The Catholic University for Independent Thinkers
1301-1101. Basic Ideas of Physics. The development of a conceptual understanding of fundamental physical aspects of the universe ranging from classical physics to the forefront of modern research. The distinct contributions that physics makes to the understanding of the physical universe, along with the nature and limitations of scientific inquiry. The course examines the nexus of notable discoveries in physics and associated world views. Students are exposed to the empirical basis of physics, analytical and laboratory methods, and the conceptual reasoning used to formulate physical models. Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Fall.
2302-2102. Introductory Astronomy. The development of an awareness of the varied astronomical phenomena and a conceptual understanding of the dynamics of the universe ranging from stellar and planetary studies through cosmology. An emphasis is placed on questioning nature, the methods of science and seeking answers, and mankind's relation to the cosmos. The historical milieu from which the current world view arose is examined, along with notable discoveries that shaped that understanding. Students are exposed to the empirical basis of astronomy, analytical and laboratory methods, and the conceptual reasoning used to formulate astronomical models. Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Spring.
2303-2103. Physics and Technology. An introduction to modern physics and science that reviews analytical techniques, historical perspectives, and contemporary technologies. The course examines scientific problem solving, Newtonian physics, quantum physics, and nanoscience. Intellectual property issues and emergent technologies likely to dominate our world for the next 50 years are addressed. Three lectures, one laboratory weekly. Fall.
2305/2105. General Physics I (Trigonometry) . Class, Laboratory, and Quiz. Algebra and trigonometry-based introductory course primarily for pre-med biology students. The course includes topics and applications of physics to the health sciences and covers kinematics and dynamics, the conservation laws, fluids, and waves. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week.
2306/2106. General Physics II (Trigonometry) Class, Laboratory and Quiz. Algebra and trigonometry-based introductory course primarily for pre-med biology students. The course includes topics and applications to the health sciences and covers electricity, magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. Three lectures and one three-hour lab per week.
2309/2109. Physics of Music. The development of an awareness of the physical aspects of the production and reproduction of musical sounds. The study will range from traditional instruments to room acoustics and modern electronic techniques of reproduction and synthesis. Emphasis is placed on the physics of vibrating systems, and the mechanisms of sound production, transmission, and perception. Students are exposed to the underlying physics which is important in the production and perception of music. Three lectures, one laboratory weekly.
2311. General Physics I (Calculus). Calculus-based introductory course focusing on the principles and laws of mechanics with emphasis given to kinematics. Newton's laws and the conservation laws. Both physical insight and the ability to solve problems are stressed. Prerequisite (or concurrent enrollment in): Mathematics 1404. Three lectures per week.
Physics 2311 and 2312 are prerequisites for all advanced courses in physics.
2312. General Physics II(Calculus). Calculus-based introductory course focusing on the phenomena and principles of electricity, magnetism, and optics. Prerequisite (or concurrent enrollment in): Mathematics 1311. Three lectures per week. To see a syllabus click here. with the at click here without the at click here.
2111. General Physics I (Calculus) Laboratory and Quiz. Weekly problem session on mechanics along with laboratory experiments. Experimental studies of topics covered in mechanics that parallel discussions in the lecture. Emphasis on microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs) and analysis. One three-hour session per week.
2112. General Physics II (Calculus) Laboratory and Quiz. Weekly problem session on electricity, magnetism, and optics along with laboratory experiments. Experimental investigations of topics covered in electricity, magnetism, and optics that parallel lecture discussions. One three-hour session per week.
3120. Quantum Laboratory. Introduction to experimental techniques and error analysis in the fields of atomic and nuclear physics. Investigations include Planck's law, atomic spectroscopy, the speed of light, the photoelectric effect, the Frank-Hertz effect, and nuclear statistics.
3133. Electronics Laboratory. Investigations of analog and digital electronics with applications to integrated circuits and computer interfacing.
3141. Optics Laboratory. Experimental studies of thick lenses, interference, diffraction, Fourier spectroscopy, Fabry-Perot spectroscopy, holography.
3320. Quantum Physics. An introduction to the physics of the twentieth century that surveys developments in relativity theory, wave-particle duality, atomic structure, wave mechanics, and nuclear theory.
3326. Statistical Physics. Fundamentals of basic probability theory and statistical mechanics with application to heat, thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and quantum statistics.
3333. Electronics. Fundamentals of analog and digital electronics with emphasis on proven techniques of instrumentation for scientific research. The physical principles and properties of electronic components and circuits and the logical design of digital systems are discussed.
3341. Optics. Investigations of optics with emphasis on wave optics. Topics include geometrical optics, interference, Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction, polarization, holography, and non-linear optics.
3363. Computational Physics. An introduction to the use of computers for modeling physical systems that often cannot be represented analytically. Topics covered include motion with resistive forces, orbital mechanics, coupled oscillations and waves, electric and magnetic field plotting, chaotic systems, Monte Carlo simulations, percolation theory, and fractals. The simple mathematical methods that are developed include numerical differentiation and integration, the Euler and Verlet algorithms, and Monte Carlo methods.
4120. Advanced Laboratory. Applications of experimental techniques to fundamental physical phenomena in atomic and nuclear physics. Advanced topics include crystallography, Zeeman effect, Fourier spectroscopy, nuclear spectroscopy, X-ray scattering, and neutron activation analysis.
4153-4154. Physics Seminar. Weekly seminar by a member of the Physics Department with lectures and discussions covering a specific topic in current research. Requirements are set by the instructor but will include an oral presentation by each student.
4327. Electromagnetic Theory. Introduction to vector analysis and boundary-value problems. Phenomenological foundations and mathematical descriptions of electrostatics and magnetostatics, the behavior of dielectrics, conductors, and magnetic materials leading to the Maxwell equations.
4328. Electrodynamics . Postulates and measurements in special relativity introducing four-vectors with applications in dynamics. Covariant formulation of Maxwell's equations, transformations of the electromagnetic field, wave propagation, wave guides and cavities, dipole radiation, Lienard-Wiechert potentials, synchrotron radiation.
4423. Theoretical Mechanics. An Advanced treatment of Newtonian mechanics with applications to forced oscillations, central force motion, and non-inertial reference frames. Introduction to tensors as applied to rigid body motion. Conservation theorems applied to small oscillations and stability leading to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics.
4424. Quantum Mechanics. Introduction to the formal structure of quantum mechanics. The non-relativistic wave equation and solutions of one-and-three dimensional systems. Linear vector spaces and operators, matrix mechanics, and transformation equivalences. Generalized angular momentum and solutions of hydrogenic atoms. Approximation methods and applications.
4V43-4V44. Research Experimental. Supervised experimental research open only to physics majors. Topics in experimental investigations and requirements are set by the instructor but include a paper based upon the laboratory experience and an oral presentation of the paper to the faculty and students of the department.
4V45-4V46. Research Theoretical. Supervised theoretical research open only to physics majors. Topics in theoretical investigations and requirements are set by the instructor but include a paper based upon the research experience and an oral presentation of the paper to the department.
4V61-4V62. Independent Studies. This course provides the student with an opportunity to examine in depth any topic, experimental or theoretical, within the field of physics. It involves individual study under the guidance of the instructor.
One of the following courses may be selected for the physics major core:
4364. Nuclear and Particle Physics. General properties of the nucleus; the two-nucleon problem, radioactivity, interaction of charged particles and radiation with matter, detection methods, accelerators; fundamental particles and their interactions; symmetries and conservation laws, quark theory, grand unified theories, and supersymmetry.
4365. Condensed Matter Physics. Models of the crystalline structure, lattice vibrations, specific heat, free electron gas, energy bands, semiconductors, superconductivity, and magnetic materials.
4366. Astrophysics and Cosmology. A course that emphasizes the underlying fundamental mechanical, electromagnetic, and quantum mechanical processes in astrophysics and cosmology. Topics include stellar evolution with emphasis on stellar structure and modeling, pulsars, black holes, galactic formation and structure, nucleosynthesis, and cosmological models.
4367. Geophysics. A course that emphasizes the physical techniques used in studying the earth. Areas covered include exploration and earthquake seismology, gravimetry, geomagnetism and paleomagnetism, geodesy, geothermology, and plate tectonics. Also covered are basic geophysical discoveries such as the existence of a liquid outer core, a solid inner core, and a system of interlocking plates on the earth's surface.
4368-4369. Special Topics in Physics. Special topics of current research in physics that vary according to student interest.
5V68 and 5V69. Special Topics in Conceptual Physics. Special courses for high school teachers of physics that emphasize the use of technology and pedagogical strategies.