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.
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.
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.
3110. Instrumentation. Introductory course offering training in the use and safety of metal-working equipment
to manufacture custom laboratory components. Students will learn hardware and software
requirements of 3D printing and how to use a lathe, mill, drill press, bandsaw and
other equipment in the machine shop. A capstone project prepares students for research-level
manufacturing through a project that requires making both metal and plastic components.
Safety training is a major component of this course.
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 lenses, polarization, interference, diffraction, Fourier
spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and 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
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
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.