Physics Course Descriptions
This is a non-calculus based course covering the essentials of mechanics, waves, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism and light with an introduction to modern physics. Both a conceptual foundation and problem solving abilities are emphasized. Prerequisite: MAT 141-142 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Three hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Laboratory fee: $15. Four hours each.
This is the first of three semesters of the traditional calculus-based physics sequence for scientists and engineers. This course covers motion and Newton’s laws, energy, momentum, rigid-body mechanics, gravitation, simple harmonic motion, waves and sound. Prerequisite: MAT 145 or permission of instructor. Three hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Laboratory fee: $15. Four hours. ‘W’. LAB
This is the second semester of the calculus-based physics sequence for scientists and engineers, covering fluids, solids, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic radiation. Prerequisite: PHY 231, co-requisite: MAT 247 or permission of the instructor. Three hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Laboratory fee: $15. Four hours. ‘W’
This is a continuation of the calculus based physics sequence covering optics and the two “twin pillars” of modern physics: relativity and quantum theory, including simple kinematic and denamic investigations in special relativity, the twin paradox, a derivation of E = m c2, the historical developments of quantum theory, the Schroedinger equation and the solution to the hydrogen atom. Other topics may include curved space-time, black holes, gravitational waves, elementary particles, topics in solid state, nuclear and molecular physics. Prerequisites: PHY 232, MAT 247 or the permission of the instructor. Three hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Laboratory fee: $15. Four hours.
A study of equilibrium conditions with forces and torques in two- and three-dimensional space. Topics included are statics of particles, moments and equivalent systems of forces, equilibrium of rigid bodies, distributed forces, analysis of structures, forces in beams, friction, stress and strain, axially loading, torsion and bending of beams. Prerequisites: PHY 231 and MAT 146. Three hours.
A study of non-equilibrium conditions with forces and torques in two- and three-dimensional space. Topics included are kinematics of particles and rigid bodies in plane motion, relationships of acceleration, velocity, angular acceleration and angular velocity, curvilinear motion, relative motion and acceleration, equations of motion, work and energy, and impulse and momentum principles. Prerequisite: PHY 321. Three hours.
Thermodynamics concepts are introduced before studying work interactions, steady-state, transient energy, mass conservation, entropy and the second law. Second-law analyses are applied to thermodynamic systems. Selected gas cycles and vapor cycles are studied. Prerequisites: MAT 247 and PHY 232, or the permission of the instructor. Three hours.
An introduction to electric circuit elements and electronic devices and a study of circuits containing such devices. Both analog and digital systems are considered. Prerequisite: PHY 232. Co-requisite: MAT 348. Three hours.
Overview of electricity and magnetism; topics may include static and quasistatic electromagnetic fields in vacua and in dielectric and magnetic media, electromagnetic waves and radiation. Prerequisite: PHY 232. Three hours.
Continuation of PHY 341. Prerequisite: PHY 341. Three hours.
A study of elementary principles of quantum mechanics, including Schroedinger equation, one-dimensional problems, harmonic oscillator, angular momentum, Hilbert spaces, matrix mechanics, spin and perturbation theory. Prerequisite: PHY 233 or permission of the instructor. Three hours each semester.
A study of topics in applied mathematics possibly including complex variables, special functions, partial differential equations, Fourier series, group representation theory, numerical and approximation methods, and Green functions. Prerequisite: MAT 258. Four hours.
This course examines properties of the crystalline state and the free-electron; band theories of metals, insulators, and semiconductors. Co-requisite: PHY 351 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
Advanced topics in mechanics are examined possibly including: coupled oscillations, calculus of variations, generalized coordinates, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, rigid-body motion, and/or motion in non-inertial reference frames. Prerequisites: PHY 321-322 or permission of the instructor. Three hours.
A concentration in selected fields of study in physics. Prerequisite: senior standing or permission of instructor. Three or four hours each.
A study of the basic concepts and techniques in the statistical mechanical description of thermodynamics. Prerequisites: PHY 231-233 and COS 130. Three hours.
Students complete an individual research project conducted and reported under supervision of a faculty member. Six hours laboratory. Laboratory fee: $15. Three hours.
See PHY 490 for a description. This zero credit option is for those who wish to place the course on their official schedule, so as to avoid being scheduled for student employment or some other obligation during the time of science seminar. Students who are not giving a talk should not take the course for credit. Pass/Fail. Repeatable. Zero hours.
Majors are expected to take science seminar, either PHY 480 or PHY 490, at least once as a junior and once as a senior, and are required to take the course one time for credit to satisfy the ‘S‘ requirement. All physics majors are expected to participate at some level. The course consists of presentations reviewing current literature, advanced physics lab reports, senior integration papers, and other topics of current interest in science. Repeatable. One hour. ‘S’
This course studies the historical, philosophical and theological considerations on science. This includes an examination of major shifts in scientific thinking from the Early Modern period to the present with critique from a Christian perspective. Prerequisites: PHY 231-233 and junior standing. Two hours.