Physics

 
COURSE OFFERINGS
 
[111]    From Galileo to Einstein    How has our understanding of the physical universe evolved over the ages? Intended for non-science majors. Physical theories of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, including their revolutionary impact on our understanding of the universe. Concepts of motion, space, time, matter, and energy. Working knowledge of high school algebra required. Students may not receive credit for both Physics 111 and 141 or 143. Lecture only. Four credit hours.  N.    

115s    The Shadow of the Bomb     More than 60 years ago, based on a radically new understanding of the laws of nature, nuclear weapons were constructed, tested, and used in war. Nuclear weapons and the accompanying technology have shaped the scientific and political worlds since. Discusses science in historical context. Provides background for understanding the physics of atoms and nuclei and the technology of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, including discussions of nuclear safety, nuclear waste, and nuclear proliferation. Working knowledge of algebra required, but no previous study of physics assumed. Four credit hours.  N.    CONOVER

141f    Foundations of Mechanics    A calculus-based survey of mechanics of solids, momentum, work and energy, gravitation, and waves. May not be taken for credit if the student has earned credit for Physics 143. Lecture, laboratory, and discussion. Prerequisite: A working knowledge of high school or college calculus, or concurrent enrollment in Mathematics 121 or 161. Four credit hours.  N.    MCCOY

143f    Honors Physics     Motion, forces, conservation laws, waves, gravity, Einstein's special relativity, and nuclear physics. For students who have had substantial physics and calculus courses in high school. May not be taken for credit if the student has earned credit for Physics 141. Lecture and laboratory. Four credit hours.  N.    BLUHM

145s    Foundations of Electromagnetism and Optics    A calculus-based survey of electrostatics, magnetism, Faraday's law, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and optics. Lecture, laboratory, and discussion. Formerly listed as Physics 142. Prerequisite: Physics 141 or 143. Four credit hours.  N.    CAMPBELL

231f    Introduction to Astrophysics    Listed as Astronomy 231. Four credit hours.  N.    CAMPBELL

241f    Modern Physics I    Special relativity, Planck blackbody radiation, the basis of quantum mechanics, and the Schroedinger equation. Lecture and laboratory. Enrolled students must be available for a self-scheduled lab outside of class time for approximately three hours every second week. Prerequisite: Physics 142 or 145 and Mathematics 122 or 162. Four credit hours.    CONOVER

242s    Modern Physics II    An intermediate treatment of the quantum physics, including the hydrogen atom, atomic models, Schroedinger theory, atomic spectra, and electron spin. Lecture and laboratory. Enrolled students must be available for a self-scheduled lab outside of class time for approximately three hours every second week. Prerequisite: Physics 241. Four credit hours.    BLUHM

254s    Essential Electronics    An introduction to modern scientific electronics, emphasizing laboratory work and including theory, problem solving, and circuit design. From simple, direct-current devices to digital integrated circuits, microcomputer instrumentation, and analog signal processing. Normally offered every other year. Prerequisite: Physics 142 or 145. Four credit hours.    SATO

311s    Classical Mechanics    Newton's laws, oscillatory motion, noninertial reference systems, classical gravitation, motion of rigid bodies, and Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: Physics 142 or 145 and Mathematics 122 or 162. Four credit hours.    CONOVER

321f    Electricity and Magnetism    A theoretical treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics in vacuum and material media through Maxwell's equations. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: Physics 142 or 145 and Mathematics 302. Four credit hours.    SATO

332s    Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics     Concepts of temperature, energy, entropy, heat, and work and their thermodynamic relations as developed from a microscopic point of view. Single- and multi-component systems are discussed, using both classical and quantum statistics. Lecture and discussion. Normally offered every other year. Prerequisite: Mathematics 122 (or 162) and either Physics 242 (may be taken concurrently) or Chemistry 342 (may be taken concurrently). Four credit hours.    BLUHM

[333]    Experimental Condensed Matter Physics    Investigations of topics in condensed matter physics using modern experimental techniques and equipment. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: Physics 242. Physics 336 is recommended but not required. Three credit hours.    

[334]    Experimental Atomic Physics    Laboratory projects in modern atomic, molecular, and optical physics. Projects include diode laser spectroscopy, the Zeeman effect in mercury, and absorption spectroscopy of molecular iodine. Laboratory and tutorial. Prerequisite: Physics 242. Three credit hours.    

[335]    General Relativity and Cosmology    An introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity, including a treatment of tensor analysis, Einstein's equations, Schwarzschild metric, black holes, expansion of the universe, and cosmology. Prerequisite: Physics 241. Four credit hours.    

[338]    Nuclear and Particle Physics    Nuclear physics, including nuclear reactions and nuclear models; followed by elementary particle physics, including the quark model, leptons, and the strong and weak interactions. Prerequisite: Physics 242. Four credit hours.    

398s    Physics of Fluids    All living things, from the smallest cells to the largest communities, are soaking in or swimming through the fluid environment of liquids and gases that covers the planet. Our understanding of fluid motion helps us build better airplanes, debate climate change, and discover new design principles in biology. We will view this subject as an exciting, interdisciplinary opportunity to see the laws of physics in action. Emphasis will be on a core set of basic concepts and mathematical tools used to describe fluids and explore a range of applications drawn from biology, chemistry, geophysics, and engineering. Four credit hours.    MCCOY

401f, 402s    Senior Physics and Astronomy Colloquium    Discussion of topics of current interest in physics and/or astronomy. Required for all senior physics majors. One credit hour for the year.     CAMPBELL

415f, 416js    Physics and Astronomy Research    A guided research project on a topic in physics, astronomy, or a related area. Students may choose from a range of approaches, including literature searches, analytical and computational analyses, experimental data collection and analysis, and theoretical investigation. Some project components can be conducted off campus or as part of a team project. Physics 415 is required for all senior physics majors. One or two credit hours.    FACULTY

[431]    Quantum Mechanics    Nonrelativistic quantum mechanics, including Schroedinger theory, operator algebra, angular momentum, and applications to simple atomic systems. Lecture and discussion. Prerequisite: Physics 242 and Mathematics 253. Four credit hours.    

483f, 484s    Independent Honors Project    Research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member and focused on an approved topic leading to the writing of an honors thesis. Two to four credit hours.    FACULTY

491f, 492s    Independent Study    Individual topics or research in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One to five credit hours.    FACULTY