Course Descriptions

101, 102. General Physics

A broad study of classical and modern physics including all major fields. The mathematical description utilizes geometry, trigonometry, algebra and calculus. Lectures: three hours; laboratory, three hours. Corequisites: Mathematics 101, 102. (Credit, full course.) Hart.

103. Modern Mechanics

This course begins with the conservation of momentum and energy. It deals with energy and gravitational interactions, and emphasizes the atomic structure of matter, and the modeling of materials as particles connected by springs. The course is designed for engineering and science students. The main goal of this course, which is formatted with an integrated lab-lecture (studio) approach, is to have the students engage in a process central to science — the attempt to model a broad range of physical phenomena using a small set of powerful fundamental principles. The course counts in fulfillment of the general distribution requirement for a laboratory science course. The course is not open for credit to students who have earned credit for Phys 101. Prerequisite: Freshman status or permission of instructor. Co-requisite: Math 101. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro, Peterson

104. Electric and Magnetic Interactions

This course deals with electric and magnetic fields. The main goal of this course, which is formatted with an integrated lab-lecture (studio) approach, is to have the students engage in a process central to science — the attempt to model a broad range of physical phenomena using a small set of powerful fundamental principles. The course is designed for engineering and science students. The course counts in fulfillment of the general distribution requirement for a laboratory science course. The course is not open for credit to students who have earned credit for Phys 102. Prerequisite: Freshman status, Phys 103, and Math 101 — or permission of instructor. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro, Peterson

105. Environmental Physics

A study of the basic physical principles which control the transport of matter and energy in the environment. An analysis of conduction, convection and radiation as transport mechanisms follows an introduction to thermodynamic and mechanical principles. Various sources of energy are discussed. Projects involve the use of computers for modeling and for the acquisition of data. (Credit , full course.) Hart

110. Our Place in the Universe: An Introduction to the Science of Astronomy
A consideration of how planet Earth fits into its solar system, its galaxy, and the larger cosmos. Evening sessions allow observations of asteroids, comets, galaxies, novae, supernovae and gamma ray bursts. The course includes image analysis for scientific data. A student may not receive credit for Physics 149 or 250 after completing this course or for this course if either of those has been taken. Four meetings per week. This First Year Program course is designed for freshmen only. (Credit, full course.) Durig

111. How Things Work

The course offers a non-conventional view of science that starts with objects of everyday experience and looks inside them to explore what makes them work. It is designed to help liberal arts students establish a connection between science and their world, bringing science to students rather than the reverse. Students will work in cooperative learning groups and present a final project focused on a device or process of their interest. The course is a non-laboratory course which can serve in partial fulfillment of the general distribution requirement in natural science. (Credit, full course). Szapiro, Peterson.

120. The Science of Music

An introductory course on musical acoustics which includes the principles of sound production, propagation, and perception through inquiry-based methods. The ways in which different sounds are produced are explored through experimentation with both existing and student-constructed instruments (e.g., string, woodwind, brass, percussion). Modern digital music technologies and concepts are also introduced as well as issues related to room and concert hall acoustics. This non-laboratory course serves in partial fulfillment of the general distribution requirement in natural science. No prerequisite. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro

123. Introduction to Fractals and Chaos

A study of the beauty and generality of nonlinear processes, from the point of view of fractals and chaos. Examples from art, economics, medicine, history, and traditional sciences will be explored through demonstrations and models. This is a one semester, non-laboratory course; no prerequisite (Credit, full course.) Szapiro.

149. Survey of Astronomy

A one semester, non-laboratory course intended for nonscience majors. The topics covered include the history of astronomy, the physics of astronomy, and current developments in this dynamic field. There will be a out-of-class assignment to visit the observatory for a two hour observing session twice a month on public viewing nights or during regularly schedule biweekly observing sessions. (Credit, full course.) Durig.

201. Optics

A study of the fundamental principles of geometrical and physical optics. Extensive use of lasers and holography form the basis of the laboratory. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, three hours. (Credit, full course.) Peterson.

202. Thermodynamics

Classical thermodynamics theory with applications and an introduction to statistical mechanics. Corequisite: Mathematics 207. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, three hours. (Credit, full course.) Peterson.

203, 204. Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism

The electric and magnetic fields produced by simple charge and current distributions are calculated. Alternating and direct current circuits with passive and active components are tested. Prerequisites Physics 101, 102, and Mathematics 101, 102. (Credit, full course.) Peterson.

250. Introductory Astronomy II

A study of the development of astronomy from ancient to modern times. Special emphasis is placed on the solar system, in particular to mathematical and physical models used in its description. No prerequisites. Open to all students, but designed to meet the needs and abilities of a science major. Satisfies the physical science requirements. Lecture, three hours; laboratory in the Observatory, full course. (Credit, full course.) Durig.

251. Introductory Astronomy II

Stellar and galactic astronomy. Comparisons and tests of physical models applied to astronomy using photographically obtained data and the limitations of this tool as a method of analysis will be stressed in the accompanying laboratory. Prerequisite Physics 250. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, three hours. (Credit, full course without laboratory; or full course with the laboratory.) Durig.

303. Mechanics

A required course for physics majors and most engineering students. Mathematical methods are emphasized. Prerequisite: Physics 101 and 102, Math 207. Lecture, three hours. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro.

304. Theoretical Mechanics

Moving coordinate systems, rigid body dynamics, Lagrangian mechanics, and variational principles. Prerequisite: Physics 303. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro.

307, 308. Introduction to Modern Physics

A survey of important developments in physics during the twentieth century, including general and special relativity, superconductivity, quantum theory and its applications to the description of the atomic and subatomic world. Prerequisite Physics 101, 102. Lecture, three hours; laboratory, three hours. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro.

312. Seminar

A series of lectures by faculty, students, and invited speakers. Every student is expected to present at least one talk on a topic of his or her choice in physics. Required for physics majors in their junior and senior years. The public is invited. Offered Spring 1993 and alternate years. (Credit, half course.) Staff.

401. Quantum Mechanics and Modern Physics

The mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics is developed and applied to potential wells, the harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom. Dirac notation is introduced and used in the description of angular momentum and electron spin. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro.

407, 408. Physics Research

An introduction to research in physics through theoretical and experimental investigation of an original problem . The reporting of research work at seminars and professional meetings is encouraged. (Credit, variable each semester.) Staff.

410. Mathematical Methods in Physics

Vector spaces and linear operators, with applications. Fourier series, boundary value problems, orthogonal functions. Prerequisite: Mathematics 312, or permission of instructor. Also listed as Mathematics 410. (Credit, full course.) Szapiro.

412. Seminar

A series of lectures by faculty, students, and invited speakers. Every student is expected to present at least one talk on a topic of his or her choice in physics. Required for physics majors in their junior and senior years. The public is invited. Offered Spring 1994, and alternate years. (Credit, half course.) Staff.

421. Advanced Electromagnetic Theory

Boundary value problems in rectangular, spherical and cylindrical coordinates are discussed. The solutions of the wave equation for conducting and non-conducting media are applied to selected topics in optics and plasma physics. (Credit, full course.) Hart.

444. Independent Study

For selected students. (Credit, variable.) Staff