Course Offerings

Fall 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

General Physics I

PHYS 111 - Mazilu, Sukow, Williams (Multiple Sections)

An introduction to classical mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics include Newton's laws, wave motion, and the laws of thermodynamics. This course must be taken simultaneously with Physics 113.

General Physics I

PHYS 111A - Mazilu (Multiple Sections)

An introduction to classical mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics include Newton's laws, wave motion, and the laws of thermodynamics. This course must be taken simultaneously with Physics 113.

General Physics Laboratory I

PHYS 113 - Cook, Cumming, Williams (Multiple Sections)

Laboratory exercises in classical mechanics.

The Immense Journey: Harmonices Mundi

PHYS 150 - Cook

The classical astronomy of the solar system is traced by a study of Greek astronomy and the revolutionary ideas of Kepler and Newton. The apparent and real motions of the earth, moon, and planets are studied in detail, as well as special phenomena such as eclipses, tides, and objects such as comets and asteroids. Emphasis is on comprehension and application of principles rather than memorization of facts. The laboratory stresses the observational aspects of astronomy. Elementary geometry, algebra, and trigonometry are used in the course. Laboratory course.

Electrical Circuits

PHYS 207 - Erickson

A detailed study of electrical circuits and the methods used in their analysis. Basic circuit components, as well as devices such as operational amplifiers, are investigated. The laboratory acquaints the student both with fundamental electronic diagnostic equipment and with the design and behavior of useful circuits. Laboratory course.

Modern Physics

PHYS 210 - Mazilu

An introduction to the physics of the atom, including the wave description of matter and quantum mechanics, and the experiments that led to the theory. Selected topics from atomic, molecular, nuclear, statistical, and solid state physics are discussed; the choice of topics may vary from year to year.

Thermodynamics

PHYS 240 - Kuehner

A study of the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics, thermodynamic properties of matter, and applications to engineering processes.

Quantum Mechanics

PHYS 340 - Sukow

A study of the postulates and formalism of quantum theory emphasizing the Schroedinger approach. The probabilistic theory is applied to one-dimensional bound and scattering states and the three-dimensional central force problem. Investigation of spin and angular momentum, Clebsch-Gordan coefficients, indistinguishable particles, and perturbation theory. Mathematical formalism includes operators, commutators, Hilbert space, and Dirac notation.

Directed Individual Study

PHYS 401 - Mazilu

Advanced work and reading in topics selected by the instructor to fit special needs of advanced students. This course may be repeated with permission for a total of six credits.

Directed Individual Research

PHYS 421 - Cook, Mazilu (Multiple Sections)

Directed research in physics. May be repeated for degree credit with permission of the instructor.

Honors Thesis

PHYS 493 - Mazilu

Honors Thesis.


Spring 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Physics and Perception of Music

PHYS 102 - Erickson

Explores physical principles of sound production and music perception. Hands-on investigation is emphasized. Topics include: wave properties and propagation, harmonic series and spectral analysis, tuning temperaments, response of the human ear. auditory processing, room acoustics, audio recording and reproduction technologies, characterization of various instrument families (strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, and voice).

Dreams of a Final Theory: The Quest for Unification in Physics

PHYS 120 - Mazilu

This course presents the quest for unification in physics from a scientific, historical, and philosophical perspective. The course introduces students to the evolution of physical theories from the ancient Greek philosophers to the modern concepts of Einstein's special and general theory of relativity, black holes, the standard model in particle physics, as well as the controversial string theory.

Stellar Evolution and Cosmology

PHYS 151 - Sukow

An introduction to the physics and astronomy of stellar systems and the universe. Topics include the formation and lifecycle of stars, stellar systems, galaxies, and the universe as a whole according to "Big Bang" cosmology. Observational aspects of astronomy are also emphasized, including optics and telescopes, star maps, and knowledge of constellations. Geometry, trigonometry algebra and logarithms are used in the course. Laboratory course.

The Physics of Complex Systems

PHYS 270 - Mazilu

An interdisciplinary introduction to the innovative field of modeling and analysis of complex systems. Using statistical physics methods and computer simulations, students study a variety of complex systems such as social and biological networks, voting models, the spread of a fire in a forest, traffic jams, and financial models. The goal is to seek the underlying laws that govern such seemingly diverse systems and to understand the connection between various science fields. This course include traditional lectures, as well as computational labs, group presentations, and seminars given by invited speakers.


Winter 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

General Physics II

PHYS 112 - Cook, Williams (Multiple Sections)

A continuation of PHYS 111. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics, relativity, and quantum theory. This course must be taken simultaneously with PHYS 114.

General Physics II

PHYS 112A - Cook

A continuation of PHYS 111. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics, relativity, and quantum theory. This course must be taken simultaneously with PHYS 114.

General Physics Laboratory II

PHYS 114 - Cook, Cumming, Williams (Multiple Sections)

Laboratory exercises in electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

Optics

PHYS 215 - Sukow

A study of the properties of electromagnetic waves with special emphasis on visible light. Wave descriptions are developed for scattering, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, and polarization. Topics in geometrical optics are also studied, including lenses and aberration theory. Laboratory course.

Electricity and Magnetism

PHYS 220 - Mazilu

An introduction to the classical theory of electric and magnetic fields. The basic equations of electromagnetism (Maxwell's equations) are developed through a study of electrostatics, steady-state magnetism, and electromagnetic induction.

Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering

PHYS 225 - Mazilu

Study of a collection of mathematical techniques particularly useful in upper-level courses in physics and engineering: vector differential operators such as gradient, divergence, and curl; functions of complex variables; Fourier analysis; orthogonal functions; matrix algebra and the matrix eigenvalue problem.

Newtonian Mechanics

PHYS 230 - Mazilu

A thorough study of Newton's laws of motion, rigid body motion, and accelerated reference frames. A student may not receive degree credit for both ENGN 204 and PHYS 230.

Materials Science

PHYS 260 - D'Alessandro

An introduction to solid state materials. Study of the relation between microstructure and corresponding physical properties for metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites.

Statistical Physics

PHYS 345 - Mazilu

A study of the statistical methods used in various branches of physics. The Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distribution functions are derived and applied to problems in thermodynamics and the physics of solids.

Directed Individual Research

PHYS 422 - Mazilu (Multiple Sections)

Directed research in physics. May be repeated for degree credit with permission of the instructor.

Senior Thesis

PHYS 473 - Mazilu (Multiple Sections)

Culminates in the writing of a thesis on original scholarship undertaken with the guidance of a faculty adviser. May also involve additional research in physics, individual or group conferences with the faculty adviser, literature review, interim reports, and dissemination activities.

Honors Thesis

PHYS 493 - Mazilu

Honors Thesis.