placed on experimental error analysis.  Lab fee $50.

Prerequisites: PHYS A240, PHYS A241  

PHYS A450 Quantum Mechanics 4 crs.

This course gives an introductory treatment of quantum mechanics. Starting with the experimental evidence, it introduces the Schroedinger and Heisenberg formulations of quantum theory, discusses basic properties of the Schroedinger equation and provides an elementary introduction to axiomatic structure of quantum mechanics.

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240  

PHYS A495 Special Projects IV arr.

Prerequisite: PHYS A395  

PHYS A496 Seminar/Workshop arr.

A seminar is a supervised group of students sharing the results of their research on a common topic. A workshop is a supervised group of students participating in a common effort. 

PHYS A497 Internship/Practicum arr.

An internship is supervised practical experience. A practicum is supervised practical application of previously studied theory. 

PHYS A498 Research Project arr.

This project focuses on empirical or historical investigation, culminating in a written report. 

PHYS A499 Independent Study arr. 

PHYS H234 Faith, Science, and Religion 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course will critically analyze various ways of knowing: faith, science, and theology (critical analysis of faith). The methods of the physical sciences and the life sciences will be discussed. Topics will include the epic of creation, evolution, and quantum theory. 

PHYS H498 Honors Thesis 3 crs. 

PHYS T122 Introduction to Physics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Introductory

The purposes of the course are (1) to familiarize the student with the behavior of physical reality, (2) to consider the manner in which scientists across the ages have philosophized on physical reality, (3) to contrast classical physics with modern physics, and (4) to foster within the students a scientific literacy.

PHYS Z130 Faith, Science, and Religion 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course will critically analyze various ways of knowing: faith, science, and theology (critical analysis of faith). The methods of the physical sciences and the life sciences will be discussed. Topics will include the epic of creation, evolution, and quantum theory. 

PHYS Z131 Physics of Sound 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

This course explores the science underlying the phenomena of sound, with particular emphasis on topics related to musical sound. Students will gain an understanding of basic physical and mathematical concepts relating to sound production, propagation and perception – as well as sound recording and sound reproduction.

 PHYS Z134 Astronomy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Natural Sciences Modern

The purpose of this course is to place the participant in one of the cultural mainstreams of mankind’s past, present, and future by making available the rich mines of historical and practical astronomy, as well as modern space age discoveries and theories, in a comprehensive form.

Prerequisite: Any MATH A100 or above