College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Courses

Physics Courses

NW 262-PH. Concepts of Physical Science
A one-semester study of selected topics in physics and the mathematical analysis of physical problems. The student should be already competent with algebra, and a few additional mathematical tools will be introduced as needed. Four class periods and two hours of laboratory per week. Fee (U) (5)

PH 107/108. Elementary Physics
A two-semester course based on algebra and elementary trigonometry. This course is suitable preparation to meet the entrance requirements of most dental, medical and pharmacy schools. Three class periods and two hours of laboratory per week. PH 108 must be preceded by PH 107. Fee (U) (4,4)

PH 152. Preparatory Analytical Physics
A course in physical-problem analysis and solution using calculus and other mathematical tools required for PH 201. Recommended for science and mathematics majors who need/wish to study PH 201, but whose mathematical and physical-problem solving experience is limited.
Pre- or Co-requisite: MA 106. Fee (U) (4)

PH 200. Physics for the Health Sciences
A survey of topics in physics applied to the human body and to medical diagnostic and treatment devices. Fee (U) (3)

PH 201/202. Introduction to Analytical Physics I and II
An introduction to Newtonian mechanics, thermal physics, waves, electromagnetism and optics using calculus. Familiarity with algebra, trigonometry and calculus is assumed. Four lectures and two hours of laboratory per week, plus one hour of recitation per week. Prerequisite: MA 106 (may be concurrent) or permission of instructor. Fee (U) (5, 5)

PH 301. Modern Physics
The special theory of relativity is developed along with the introduction of basic ideas and equations of quantum physics.  Topics include Lorentz transformations, relativistic mechanics, collisions and conservation of energy-momentum, electromagnetism and relativity, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, Compton effect, and the Schrödinger equation.  Prerequisites:  MA 107 and PH 202 or permission of the instructor. Fee (U) (3) 

PH 303. Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
A study of geometric and wave optics, interference, diffraction and polarization of electromagnetic waves. Two lectures and two hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: PH 202 and MA 208 or permission of instructor. Fee (U) (3)

PH 311. Experimental Modern Physics
The student performs a number of experiments to explore and verify experimental implications of relativity and quantum mechanics. Experiments include determining Planck's constant, speed of light, charge-to-mass ratio of electron, Franck-Hertz experiment, Bragg scattering, Rutherford scattering, and radioactive decay processes. Prerequisite: PH 301 or permission of instructor. Fee (U) (3)

PH 315/316. Mathematical Methods for Physics
Mathematical methods for physics: differential equations; coordinate systems and differential geometry; special functions; linear operators, groups and representation theory; complex analysis; Fourier series and integral transforms. Applications to problems in electromagnetic theory, classical mechanics and quantum mechanics will be presented. Four lectures per week. Prerequisite MA 208 and PH 201/202. Fee (U) (4,4)

PH 321. Intermediate Classical Mechanics
A study of the classical dynamics of oscillators, gravitational systems, calculus of variations and the lagrangian and hamiltonian formalisms. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: PH 202 and MA 208 or permission of instructor. Fee (U) (4)

PH 325. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
A study of the theory and applications of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic potentials, kinetic theory, classical and quantum statistical mechanics and ensemble theory to thermodynamic systems. Four lecture hours per week. Prerequisites: PH 202 and MA 107 or permission of instructor. Fee (U-G) (4)

PH 331. Electromagnetic Theory I
The theory of classical electric and magnetic fields is developed covering such topics as electrostatics, magnetostatics, scalar and vector potentials, fields in matter, electrodynamics and Maxwell's equations, conservation laws and radiation.  Prerequisites:  MA 208 and PH 301 or permission of the instructor. Fee (U) (4)

PH 351. Analog Electronics I
Survey of electronic devices. Measurement of continuously varying quantities in time and frequency domains. Rectifiers, amplifiers, feedback, with emphasis on operational amplifiers and their uses. Three lectures and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: PH 201 or permission of instructor. Fee (U) (4)

PH 352. Analog Electronics II
Continuation of PH 351. Use of computer-aided design programs. Complex frequency plane, resonance, scaling, and coupled circuits. Laplace transform methods. Fourier Series and Fourier transforms. Two-port network. Fee (U) (3)

PH 411/412. Theoretical Physics
A study of mathematical methods of physics, including boundary-value problems, special functions, linear operators and group theory, with applications to problems in electromagnetic theory, classical and quantum mechanics. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: PH 331 and MA 334 or permission of instructor. Fee (U-G) (3, 3)

PH 421. Quantum Theory I
The mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics are presented with treatment of simple systems such as barriers, square wells, harmonic oscillator, and central potentials with the development of approximation methods and the theory of angular momentum for single particles.  Prerequisites:  MA 208 and PH 301 or permission of the instructor. Fee (U) (4)

PH 422. Quantum Theory II
Applications of quantum mechanics to multi-particle systems.  Time dependent perturbation theory, angular momentum coupling, atomic spectra, quantum statistics, radiation and scattering theory, and introduction to relativistic quantum theory.  Prerequisite:  PH 421 or permission of the instructor.  Fee (U) (4)

PH 427/428. General Relativity and Gravity
Tensor analysis in classical field theory, Einstein's field equations, the Schwarzschild solution, linearized field equations, experimental gravitation, cosmological models and gravitational collapse. Prerequisites: PH 322 and PH 332 or permission of instructor. Fee (U-G) (3, 3)

PH 461. Computational Physics I
An introduction to numerical methods frequently used in physics for solving problems which cannot be solved analytically in a closed mathematical form. Topics include numerical solution of problems dealing with oscillatory motion, gravitation, electrical fields, fluid dynamics, heat conduction, Schrödinger equation, and elastic wave motion. Prerequisites are PH 321 and PH 331. Fee (U) (3)

PH 480. Special Topics
By arrangement with appropriate staff. Fee (U-G) (3)

PH 491, 492, 493. Undergraduate Tutorial and Research   Fee  (U) (3,6,9)

PH 495. Senior Seminar
This seminar, for junior and senior physics majors, features student presentations on special research projects and selected readings in current literature. Fee (U) (1)

PH 499. Honors Thesis: Fee (U) (3)

Astronomy Courses

AS 100. The Astronomical Universe
A descriptive study of basic astronomy including the planets and the apparent motions of celestial objects, the seasons, constellations, comets and meteors, stars, galaxies and large-scale structure of the universe, plus current events in space exploration. There will be planetarium demonstrations and telescope observations. Some hands-on lab experiences are provided. (U) (3)

NW 263-AS. Modern Astronomy with Laboratory (same as AS 102)
A one-semester survey of astronomy including ancient Greek astronomy, the motions of the night sky, the solar system, other solar systems, the lives of stars including the Sun, and the origin and fate of the universe.  This will be a four lecture hour/two hour lab course.  (U) (5)

AS 301. Modern Astronomical Techniques
Introduction to techniques and equipment used in modern astronomy with emphasis on detection and analysis of electromagnetic radiation and the fundamental properties of telescopes and detectors. Lectures and laboratory. Laboratories focus on observational techniques and data reduction. Prerequisites: AS 102 and PH 202. (U) (3)

AS 311. Stellar Astrophysics
The first semester of an introductory course on stellar astrophysics using nearly every branch of physics. Emphasis is on the underlying physical principles; including the nature of stars, stellar energy generation, stellar structure and evolution, astrophysical neutrinos, binary stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars and pulsars, and novae and supernovae. Prerequisites: AS 102 and PH 202. (U) (3)

AS 312. Galaxies and Cosmology
A continuation of AS 311. The course covers the application of physical principles to the inter-stellar medium, the kinematics and dynamics of stars and stellar systems, galactic structure, formation and evolution of galaxies, relativity, Big Bang and inflationary models of the origin of the universe, and the large-scale structure and ultimate fate of the universe. Prerequisite: AS 311. (U) (3)

AS 461. Computational Astrophysics
An introduction to numerical methods frequently used in astrophysics for solving problems which cannot be solved analytically in a closed mathematical form. Prerequisites are PH 321 and PH 331. (U) (3)

AS 480. Special Topics
By arrangement with appropriate staff. (U-G) (3)

AS 491, 492, 493. Undergraduate Tutorial and Research:
(U) (3,6,9)

AS 495. Senior Seminar
This seminar, for junior and senior physics majors, features student presentations on special research projects and selected readings in current literature. (U) (1)

AS 499. Honors Thesis (U) (3)

Back to Top