Physics

Course Descriptions

PHY 101 Introduction to Physics
An elementary approach to the study of mechanics, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, light, and modern physics, intended for the student who desires a one-semester introduction to the subject with emphasis on concepts as opposed to problem solving. Students desiring laboratory work should also register for PHY 102. Students planning to major in any of the natural sciences are not directed to this course but rather to a more advanced introductory course. Prerequisite: high school algebra. Cr 3.

PHY 102 Introduction to Physics Laboratory
Laboratory experiments and additional material designed to supplement the topics considered in PHY 101. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in PHY 101 or permission of the instructor. Cr 1.

PHY 111 Elements of Physics I
The first of a two-semester non-calculus sequence in introductory physics, intended particularly for life-science majors. Topics to be covered include mechanics, waves, sound, and thermal physics. Lectures, demonstrations, and problem solving will help the student develop an understanding of physical phenomena. Mathematical treatment is at the level of algebra and trigonometry. This course is not recommended for students planning to major in the physical sciences or engineering. It should be taken concurrently with PHY 114, Introductory Physics Laboratory I. Prerequisite: successful completion of the University's minimum proficiency requirement in mathematics. Three hours of lecture and one hour of recitation per week. Cr 4.

PHY 112 Elements of Physics II
A continuation of PHY 111, intended particularly for life-science majors. Topics to be covered include electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Lectures, demonstrations, and problem solving will help the student develop an understanding of physical phenomena. Mathematical treatment is at the level of algebra and trigonometry. This course is not recommended for students planning to major in the physical sciences or engineering. It should be taken concurrently with PHY 116, Introductory Physics Laboratory II. Prerequisite: PHY 111 or equivalent. Three hours of lecture and one hour of recitation per week. Cr 4.

PHY 114 Introductory Physics Laboratory I
Experiments designed to illustrate the concepts studied in PHY 111 and PHY 121. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in PHY 111 or 121. Two hours per week. Cr 1.

PHY 116 Introductory Physics Laboratory II
Experiments designed to illustrate the concepts studied in PHY 112 and PHY 123. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in PHY 112 or PHY 123. Two hours per week. Cr 1.

PHY 121 General Physics I
The first of a two-semester sequence introducing the fundamental concepts of physics, using calculus. Topics to be covered include mechanics, waves, sound, and thermal physics. This course is recommended for students who plan further study in physical sciences, mathematics, or engineering. It should be taken with PHY 114, Introductory Physics Laboratory I. Prerequisite: prior or concurrent registration in MAT 152 or equivalent experience. Three hours of lecture and one and one-half hours of recitation per week. Cr 4.

PHY 123 General Physics II
A continuation of PHY 121, introducing the fundamental concepts of physics, using calculus. Topics to be covered include electricity, magnetism, and light. This course is recommended for students who plan further study in physical sciences, mathematics, or engineering. It should be taken concurrently with PHY 116, Introductory Physics Laboratory II. Prerequisites: PHY 121 or equivalent and one semester of calculus. Three hours of lecture and one and one-half hours of recitation per week. Cr 4.

PHY 211 Nonclassical Physics I
The first of a two-semester sequence covering the principal topics which show the departure of physics from its classical roots. Topics will include relativity and atomic structure. Prerequisite: PHY 123 or PHY 112, and MAT 152. Cr 3.

PHY 213 Nonclassical Physics II
A continuation of PHY 211, covering the principal topics which show the departure of physics from its classical roots. Topics will include quantum physics, nuclear physics, and particle physics. Prerequisite: PHY 211. Cr 3.

PHY 221 Classical Physics I
The first of a three-semester sequence offering an intermediate-level treatment of the principal topics of classical physics. The focus for this course is mechanics, including particle motion, oscillations, and noninertial reference systems. Prerequisite: PHY 121 and prior or concurrent registration in MAT 252. Cr 3.

PHY 223 Classical Physics II
A continuation of PHY 221, offering an intermediate-level treatment of the principal topics of classical physics. This course will continue a study in mechanics and start a study in electrostatics. Prerequisite: PHY 123, PHY 221, and MAT 252. Cr 3.

PHY 225 Classical Physics III
A continuation of PHY 223, offering an intermediate-level treatment of the principal topics of classical physics. Topics will continue through magnetism and electrodynamics, leading to Maxwell's equations. Prerequisite: PHY 223. Cr 3.

PHY 240 Intermediate Laboratory I
A selection of experiments designed to illustrate the more important principles of classical and modern physics. Prerequisites: prior or concurrent registration in a 200-level physics course and two semesters of calculus. Six hours per week. Cr 3.

PHY 242 Intermediate Laboratory II
A selection of experiments illustrating the important principles of classical and modern physics. Prerequisite: prior or concurrent registration in a 200-level physics course and two semesters of calculus. Cr 3.

PHY 251 Principles of Electronics
An introduction to electronics including DC and AC circuits, transistors, operational amplifiers, and combinatorial and sequential logic devices. The laboratory will cover the use of electronic instrumentation as well as illustrate principles. Prerequisite: MAT 152D or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

PHY 261 Computational Physics
This project-oriented course uses the Python programming language and introduces methods of computer simulation and their diverse applications in the physical world. Examples of projects include projectile motion, planetary systems, chaotic systems, and thermal systems. Methods include numerical solutions to differential equations and Monte Carlo techniques. The course emphasizes structured programming, although no background in computer programming is required. Prerequisite: PHY 121 and prior or concurrent registration in MAT 153, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

PHY 281 Astrophysics
An intermediate-level course in the physics of the astronomical universe. Topics covered include classical astronomy, celestial mechanics, the structure and evolution of stars and galaxies, and cosmology. No previous background in astronomy is required. Prerequisite: PHY 221. Cr 3.

PHY 311 Quantum Mechanics
A study of the quantum physics of atoms, nuclei, and particles. Topics covered include wave particle duality; the Schrodinger Wave Equation and its application to a variety of quantum systems, three-dimensional and time-dependent systems, and photons. Prerequisite: PHY 213 and PHY 221. Cr 3.

PHY 375 Optics
An intermediate-level study of the more important principles of geometric and physical optics, with illustrations of both classical and modern applications. Prerequisites: PHY 223 and two semesters of calculus. Cr 3.

PHY 390 Independent Laboratory Study in Physics
An independent study involving primarily laboratory work. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Cr 1-3.

PHY 410 Independent Study in Physics
Reading and discussion of advanced subjects or instruction in special topics or research. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Cr 1-3.

PHY 440 Advanced Physics Laboratory I
This course may involve a series of experiments in physics or, by permission of the instructor, an advanced project in experimental physics. Prerequisites: PHY 240, and at least one 300-level physics course. Cr 3.

AST 100 Astronomy
A descriptive survey of modern astronomy. Topics include theories about the origin and development of the universe, stellar evolution, the solar system, galaxies, observational methods and recent discoveries. No prerequisite. Cr 3.

AST 103 Activities and Experiments
A one-credit course meeting weekly for two hours. May be taken concurrently with AST 100 to fulfill requirements for a science laboratory experience. Includes exercises on the Moon's orbit, Earth's orbital motion, rotation of Saturn's rings, the Sun, the Crab Nebula, variable stars, pulsars, Hubble's law, and galaxies. Two planetarium sessions. Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent registration in AST 100. Cr 1.