PY 100. The Planets (3)
Basic sky phenomena, cultural aspects of astronomy and history of astronomy to Newton, the solar system. Emphasis given to principles underlying diversity of astronomical objects, as well as the processes by which astronomical knowledge has been gained. A general education course. Three lectures per week.
PY 101. Stars and Galaxies (3)
Astronomical optics; gravity; the structure, composition and evolution of stars; galaxies and cosmology. Emphasis given to principles underlying structure and behavior of stars and galaxies, as well as processes by which astronomical knowledge has been gained. A general education course. Three lectures per week.
PY 104. Planets Laboratory (1)
Taken in conjunction with PY 100. Introduction to experimental measurements, astronomical optics and astronomical observations. One two-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: PY 100.
PY 105. Stars and Galaxies Laboratory (1)
Taken in conjunction with PY 101. Introduction to experimental measurements, astronomical optics and astronomical observations. One two-hour laboratory per week. Corequisite: PY 101.
PY 106. Physics of Sports (4)
Investigation of how the world around us behaves and the physics behind various sporting activities. Among the topics explored in the course will be: Why does a curveball curve? Why do swimmers spend so much time on their “form”? Why do high jumpers flop backwards over the bar? The course will involve lecture, interactive discussion, and in-class hands-on laboratory investigations of physical principles and may change meeting locations to participate in sporting activities. Prerequisite: University mathematics competency requirement must be satisfied prior to enrollment.
PY 111. College Physics (Algebra Based) I (4)
A study of the nature of physics, specifically focusing on kinematics, dynamics, and rotational motion. Three lectures and one laboratory period each week. Primarily for students pursuing degrees in pre-health professional programs and biology (interested students should consult with their advisor and the pre-professional advisor before taking this course). Prerequisite: high school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, or college equivalent.
PY 112. College Physics II (Algebra Based) (4)
A continuation of PY 111 covering topics from light, electromagnetism, and modern physics. Three lectures and one laboratory period each week. Primarily for students pursuing degrees in pre-health professional programs and biology (interested students should consult with their advisor and the pre-professional advisor before taking this course). Prerequisite: PY 111.
PY 151. University Physics I (Calculus Based) (4)
Primarily for majors in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering and pre-medicine. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, gravitation, rotation, and harmonic motion. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Corequisite: MA 140.
PY 152. University Physics II (Calculus Based) (4)
A continuation of PY 151. Topics include electric fields, electric potential, magnetic fields, DC circuits, waves, and optics. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Corequisite: MA 240. Prerequisite: PY 151.
PY 253. Modern Physics (4)
A study of the revolutions in physics since the late 19th century. Topics include special relativity, radioactivity, atomic and nuclear physics, and introductions to quantum mechanics and particle physics. The laboratory includes an introduction to Mathematica, LaTeX, journal articles, and seminar presentations. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: PY 152.
PY 262. Experimental Physics I - Electronics (4)
A practical study of circuit theory, oscillators, amplifiers and circuit design. Designed to meet the particular interests of the student. Two lectures and a two-hour lab. Prerequisite: PY 253 or consent of instructor.
PY 300. Astrophysics (4)
Calculus-based intermediate level course in astronomy and astrophysics. Topics include celestial mechanics, electromagnetic radiation and matter, distances and magnitudes, binary systems, Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, stellar evolution, and the large-scale structure of the universe. Includes observing project. Prerequisite: PY 152 and MA 240.
PY 303. Physical Chemistry I (3)
The first course in physical chemistry. Topics include the laws of thermodynamics, elementary statistical thermodynamics, equilibrium, surface chemistry and physical chemistry of macromolecules. CH 351 and 353 are companion laboratory courses. Cross-listed with CH 303. Prerequisite: MA 240 and PY 253.
PY 304. Physical Chemistry II (3)
Continuation of PY 303. Emphasis on quantum mechanics as applied to theories of chemical bonding and spectroscopy. Chemical kinetics also is covered. Three lectures per week. Cross-listed with CH 304. CH 351 and 353 are companion laboratory courses. Prerequisite: PY 303.
325. Mathematical Physics (3)
We will discuss applications of mathematics to various areas of physics. Topics may include vector calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, series solutions to differential equations, Fourier series, special functions, and calculus of variations. The primary audience for this course is sophomore and junior majors who are preparing to take Analytical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, or Quantum Mechanics, although applied mathematics majors may find the course useful. Cross-listed with MA 325. Prerequisites: PY 152 and MA 240, or consent of instructor. Recommended Co-Requisites: MA 250 and/or MA 303.
PY 352. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (3)
An intermediate-level survey of classical Newtonian mechanics. Conservative forces, damped and forced oscillations, momentum and energy theorem, central force problem, orbits, two-body collisions, special coordinate systems, and scattering and coupled oscillations. Vector analysis, axial rotating rigid bodies, gravitation, moments of inertia, rotating coordinate systems, continuous media, and Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. Prerequisite: PY 253. Corequisite: MA 250 or consent of instructor.
PY 362. Experimental Physics II (3)
A more advanced laboratory course where students will only do 2 or 3 experiments, going into much more detail, and focusing on experimental design, data analysis, and written and oral presentation of results. The course will include an introduction to National Instruments’ LabView. Prerequisite: PY 262 or consent of instructor.
PY 381, 382. Advanced Topics in Physics (1-3)
Study of a topic chosen jointly by the student and the instructor. May be done as an independent study or as a regular class, depending on interest. Possible topics include advanced quantum mechanics, particle physics, optics, statistical mechanics, or anything that is of joint interest of the student and the instructor. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and Department Chair.
PY 403. Electromagnetism I (3)
The first half of a two-semester sequence covering the basis of classic electromagnetic theory as well as special relativity. Topics include vector analysis, electrostatics and energy, boundary value problems, dielectric media, electric currents, magnetism, and concludes with Maxwell’s Equations. Prerequisite: PY 253 and MA 305 or PY 325, or consent of instructor.
PY 404. Electromagnetism II (3)
The second half of a two-semester sequence covering the basis of classic electromagnetic theory as well as special relativity. Topics include applications of Maxwell’s equations, such properties of electromagnetic waves in vacuo and in matter, vector and scalar potentials, Lorentz transformations, and other topics in special relativity. Prerequisite: PY 403.
PY 406. Quantum Mechanics (3)
An introduction to the methods of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger's wave equation, wave mechanics, the hydrogen atom, spin and quantum dynamics. Prerequisite: PY 253 and MA 305 or PY 325, or consent of instructor.
PY 481, 482. Senior Research (2)
An advanced research project performed under the supervision of a faculty member. Research should include a literature search, written report, and oral presentation. Research may be either theoretical or experimental. PY 482 (offered in the spring) is required for all physics majors. Those planning to do a senior honors thesis or who intend to perform more extensive research should take both 481 and 482. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and Department Chair.