Courses 2014-2015

For the college’s course catalog, please visit the Courses section. For courses currently offered, please visit the Schedule of Classes.

Current Topics in Physics (PHYS-100)

Designed principally for students not contemplating a major in the sciences, but who nevertheless wish to develop their ability to figure things out about the physical world for themselves. Recently, the course has focused on the physics of societal concerns such as energy and the environment. The laboratory, an integral part of the course, will serve to introduce the student to the observation, measurement, and analysis of phenomena directly related to topics studied in the course. Open to seniors by consent only. Mathematical preparation is assumed to include high school algebra and geometry. (Not offered every year)

General Physics I (PHYS-121)

This calculus-based course is designed to provide a thorough quantitative coverage of the foundations and concepts of Physics and its approach toward an understanding of natural phenomena. Newtonian Mechanics and Dynamics, fluids, and thermal physics are covered. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: Math 121 or 123 or concurrent. (Fall Semester)

General Physics II (PHYS-122)

This calculus-based course is designed to provide a thorough quantitative coverage of the foundations and concepts of Physics and its approach toward an understanding of natural phenomena. The course includes electricity and magnetism, optics and waves. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: PHYS 121. (Spring Semester)

Principles of Physics I (PHYS-125)

This course is designed for first-year students who intend to major in physics or pre-engineering. The goal of Physics 125 is to stimulate interest in physics by exposing students to topics that are at the current frontiers of physics and to help students develop quantitative reasoning and analytical skills that are necessary for further study in physics. Topics possibly covered include relativity, particle physics, cosmology, QED, and basic quantum mechanics. The course satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement and is intended to help students make a smooth transition from high school math and physics courses to our Principles of Physics course (126-127). Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Math 121 or Math 123 or concurrent. (Fall Semester)

Principles of Physics II (PHYS-126)

This course is designed to provide a thorough quantitative understanding of the principles of physics and its approach toward investigating natural phenomena and the universe around us. This calculus-based sequence is primarily designed for those interested in physics, astronomy and pre-engineering. This course satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement and is also appropriate for those majoring in other physical sciences (see also Physics 121-122). Topics include Newtonian mechanics, vibrations, fluids, and thermal Physics. Four lectures and one three-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: Physics 125, Math 123 or concurrent. (Spring Semester)

Principles of Physics III (PHYS-127)

This course is designed to provide a thorough quantitative understanding of the principles of physics and its approach toward investigating natural phenomena and the universe around us. This calculus-based sequence is primarily designed for those interested in physics, astronomy and pre-engineering. This course is also appropriate for those majoring in other physical sciences. (also see Physics 121-122). Topics include electricity and magnetism, waves, and optiocs. Four lectures and one three hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: Physics 126 and Math 124 or concurrent. (Fall Semester)

Introductory Topics in Physics (PHYS-199)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

Modern Physics (PHYS-200)

A quantitative study of topics in modern physics including relativistic kinematics and dynamics, interactions between light and matter, an introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics, and atomic physics. Additional topics may include solid-state physics, nuclear physics, or other contemporary topics. Analytical techniques are emphasized throughout. Prerequisites: Physics 122 or 127, Physics 201 or concurrent or consent. (Spring Semester)

Applied Mathematics for Physical Systems (PHYS-201)

A one semester overview of mathematics applied to physical systems, with extensive use of examples from introductory and intermediate physics. Topics covered will include operators, functions, vectors, complex numbers, integration, differentiation, geometry, differential equations, and linear algebra. The unity of linear systems will be emphasized, though non-linearity will also be discussed. Both hand- and computer-aided computation will be required. Prerequisites: Physics 121/126 and Math 124, or consent. (Spring Semester)

Electronics (PHYS-211)

A course in digital and analog electronics with an emphasis on circuit design and lab work. Topics include binary encoding, combinational and sequential logic, microcontrollers and FPGAs, AC circuits, transistors, op-amps, and interfacing with scientific instruments. Prerequisite: Physics 122 or 127 or consent. (Fall Semester)

Geometrical and Physical Optics (PHYS-220)

A study of the laws of reflection and refraction and their applications to lenses and mirrors; and a study of diffraction, interference, polarization, and related phenomena. This course normally will be offered in alternate years. The course includes a laboratory. Prerequisite: Physics 122 or Physics 127. (Not offered every year)

Special Intermediate Topics in Physics (PHYS-245)

This course provides a venue in which to explore chosen topics in physics at the intermediate level. Topics vary according to the interests of students and faculty. In some cases, the course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Physics 126 and Math 124 or consent. (Fall 2014, not offered every year)

Intermediate Topics in Physics (PHYS-299)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

Physics Math Seminar (PHYS-300)

Classical Mechanics (PHYS-305)

A course in classical mathematical physics designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the methods and procedures of physical analysis. Prerequisite: Physics 127, Physics 201 or Math 231 or consent. (Fall Semester)

Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS-306)

A course in the theory of electromagnetic interactions, including the sources and descriptions of electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations, and electromagnetic radiation. Prerequisite: Physics 305 or consent. (Spring Semester)

Experimental Physics (PHYS-312)

A course in the theory and practice of physical research with emphasis on the understanding and use of present-day research instrumentation. Prerequisites: Physics 122 or 127, Physics 211 recommended. May be repeated once for credit. (Spring Semester)

Thermodynamics (PHYS-320)

Selected topics from thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and statistical methods. This course normally will be offered in alternate years. The course may include a laboratory. Prerequisite: Physics 200 or consent. (Not offered every year)

Introductory Quantum Mechanics (PHYS-330)

A first course including solutions of the Schroedinger Equation for some elementary systems, followed by an introduction to the more abstract methods of Quantum Mechanics. Prerequisites: Physics 305-306, Physics 201 or Math 231 or consent. (Fall Semester)

Advanced Topics (PHYS-340)

Independent work on selected topics at the advanced level under the guidance of individual staff members. May be taken for a maximum of four semester hours of credit. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of chairperson.

Special Topics in Physics (PHYS-345)

Topics will be chosen according to the interests of the staff member offering the course from such areas as energy, the solid state, laser physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, geophysics and medical physics. The course normally will be offered on demand. May be repeated with consent of chairperson. Prerequisite: Physics 122 or 127 or consent.

Directed Study (PHYS-361)

Prerequisite: Consent of chairperson.

Directed Study (PHYS-362)

Prerequisite: Consent of chairperson.

Independent Study (PHYS-363)

Independent Study (PHYS-364)

Advanced Topics in Physics (PHYS-399)

A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.

Physics Seminar (PHYS-400)

Current topics in physics. May be repeated. (Spring Semester)

Advanced Dynamics (PHYS-405)

A course extending the work of PHYS 305 to include the more general formulations of classical dynamics and to relate these to modern theoretical physics. Prerequisite: Physics 305 or consent. (Not offered every year)

Electromagnetic Theory (PHYS-406)

A course extending the work of PHYS 306 to include more general boundary value problems, additional implications of Maxwell's equations, and the wave aspects of electromagnetic radiation, including topics in modern physical optics. Prerequisite: Physics 306 or consent. (Not offered every year)

Senior Research (PHYS-451)

Prerequisite: Physics 312 or consent of chairperson.

Senior Research (PHYS-452)

Prerequisite: Physics 312 or consent of chairperson.

Teaching Methods in Physics (PHYS-470)

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the basic methods used to teach physics. This course is primarily for those majoring in physics, astronomy and pre-engineering. One-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: Physics 121-122 or 126. (Not offered every year)