Catalog 2016-2017

Physics

Teaching Faculty

Professor A. Wright 
Associate Professors Spayde (chair) and Tinsley
Assistant Professor J. Gunderson
Laboratory Teaching Staff Steward

Description

Major in Physics

14 courses distributed as follows:

Physics (9)  

  • 1 course from the following:
              PHYS 210  General Physics I 
              PHYS 230 General Physics I (Calculus-based) 
              PHYS 235 General Physics I (Workshop)  
  • 1 course from the following: 
              PHYS 220  General Physics II 
              PHYS 240  General Physics II (Calculus-based)  
              PHYS 245  General Physics II (Workshop)  
  • PHYS 305  Vibrations and Waves 
  • PHYS 315  Modern Physics 
  • PHYS 320  Electrodynamics 
  • PHYS 330  Quantum Mechanics 
  • PHYS 340  Electronics 
  • PHYS 370  Thermal Physics 
  • PHYS 380  Classical Mechanics

Mathematics (3)

  • MATH 130 Calculus I
  • MATH 140 Calculus II
  • MATH 260 Differential Equations

Chemistry (1)

  • CHEM 110 General Chemistry I: Chemical Structure and Properties
              or
    CHEM 150 Accelerated General Chemistry

Electives (1)

  • CHEM 120 General Chemistry II
  • CSCI 150 Foundations of Computer Science
  • CSCI 385 Scientific Computing
  • EDUC 290 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • MATH 230 Multivariable Calculus
  • MATH 270 Linear Algebra
  • PHYS 450 Directed Research
  • PHYS 490 Topics in Physics

 

Note(s):

PHYS 490 Topics in Physics , MATH 270 Linear Algebra , and CSCI 150 Foundations of Computer Science are useful preparation for graduate study in physics or engineering. All physics majors should do a research project while at  Hendrix. Consult with any physics faculty member about research opportunities.

 

Senior Capstone Experience

 The Senior Capstone Experience for the physics major is a comprehensive examination. Students have two options for the examination. The first option is to take the GRE Physics test administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The second option is to take an exam given by the department faculty. The grade for the Senior Capstone Experience is based on student performance on one of these examinations.

Major in Chemical Physics

Minor in Physics

7 courses distributed as follows:

 

  • 1 course from the following: 
              PHYS 210  General Physics I 
              PHYS 230  General Physics I (Calculus-based) 
              PHYS 235  General Physics I (Workshop)
  • 1 course from the following: 
              PHYS 220  General Physics II 
              PHYS 240  General Physics II (Calculus-based) 
              PHYS 245  General Physics II (Workshop) 
  • PHYS 305  Vibrations and Waves
  • PHYS 315  Modern Physics 
  • MATH 130  Calculus I 
  • MATH 140  Calculus II 
  • MATH 260  Differential Equations

 

Program Course Listings

The courses for this program are organized into the following categories:

Physics Courses

PHYS 100

Introductory Topics in Physics

Introduces students to the tools of physics. A topic is selected as the focus of the course which allows students to analyze phenomena, model their behavior, and solve problems: Alternative Energy, Physics in Movies and Television, and the Physics of Superheroes. Specific content may vary by course section subtitles but all sections repeat core concepts. Only one section may be counted for course credit.

Natural Science Inquiry NS
PHYS 135

Title Unavailable

PHYS 160

Astronomy

A study of the structure and evolution of the universe. Topics include how astronomers observe and interpret phenomena, models of the solar system, life cycle of stars, and current models of the universe.

Natural Science Inquiry NS
PHYS 161

Astronomy (w/Lab)

A study of the structure and evolution of the universe. Topics include how astronomers observe and interpret phenomena, models of the solar system, life cycle of stars, and current models of the universe. The laboratory component will cover optics, spectroscopy, telescope design, and basic observing techniques.

Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
PHYS 170

Introductory Earth Science

A study of earth science including topics such as tectonics, interior structure of the Earth, rocks and rock cycles, oceanography, meteorology, and Earth-Sun interactions. The physical principles associated with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes are explored.

Natural Science Inquiry NS
PHYS 171

Introductory Earth Science (w/Lab)

A study of earth science including topics such as tectonics, interior structure of the Earth, rocks and rock cycles, oceanography, meteorology, and Earth-Sun Interactions. The physical principles associated with earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes are explored. The laboratory component covers the detection techniques and analysis of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
PHYS GP1

General Physics I Lab

Required laboratory experience for students taking PHYS 210 or PHYS 230. Lab exercises will focus on laboratory techniques, and topics from the General Physics I classes including kinematics, forces, conservation of energy and momentum, and waves. Prerequisite: Co-requisite PHYS 210 or PHYS 230.

Co-requisite PHYS 210 or PHYS 230.
PHYS GP2

General Physics II Lab

Required laboratory experience for students taking PHYS 220 or PHYS 240. Lab exercises will focus on laboratory techniques, and topics from the General Physics II classes including electric charge, Coulomb force, circuits, magnetic fields, and optics. Prerequisite: Co-requisite: PHYS 220 or PHYS 240.

Co-requisite: PHYS 220 or PHYS 240.
PHYS 210

General Physics I (w/Lab)

Mechanics, heat, and sound. Laboratory course. Calculus not required. Prerequisite: MATH 120 or above and Co-requisite PHYS GP1.

MATH 120 or above and Co-requisite PHYS GP1.
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 211

General Physics I (no Lab)

Mechanics, heat, and sound. Calculus not required. Basic algebra and trigonometry skills are required. Prerequisite: MATH 120 or above and consent of instructor or department chair.

MATH 120 or above and consent of instructor or department chair.
Natural Science Inquiry NS
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 220

General Physics II (w/Lab)

Electricity, magnetism, and optics. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: PHYS 210, or PHYS 230, or PHYS 235 and Co-requisite PHYS GP2.

PHYS 210, or PHYS 230, or PHYS 235 and Co-requisite PHYS GP2.
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 230

Gen Physics I (Calc-based w/Lab)

Mechanics, heat, and waves. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: Co-requisite MATH 130 and PHYS GP1.

Co-requisite MATH 130 and PHYS GP1.
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 235

General Physics I (Workshop)

An introduction to the scientific process as it pertains to the physical world with an emphasis on the topics of mechanics (Newtonian, quantum, and statistical), waves, and heat. This course is taught in a hands-on, discovery-based style with lab, computer, and course work integrated into each class meeting. The course meets three times a week for two hours at a time and does not have a separate lab section. Prerequisite: Co-requisite MATH 130.

Co-requisite MATH 130.
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 240

Gen Physics II (Calc-based w/Lab)

Electricity, magnetism, and optics. Laboratory course. Prerequisites: PHYS 210, or PHYS 230, or PHYS 235, and MATH 130. Co-requisite: PHYS GP2.

PHYS 210, or PHYS 230, or PHYS 235, and MATH 130. Co-requisite: PHYS GP2.
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 245

General Physics II (Workshop)

An introduction to the scientific process as it pertains to the physical world with an emphasis on the topics of electricity, magnetism, and optics. This course is taught in a hands-on, discovery-based style with lab, computer, and course work integrated into each class meeting. The course meets three times a week for two hours at a time and does not have a separate lab section. Prerequisite: PHYS 210, or PHYS 230, or PHYS 235, and MATH 130.

PHYS 210, or PHYS 230, or PHYS 235, and MATH 130.
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 305

Vibrations and Waves

Mechanical and electromagnetic waves. Fourier analysis and vector calculus. Prerequisite: PHYS 220, or PHYS 240, or PHYS 245. Co-requisite MATH 260.

PHYS 220, or PHYS 240, or PHYS 245. Co-requisite MATH 260.
Natural Science Inquiry NS
Quantitative Studies QS
PHYS 315

Modern Physics (w/Lab)

Phenomenological basis of atomic and subatomic physics. Laboratory course. Cross-listed as CHEM 410 Advanced Physical Chemistry. Prerequisite: PHYS 220, or PHYS 240, or PHYS 245. Co-requisite: MATH 260

PHYS 220, or PHYS 240, or PHYS 245. Co-requisite: MATH 260
Natural Science Inquiry with Lab NS-L
Quantitative Studies QS
Writing Level 2 W2
PHYS 320

Electrodynamics

Electrostatics, electromagnetic fields, currents, and Maxwell's equations. Prerequisite: PHYS 305.

PHYS 305.
PHYS 330

Quantum Mechanics

Mathematical formalism of quantum theory. The Schrodinger equation and operator algebra. Bound state solutions and angular momentum. Prerequisite: PHYS 305 and either PHYS 315 or CHEM 310.

PHYS 305 and either PHYS 315 or CHEM 310.
PHYS 340

Electronics (w/Lab)

Analog circuits, digital circuits, and semiconductor devices. Prerequisite: PHYS 240, PHYS 245, or PHYS 220 plus consent of instructor.

PHYS 240, PHYS 245, or PHYS 220 plus consent of instructor.
PHYS 370

Thermal Physics

The laws of thermodynamics, classical and quantum distribution functions, and an introduction to statistical mechanics. Prerequisite: MATH 140 and PHYS 220, PHYS 240 or PHYS 245.

MATH 140 and PHYS 220, PHYS 240 or PHYS 245.
PHYS 380

Classical Mechanics

Central force problem, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms, and special relativity. Prerequisite: PHYS 305.

PHYS 305.
PHYS 450

Directed Research

Independent research in physics conducted in conjunction with a specific faculty member. Research topics selected on an individual basis. Results of the research are typically presented at a national scientific meeting in the spring, and a final research report is written.

Undergraduate Research UR
PHYS 490

Physics: Special Topics

A topics course studying the properties, evolution and origin of the universe based on Einstein’s theory of gravity, and cosmology. Topics may include curved space-time, black holes and worm holes, the big bang, multiple universes, and the particle physics of the early universe. No prior knowledge of general relativity is necessary. This course can be repeated for additional credits as long as the section topics are different. Consult the online course schedule for information about the topics currently scheduled to be taught.

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