Physics (PHYS)

PHYS-100 Foundations of Physics

Fall. Credits: 4

This course studies a variety of topics in physics unified by the physical notions of force, energy, and equilibrium. Mathematics is used at the level of geometry, proportion, and dimensional analysis. Topics, drawn from the MCAT syllabus, include geometrical optics, time, oscillation, statics, elasticity, conservation of energy, and fluids.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Nordstrom
Coreq: PHYS-100L.

PHYS-104 Renewable Energy

Spring. Credits: 4

We will examine the feasibility of converting the entire energy infrastructure of the US from one that is dependent on fossil fuels to one that utilizes mostly renewable sources of energy. We will examine the potential scale of energy production and the associated costs, natural resource requirements and land usage needs for both renewables, such as solar, wind and biofuel, and non-renewables, such as coal, natural gas, petroleum and nuclear. By applying extensive use of basic algebra and an elementary understanding of the physical processes underpinning each energy technology, we will arrive at a number of urgent conclusions about the challenges facing our energy infrastructure.

Crosslisted as: ENVST-104
Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. Arango

PHYS-110 Force, Motion, and Energy

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Studies the mechanics of material objects. Topics include Newton's laws, projectile motion, circular motion, momentum, kinetic and potential energy, angular momentum, gravitation, and oscillations. This course is appropriate for students intending to major in a physical science.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Aidala, A. Burger
Prereq: MATH-101 or equivalent. Coreq: PHYS-110L.
Advisory: Knowledge of calculus as demonstrated by Math 101 or equivalent.

PHYS-150 Phenomena of Physics

Spring. Credits: 4

This course studies a variety of topics in physics, drawn from the MCAT syllabus, including thermodynamics, acoustics, wave optics, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear phenomena. As in Physics 100, the applicable mathematics is geometry, proportion, and dimensional analysis.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Nordstrom
Prereq: PHYS-100 or PHYS-110. Coreq: PHYS-150L.

PHYS-201 Electromagnetism

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Topics include: electromagnetism, emphasizing fields and energy; electrostatics; electric circuits; magnetism; induction; and electromagnetic radiation. Additional topics chosen according to the interests of the class and instructor.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. Arango
Prereq: PHYS-110 and MATH-102. Coreq: PHYS-201L.

PHYS-205 Introduction to Mathematical Methods for Scientists

Fall. Credits: 4

Topics include infinite series, complex numbers, partial differentiation, multiple integration, selected topics in linear algebra and vector analysis, ordinary differential equations, and Fourier series. The course includes a brief introduction to Mathematica and Matlab, in addition to a traditional emphasis on analytic solutions.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. Arango
Prereq: PHYS-190 or PHYS-201 (or concurrent enrollment with permission). Coreq: PHYS-205L.

PHYS-210 Waves and Optics

Fall. Credits: 4

A comprehensive treatment of wave phenomena, particularly light, leading to an introductory study of quantum mechanics. Topics include wave propagation, polarization, interference and interferometry, diffraction, and special relativity.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. Burger
Prereq: Electromagnetism (PHYS-190/PHYS-201) and Intro to Math Methods (PHYS-303/PHYS-200/PHYS-205) or concurrent enrollment in PHYS-205 with permission.
Advisory: Electromagnetism (Physics 190/201) and Intro to Math Methods (Physics 200/205) or concurrent enrollment in 205

PHYS-220 Intermediate Lab in Physics

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This lab-based course is an introduction to modern, investigative, experimental physics. The course is intended as a bridge between the structured introductory lab experience and independent research. Students will engage in a semester-long experimental project, participating in experimental design, construction, debugging and implementation. Students will practice presenting and interpreting experimental results and will be encouraged to develop follow-up experimental questions of their own. This course will also introduce students to scientific communication skills, and is speaking- and writing-intensive.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Arango
Prereq: PHYS-201.

PHYS-221 Topic

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
Prereq: PHYS-110/PHYS-115 and permission of instructor.

PHYS-222 Comparative Biomechanics

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The main objective of this course is to explore organismal structure and function via an examination of the basic physical principles that guide how living things are constructed and how organisms interact with their environment. We will use the combined approaches of the biologist and engineer to study the impact of size on biological systems, address the implications of solid and fluid mechanics for animal design, survey different modes of animal locomotion, and learn how biologists working in diverse areas (e.g., ecology, development, evolution, and physiology) gain insight through biomechanical analyses.

Crosslisted as: BIOL-322
Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
G. Gillis
Prereq: PHYS-110/PHYS-115 and permission of instructor. Coreq: PHYS-222L.
Notes: 12 students per lab

PHYS-231 Techniques of Experimental Physics

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1

Provides training in the techniques employed in the construction of scientific equipment.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
L. McEachern
Restrictions: This course is limited to physics majors.; This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Notes: 1 meeting (2 hours) for 3 weeks

PHYS-250 Quantum Mechanical Phenomena

Spring. Credits: 4

This course provides an introduction to quantum mechanics. The Uncertainty Principle, Schroedinger's Equation, and the hydrogen atom are studied in depth, with emphasis on angular momentum, electron spin, and the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. Burger
Prereq: PHYS-205 and PHYS-210.

PHYS-290 Advanced Laboratory Practicum

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1 - 8

This course is a hands-on practicum, intended to introduce students to the practice of modern physics research. Depending on student interest, topics include external research seminars by practitioners in the field, training in oral and written scientific communication, presentation and interpretation of research results, scientific modeling, and hands-on experimental skills. Research projects are an integral part of this course; credit will be apportioned in relation to the intensity of the project.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. Aidala, A. Arango
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-295P Independent Study with Practicum

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-308 Electronics

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is a study of electrical circuits and components with emphasis on the underlying physical principles; solid-state active devices with applications to simple systems such as linear amplifiers; feedback-controlled instrumentation; and analog and digital computing devices.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Aidala
Prereq: PHYS-150 or PHYS-201.
Notes: Meetings combine lecture and hands-on lab

PHYS-315 Analytical Mechanics

Spring. Credits: 4

Newton's great innovation was the description of the world by differential equations, the beginning of physics as we know it. This course studies Newtonian mechanics for a point particle in 1, 2, and 3 dimensions, systems of particles, rigid bodies, and the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Nordstrom
Prereq: PHYS-205.

PHYS-325 Electromagnetic Theory

Fall. Credits: 4

This course presents the development of mathematical descriptions of electric and magnetic fields; study of interactions of fields with matter in static and dynamic situations; mathematical description of waves; and development of Maxwell's equations with a few applications to the reflection and refraction of light and microwave cavities.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
A. Burger
Prereq: Intro to Math Methods (PHYS-303/PHYS-200/PHYS-205).

PHYS-326 Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Fall. Credits: 4

This course presents thermodynamic and statistical descriptions of many-particle systems. Topics include classical and quantum ideal gases with applications to paramagnetism; black-body radiation; Bose-Einstein condensation; and the Einstein and Debye solid; the specific heat of solids.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
K. Nordstrom
Prereq: Quantum Mechanical Phenomena (PHYS-302/PHYS-250) and Intro to Math Methods (PHYS-303/PHYS-200/PHYS-205) or permission from department.

PHYS-328 From Lilliput to Brobdingnag: Bridging the Scales Between Science and Engineering

Fall. Credits: 4

The performance of many engineered devices is dependent on macroscopic factors (pressure, temperature, flow, conductivity). As a result, engineers often model devices macroscopically considering atomistic level details only through fixed parameters. These parameters do not always capture the full atomistic level picture. More accurate multi-scale approaches for modeling macroscopic properties use basic atomistic level chemistry at key points in larger scale simulations. This course is an introduction to such approaches focusing on fuel cells as a concrete example. Basic scientific principles will be developed along side of basic engineering principles through project/case studies.

Crosslisted as: CHEM-328
Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Gomez
Prereq: MATH-102 and PHYS-201.

PHYS-329 Advanced Physics

PHYS-336 Quantum Mechanics

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is an introduction to formal quantum theory: the wave function and its interpretation, observables and linear operators, matrix mechanics and the uncertainty principle; solutions of one-dimensional problems; solutions of three-dimensional problems and angular momentum; and perturbative methods.

Applies to requirement(s): Math Sciences
N. Abraham
Prereq: PHYS-250.
Notes: Physics 324 or 336 will normally be offered in alternating years

PHYS-390 Advanced Laboratory Practicum

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1 - 8

This course is a hands-on practicum, intended to introduce students to the practice of modern physics research. Depending on student interest, topics include external research seminars by practitioners in the field, training in oral and written scientific communication, presentation and interpretation of research results, scientific modeling, and hands-on experimental skills. Research projects are an integral part of this course; credit will be apportioned in relation to the intensity of the project.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. Aidala, A. Arango
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: 16 credits in Physics.

PHYS-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-395P Independent Study with Practicum

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-396 Advanced Laboratory Techniques

Instructor permission required.

PHYS-396MS Advanced Laboratory Techniques: 'Scanning Probe Microscopy'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1 - 4

Students will be introduced to scanning probe microscopy and pursue projects on a variety of materials systems. This will be a hands-on course with weekly meetings to discuss progress and challenges.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
K. Aidala
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-396SC Advanced Laboratory Techniques: 'Next Generation Solar Cells and LEDs'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1 - 4

Students will be introduced to solar cell and LED fabrication and characterization techniques, and pursue projects on a variety of materials systems. This will be a hands-on course with weekly meetings to discuss progress and challenges.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
A. Arango
Instructor permission required.

PHYS-396US Advanced Laboratory Techniques: 'Quantitative Ultrasound'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1 - 4

Students will be introduced to quantitative ultrasound imaging. This will be a hands-on course utilizing experimental methods to study the application of ultrasound as a diagnostic tool. We will meet weekly to discuss progress and challenges.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
T. Herd
Instructor permission required.