Physics

Physics Course Descriptions

Course Offerings (PHEN)

100. Physics for Video Games (3) is an introduction to the laws of physics needed to produce video games with compelling realism. Topics include kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, conservation of momentum, conservation of energy, rotational dynamics, video analysis, measurement, curve fitting, graphical interpretation, programming and simulation development. No programming experience is required. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisite: High school algebra.

101. Conceptual Physics (4) is a conceptual-based introduction to classical physics. Topics include mechanics, properties of matter, thermodynamics, waves, sound, electricity, magnetism, and optics. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: High school algebra.

110. Introduction to Physics and Engineering (2) is an introduction to the physics and engineering profession. Basics of ethics, engineering design, engineering graphics, and presentation skills are studied. Students work in teams on a hands-on design project. One hour of lecture and two hours of laboratory. 121,

122.Classical Physics I, II (4, 4) is for science and engineering majors: a calculus-based presentation of kinematics, mechanics, and thermodynamics in the first semester, followed by sound, light, and electromagnetism in the second semester. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Recommended Co-requisites: MATH 190 for PHEN 121 and MATH 200 for PHEN 122.

150. Introduction to Astronomy (4) is an introduction to the science of astronomy and the scientific method. Topics include the history of astronomy, light and matter, astronomical instruments, the solar system, stellar characterization, stellar evolution, and the interstellar medium. The course concludes with a brief survey of galaxies and cosmology. A weekly laboratory may be complemented by outdoor observing. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory.

200. The Ideas of Modern Physics (3) is a conceptual introduction to the ideas of physics from the last 100 years. The course begins with an overview of classical physics and the scientific method and then explores the past century’s most important discoveries and their applications. Topics include special and general relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, particle physics, cosmology, and string theory. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisite: High school algebra.

203. Modern Physics (4) is a survey of 20th century physics: quantum mechanics with applications to nuclear, atomic, molecular, and solid state physics. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: 122 and MATH 200.

210. Statics & Dynamics (4) studies forces and moments that act on rigid bodies and the conditions that produce equilibrium and non-equilibrium. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: 121. Co-requisite: MATH 200.

235. Electronics (4) is an introduction to electrical measurements, electric circuit theory, semiconductor devices and circuits, and analog and digital circuits. 3 hours of lecture and 2 hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: 122, MATH 200.

300. Material Science (4) examines the relationship between atomic structure, crystal structure, and microstructure of solids with their physical properties (mechanical, thermal, optical, electrical, and magnetic). Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: 203.

310. Optics (4) studies the ray, wave, and photon nature of light and selected optical instruments. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: 203.

320. Thermodynamics (4) examines the properties of a pure substance, work and heat, the first law of thermodynamics, control volume analysis, entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, power and refrigeration systems and heat transfer. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: 121, MATH 310.

330. Principles of Design (3) introduces engineering science students to the design process: formulation of a problem, creative approaches to solving the problem, analysis, materials selection, and economics. Prerequisite: Declared major or minor in Engineering Science or instructor permission.

340. Theoretical Physics I (3) introduces the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of mechanics and the formalism of quantum mechanics. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisites: 203, 210, MATH 230.

350. Special Topics in Physics and Engineering (1-3) Prerequisite: Declared major or minor in Engineering Science or Physics or instructor permission.

360. Strength of Materials (3) is an introduction to the fundamental concepts and mechanics of deformable solids. Topics include stresses and strains in solids, material behavior, shear forces and bending moments, deflection of beams, torsion of circular shafts, Mohr’s circle for plane stress, pressure vessels, column buckling, statically indeterminate structures, centroids and moments of inertia. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisite: 210.

370. Electromagnetics (3) studies electricity, magnetism, and their interrelationships. Applications to the design and operation of electromagnetic components and systems are emphasized. Prerequisite: 122, MATH 310.

405. Signals and Systems (3) is an introduction to basic concepts of signals, system modeling, and system classification. Convolution, response of linear time-invariant (LTI) systems, impulse response are presented. Emphasis is given to frequency-domain analysis of continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems: Fourier series, Fourier, Laplace and z-transforms. Prerequisite: 235, MATH 320.

410. Measurements (4) is an introduction to sensors, interface electronics, data acquisition, calibration and response, probability, statistics, uncertainty analysis and regression. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: 235.

415. Control Systems (3) introduces the analysis and design of control systems. Characteristics, performance, and stability of feedback control systems are studied. Mathematical and state-variable modeling and the root locus and frequency response methods are emphasized. Prerequisite: 405.

420. Fluid Mechanics (4) is an introduction to the fundamental principles and applications of hydrostatics and fluid flow. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: 210, MATH 320.

425. Introduction to Electrical Power Systems (3) is an introduction to the analysis of magnetic circuits and polyphase balanced power systems. Topics include transformers and power transmission lines. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisite: 370.

430. Theoretical Physics II (3) introduces statistical thermodynamics and elaborates on the formalism of electromagnetism. Three hours of lecture. Prerequisites: 320, 400.

490. Introduction to Senior Project (1) prepares students for their Senior Project by stepping them through the process of writing and presenting a proposal for a design or research project. Students are required to (1) periodically present their progress on preparing their proposal, (2) submit their finished proposal, and (3) present it to students in the Introduction to Physics and Engineering course. 1 hour of lecture. Prerequisite: 330 for Engineering Science majors, 340 for Physics majors, or EDUC 394 for Physics Education majors.

495. Senior Project (3) is the capstone course for the Physics and Engineering Science programs. Working as individuals or in teams in consultation with departmental faculty, students execute the design or research project they proposed in the Introduction to Senior Project course. Students are required to (1) periodically present their progress on implementing their proposal, (2) present a poster that describes their project for the Homer A. Anderson Family Science Colloquium series, and (3) submit a final report for their project. Prerequisite: 490.

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