Courses

Physics Courses (PHY)

PHY-100   The Universe3 credits

This course focuses on the development of the science of astronomy through the use of observations, theories, and models. Topics may include astronomical instruments, the night sky, the solar system, stars and galaxies, and cosmology.

PHY-105   Introduction to CAD2 credits

A beginning-level survey of the theory and practice of computer drafting and engineering graphics. No previous CAD experience is required, but students should have some basic understanding of science and mathematics as well as some experience as a computer user. Pass/fail only.

PHY-170   Engineering Analysis2 credits

An introduction to modeling and computer techniques used in engineering. Students should have some basic computer skills and strong mathematics skills.

PHY-199   Math and Physics Colloquium.5 credits

A series of talks on topics related to mathematics and the physical sciences intended to expose students to opportunities available in these fields. Topics may include current research projects, summer internship reports, and career development. May be repeated for credit.

PHY-210   Statics3 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-271

Structural analysis of beams and trusses subjected to both concentrated and distributed loads. This course is normally taken by pre-engineering students.

PHY-230   Digital Electronics3 credits

An introduction to digital electronics including number systems, Boolean algebra, logic gates, Karnaugh maps, combinatorial circuits, flip-flops, registers, counters, sequential state-machines, and introduction to Hardware Description Languages (HDL). No previous electronics experience is required.

PHY-230L   Digital Electronics Lab1 credit

Corequisites: PHY-230

Design, construction, and testing of small digital logic circuits using TTL and CMOS gates, flip-flops, registers, counters, and LEDs.

PHY-231   General Physics I3 credits

Corequisites: PHY-231L

A non-calculus survey of physics topics including motion, forces, work, energy, and thermal physics. Facility with algebra and trigonometry will be assumed. Students with secondary school experience in physics and/or mathematics through calculus are strongly urged to take the PHY-271-272 sequence. Three lectures weekly. In special circumstances, this course may be taken for 3 credits without lab. Consult instructor. Credit for PHY-231 will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-271.

PHY-231L   General Physics I Lab1 credit

Corequisites: PHY-231

An integral part of PHY-231 with which the lab should normally be taken concurrently. One laboratory weekly. Credit for PHY-231L will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-271L.

PHY-232   General Physics II3 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-231

Corequisites: PHY-232L

A non-calculus survey of physics topics including waves, light, optics, electrostatics, circuits, and modern physics. Facility with algebra and trigonometry will be assumed. Students with secondary school experience in physics and/or mathematics through calculus are strongly urged to take the PHY-271-272 sequence. Three lectures weekly. In special circumstances, this course may be taken for 3 credits without lab. In special circumstances, a student with previous physics experience may take this course without PHY-231. Consult instructor. Credit for PHY-232 will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-272.

PHY-232L   General Physics II Lab1 credit

Prerequisites: PHY-231

Corequisites: PHY-232

An integral part of PHY-232 with which the lab should normally be taken concurrently. One laboratory weekly. Credit for PHY-232L will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-272L.

PHY-240   Analog Electronics3 credits

Corequisites: PHY-240L

An introduction to electronics including fundamental laws, basic network analysis, and circuit theorems. Topics also include capacitors, inductors, operational-amplifier circuits, first- and second-order circuits, and sinusoidal steady-state analysis of AC circuits. Circuit simulation will be used throughout the course.

PHY-240L   Analog Electronics Laboratory1 credit

Corequisites: PHY-240

The laboratory section for PHY-240.

PHY-271   Analytical Physics I4 credits

Prerequisites: MAT-150 and MAT-175 or MAT-275

Corequisites: PHY-271L

A general survey of physics topics including motion, forces, work, energy, waves, and special relativity. Calculus is used extensively and some familiarity with computers is assumed. This course is intended for math-physics majors and dual-degree engineering students and strongly recommended for any student who plans to do graduate work in any of the sciences or mathematics. Four lectures weekly. Credit for PHY-271 will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-231.

PHY-271L   Analytical Physics I Lab1 credit

Corequisites: PHY-271

An integral part of PHY-271 with which it should normally be taken concurrently. One laboratory period weekly. Credit for PHY-271L will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-231L.

PHY-272   Analytical Physics II4 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-271

Corequisites: PHY-272L

A general survey of physics topics including electricity, magnetism, optics, modern physics, and thermal physics. Calculus is used extensively and some familiarity with computers is assumed. This course is intended for math-physics majors and dual-degree engineering students and strongly recommended for any student who plans to do graduate work in any of the sciences or mathematics. Four lectures weekly. In special circumstances, a student with previous physics experience may take this course without PHY-271. Consult instructor. Credit for PHY-272 will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-232.

PHY-272L   Analytical Physics II Lab1 credit

Corequisites: PHY-272

An integral part of PHY-272 with which it should normally be taken concurrently. One laboratory period weekly. Credit for PHY-272L will not be granted to students who have completed PHY-232L.

PHY-294   Independent Study1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

May be repeated up to a maximum of 4 credits and is subject to arrangement with the Mathematical and Physical Science Department. See independent study guidelines. See independent study guidelines.

PHY-301   Theoretical Mechanics3 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-272 and MAT-352

A survey of classical and modern topics in dynamics. Topics include orbital mechanics, non-inertial reference frames, rigid-body motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods, and elements of nonlinear mechanics and chaos.

PHY-313   Thermal Physics2 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-272

Physical basis and applications of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics including temperature, heat heat engines, entropy, and free energy. The course also includes an introduction to Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, and Fermi-Direct statistics and their application to the solution of thermal, mechanical, and electrical problems in fluids and solids. Students may enroll for the first three-fifths of the course and earn 2 units of credit, or for the full course and earn 3 units of credit.

PHY-330   Electricity and Magnetism3 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-272 and MAT-352

An intermediate level survey of classical electro-magnetic theory including electrostatic and magnetostatic fields and potentials, Gauss’ law, Laplace’s equation, dielectrics, vector potentials, magnetization and Maxwell's equations.

PHY-399T   Special Topics in Physics1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

Study of selected areas of physics not available in the regular curriculum.

PHY-400   Quantum Physics2 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: PHY-272 and MAT-275

Approximately three-fifths of the course covers an introduction to modern quantum physics including the development of matrix methods, the Schroedinger equation, and elementary applications. The last part of the course examines applications of quantum mechanics to atomic, molecular, and solid state systems. Students may enroll for the first three-fifths of the course and earn 2 units of credit, or for the full course and earn 3 units of credit.

PHY-494   Independent Study1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

May be repeated up to a maximum of 4 credits and is subject to arrangement with the Mathematical and Physical Science Department. See independent study guidelines. See independent study guidelines.

PHY-496   Independent Research in Astronomy1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission and PHY-199, PHY-231, or PHY-271.

An independent research course in which students work individually or in small groups on astronomical projects. Extensive use is made of available astronomical equipment for observation and/or analysis. This course may be repeated and satisfies the independent study requirement for departmental majors. See independent study guidelines.

PHY-497   Internship1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor permission

Individually arranged programs of work and study with the department, academic institutions, private industries, or government agencies. See internship guidelines. See internship guidelines.