Physics Courses

Physics Courses

The number of credit hours for each course is given in brackets after the course ID.

PH 101. (4) Interactive Physics . A survey of basic physics principles presented in workshop format: students discover the fundamental principles of physics through hands-on activities, cooperative group learning, and guided explorations of phenomena in Motion, Conservation Laws, Gravity, Oscillations, and Heat and Temperature. Computers and electronic sensors are used in some of the activities, but no previous experience with computers is necessary. Not applicable for credit toward a physics major or minor. Three class periods; one 2-hour laboratory period per week. No prerequisite. Special fee: $30.00. (Fall, Spring)

PH 121. (4) Introductory Physics. An introduction to the physical principles of motion, waves, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light. Computers and electronic sensors are used in some of the activities, but no previous experience with computers is necessary. Not applicable for credit toward a physics major or minor. Three class periods; one two-hour laboratory period per week. No prerequisite. Special fee: $30.00. (Fall, Spring)

PH 125. (4) Descriptive Astronomy. The extraterrestrial environment including the solar system, stars, and galaxies. Cosmology and the development of astronomy is also considered along with topics of current interest. Instruction in the use of astronomical instrumentation is carried out in the observatory and planetarium. Three class periods; one 2-hour laboratory period per week. Special fee: $30.00. (Fall, Spring)

PH 241. (4) General Physics I. A basic physics course covering mechanics, heat, and sound. Designed for students in premedical, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, and other programs not requiring calculus-based physics. Not applicable for credit toward major or minor requirements in physics or in curricula specifically requiring PH 251 and 252. Three class periods; one 2-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: MA 112; 113 or 115. Special fee: $30.00. (Fall, Summer)

PH 242. (4) General Physics II. A continuation of Physics 241, covering electricity, magnetism, optics, and topics in modern physics. Three class periods; one 2-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: PH 241. Special fee: $30.00. (Spring, Summer)

PH 251. (5) Technical Physics I. A calculus-based physics course covering mechanics, heat, and sound. Required in pre-engineering, physics, general and professional chemistry, and industrial hygiene programs. Four class periods; one 2-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite or concurrently: MA 122 or 125. Special fee: $30.00. (Fall, Summer)

PH 252. (5) Technical Physics II. A continuation of Physics 251, covering electricity, magnetism, optics, and topics in modern physics. Four class periods; one 2-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: MA 122 or 125; PH 251. Special fee: $30.00. (Spring, Summer)

PH 343. (4) Modern Physics. Special theory of relativity, origin of the quantum theory, the nuclear atom, emission spectra, nuclear forces, structures, and reactions. Prerequisite: PH 252. (Fall)

PH 356W. (4) Intermediate Laboratory. Measurements involving the fields of mechanics, electricity, magnetism, heat, sound, optics, and modern physics. Some data analysis by computer will be required. Formal laboratory reports will be graded for scientific content and grammatical correctness. Two class periods; two 2-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: PH 252. (Spring, even-numbered years)

PH 444. (3) Quantum Mechanics. An introduction to quantum mechanics studying the postulates, the wave equation, operator techniques, atomic and molecular structure, and spectroscopy. Also listed as CH 444 but creditable only in the field for which registered. Prerequisites: PH 343; MA 126 or CH 282, 282L. (Spring)

PH 447. (3) Electricity and Magnetism. Elements of electric and magnetic fields. Prerequisites: PH 252, MA 122 or 126 or concurrently. (Fall, even-numbered years)

PH 448. (3) Electromagnetic Fields. Maxwell’s equations, multi-pole fields, the wave equation with boundary conditions, and selected topics from relativistic electrodynamics. Prerequisite: PH 447. (Spring, odd-numbered years)

PH 456. (3) Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. Elements of classical statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, with an introduction to quantum statistical mechanics. Also listed as CH 456 but creditable only in field for which registered. Prerequisites: MA 122 or 126 or concurrently, PH 252. (Offered on sufficient demand)

PH 471. (3) Classical Dynamics. Static's and kinematics of particles and rigid bodies including periodic motion. Prerequisites: PH 252, MA 122 or 126 or concurrently. (Fall, odd-numbered years)

PH 480-489. (1-6) Topics in Physics. Topics will be selected from electronic instrumentation, optics, spectroscopy, nuclear physics, solid state physics, statistical mechanics, advanced quantum mechanics, and mathematical physics. Departmental approval required. Special fee: $30.00. (Offered on sufficient demand)

PH 495. (1-3) Directed Research. Experimental, theoretical, or com- mutational investigation of problems in physics under the direction of departmental faculty, with enrollment and projects subject to prior approval of the department. Formal reports of research progress will be required for credit. Scheduled work and conferences require a minimum average of three hours per week per credit hour. May be repeated to a maximum of four credit hours. A maximum of 2 credit hours will be offered during the summer term. Prerequisite: departmental approval required. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

PH 498. (1) Senior Assessment Seminar. In this course, students prepare for national standardized instruments, such as the MFT-Physics and GRE-Physics exams, that use multiple choice questions. In other physics major courses, students do not encounter these type questions. Students will practice solving such questions by depending upon far fewer calculations than are required in other courses. This course requires stu- dents to complete the MFT-Physics exam as a pre-test at the beginning of the semester, and as a post-test at the end of the semester. This course is graded Pass/Fail with the pass grade dependent upon completion of the pre- and post-tests and attendance during the weekly seminar. Open to professional physics and general physics majors in their last year of stud- ies. Department approval required. (Fall, Spring)