Department of Physics

 

Holloway Hall
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Course Descriptions

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ENGR 100 INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING DESIGN [+]
Introduction to the art and science of engineering design. Students work in teams to design, manufacture, assemble and test a product. Examples of products include a postal scale, solar cooker and human-powered water pumping systems. CAD and modeling software will also be used. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
ENGR 110 STATICS [+]
The equilibrium of stationary bodies under the influence of various kinds of forces. Forces, moments, couples, equilibrium, trusses, frames and machines, centroids, moment of inertia, beams and friction. Vector and scalar methods used to solve problems. Prerequisites: MATH 201, PHYS 221. Three hours per week.
ENGR 220 MECHANICS OF MATERIALS [+]
Study stress and deformation of beams, shafts, columns, tanks, and other structural, machine, and vehicle members. Topics include stress transformation using Mohr's circle, centroids and moments of inertia, shear and bending moment diagrams, derivation of elastic curves, and Euler's buckling formula. Complete a design project related to the material. Prerequisite: ENGR 110. Three hours per week.
ENGR 221 DYNAMICS [+]
Systems of heavy particles and rigid bodies at rest and in motion. Force acceleration, work energy and impulse-momentum relationships. Motion of one body relative to another in a plane and in space. Prerequisites: MATH 202, ENGR 110. Three hours per week.
ENGR 232 THERMODYNAMICS [+]
Introduction to the principles of thermodynamics and thermodynamic properties of matter. Topics include the first and second laws of thermodynamics, heat, work, temperature, entropy, enthalpy, cycles, reactions, mixtures, energy balances, and mass balances. A design project related to the material is given. Prerequisites: C or better in ENGR 110, MATH 202, PHYS 225. Three hours per week.
ENGR 331 FLUID MECHANICS [+]
Introduction to the principles of fluid mechanics. Topics include mass, momentum and energy conservation, hydrostatics, control volume analysis, internal and external flow, boundary layers, and modern measurement techniques. A design project related to the material is given. Prerequisites: C or better in ENGR 221, MATH 310 and PHYS 225. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
ENGR 482 MICROWAVE ENGINEERING [+]
Laboratory experiments and theoretical principles will be seamlessly blended. A modeling software will be used. Topics include transmission lines; Smith Chart; Z, Y, T, S and ABCD matrices; waveguides; antennas; and microwave amplifier design. Prerequisites: PHYS 315 or ENEE 380 and PHYS 311 or ENEE 206. Four hours lecture/activity per week.

PHYS 101 PHYSICAL SCIENCE [+]
Introduces students to the fundamental concepts of the physical sciences. The course will emphasize practical applications, especially those which integrate all of the natural sciences. Credit may not be received for both CHEM 101 and PHYS 101. Prerequisite: This course assumes an understanding of clooege algebra. MATH 130 is recommended. This course is for elementary education majors. Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. Meets General Education IVA or IVB (Prior to Fall 2008: IIIA or IIIB).
PHYS 108 INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY [+]
Survey of modern astronomy for non-science majors. Basic physics concepts utilized to study the night sky, light, optics and telescopes, planets, the moon and sun, stars nebulae, galaxies and the universe. Some night observations required. May not be taken for credit if student already has credit for PHYS 106. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Meets General Education IVA or IVB (Prior to Fall 2008: IIIA or IIIB).
PHYS 121 GENERAL PHYSICS I [+]
Introduction to Newtonian mechanics and applications. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, rotational motion, equilibrium, conservation laws and fluids. Not intended for physics or chemistry majors. Recommended Prerequisite: College algebra. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Meets General Education IVA or IVB (Prior to Fall 2008: IIIA or IIIB).
PHYS 123 GENERAL PHYSICS II [+]
Continuation of general physics. Topics include basic concepts of electricity and magnetism, wave motion, optics and modern physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 121. Three hours lecture, two hours laboratory per week. Meets General Education IVB (Prior to Fall 2008: IIIB).
PHYS 221 PHYSICS I [+]
Introduction to calculus-based Newtonian mechanics for students majoring in physics, engineering and chemistry. Prerequisite or Corequisite: MATH 201. Six hours lecture/activity per week. Meets General Education IVA or IVB (Prior to Fall 2008: IIIA and IIIB).
PHYS 223 PHYSICS II [+]
Continuation of introductory physics. Topics include: electrostatica, current and resistance, DC and AC circuit analysis, magnetic fields, induction, electromagnetic waves and geometrical and wave optics. Prerequisite: PHYS 221. Prerequisite/Corequisite: MATH 202. Six hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 225 PHYSICS III [+]
Continuation of introductory calculus-based physics. Topics include: static equilibrium and elasticity, fluid mechanics, wave motion, and thermodynamics. Prerequisite: PHYS 221. Pre or Co-requisite: MATH 202. Four hours per week.
PHYS 309 MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS [+]
Survey of the most important mathematical tools of classical physics. Topics include coordinate systems, complex algebra, linear algebra, Fourier series, special functions, differential equations and vector calculus. Credit may not be received for both MATH/PHYS 309. Prerequisites: PHYS 225. Pre- or Corequisites: PHYS 223 and MATH 310. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 311 ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS AND ELECTRONICS [+]
Survey of basic principles of electric circuits and modern electronics. Topics include AC and DC circuits, Thevenin's and Norton's theorems, transient analysis, power supplies, diodes and transistors, operational amplifiers and an introduction to circuit simulation programs. Prerequisite: PHYS 309. Prerequisite/Corequisite: MATH 311. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory per week.
PHYS 313 INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PHYSICS [+]
Survey of physics concepts developed since 1880. Topics include blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, special relativity, quantization, uncertainty principle and introductory atomic, nuclear and solid state physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 309. Pre- or Corequisite: MATH 311. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 314 MECHANICS [+]
Theory and application of Newtonian mechanics with an introduction to the Lagrange formalism. Major topics include kinematics and dynamics of single particles and systems of particles, rigid bodies, noninertial reference frames and the simple harmonic oscillator. Prerequisites: PHYS 313. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 315 ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM [+]
Study of electricity and magnetism. Topics include Coulomb's law, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations and an introduction to electromagnetic waves. Prerequisites: PHYS 313. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 316 INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM MECHANICS [+]
Introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics. Topics include wave mechanics, Schrodinger's equation, Fourier techniques, operator formalism, correspondence and uncertainty principles, harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atom. Prerequisites: PHYS 309, 313, 314. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 317 ASTROPHYSICS AND STELLAR ASTRONOMY [+]
Physical and mathematical principles applied to the study of astronomy, binary stars, stellar structure and evolution, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, quasars and cosmology. No prior knowledge of astronomy required. Prerequisites: PHYS 223, 309. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 318 SEMICONDUCTOR PHYSICS [+]
Mathematical treatment of the theory of conduction in solids with particular attention to semiconductors. Topics include band theory of solids, conduction in metals and crystals, intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, two-terminal and three-terminal devices. Prerequisites: PHYS 309, PHYS 313, MATH 311. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 319 THERMODYNAMICS AND STATISTICAL MECHANICS [+]
Introduction to statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics include laws of thermodynamics, paramagnetism, heat capacity of solids, perfect classical gas, phase equilibria and perfect quantal gas. Prerequisites: PHYS 309, 314. Three hours lecture per week.
PHYS 320 WAVE OPTICS [+]
Study of light as a wave phenomenon. Topics include nature of light, propagation, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, lasers and holography. Prerequisites: PHYS 223, 309, MATH 311. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 321 ANALOG ELECTRONICS [+]
Study of analog electronic devices and systems. Topics include operational amplifiers, active filters, oscillators and function generators, linear integrated circuits. Prerequisite: PHYS 311. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 322 DIGITAL ELECTRONICS [+]
Study of the basic concepts of digital electronics, with emphasis on modern TTL and CMOS integrated circuits. Topics include gates, combinational and sequential logic circuits, flip-flops, counters, shift registers, multiplexers, decoders and multivibrators. Credit may not be received for both PHYS 322 and COSC 250. Prerequisite: PHYS 223. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory per week.
PHYS 395 INTERMEDIATE PHYSICS RESEARCH [+]
Intermediate level, individual research project in physics under supervision of a member of the faculty. Written report and seminar presentation is required. May be repeated for up to six credits. Presequisites: Eight credits of physics and departmental approval. Six hours per week.
PHYS 399 INTERMEDIATE SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS [+]
Study of specific area of physics at the sophomore or junior level. Topic varies semester to semester. May be repeated for up to six credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. One to three hours lecture per week or lab-lecture equivalent.
PHYS 407 SENIOR LABORATORY [+]
Exploration of physics through experimentation. Topics include atomic, nuclear and solid state physics; electricity and magnetism, mechanics, optics; and thermodynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 311, 313. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 410 ADVANCED MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS [+]
Survey of advanced mathematical topics used in physics, including linear operators, functions of a complex variable, partial differential equations, Hilbert spaces and group theory. Prerequisites: PHYS 309, MATH 311. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 413 COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE AND INTERFACING [+]
Architecture, programming, and interfacing of one or two representative processors. Instruction sets and assembly language programming. Interfacing of memory and support chips such as USART. Programmable controllers, timers, and peripheral I/O devices. Serial and parallel port interfacing. Prerequisites: PHYS 311, 322. Four hours lecture/activity per week.
PHYS 414 ADVANCED MECHANICS [+]
Advanced study of Newtonian mechanics based on concepts introduced in PHYS 314. Topics include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalism, calculus of variations, rigid bodies, small oscillations, fluid mechanics. Prerequisite: PHYS 314. Three hours lecture per week.
PHYS 450 INTERNSHIP/ CO-OP PHYSICS [+]
Work experience in which qualified students use knowledge of physics in a professional setting. Students summarize experiences in written reports with seminar presentations. Prerequisites: Twenty hours of physics, permission of department chair. Six hours per week.
PHYS 470 SENIOR SEMINAR [+]
Senior seminar for Physics majors. Introduction to research practices. Preparation for PHYS 475 or PHYS 490 projects. Prerequisites: 30 hours of physics or departmental approval. One hour per week.
PHYS 475 CAPSTONE DESIGN PROJECT [+]
Application of classroom learning to a real-world problem. Projects involve application of electronics and computers: e.g. robotics, CAD/CAM, microcontrollers, environmental monitoring, DSP, ASIC design, microwave and communication circuits, mechatronics and process control. Prerequisite: PHYS 413 and 470, or permission of instructor.
PHYS 490 RESEARCH IN PHYSICS [+]
Research project in one of the areas of physics chosen, designed and carried out by student with the advice and approval of a faculty member. Actual work may be carried out at off-campus sites. Written report, seminar presentation required. Prerequisites: PHYS 470 and 40 credits of physics (or senior standing) and department chair approval.
PHYS 499 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS [+]
Study of a specific advanced area of physics. Topic varies semester to semester. May be repeated for up to six credits. Prerequisites: Senior standing and department chair approval. One to three hours lecture per week or lab-lecture equivalent.
PHYS 590 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS EDUCATION [+]
Study of specific area of physics and physics education. This physics education course is aimed primarily at in-service teaching professionals wanting to enhance their knowledge of basic physics principles and phenomena and do so by exploring best practice pedagogical inquiry-based instruction techniques. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be taken twice for credit under different subtitles. Three hours per week.