Physics Courses


PHYS103. Conceptual Physics

A survey of basic physics principles taught from a conceptual basis. A broad survey of physics will be demonstrated in this course with such topics as mechanics, fluids, heat, electricity, magnetism, and light. The course will apply basic physics principles to our daily lives. 3 lectures and one 2 hour lab period. 4 credits. Fulfills general education Goal 6.

PHYS110. Physics and

An in depth study of physics topics examined in the context of a particular, real-life application such as sports, cooking, technology, amusement parks, art, music, or politics. 3 lectures. 3 credits. FSRC, WI.

PHYS111. Applied Physics AND

An in depth study with lab applications of physics topics examined in the context of a particular, real-life application such as sports, cooking, technology, amusement parks, art, music, or politics. 2 lectures and one 2-hour lab. 3 credits. FSRC, SI.

PHYS115. Astronomy

An introductory physics course that incorporates essential aspects of scientific reasoning and inquiry applied to cosmic evolution including: essential astronomy, the evolution of planetary systems, stars and galaxies, the Hubble relationship, astrobiology, the evolution of the universe and life. Prerequisitie(s): None. 4 credits.

PHYS120. General Physics I

An introduction to the basic concepts of mechanics. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits.

PHYS121. General Physics II

A study of heat, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Prerequisites: PHYS 120. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 4 credits. Students completing PHYS 121 are waived from the General Education Goal 6 requirement.

PHYS203. Tutorials Conceptual Physics

This course is designed to complement PHYS 201. Students participate in inquiry-based activities designed to enhance their mastery of fundamental topics presented in PHYS 201. Open to physics majors only. Co-requisite: PHYS 201. One 2-hour lecture. 1 credit.

PHYS220. University Physics I

A study of motion, forces, momentum, energy, rotational motion, gravity, fluids, elasticity and thermodynamics using calculus. Prerequisite or may be taken concurrently: MATH 164 or 261. 4 lecture periods. 4 credits.

PHYS221. University Physics II

A study of harmonic motion, oscillations, waves, sound, light, optics, electricity, magnetism, current, resistance, and circuits using calculus. Prerequisites: PHYS 220 with a C- or better and MATH 261 (Note: MATH 261 may be taken concurrently). 4 lecture periods. 4 credits. Students completing PHYS 221 are waived from the General Education Goal 6 requirement.

PHYS222. University Physics I Lab

This course will focus on the study motion, forces, momentum, energy, rotational motion, gravity, fluids, elasticity and thermodynamics through laboratory experiments. Additionally through the laboratory activities, the course will cover measuring techniques, estimation of error, propagation of error, and comparison of measurements. Finally, the course will begin to develop writing and presentation of results in the field of science. 1 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 220 and MATH 261 both with a C- or better. 2 credits.

PHYS223. University Physics II Lab

This course will focus on the study harmonic motion, oscillations, waves, sound, light, optics, electricity, magnetism, current, resistance, and circuits through laboratory experiments. Additionally through the laboratory activities, the course will cover estimations of error using least-square fitting, weighted averages, as well as various probability distributions. Finally, the course will continue to develop writing and presentation of results in the field of science. 1 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 221, PHYS 222, and MATH 262 all with a C- or better. 2 credits.

PHYS252. Statics

The study of vector methods and free body diagrams employed in the analysis of discrete and distributed force systems and their application to bodies in external equilibrium. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 120 or 220 with a C- or better. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 261. 3 credits.

PHYS260. Intro Experiment Design

This intermediate-level laboratory course involves the study of experimental design and measurement techniques, data reduction and analysis methods, and oral and written presentation skills. Experiments will vary with availability of equipment and technologies. Two lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 3 credits. Prerequisites: PHYS 202. SP and WR.

PHYS292. Internships in Physics

A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of physics. 1-18 credits.

PHYS295. Special Topics in Physics

Specialized courses on a variety of topics that may be offered periodically. 1-4 credits.

PHYS300. Mathematical Physics

A study of classical mathematical physics techniques as applied to series, complex numbers linear algebra, partial and ordinary differential equations, Fourier series and special functions. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: MATH 262 and PHYS 221 both with a C- or better; or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

PHYS303. Astrophysics

A broad survey of topics in Astrophysics, including orbital dynamics, extra-solar planets, stellar evolution, black holes, and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or PHYS 221 and MATH 262 both with a C- or better.Three lecture and two-hour lab. 4 credits.

PHYS307. Intro to Sci & Engineer of Mat

This course will introduce the basic principles underlying the behavior and properties of materials. This course will provide the scientific foundations for an understanding of the relationships among material properties, structure and performance for the classes of engineering solids (metals, ceramics, polymers, semiconductors and composites). Concepts will be developed and applied which allow for correlation between performance and aspects of structure, from atomic through the macroscopic level. Ideas relating to atomic and larger size defects and their influence on material behavior are included. Prerequisites: PHYS 221 and MATH 261 both with a C- or better. 3 credits.

PHYS310. One Giant Leap

This course investigates how and why societies have successfully achieved impressive technological feats. Students will examine the Apollo space program in detail and will also look at other examples such as the Great Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Manhattan project. Students will integrate knowledge and skills across the disciplines of natural science, psychology, sociology, economics, religion, history, and mathematics. Students will use what they have learned about past successes to propose a way for humans to work together to address climate change. Prerequisite: Completion of FSRC. 3 Credits. PSRC. WI.

PHYS321. Modern Physics

A survey of modern developments in electron, atomic, and nuclear physics. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or PHYS 221 both with a C- or better. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 261. 3 credits.

PHYS322. Nuclear and Particle Physics

This course is an introduction to theoretical and experimental nuclear and particle physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 321 with a C- or better. Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 262. 3 lecture periods. 3 credits.

PHYS324. Thermodynamics

A study of thermal properties of matter; phenomena involved in flow of heat and performance of work. Kinetic theory and statistical mechanics are included. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or PHYS 221 both with a C- or better. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 262. 3 credits.

PHYS326. Optics

A study of the nature and behavior of light and other electro-magnetic radiation. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or PHYS 221, and MATH 262 all with a C- or better. 4 credits.

PHYS331. AC DC Circuits

This course is an introduction to electrical circuit theory and its application to practical direct and alternating current circuits. Topics include: Kirchhoff's laws, fundamental principles of network theorems, transient and steady-state response of RC, RL, and RCL circuits by classical methods, time-domain and frequency-domain relationships, phasor analysis and power. 3 lecture periods and one 2-hour lab period. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or 221 both with a C- or better. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 261. 4 credits.

PHYS332. Electricity & Magnetism

A study of electric and magnetic fields, potentials, resistance, inductance, and capacitance, polarization, magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: MATH 361 and PHYS 121 or PHYS 221 all with a C- or better. 3 credits.

PHYS341. Electronics

This course covers the analysis, modeling and design of electrical circuits which contain electronic devices. Topics include: behavior of devices such as p-n junction transistors and bipolar junction transistors, operational amplifiers, digital systems and data acquisition and conversion. Electronics design via a systems approach is emphasized. Students will learn to design analog circuits to specifications through laboratory problems, a design project and circuit simulation. 3 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or 221 both with a C- or better. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 261. 4 credits.

PHYS352. Mechanics

A mathematical study of motion using Newtonian and Lagrangian techniques. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 121 or PHYS 221 both with a C- or better. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MATH 362. 3 credits.

PHYS370. Advanced Physics Lab I

This course will focus on the study of modern physics as well as some advanced physics topics through laboratory experiments. Emphasis will be given to analyzing and presenting experimental results as well as writing scientifically. The course will also incorporate professional development opportunities designed to prepare students for their future careers as scientists. 2 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 223 and PHYS 321 both with a C- or better. 3 credits.

PHYS390. Directed or Independent Study

Must be approved by the head of the department. May be repeated as 391. 1-18 credits.

PHYS392. Internship in Physics

A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of physics. 1-18 credits.

PHYS395. Special Topics

Specialized courses on a variety of topics that may be offered periodically. 1-4 credits. Prerequisites may be added depending on the specialized topic that is chosen.

PHYS401. Quantum Mechanics

A study of elementary quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular structure, spectroscopy, and statistical mechanics. 3 lecture periods. Prerequisites: MATH 361 and PHYS 321 both with a C- or better; or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

PHYS460. Advanced Experimental Design

This advanced-level laboratory course is a study of experimental design and measurement techniques, data reduction and analysis methods, and oral and written presentation skills. The course is a continuation of PHYS 260 with more advanced and technically challenging laboratory experiments. Prerequisite: PHYS 260. 1 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. 2 credits. SP and WR.

PHYS470. Advanced Lab II

This course will focus on advanced physics laboratory experiments and techniques. The course will also require students to manage and conduct a minimum of one research project developed from a scientifically grounded proposal. Emphasis will be given to analyzing and presenting experimental results as well as writing scientifically. Additionally, the course will introduce computer programming and software that is often used in the discipline. 2 lecture and one 2-hour lab periods. Prerequisites: PHYS 370 with a C- or better. 3 credits.

PHYS490. Directed or Independent Study

Must be approved by the head of the department. May be repeated. 1-18 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 14.

PHYS492. Internship in Physics

A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of physics. Enrollment in the course is based on permission of the Director of Physics and Dual-degree Engineering Programs and the coordinator at the internship location, and is subject to availability. 1 - 15 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 14

PHYS495. Special Topics in Physics

Specialized courses on a variety of topics that may be offered periodically. 1-4 credits.

PHYS496. Research Projects in Physics

Students will carry out research projects under individual supervision of an instructor. The nature of the project will depend on the interest and needs of the student. Consent of instructor and approval of department head is a prerequisite for enrollment. May be repeated. 1-4 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 14

PHYS498. Honors Research in Physics

Students conduct research in physics under the direction of a faculty member and the Senior Honors Research Committee. May be repeated as 499. 3 credits. WR.

PHYS499. Honors Research in Physics

Students conduct research in physics under the direction of a faculty member and the Senior Honors Research Committee. 3 credits.