The following chart summarizes the semesters and years when courses are (ordinarily) offered:
All Years | Even Years | Odd Years | |
Fall Term | Phy115 Phy125 Phy220 |
Phy300 Phy330 |
Phy310 Phy340 |
Spring Term | Phy116 Phy126 Phy230 Phy280 |
Phy350 | Phy250 Phy301 |
PHY 101.
Introduction to the Physics Major
(1 Cr.)
A half-semester required seminar for all students enrolled in PHY 125 who are intending to pursue a major or minor in Physics or Astronomy (included related programs in 3+2 Engineering). Introduces students to topics such as qualitative reasoning and problem solving, scientific presentations, professional ethics, careers in STEM, writing a personal statement, and independent research. Co-requisite: PHY 125. Department.
PHY 115.
Principles of Physics I
(4 Cr.) (LER-NS)
First semester of a non-calculus-based course sequence designed for students majoring in the life sciences or non-science students interested in physics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, kinematics and dynamics of linear and angular motions, universal gravitation, conservation of energy and momentum, elasticity, simple harmonic motion, and fluids. Recommended with PHY 116 for students majoring in the life sciences. Six hours integrated lecture/laboratory. Prerequisite: three years of high-school mathematics. Fall semester. Markovic.
PHY 116.
Principles of Physics II
(4 Cr.)
Second semester of a non-calculus-based course sequence designed for students majoring in the life sciences or non-science students interested in physics. Topics include mechanical and electromagnetic waves, acoustics, resonance, nature of light and color, geometrical and physical optics, electricity and magnetism, and DC and AC circuits. Six hours integrated lecture/laboratory. Prerequisite: PHY 115. Spring semester. Markovic.
PHY 125.
General Physics I
(4 Cr.) (LER-NS)
A calculus-based course where lecture and laboratory are combined and taught using an interactive teaching method employing computers and guided inquiry through hands-on experiments. The method is designed to increase problem-solving and analytical-thinking skills and to guide students toward a coherent and logical approach to understanding the world. Topics include kinematics and dynamics of linear and angular motions, universal gravitation, conservation of energy and momentum, simple harmonic motion, and fluids. Six hours integrated lecture/laboratory. Pre- or corequisite: MA 170 or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Yoder.
PHY 126.
General Physics II
(4 Cr.)
A continuation of PHY 125. Topics include wave motion, electricity and magnetism, and physical and geometrical optics. Six hours integrated lecture/laboratory. Prerequisite: PHY 125. Pre- or corequisite: MA 180 or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Yoder.
PHY 220.
Modern Physics
(4 Cr.)
An introductory course in non-classical physics for students who have completed calculus-based general physics. It is intended to introduce students to the frontiers of physics in a simple, comprehensible manner through discussions, problem solving, interactive computer simulations, and additional readings. Topics include basic ideas of quantum mechanics with experiments that revolutionized our understanding of nature and led to the development of new fields such as atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear and elementary particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Three hours lecture plus one service credit of weekly peer facilitation in introductory classes. Prerequisite: PHY 126. Fall semester. Sugerman.
PHY 230.
Intermediate Physics Laboratory
(3 Cr.)
Exploration of modern scientific methods. Measurement of several classical and modern physics constants. Experiments include measuring the specific charge of an electron, Millikan oil-drop experiment, Davisson-Germer experiment, Hall effect, Frank-Hertz, Plank's constant, speed of light, law of radiation, muon physics, and particle-wave duality. One hour lecture, two hours laboratory plus one service credit of weekly peer facilitation in introductory classes. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in PHY 220. Spring semester. Yoder.
PHY 250.
Energy, Physics, and the Environment
(3 Cr.) (LER - ENV)
Introductory course in environmental physics that emphasizes the physical principles behind the production, transport and conversion of energy. The laws of thermodynamics and classical mechanics are applied to natural ecosystems and energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear energy, hydropower, wind, solar power, etc. These resources are analyzed in terms of the societal and environmental impacts of the associated technologies. Prerequisite: PHY 115 or PHY 125or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2014-15 and alternate years. Dukan.
PHY 280.
Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences
(3 Cr.)
A comprehensive, problem-solving-oriented course designed for students in the physical sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, and the 3+2 Engineering Program). Various mathematical methods as applied to the relevant problems in physical sciences are discussed. Topics: series, complex analysis, partial differentiation, vector analysis, calculus of variation, tensors, differential equations, special functions, and integral transforms. Prerequisites: MA 222 and PHY 126 or permission of instructor. Spring semester. Markovic.
PHY 290.
Internship in Physics
(3-4 Cr.)
Internships in research laboratories in universities and industry. Arranged on the basis of the individual interest of the student. Graded pass/no pass only. Prerequisites: PHY 126 and appropriate upper-level courses.
PHY 300.
Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics
(3 Cr.)
A calculus-based course in which the basic concepts of thermodynamics are introduced from the microscopic point of view. Methods of statistical physics are used to define entropy and temperature, heat and work, and ideal gas behavior. Applications to chemical reactions, Fermi and Bose systems in condensed matter physics, and phase transformations are discussed. Prerequisite: PHY 220 or permission of instructor. Fall semester. Offered 2016-17 and alternate years. Dukan.
PHY 301.
Intermediate Electromagnetic Theory
(3 Cr.)
Intermediate-level discussion of Maxwell's equations and their applications: electrostatics and dynamics; magnetic fields and magnetic effects; and electromagnetic waves, both in vacuum and in materials. Prerequisite: PHY 280. Spring semester. Offered 2016-17 and alternate years. Yoder.
PHY 310.
Electronics/Instrumentation
(3 Cr.)
An introduction to principles of electronic instrumentation and methods that would enable students to choose appropriate instruments for a measurement and control. Topics include: DC and AC circuits, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, waveform shaping, gates, flip-flops, instrumentation, detection techniques, and data acquisition. Three hours integrated lecture/laboratory. Prerequisites: PHY 220 and PHY 230. Spring semester. Offered 2015-16 and alternate years. Yoder.
PHY 330.
Special Topics in Contemporary Physics
(3 Cr.)
Topics courses in physics are offered to extend knowledge beyond foundation courses and to introduce students to more advanced topics in physics and their applications to many different areas of science and technology. Topics are determined by student interest and needs. Courses include but are not limited to: Condensed Matter Physics (Yoder), Nanoscience and Quantum Materials (Markovic) and Relativity and Cosmology (Sugerman). Depending on a particular topic, the course will have a three-hour lecture, laboratory and/or seminar format. Students may take this course for credit more than once. Prerequisites: PHY 220 or permission of the program. Additional courses as appropriate for the particular topic will be specified by the program. Variable semesters.
PHY 340.
Classical Mechanics
(3 Cr.)
This course presents kinematics and dynamics of particles using Newtonian, Langrangian, and Hamiltonian techniques. Topics include central force motion, oscillations and normal mode analysis, nonlinear dynamics, rotating rigid bodies, and motion in non-inertial reference frames. Three hours lecture. Prerequisite: PHY 280 or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Offered 2015-16 and alternate years. Dukan.
PHY 350.
Quantum Mechanics
(3 Cr.)
The study of quantum mechanics and its applications occupies a central position in the physical sciences, forming the basis for an understanding of atomic, molecular, nuclear, particle, and condensed matter physics. The purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics and includes the following topics: formal development of the postulates of quantum theory, representation of states, quantum mechanics in one and three dimensions, angular momentum, spin, and perturbation theory. Prerequisite: PHY 220, PHY 340, and MA 221, or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Offered 2015-16 and alternate years. Dukan.
PHY 395.
Independent Work in Physics
(1.5-4 Cr.)
Independent theoretical and laboratory work carried out under the supervision of a member of the program. May be one or two semesters. Graded pass/no pass only. Prerequisites: major or minor in physics and permission of instructor. Fall semester, repeated spring semester.
PHY 450.
Senior Thesis - Physics
(4 Cr.)
Fall and Spring semesters.