Physics & Astronomy Department Course Offerings

ASTR 100 : Introductory Astronomy
A summary of modern astronomy: the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the structure of the observable universe. Counts for Natural Science general education credit only if ASTR 101 is taken concurrently. Corequisite: ASTR 101 or permission of instructor.   Credits: 3

ASTR 101 : N/Introductory Astronomy Lab
An introductory laboratory experience to help students understand astronomy. Activities include taking data, statistical analysis, and comparison with theoretical models. Laboratories will include material from observations of planets, the sun, stars, and galaxies. Corequisite: ASTR 100 or permission of instructor.   Credits: 1

ASTR 105 : The Solar System
This course is an introduction to the solar system. Topics studied will include the motions of the night sky, the historical and scientific underpinnings of the Copernican revolution, and a look at our modern understanding of the bodies that make up our solar system, including planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets. The course will also explore how and what we know about planetary bodies orbiting other stars. Prerequisite/Corequisite: ASTR 106 or permission of instructor. Offered every fall.   Credits: 3

ASTR 106 : N/The Solar System Laboratory
A laboratory experience to complement the material covered in ASTR 105. Lab activities will include analyzing and interpreting data on Kepler?s Laws, optics, and planetary systems. Prerequisite/Corequisite: ASTR 105 or permission of instructor. Offered every fall   Credits: 1

ASTR 110 : Stars & Galaxies
An introduction to our modern understanding of the universe. Topics studied will include the interaction between light and matter, the formation, structure and evolution of stars, and galaxy kinematics and morphology. The course will also explore our understanding of the universe as a whole, from its origin to present structure, to possible fates. Prerequisite/Corequisite: ASTR 111 or permission of instructor. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

ASTR 111 : N/Stars & Galaxies Laboratory
A laboratory experience to complement the material covered in ASTR 110. Labs activities will include spectroscopy, Kepler?s Laws, and analyzing and interpreting data on stars, galaxies, and the universe. Corequisite: ASTR 110 or permission of instructor. Offered every spring   Credits: 1

ASTR 199 : Directed Study
  Credits: 1-6

PHYS 102 : Science of Sound
The production, transmission, recording, and sensation of sound are presented in a lecture-demonstration format. Examples of mechanical vibrations, mechanisms of hearing and speech, perception of loudness, high-fidelity sound systems, musical instruments, and wave form analysis are included. The mathematics used is limited to elementary algebra. Cannot be counted towards the physics major. Not open to students with prior credit for physics courses numbered PHYS 113 or higher without department approval. Corequisite: PHYS 103. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 103 : N/Science of Sound Laboratory
A laboratory course to complement Science of Sound. Experiments studying vibration, sound analysis, and standing waves will use devices such as tone generators, oscilloscopes, sound level meters, and audio equipment. Cannot be counted towards the physics major. Not open to students with prior credit for physics courses numbered PHYS 113 or higher without department approval. Corequisite: PHYS 102. Offered every fall   Credits: 1

PHYS 106 : Nature of Light & Color
The evolution of our understanding of the nature of light will be presented, from Newton?s corpuscles to Maxwell?s electromagnetic waves to the modern view of wave-particle duality. Along the way, many optical phenomena will be investigated in lecture demonstrations and in the laboratory, including lenses, prisms, rainbows, photography, interference, diffraction, the photoelectric effect, and atomic spectra. Simple algebra, trigonometry and geometry will be employed. Cannot be counted toward the physics major. (Not open to students with prior credit for physics courses numbered PHYS 113 or higher without department approval.) Corequisite: PHYS 107. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 107 : N/Nature of Light & Color Lab
An introductory laboratory experience to help students understand light and color. Many optical phenomena will be investigated in laboratory activities including lenses, vision and perception, interference, diffraction, the photoelectric effect, and atomic spectra. Cannot be counted toward the physics major. (Not open to students with prior credit for physics courses numbered PHYS 113 or higher without department approval.) Corequisite: PHYS 106. Offered every spring.   Credits: 1

PHYS 108 : The Way Things Work
A look at what is going on inside some of the tools and toys of modern life. The principles involved in a variety of things will be explored in discussion/hands-on sessions. Intended for non-science majors who are curious about how their world operates. The underlying science will be discussed in non-mathematical, lay language. Cannot be counted toward the physics major. Not offered on a regular basis   Credits: 0-1

PHYS 113 : General Physics I
An introduction to the concepts and laws of physics with applications to biological systems; course includes mechanics, thermodynamics, wave properties, and sound. Prerequisites/Corequisites: PHYS 114. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 114 : N/Physics I Lab
A lab course to complement General Physics I and Analytical Physics I lectures. Experiments in kinematics, projectile motion, Newton's laws, momentum, and energy conservation will be performed. Prerequisites/Corequisites: PHYS 113 or PHYS 123. Offered every fall   Credits: 1

PHYS 115 : General Physics II
Continuation of General Physics I: Electricity, magnetism, light, and atomic and nuclear phenomena. Prerequisites: PHYS 113/114 or permission of department. Corequisite: PHYS 116. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 116 : Physics II Lab
A lab course to complement General Physics II and Analytical Physics II lectures. Experiments in waves, electricity and magnetism, circuits, and optics will be performed. Prerequisites: PHYS 113/114. Corequisitee: PHYS 115 or PHYS 125. Offered every spring   Credits: 1

PHYS 120 : Physics First Year Experience
An introductory course for entering students considering a career in physics or engineering. Through presentations, discussions and investigations the question "What is Physics?" will be examined. Study methods and time utilization for success in physics will also be addressed. No prerequisite. Cannot be counted toward the physics major. Graded on S/U basis. Not offered on a regular basis   Credits: 1

PHYS 123 : Analytical Physics I
An analytical, calculus-based treatment of kinematics, Newton's laws, kinetic and potential energy, friction, linear momentum, angular momentum, rotational dynamics, gravitational physics, and simple harmonic motion. Notes: Both PHYS 123 and either PHYS 114 or PHYS 124 must be passed to receive core credit. A student may not receive credit for both PHYS 113 and PHYS 123. Prerequisites/Corequisites: MATH 221 or permission of deparment. PHYS 114 or PHYS 124 or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 124 : N/Analytical Physics I Lab
An experimental course developing laboratory and analytical skills in physics. Includes experiments in kinematics, Newton's laws, uncertainty analysis, momentum and energy conservation, and projectile motion. Prerequisites/Corequisites: PHYS 123 or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 1

PHYS 125 : Analytical Physics II
An analytical, calculus-based treatment of charge, electrostatic and magnetostatic fields, simple applications of Maxwell's equations, Lenz's law, basic electrical circuits, mechanical and electromagnetic waves, and geometric optics. Prerequisites: PHYS 123 or permission of instructor. Corequisites: PHYS 126 or PHYS 116 or permission of department. Prerequisites/ Corequisites: MATH 222 or MATH 228 permission of instructor. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 126 : Analytical Physics II Lab
An experimental course developing laboratory and analytical skills in physics. Includes experiments in electric fields, Ohm's law, use of the oscilloscope, and electric circuits. Prerequisites: PHYS 124 or permission of department. Corequisites: PHYS 125 or permission of department. Offered every spring   Credits: 1

PHYS 188 : Experimental:
  Credits: 0-6

PHYS 199 : Directed Study
  Credits: 1-4

PHYS 223 : Analytical Physics III
This course will include classical physics and some modern physics topics. The analysis of phenomena such as electromagnetic waves, their interference and diffraction, electromagnetic radiation, blackbody radiation, and interactions of photons with matter, special relativity and gravity will be highlighted. Other topics covered in this course may include geometric optics, thermodynamics, and fluids. Prerequisites: PHYS 125 or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 224 : Analytical Physics IV
This course will include elementary quantum theory, Schrodinger's equation, wave properties of matter, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, atomic structure and the Bohr atom. Special topics may include a survey of material from different subfields of physics such as cosmology, solid state physics, nuclear physics, etc. Prerequisites: PHYS 223, MATH 223, or permission of department. Corequisites: PHYS 228 or permission of department. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 226 : Optics & Modern Physics Lab
Devoted to the understanding of experiments in Optics, Atomic Physics, and Nuclear Physics. Typical experiments would cover composite lens systems, interference effects, e/m, emission spectra, and radioactive decay. Prerequisites: PHYS 226, Corequisites: PHYS 223 or permission of instructor. Offered every fall   Credits: 1

PHYS 228 : Mathematical Methods inPhysics
This course is an introduction to the application of various mathematical tools to specific problems in physics. Methods will include complex numbers, coordinate transformations, vector calculus, matrices, Fourier transforms, series solutions, and probability. This course will also include numerical methods using software including spreadsheets and symbolic mathematical manipulators. Prerequisites/Corequisities: PHYS 224 or permission of department. Offered every spring   Credits: 2

PHYS 288 : Experimental:
  Credits: 0-4

PHYS 299 : Directed Study:
  Credits: 1-12

PHYS 311 : Classical Mechanics
The dynamics of a particle subject to various types of forces: forced and damped harmonic oscillations; conservative forces; vector algebra; kinematics in more than one dimension; multiple-particle systems. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228 and MATH 326, or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 313 : Applied Mechanics
This course begins with analysis of static rigid bodies in equilibrium, centroids, distributed forces, internal forces, and structures. Subsequent topics include stress and strain, torsion, bending, shear, combines and eccentric loading, failure criteria, and 3D stress tensors. Prerequisites: PHYS 228 or permission of department. Note: B.A. students may not receive degree credit for both PHYS 313 and PHYS 332. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 314 : Fluid Mechanics
This course is an introduction to the topic, and includes an examination of the relevant properties of fluids (density, viscosity, pressure, velocity), common analysis techniques (control systems, control volumes, stream functions, dimensional analysis, non-dimensional parameterization), mathematical modeling (integral and differential forms of mass conservation, momentum conservation, and energy conservation; Bernoulli's equation), and applications. Prerequisites: PHYS 311 or permission of department. Offered spring, odd years   Credits: 3

PHYS 321 : Atomic & Nuclear Physics
Elementary aspects of quantum physics; application of relativity and quantum physics to the interaction of photons and electrons, to atomic structure, and to nuclear structure and nuclear interactions. Prerequisites: PHYS 352, MATH 326 or permission of department. Offered spring, even years   Credits: 3

PHYS 332 : Electric Circuit Analysis
An introduction to the analysis and modeling of electric circuits. Includes the study of DC and AC circuit components, network theorems, phasor diagrams, frequency response and resonance, linear and non-linear systems, and electrical instrumentation. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228, MATH 326, or permission of department. Note: B.A. students cannot receive credit for both PHYS 313 and PHYS 332. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 335 : Intermed Elec & Magnetism I
Electrostatic fields in vacuum and in matter; magnetic fields of steady currents; induced electric fields; magnetic materials; Maxwell's equations; electromagnetic field of a moving charge. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228, MATH 326 or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 336 : Intermed Elec & Magnetism II
This course constitutes a continuation of PHYS 335: Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I. Material to be covered will include solutions of Maxwell's equations; investigation of electric and magnetic fields in domains not treated in the previous course, such as the propagation of electromagnetic waves in conducting and non-conducting media; electromagnetic radiation; wave guides; special theory of relativity and relativistic electrodynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 335 or permission of department. Offered every spring   Credits: 3

PHYS 341 : Seminar in Physics
Presentations are made by students enrolled, faculty members, and invited guests. Each student is expected to attend each scheduled meeting and to make at least one oral presentation on a topic approved by the instructor. Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission of department. Offered every spring   Credits: 1

PHYS 342 : Adv Physics Problem Solving
This course is designed to help senior physics majors synthesize the fundamental concepts learned in the various facets of physics program. An emphasis is placed on applying a variety of problem solving techniques to examples drawn from across the physics disciplines. This course should help students prepare for physics graduate school admissions exams as well as for the first year of graduate coursework. Cannot be counted towards Physics major. (Half semester course.) Prerequisites: PHYS 352 or PHYS 311 or PHYS 335. Credits: 1(1-0). Offered not on a regular basis   Credits: 1

PHYS 344 : Statistical Thermodynamics
An introduction, covering the connection between the physics of single particles and the bulk behavior of materials; the quantitative study of entropy, heat, temperature, the Carnot cycle, free energy, thermodynamic potential, phase equilibria, and the laws of thermodynamics. Thermodynamic systems, such as ideal gases and free electrons in metals, are considered. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228 and MATH 326 or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 352 : Quantum Mechanics I
An introductory course in the theory of non-relativistic quantum mechanics in its currently accepted form. Experiments resulting in the mathematical formulation of quantum theory are discussed. Hilbert space vectors, operator algebra, and the postulates of quantum mechanics lead to proofs of the compatibility theorem and the uncertainty principle. The states of a particle, as determined by Schroedinger's Equation, are studied in several situations. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228, MATH 326 or permission of department. Offered every fall   Credits: 3

PHYS 353 : Quantum Mechanics II
This course will cover advanced topics in Quantum Mechanics as well as applications and approximations to real physical problems. The Dirac description of quantum mechanics will be used extensively in this course as well as the functional forms described by Schroedinger. One, two and three dimensional bound state problems will be studied in addition to scattering theory. Approximation methods, such as time dependent perturbation theory, Hartree-Fock method, variational method and the Born approximation, will be used to solve physical problems to first and second order. Systems of more than one particle will be briefly studied. Prerequisites: PHYS 352. Offered spring, odd years   Credits: 3

PHYS 362 : Intermediate Laboratory
Devoted to the understanding of some of the classic experiments in physics. Experiments are from all fields of physics, but particular attention is given to experiments which complement courses being taken concurrently. Prerequisites: PHYS 226.   Credits: 2

PHYS 363 : Instrumentation & Interfacing
An introduction to electronic interfacing of equipment in the modern laboratory, with an emphasis on computer control of instrumentation. Includes hands-on experience with several standard interfacing protocols. Following an introduction to standard interface software, students will design and construct experimental projects that demonstrate computer control of measurement, analysis, decision making, and control. Note: Students may not count both PHYS 363 and 372 towards the minimum 37 semester hours in physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 362 and 3 credit hours of computer science or permission of department.   Credits: 2

PHYS 372 : Undergraduate Research
Designed to introduce the student to research techniques in physics, astronomy, or engineering. With faculty supervision, each student will complete a significant project which requires originality and broadens knowledge. Note: Students may not count both PHYS 363 and PHYS 372 towards the minimum 37 semester hours in physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 362 and prior approval of department.   Credits: 2

PHYS 381 : Introduction to Astrophysics
An introduction to the field of astrophysics. Particular emphasis will be placed on the structure and evolution of stars and on the origin and expansion of the universe. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228, and MATH 326. Offered spring, odd years   Credits: 3

PHYS 386 : Solid State Physics
Basic physical processes which occur in solids, especially semi-conductors and metals, are studied. Applications of quantum mechanics and statistics to the thermal and electrical properties of various types of solids are made. Prerequisites: PHYS 224, PHYS 228 and MATH 326 or permission of the department. Offered spring, even years   Credits: 3

PHYS 387 : Gravity
This course will cover Newtonian gravity, special and general relativity and cosmology. Some of the topics include Newton's law of gravitation, Keplerin orbits, special relativity with spacetime diagrams and metrics, generalization to accelerated frames, the Equivalence Principle, curvature of spacetime, classical tests of GR, stationary and spinning black holes, large scale structure of the universe, big bang theory and the cosmological model. Prerequisites: PHYS 311 or permission of the department. Not offered on a regular basis   Credits: 3

PHYS 388 : Experimental:
  Credits: 1-6

PHYS 389 : Honors Research
Individual research, directed by a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Results of the research will be reported in a thesis, published paper, or off-campus presentation. Enrollment by invitation of the Department. Students will normally have completed 90 semester hours with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and have completed at least 22 hours in physics (including PHYS 372) with a grade point average of 3.30. Offered by individual arrangement   Credits: 1-3

PHYS 393 : Honors Research
  Credits: 3

PHYS 394 : Independent Research
A one-semester work and study experience in an appropriate laboratory. Students are required to complete a formal research paper describing the nature of the project undertaken, problems encountered, methodology employed, and conclusions from the project. Offered: by individual arrangement. Cannot be counted towards Physics major. Prerequisites: Senior class standing, 3.0 cumulative GPA in physics, and permission of the department. This course may be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours. Offered by individual arrangement. Notes: This course may not be counted towards the minimum semester hours in Physics.   Credits: 1-3

PHYS 395 : Internship/Seminar
A one-semester work and study experience in an appropriate laboratory outside the College. Students are required to attend regular seminars during the internship, to submit monthly written reports, and to present a departmental seminar upon return to the College. Interns work closely with the sponsor on projects approved by the Physics Department. Notes:This course may not be counted towards the minimum semester hours in Physics. 3, 6, or 9 semester hours.Prerequisites: Senior class standing, 3.0 cumulative GPA in physics and permission of the department and cooperating agency. Corequisites: PHYS 394 - Independent Research. This course may be repeated for a total of 9 credit hours. Offered by individual arrangement   Credits: 3-9

PHYS 399 : Directed Study
Students work individually, under the supervision of a faculty member, on a research problem in physics. Notes: This Course may not be counted towards the minimum 37 semester hours in Physics. 1 to 3 semester hours. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Cannot be counted towards Physics major. Offered by individual arrangement   Credits: 1-8

PHYS 499 : Directed Study
  Credits: 1-6

PHYS 501 : Math Techns Used in Physics
Applications of the basic concepts of calculus, vector analysis, differential equations, complex variables, and special mathematical functions to problems in the field of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: MATH 326 and PHYS 321,or permission of department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 502 : Advanced Dynamics
The study of classical mechanics through the methods of vector calculus and differential equations. The description of the equations of motion in terms of the Lagrange and Hamilton formulations. A development of the techniques of the many-body problem as it applies to classical physics. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: MATH 326 and PHYS 311 or permission of department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 503 : Topics in Contemporary Physics
A concentrated discussion of 3 or 4 discrete topics of current interest and activity in physics. The course will emphasize the use of professional journals. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: PHYS 321 and PHYS 352 or equivalent with department permission.   Credits: 3

PHYS 507 : Electromagnetic Theory
A lecture and problem course in classical electromagnetic theory leading to a mathematically consistent description of radiation, scattering, and dispersion. Offered: when demand is sufficient   Credits: 3

PHYS 511 : Quantum Mechanics I
The basic postulates of Quantum Mechanics will be discussed and the Schrodinger Equation will be developed and discussed in detail. The remainder of the course will be involved with the application of the Schrodinger Equation to problems of atomic and nuclear physics. Calculus and Differential Equations are prerequisites for this course. Complex variables and properties of Orthogonal Function will be developed as needed in the course. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: MATH. 326 and PHYS 352 or permission of the department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 512 : Quantum Mechanics II
A continuation of Quantum Mechanics I with emphasis on perturbation theory and the Dirac theory of the electron. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: PHYS 411 or permission of department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 520 : Physics of Solid State
Presentation of the basic physical processes which occur in solids, especially semi-conductors and metals. Application of quantum mechanics and statistics to the thermal and electrical properties of various types of solids are made. Theoretical and experimental discussions of solid-state devices. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: PHYS 411 and MATH 326 or permission of department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 522 : Physics of Nucleau
A description of the composition of nuclei, nuclear sizes, and binding energies. Discussion of various nuclear models, and detailed analysis of stable and unstable nuclei and the several modes of nuclear decay processes. The elementary particles will be discussed. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: PHYS 411 and MATH 326 or permission of the department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 531 : Advanced Physics Laboratory
Students are expected to set up and work through a number of fundamental experiments which are selected from all areas of physics. The two major goals are: 1) familiarization with modern equipment, and 2) increase in understanding of the physics world. (Requires knowledge of the basic concepts of undergraduate physics and a working knowledge of mathematics through calculus.) Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: PHYS 321 and MATH 223 or permission of the department.   Credits: 2

PHYS 532 : Advanced Physics Laboratory II
A continuation of Physics 431 - Advanced Physics Laboratory I. Offered: when demand is sufficient   Credits: 2

PHYS 581 : The Interstellar Medium
Analysis of the physical and chemical state of materials in deep space with emphasis on recent research. Offered: when demand is sufficient Prerequisites: PHYS 321 and PHYS 344 or permission of department.   Credits: 3

PHYS 595 : Research in Physics I
Individual studies in physics directed toward specific research projects. Hours to be arranged. Offered: by individual arrangement Prerequisites: Demonstrated competency in physics and permission of the department.   Credits: 2-9

PHYS 596 : Research in Physics II
Individual studies in physics directed toward a specific research project. (2 to 9 hours to be arranged.) Offered: by individual arrangement Prerequisites: PHYS 595 and permission of the department.   Credits: 2-9

PHYS 599 : Directed Study:
  Credits: 1-12