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Physics (PHY) Course Descriptions

PHY 106: Astronomy.
Goal: To present the principles of astronomy by emphasizing the process of scientific discovery, analysis and synthesis that led to current theories of the origin and structure of the universe.
Content: The astronomical observations and physical processes relevant to the study of the origin and structure of the universe.
Prerequisites: MAT 130 or placement into MAT 140 or MAT 205.
Taught: Spring or Fall, alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Natural World; (SM).
Credit: 4 hours.
 
PHY 115, 115L: College Physics I.
Goal: To introduce the principles of classical physics and their applications in modern technology and everyday life using an algebra-based formalism. To enhance critical thinking skills through problem solving.
Content: The principles of Newtonian Mechanics including translational and rotational motion, force, torque, momentum and mechanical energy.
Prerequisites: MAT 140 or placement into MAT 205.
Taught: Fall alternate years.
Credit: 4 hours.
 
PHY 116, 116L: College Physics II.
Goal: To introduce the principles of classical physics and their applications in modern technology and everyday life using an algebra-based formalism. To enhance critical thinking skills through problem solving.
Content: The principles of electricity and magnetism.
Taught: Spring alternate years.
Prerequisite: PHY 115.
Credit: 4 hours.

PHY 121, 121L: General Physics I.
Goal: To introduce the principles of classical physics and their applications in modern technology and everyday life using a calculus-based formalism. To enhance critical thinking skills through problem solving.
Content: The principles of Newtonian Mechanics including translational and rotational motion, force, torque, momentum and mechanical energy.
Taught: Fall.
Prerequisites: MAT 205, MAT 206 co-requisite. Students enrolled in PHY 121 must also enroll in PHY 121 Lab.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Natural World; (SM).
Credit: 4 hours.

PHY 122, 122L: General Physics II.
Goal: To introduce the principles of classical physics and their applications in modern technology and everyday life using an calculus-based formalism. To enhance critical thinking skills through problem solving.
Content: The principles of electricity and magnetism.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisites: PHY 121 and MAT 206.
Credit: 4 hours.

PHY 200: Introduction to Astronomical Observation.
Goal: Introduction to observational astronomy and the use of astronomical instruments and observing aids for collection, analysis, and interpretation of astronomical data.
Content: A hands-on introduction to the concepts and practice of observational astronomy with small telescopes: Celestial coordinates, simple optics, telescope operation, CCD Imaging and image processing.
Taught: Fall, Alternate years.
Prerequisite: MAT 140.
Credit: 2 hours.

PHY 205: Periodic Motion and Waves.
Goal: To extend the concepts and techniques presented in PHY 121 and PHY 122.
Content: The study of periodic and wave motion, light and optics.
Taught: Fall. Alternate years.
Prerequisites: PHY 122, or, with departmental approval, PHY 116 and MAT 205.
Credit: 4 hours.

PHY 212: Modern Physics.
Goal: To understand the principles of modern physics.
Content: The development of modern physics, with emphasis on relativity, the kinetic theory of matter, quantum theory, the Schroedinger equation, and atomic physics.
Taught: Spring. Alternate years.
Prerequisites: PHY 122, or, with departmental approval, PHY 116 and MAT 205.
Credit: 4 hours.

PHY 305: Classical Dynamics.
Goal: This course will provide students with a complete set of analytical tools for the study of classical dynamical systems. Particular emphasis will be placed on the reformulation of dynamics by Hamilton and Lagrange.
Content: Applications of Newton's Laws to oscillatory systems, motion under the influence of central forces, and rigid body motion. Calculus of Variations. The Lagrange and Hamiltonian formulations of dynamics.
Taught: Fall. Alternate years.
Prerequisites: PHY 122, MAT 300.
Credit: 3 hours.

PHY 350: Quantum Mechanics.
Goal: To provide students with an introduction to the concepts and mathematical techniques of quantum mechanics.
Content: Introduction to the concepts and mathematical techniques of quantum mechanics. Topics will include solutions of the Schroedinger equation, matrix mechanics, quantum measurement, and the theory of angular momentum and spin, with applications to systems in atomic and nuclear physics.
Taught: Spring. Alternate years.
Prerequisites: PHY 212, MAT 300.
Credit: 3 hours.
 
PHY 361: Thermodynamics.
Goal: To examine the principles of chemical thermodynamics and their applications to phase and reaction equilibrium.                                
Content: An in-depth study of the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics, and their application to chemical systems at equilibrium.
Taught: Fall.                                                                   
Prerequisites: CHM 102, PHY 122 (or 116), and MAT 206. 
Credit: 3 hours; Cross-listed as CHM361.
 

PHY 396: Special Topics in Physics.
Goal: To explore at an advanced level the principles and applications of a sub-discipline of modern physics.
Content: An in-depth examination of an area in advanced physics. The topic covered will vary from time to time. Representative special topics include astrophysics, biophysics, statistical physics, and nuclear and particle physics.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: PHY 212 or permission of the instructor.
Credit: 3 hours. A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.

PHY 451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To enable an intensive exploration of a topic of special interest. To promote original, independent, creative, and critical thinking. To solve real problems in a scientific manner. To provide an opportunity to conduct independent laboratory work and to learn new techniques.
Content: Directed independent work of a critical or analytical nature. Under careful faculty supervision, qualified students are encouraged to develop originality of thought and thoroughness of method. Some emphasis on research methods.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Approval of department chair.
Credit: 1-6 hours.

PHY 452/199: Field Study.
Goal: To afford professional experience as a physicist in an academic or industrial setting.
Content: Applied areas in physics or physics-related employment. May be elected for internship credit. The student submits a brief plan including objectives, anticipated activities, a list of readings, and the nature of reports to be submitted to the sponsor.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: Approval of department chair.
Credit: 1-12 hours.

PHY 499: Honors Thesis. (Fee Required).

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