Courses for non-physics majors
The Department offers a number of courses for those students who would
like to know more about the physical world but do not wish to pursue a physics major.
These are introductory courses and do not have any pre-requisites.
- PHYS 100: Introductory Topics in Physics (NS)
- PHYS 160: Astronomy (NS)
- PHYS 170: Introductory Earth Science (NS)
PHYS 100 Introductory Topics in Physics (NS)
This course is designed to introduce
students to the tools of physics. The instructor selects a topic which allows students
to analyze phenomena, model their behavior, and solve problems. Specific content
varies by topic, but all sections repeat core concepts. Only one section may be
counted for course credit. Example topics: Alternative Energy, Physics in Movies
and Television, and the Physics of Superheroes.
PHYS 160 Astronomy (NS)
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.
PHYS 170 Introductory
Earth Science (NS)
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.
PHYS 171 Introductory
Earth Science with Lab (NS-L)
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.
PHYS GP1 General Physics I Lab
focus on laboratory techniques and topics from the General Physics I classes, including
kinematics, forces, conservation of energy and momentum, and waves. Required laboratory
experience for students taking PHYS 210 or PHYS 230. No credit.
PHYS GP2 General
Physics II Lab
Lab exercises focus on laboratory techniques and topics from the
General Physics II classes, including electric charge, Coulomb force, circuits,
magnetic fields, and optics. Required laboratory experience for students taking
PHYS 220 or PHYS 240. No credit.
PHYS 210 General Physics I (NS-L , QS)
heat, and sound. Laboratory course. Calculus not required. Prerequisite: MATH 120
or above. Corequisite: PHYS GP1.
PHYS 220 General Physics II (NS-L , QS)
and optics. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: PHYS 210. Corequisite: PHYS GP2.
PHYS 230 General Physics I (Calculus-based) (NS-L , QS)
Mechanics, heat, and waves. Laboratory course. Corequisite: MATH 130 and PHYS GP1.
PHYS 235 General Physics I Workshop (Calculus-based) (NS-L , QS)
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.
PHYS 245 General Physics II Workshop (Calculus-based) (NS-L , QS)
Electricity, magnetism, and optics. Laboratory course. Prerequisites: PHYS 210 or 230, and MATH 130. Corequisite: MATH 140 or consent and PHYS GP2.
PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves (NS, QS)
Mechanical and electromagnetic waves.
Fourier analysis and vector calculus. Prerequisite: PHYS 240. Corequisite: MATH
PHYS 315 Modern Physics (NS-L, QS, W2)
Phenomenological basis of atomic
and subatomic physics. Laboratory course. Cross-listed as CHEM 410 Advanced Physical
Chemistry. Prerequisite: PHYS 240 or PHYS 220. Corequisite: MATH 260.
PHYS 340 Electronics
Analog circuits, digital circuits, and semiconductor
devices. Prerequisite: PHYS 240 or PHYS 220 plus consent of instructor.
PHYS 420 Electrodynamics
Electrostatics, electromagnetic fields, currents, and Maxwell’s equations. Prerequisite: PHYS 305.
PHYS 430 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 450 Directed Research [UR]
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.
PHYS 470 Thermal Physics
The laws of thermodynamics, classical and quantum distribution
functions, and an introduction to statistical mechanics. Prerequisite: MATH 140
and PHYS 240 or PHYS 220.
PHYS 480 Classical Mechanics
Central force problem,
Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms. Prerequisite: PHYS 305.
PHYS 490 Topics in Physics
Topics determined by student and faculty interest. Possible topics include nuclear/particle
physics, condensed matter, lasers and optics, statistical physics, mathematical
methods. Prerequisite: PHYS 305 and consent.