Physics (PHYS)

Head of Department: Professor Nora Berrah

Department Office: Room 101, Physics Building

Program Assistant for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies: Micki Bellamy

Office: Room 107, Physics Building, 860-486-0449

Major requirements

1010Q. Elements of Physics

Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1201Q, 1401Q, 1501Q or 1601Q.

Basic concepts and applications of physics for the non-science major. Scientific principles and quantitative relationships involving mechanics, energy, heat and temperature, waves, electricity and magnetism, and the theory of the atom are covered. A laboratory provides hands-on experience with the principles of physics. CA 3-LAB.

1020Q. Introductory Astronomy

Three credits. Not open to students who have passed PHYS 1025Q.

A basic introductory astronomy course without laboratories, including principles of celestial coordinate systems and telescope design; applications of fundamental physical laws to the sun, planets, stars and galaxies; evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe; recent space probe results, modern cosmology, astrobiology. Night observing sessions are an integral part of the course. CA 3.

1025Q. Introductory Astronomy with Laboratory

Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Not open to students who have passed PHYS 1020Q.

A basic introductory astronomy course including principles of celestial coordinate systems and telescope design; applications of fundamental physical laws to the sun, planets, stars and galaxies; evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe; recent space probe results, modern cosmology, astrobiology. Basic quantitative laboratory techniques relevant to astronomy. Night observing sessions are an integral part of the course. CA 3-LAB.

1030Q. Physics of the Environment

Three credits. Not applicable to any requirement that specifies a course in “general physics.”

Concepts of physics applied to current problems of the physical environment: energy, transportation, pollution. No previous knowledge of physics is assumed. CA 3.

1035Q. Physics of the Environment with Laboratory

Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. No previous knowledge of physics is assumed. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1030Q.

Concepts of physics applied to the physical environment, particularly to current problems related to energy, transportation, and pollution. These relationships will be further explored in the laboratory section. CA 3-LAB.

1075Q. Physics of Music

Four credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period.

Basic principles of physics and scientific reasoning will be taught in the context of the production and perception of music, emphasizing the historic and scientific interplay between physics and music. Basic quantitative laboratories pertaining to sound, music, and waves. No previous knowledge of physics or music is assumed. CA 3-LAB.

1201Q-1202Q. General Physics

Four credits each semester. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: MATH 1060Q or 1110Q or equivalent. PHYS 1201Q not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1401Q, 1501Q or 1601Q. PHYS 1202Q not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1402Q, 1502Q or 1602Q. PHYS 1201Q required for PHYS 1202Q.

Basic facts and principles of physics. The laboratory offers fundamental training in precise measurements. CA 3-LAB.

1230. General Physics Problems

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1202Q and MATH 1132Q, both of which may be taken concurrently. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1501Q or 1601Q.

Problems, emphasizing applications of calculus, dealing with topics in general physics. Intended for those students who have taken or are taking PHYS 1202Q and who desire to have a calculus-based physics sequence equivalent to PHYS 1401Q1402Q.

1300. Physics for the Pharmacy Profession

Three credits. Prerequisite: MATH 1126Q which may be taken concurrently, or MATH 1131Q, or MATH 1151Q. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1230, 1401Q, 1402Q, 1501Q, 1502Q, 1601Q, or 1602Q.

Survey of the principles of physics and their application to the pharmaceutical sciences. Basic concepts of calculus are used. Examples from mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, fluids, waves, and atomic and nuclear physics.

1401Q-1402Q. General Physics with Calculus

Four credits each semester. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Recommended preparation for PHYS 1401Q: MATH 1131Q. Prerequisite for PHYS 1402Q: PHYS 1401Q. Recommended preparation for PHYS 1402Q: MATH 1132Q. PHYS 1401Q is not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1501Q or 1601Q. PHYS 1402Q not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1502Q or 1602Q. PHYS 1401Q may be taken for not more than 2 credits, with the permission of the instructor, by students who have received credits for PHYS 1201Q. PHYS 1402Q may be taken for not more than 2 credits, with the permission of the instructor, by students who have received credit for PHYS 1202Q.

Quantitative study of the basic facts and principles of physics. The laboratory offers fundamental training in physical measurements. Recommended for students planning to apply for admission to medical, dental or veterinary schools and also recommended for science majors for whom a one year introductory physics course is adequate. CA 3-LAB.

1501Q. Physics for Engineers I

Four credits. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Recommended preparation: PHYS 1010Q or secondary school physics; and CE 2110, as well as either MATH 2110Q or 2130Q which may be taken concurrently. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1401Q or 1601Q. PHYS 1501Q may be taken for not more than 2 credits, with the permission of the instructor, by students who have received credit for PHYS 1201Q.

Basic facts and principles of physics. Elementary concepts of calculus are used. Classical dynamics, rigid-body motion, harmonic motion, wave motion, acoustics, relativistic dynamics, thermodynamics. CA 3-LAB.

1502Q. Physics for Engineers II

Four credits. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: PHYS 1501Q. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1402Q or 1602Q. PHYS 1502Q may be taken for not more than 2 credits, with the permission of the instructor, by students who have received credit for PHYS 1202Q.

Electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, quantum effects, introduction to atomic physics. CA 3-LAB.

1530. General Physics Problems for Engineers

Four credits. Three class periods and one 1-hour recitation period. Prerequisite: PHYS 1202Q and 1132Q, both of which may be taken concurrently. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1230, 1501Q or 1601Q.

Problems, emphasizing applications of calculus, dealing with topics in general physics. Intended for those students who have taken or are taking PHYS 1202Q and who desire to have a calculus-based physics sequence equivalent to PHYS 1501Q1502Q or 1601Q1602Q.

1600Q. Introduction to Modern Physics

Four credits. Three class periods, one recitation period and one 3-hour laboratory period. Recommended preparation: MATH 1060Q, which may be taken concurrently, or a qualifying score on the mathematics placement assessment.

Quantitative exploration of the structure of matter, including gas laws, electric and magnetic forces, the electron, x-rays, waves and light, relativity, radioactivity, and spectra. Recommended for prospective Physics majors. CA 3-LAB.

1601Q. Fundamentals of Physics I

Four credits. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Recommended preparation: MATH 1131Q or 1151Q, any of which may be taken concurrently. MATH 1151Q is preferred for Physics majors. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1401Q or 1501Q. May be taken for not more than three credits, with the permission of the instructor, by students who have received credit for PHYS 1201Q.

Fundamental principles of mechanics, statistical physics, and thermal physics. Basic concepts of calculus are used. Recommended for prospective Physics majors. CA 3-LAB.

1602Q. Fundamentals of Physics II

Four credits. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Recommended preparation: PHYS 1601Q, and MATH 1132Q or 1152Q, any of which may be taken concurrently. MATH 1152Q is preferred for Physics majors. Not open for credit to students who have passed PHYS 1402Q or 1502Q. May be taken for not more than three credits, with the permission of the instructor, by students who have received credit for PHYS 1202Q.

Fundamental principles of electromagnetism, optics and wave propagation. Basic concepts of calculus are used. Recommended for prospective Physics majors. CA 3-LAB.

2200. Computational Physics

Three credits. Two class periods and one 2-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q and MATH 2410Q, any of which may be taken concurrently; or instructor consent.

A basic introduction to numerical and mathematical methods required for the solution of physics problems using currently available scientific software for computation and graphics.

2300. The Development of Quantum Physics

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q, which may be taken concurrently; or PHYS 1202Q with consent of instructor.

The inadequacies of classical physical concepts in the submicroscopic domain. The revision of physical principles that led to special relativity and modern quantum theory. Application to topics chosen from atomic and molecular physics, solid state physics, nuclear physics and elementary particle physics.

2400. Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q; and MATH 2110Q; either or both may be taken concurrently; or consent of the instructor.

Theoretical mathematical methods required for physical science courses.

2501W-2502. Laboratory in Electricity, Magnetism, and Mechanics

Three credits each semester. One class period, one 3-hour laboratory period, and additional assignments on the theoretical interpretation of experiments. One hour lecture per week. Time by arrangement. A written presentation of methods and results is required for each experiment. Prerequisite: First semester, PHYS 1201Q or 1401Q or 1501Q or 1601Q; Second semester, PHYS 1202Q or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1602Q. Both semesters, prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

Experiments with mechanical phenomena. Experiments with electric and magnetic phenomena, including their interaction with matter. The handling of experimental data. The use of computers in experimental physics.

2701. Foundations of Modern Astrophysics

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1401 or 1501 or 1601; MATH 1131 (or 1151) and 1132 (or 1152). Prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 1402 or 1502 or 1602; MATH 2110.

The conceptual framework describing astronomical objects. Topics include orbits, light, and stars. Concepts of statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and relativity as needed for astrophysical topics.

2702. Techniques of Modern Astrophysics

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 2701.

Observational astronomy and applications to astrophysical phenomena. Topics include telescopes and astronomical instrumentation, production of chemical elements and molecules, distance scales, black holes and compact objects, gravitational lensing, galaxy kinematics and structure, dark matter, dark energy, cosmic rays, gravitational waves, and Big Bang cosmology.

3101. Mechanics I

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q; MATH 2110Q or 2130Q, which may be taken concurrently.

Newton’s Laws of motion applied to mass points, systems of particles, and rigid bodies.

3102. Mechanics II

Three credits. Prerequisite: MATH 2410 or 2420 and PHYS 3101 or CE 2120.

Further applications of Newton’s Laws; continuous media; Lagrange’s and Hamilton’s formulation of dynamics.

3150. Electronics

Three credits. Two class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230, or 1402Q, or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q or instructor consent.

The principles of devices and their applications to instrumentation in science and engineering. Rectification, filtering, regulation, input and output impedance, basic transistor circuits, operational amplifiers, preamplifiers for photodiodes and other transducers, logic gates, and digital circuits.

3201. Electricity and Magnetism I

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q or instructor consent; MATH 2110Q and 2410Q, or 2130Q and 2420Q.

Properties of electric and magnetic fields; direct and alternating current circuits.

3202. Electricity and Magnetism II

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 3201.

Mathematical theory of the electromagnetic field; electric and magnetic properties of matter.

3300. Statistical and Thermal Physics

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q; PHYS 2300; MATH 2110Q and 2410Q, or 2130Q and 2420Q. Recommended preparation: PHYS 3201 and 3401.

The laws of thermodynamics and their microscopic statistical basis; entropy, temperature, Boltzmann factor, chemical potential, Gibbs factor, and the distribution functions.

3401-3402. Introductory Quantum Mechanics

Three credits each semester. Prerequisite: PHYS 2300; MATH 2110Q and 2410Q, or 2130Q and 2420Q.

Elementary principles of quantum mechanics; applications to electrons, atoms, molecules, nuclei, elementary particles, and solids.

3989. Undergraduate Research

Credits, not to exceed three each semester, and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open only with consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

Introduction to original investigation performed by the student under the guidance of a faculty member. The student is required to submit a brief report at the end of each semester.

4093. Foreign Study

Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Consent of Department Head required, normally to be granted prior to the student’s departure. May count toward the major with consent of the advisor. May be repeated for credit.

Special topics taken in a foreign study program.

4095. Special Topics

Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary. With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.

4096W. Research Thesis in Physics

Three credits. Hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open only with instructor consent.

Research investigation for the advanced undergraduate. Research and writing of a Thesis are required. Final public presentation is recommended.

4098. Variable Topics

Three credits. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary. With a change in topic, may be repeated for credit.

4099. Independent Study

Credits by arrangement, not to exceed 3 each semester. Prerequisite: Open only with consent of instructor. With a change of topic, this course may be repeated for credit.

4100. Physics of the Earth’s Interior

(Also offered as GSCI 4550.) Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q, which may be taken concurrently; MATH 1126Q or 1131Q, which may be taken concurrently. Recommended preparation: MATH 1132Q. Cormier

The composition, structure, and dynamics of the Earth’s core, mantle, and crust inferred from observations of seismology, geomagnetism, and heat flow.

4130. Fundamentals of Planetary Science

(Also offered as GSCI 4560.) Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q, which may be taken concurrently; MATH 1126Q or 1131Q, which may be taken concurrently. Cormier

Evolution of the solar system, celestial mechanics, tidal friction, internal composition of planets, black-body radiation, planetary atmospheres.

4140. Principles of Lasers

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 3202 and 3401 or instructor consent. Recommended preparation: PHYS 4150.

The physics of lasers, including optical pumping and stimulated emission, laser rate equations, optical resonators, Gaussian beam propagation, Q-switching, mode-locking and nonlinear optics. Applications to gas, solid-state and tunable laser systems.

4150. Optics

Four credits. Three class periods and one 3-hour laboratory period. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q or instructor consent. Recommended preparation: PHYS 3201.

An introduction to geometrical and physical optics. Thick lenses, stops, aberrations, interference, diffraction, polarization.

4210. Introduction to Solid State Physics

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 1230 or 1402Q or 1502Q or 1530 or 1602Q.

Crystal lattices, lattice waves, thermal and electronic properties, imperfections in solids.

4300. Astrophysics and Modern Cosmology

(Also offered as PHYS 6300.) Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 2300, 3101, and 3201; or instructor consent.

Basic principles of contemporary astrophysics; applications to stars, galaxies, and modern cosmology.

4350. Nuclei and Particles

Three credits. Prerequisite: PHYS 3401 or equivalent.

Properties of nuclei and particles, conserved quantities, isospin, quark model, Fermi gas model, electroweak interaction, high energy scattering.

4900. Experimental Physics Design Laboratory

Three credits. Two 3-hour laboratory periods and additional reading assignments. A written description of the proposed method must be submitted and approved before each experiment, and a subsequent written critical evaluation of each experiment is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 2300, 3101 or 3102, and 3202; PHYS 3401, which may be taken concurrently; and PHYS 2501 or 2502 or MSE 4003.

Experiments in modern and classical physics are independently designed, performed, and evaluated. Experiments are chosen from the areas of atomic, solid state and thermal physics, as well as from acoustics and optics. Computers are utilized for control of the experimental process, data acquisition and analysis.

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