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Course Descriptions

PHYS 117 Physical Science Laboratory
This laboratory course illustrates the scientific method through a series of experiments into physical phenomena. As a companion course to PHYS 137 Physical Science, it provides students an opportunity to view science as a process and not just a body of knowledge. This course also provides prospective teachers with a model for the methods and materials of teaching science. This course fulfills the laboratory requirement for certification in Elementary Education (P-5). One and a half laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: PHYS 137 recommended, but not required. Credit, 1 hour. Offered fall and spring semesters.

PHYS 137. Physical Science
This introductory course integrates physics, chemistry, and earth sciences to emphasize general principles and their application to real-world situations. As the magnificent order of the physical world is demonstrated, the scientific method is highlighted as a powerful means to discover knowledge that can help us understand and shape our world. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: None. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

PHYS 140. Astronomy
This introductory course investigates the observations and theories of astronomy. The success of the scientific method is demonstrated through the logical application of the laws of science to construct an understanding of our universe. A descriptive study of our solar system and Milky Way galaxy is highlighted by observation sessions. Three lectures and one and a half laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: None. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

PHYS 241. Physics I
This algebra-based, introductory course investigates physical phenomena primarily associated with motion, forces, momentum, energy, waves, and thermodynamics. Specific topics are chosen that emphasize the interests of students from physics, chemistry, engineering, medicine, and related fields. Problem solving and the scientific method are stressed throughout the course. Three lectures and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: grade of C or better in MATH 132, MATH 136, or a calculus course. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

PHYS 242. Physics II
This algebra-based, introductory course (a continuation of PHYS 241 Physics I) investigates physical phenomena primarily associated with electricity, magnetism, optics, and quantum physics. Specific topics are chosen that emphasize the interests of students from physics, chemistry, engineering, medicine, and related fields. Problem solving and the scientific
method are stressed throughout the course. Three lectures and three laboratory hours per week. Prerequisite: grade of C or better in PHYS 241. Credit, 4 hours. Offered fall and spring semesters.

PHYS 330. Classical Physics
This calculus-based, intermediate course provides a thorough quantitative understanding of physical phenomena primarily associated with mechanics and electromagnetism. This course expands upon the course content of PHYS 241 Physics I and PHYS 242 Physics II. Collectively, these three courses are equivalent to the traditional two-semester, calculus-based physics sequence. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 242 and MATH 240. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester.

PHYS 332. Experimental Physics
This laboratory course provides an experimental component to the undergraduate physics curriculum. Emphasis is placed on experiment design, error analysis, model evaluation, and professional presentations. Six laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 242 and MATH 240. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester of odd years.

PHYS 335. Quantum Physics
This calculus-based, intermediate course provides a thorough quantitative understanding of physical phenomena associated with quantum theory. Specific topics include light quanta (photons), matter waves, the Schrödinger equation, the Bohr theory, and hydrogenic atoms. An introduction to relativity is also included. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 242 and MATH 241. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester.

PHYS 337. Electronics
This laboratory course explores both analog and digital electronics. Specific analog topics include a review of passive components, diodes, transistors, amplifiers, and multivibrators. Specific digital topics include logic gates, flip-flops, registers, pulse generation, memory, and microprocessors. Six laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 242 and MATH 240. Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester of even years.

PHYS 410. Science and Society
This seminar course investigates the effect of scientific developments on society, religion, technology, and the environment; the role of science in the history of mankind; and the relationships between the sciences. Society’s perception of scientists and the resulting impact on the development of ideas and support of research are discussed. May be repeated for up to three hours credit. Prerequisite: Junior or senior with a major or minor in biology, chemistry,  mathematics, or physics.  Credit, 1 hour. Offered fall semester.

PHYS 430. Classical Mechanics
This traditional course considers the basic experimental laws of mechanics as stated by Sir Isaac Newton and the development of the mathematical formalism that describes these laws. Specific topics include motion of a particle in one dimension, harmonic oscillation, motion in three dimensions, a noninertial reference system, and a central force field. A brief introduction of Lagrangian mechanics is included. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 330 and MATH 241. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester of odd years.

PHYS 431. Electromagnetism
This traditional course develops the mathematical formalism of Maxwell’s equations from basic experimental laws of electricity and magnetism. Specific topics include the electrostatics of conductors and dielectrics, energy considerations electrodynamics electromagnetism, and  magnetism. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 330 and MATH 241. Credit, 3 hours. Offered fall semester of even years.

PHYS 436. Lasers
This application course describes the theory and applications of lasers beginning with the underlying electromagnetic theory. Laser action in terms of photon emission and population inversion is developed from atomic structure and quantum statistics. A variety of lasers are described both in terms of their design and application. Prerequisites: grades of C or better
in PHYS 335 and MATH 430 (may be concurrent). Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring semester of even years.

PHYS 439. Applications of Nuclear Physics
This application course explores the nucleus of the atom and how its properties can be applied. Specific topics include nuclear physical properties, nuclear reactions, decay, fission, fusion, and interaction of radiation with matter. Applications of these topics include nucleosynthesis, nuclear reactors, radioactive dating, and biological effects of nuclear radiation. Prerequisites: grades of C or better in PHYS 335 and MATH 430 (may be concurrent). Credit, 3 hours. Offered spring  semester of odd years.

PHYS 490. Selected Topics in Physics
This course explores selected topics in physics. Topics may include thermodynamics, optics, Lagrangian mechanics, electromagnetic fields and waves, waves and vibrations, relativity, robotics, statistical physics, quantum mechanics, computational physics, medical physics, experimental physics, atomic physics, honors research, or current research areas of interest.
Prerequisite: Topic dependent. Credit, 1 to 3 hours. Offered only as needed as determined by physics faculty.

 

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