2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Applied Physics Major

Physics Major

Physics Minor

Two different majors in the Department of Physics provide opportunities for students to study the theoretical and applied nature of physics from within a broad liberal arts context. The courses of study in these majors prepare students for a variety of challenging and rewarding careers, not only in the fields of science and technology, but also in education, engineering and computer science, as well as careers emphasizing advanced analytical skills, such as business management, law, medical professions and ministry.

The physics major prepares a student for further study in graduate school or for a career in industry. A number of our graduates have used this route to prepare for study towards a master’s degree in engineering. Others have entered doctoral studies and subsequent vocations in higher education or research. Still others have gone directly into technical jobs in business such as electronics technicians or computer specialists.

The physics and mathematics major is a broad course of study in both physics and mathematics, designed especially for students interested in high school teaching. Upon completion of this program and the necessary education courses, a graduate can become certified to teach both physics and mathematics in high school.

The applied physics major is for students interested in technical careers. Depending on their interests, students will select one of three tracks within this major. The engineering physics track is designed for students preparing for further study in engineering or completing a dual-degree engineering program with Virginia Tech. Students interested in combining interests in physics, electronics and computer science should complete the physics and technology track. The physical science track gives a student a broad background in both physics and chemistry.

The department also offers students the opportunity to minor in physics, which can be a unique way of blending together an interest in traditionally non-science areas with an interest in physics. For example, students interested in careers in technical writing, patent law, philosophy or religion can combine studies in the humanities with physics. In addition, the department offers several courses in astronomy and physics that meet the general education needs of non-science majors.

Degree Type Offered: B.S. Major

Primarily for students interested in careers in engineering or technology. Students completing dual-degree programs may transfer appropriate engineering courses for physics courses at the discretion of the department and the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Required courses:

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: MATH-130 or MATH-132 or concurrent enrollment in MATH-131, MATH-132 respectively.

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-221 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

PHYS-300 Mathematical Methods in Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Series expansions, complex exponential functions, vector and partial derivatives, and transforms (eg, Fourier and Laplace). Methods and applications of differential equations (wave equation, boundary value problems, separation of variables, Sturm-Liouville type equations such as Bessel functions). Mathematical software (eg, Mathematica) is incorporated. Prerequisite: PHYS-221 Corequisite: MATH-132

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

A survey of 20th century physics. Topics include relativity, wave-particle dualism, Schroedinger equation, wave functions, spectra, nuclear physics and elementary particles. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Kinematics and dynamics in one, two and three dimensions including oscillating systems, central force motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, motion of rigid objects, and wave motion. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Study of differential calculus of a single variable. Applications of the derivative are made to curve sketching, max-min problems, and linear approximation, and I'Hopital's Rule. Also included are applications of the Intermediate Value Theorem and Mean Value Theorem. Credit may not be received for both MATH 130 and 131. Prerequisites: MATH-120 or satisfactory performance on placement test

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Study of integral calculus of a single variable. Included are techniques of integration and numerical methods of integration. Applications of the integral are made to computing area, volume, arc length, and selected topics. Prerequisite: MATH-131

In addition, complete the Senior Capstone requirement by choosing one of the following options:

PHYS-497 Senior Capstone Project I

**Credits:** 1
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Students design, develop, and present a project based on a theoretical, computational, and/or experimental problem in physics or applied physics. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a major in physics or applied physics, or permission of instructor

PHYS-498 Senior Capstone Project II

**Credits:** 2
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Students design, develop, and present a project based on a theoretical, computational, and/or experimental problem in physics or applied physics. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a major in physics or applied physics, or permission of instructor

-or-

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

Upon approval of the department and the division head, a student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or better may engage in an independent study or research project. One desiring to pursue independent study or research must submit a written description of the proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. At the end of the semester, the supervising professor files with the registrar a grade for the student and a description of the work accomplished. Credit may be received for not more than three independent studies or research projects.

-or-

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

An honors project is one in which a student researches a subject, by examination of relevant literature or by experimentation or both; the student reports the results in an accurately documented and well-written paper or appropriate representation of the work. Whenever the study deals with the subject of an established course, the student is expected to go well beyond the usual work of the course in research and in assimilation of the results as revealed in the report. Juniors and seniors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 or above may register for an honors project. One desiring to pursue an honors project must submit a written description of his or her proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. Upon the completion of the Honors Project, the student must present an oral defense of his or her project. The final grade must include a satisfactory performance on the oral defense, assessed by a three-faculty member team. The Project Advisor will authorize the make-up of the oral defense team and will assign the final grade on the project. The honors project title will be noted on the student's transcript. It is the student's responsibility to provide a copy of the written paper or appropriate representation of the work to the library in compliance with specifications approved by the Council on Education. The library director arranges for binding and storage.

-or-

**Credits:** 1
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

With prior permission of the Physics Department, a summer research experience in physics or a closely-related field may be used as the basis for a written thesis and oral defense. The thesis will demonstrate synthesis of previous coursework in the program and a professional level of writing and oral communication. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a major in physics or applied physics, or permission of instructor

Students must select additional courses as outlined in one of the following tracks:

Cannot be taken as a dual major with a major in physics.

Required courses:

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, periodicity, energy relationships and equilibria, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics, solubility, thermodynamics, kinetic molecular theory of gases, and the systematic study of families of elements. Three hours of lecture and one four-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: MATH-110, MATH-115 or MATH-118 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences Credit may not be received for both CHEM-125 and CHEM-161

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, periodicity, energy relationships and equilibria, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics, solubility, thermodynamics, kinetic molecular theory of gases, and the systematic study of families of elements. Three hours of lecture and one four-hour lab per week. Prerequisites: CHEM-161 or permission of the instructor FILA general education: natural and physical sciences Credit may not be received for both CHEM-125 and CHEM-161

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

This course is an introduction to computer programming using Java, a contemporary object-oriented language. Topics covered include the Java programming language ad fundamental concepts for algorithm and software design. These include problem-solving methods, procedural and data abstraction, top-down modular design and proper programming style. Students gain experience using these skills to design, code, debug, and document computer programs. The course contains 3 credit hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week.

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Course in fluid mechanics covering fluid properties, statics, and dynamics. Topics covered include hydrodynamics, viscous flows, potential flows, turbulence, and boundary layer analysis. Use of Bernoulli, Euler, and Navier-Stokes equations. Additional topics may include airfoil theory, shock waves, instabilities, and plasmas. Prerequisites: PHYS-300 and a minimum grades of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Continuation of Calculus I and II. Included are Taylor polynomials, infinite series, and polar coordinates. Also included is an introduction to multivariate calculus and multiple integrals. Prerequisite: MATH-132

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Introduction to multivariate calculus. Included are calculus of vector-valued functions and motion in space; limits, continuity, and partial derivatives of functions of several variables; vector fields, Green's Theorem, The Divergence Theorem, and Stokes' Theorem. Prerequisites: MATH 210 and 231

And two additional PHYS courses numbered 300 or above.

Cannot be taken as a dual major with a major in computer science or physics.

Required courses:

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

This course is an introduction to computer programming using Java, a contemporary object-oriented language. Topics covered include the Java programming language ad fundamental concepts for algorithm and software design. These include problem-solving methods, procedural and data abstraction, top-down modular design and proper programming style. Students gain experience using these skills to design, code, debug, and document computer programs. The course contains 3 credit hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week.

CSCI-200 Intermediate Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

This course will further develop and expand upon the topics introduced in CSCI 105. Topics will include object-oriented concepts such as inheritance, polymorphism and exception handling. Other topics include I/O, multithreading and graphical user interfaces. The object-oriented programming language Java will be used to illustrate these topics. Problem solving, algorithm development, program design, and testing are emphasized. The course contains 3 credit hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: CSCI-105 Corequisite: MATH-110

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Advanced programming techniques will be covered with extensive use of recursion and dynamic data structures. Abstract data types including lists, stacks, queues, trees and hash tables are studied. Algorithms for searching and sorting are explored. The topics in this course provide an essential foundation for the further study of computer science. The object-oriented programming language Java will be used to illustrate these topics. Prerequisites: CSCI-200 and MATH-120

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Analog electronics including diode and transistor operation, mathematical circuit analysis, operational amplifier applications. Two hours in class and six hours in lab per week. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Analysis and applications of digital circuits such as flip-flops, registers, counters and analog-to-digital converters leading to interfacing real-time data collection to computers. Prerequisites: PHYS-219 or PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

And three additional courses numbered 300 or above, chosen from courses with PHYS, CSCI, or CIS designations, with at least one course from PHYS.

Cannot be taken as a dual major with a major in chemistry or in physics.

Required courses:

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, periodicity, energy relationships and equilibria, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics, solubility, thermodynamics, kinetic molecular theory of gases, and the systematic study of families of elements. Three hours of lecture and one four-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: MATH-110, MATH-115 or MATH-118 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences Credit may not be received for both CHEM-125 and CHEM-161

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, periodicity, energy relationships and equilibria, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, kinetics, solubility, thermodynamics, kinetic molecular theory of gases, and the systematic study of families of elements. Three hours of lecture and one four-hour lab per week. Prerequisites: CHEM-161 or permission of the instructor FILA general education: natural and physical sciences Credit may not be received for both CHEM-125 and CHEM-161

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

This course is an introduction to computer programming using Java, a contemporary object-oriented language. Topics covered include the Java programming language ad fundamental concepts for algorithm and software design. These include problem-solving methods, procedural and data abstraction, top-down modular design and proper programming style. Students gain experience using these skills to design, code, debug, and document computer programs. The course contains 3 credit hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week.

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Continuation of Calculus I and II. Included are Taylor polynomials, infinite series, and polar coordinates. Also included is an introduction to multivariate calculus and multiple integrals. Prerequisite: MATH-132

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Introduction to multivariate calculus. Included are calculus of vector-valued functions and motion in space; limits, continuity, and partial derivatives of functions of several variables; vector fields, Green's Theorem, The Divergence Theorem, and Stokes' Theorem. Prerequisites: MATH 210 and 231

And three additional courses numbered 300 or above, chosen from courses with PHYS or CHEM designations (at least one course from each designation).

Degree Type Offered: B.S. Major

For students planning on graduate study in physics or engineering or a physics-related career in industry.

Required courses:

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: MATH-130 or MATH-132 or concurrent enrollment in MATH-131, MATH-132 respectively.

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-221 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

PHYS-300 Mathematical Methods in Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Series expansions, complex exponential functions, vector and partial derivatives, and transforms (eg, Fourier and Laplace). Methods and applications of differential equations (wave equation, boundary value problems, separation of variables, Sturm-Liouville type equations such as Bessel functions). Mathematical software (eg, Mathematica) is incorporated. Prerequisite: PHYS-221 Corequisite: MATH-132

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Analog electronics including diode and transistor operation, mathematical circuit analysis, operational amplifier applications. Two hours in class and six hours in lab per week. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

A survey of 20th century physics. Topics include relativity, wave-particle dualism, Schroedinger equation, wave functions, spectra, nuclear physics and elementary particles. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Kinematics and dynamics in one, two and three dimensions including oscillating systems, central force motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, motion of rigid objects, and wave motion. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

PHYS-331 Electricity and Magnetism

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Electrostatics, scalar potential, electric fields and energy in conductors and dielectrics, electric currents, magnetic fields and energy, leading up to Maxwell's equations and from there to electromagnetic radiation. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

-or-

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Schroedinger equation, square well, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom, matrix methods, angular momentum, spin, and approximation methods. Prerequisites: PHYS-308 and MATH-232 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

PHYS-345W Experimental Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** May Term

Classical and modern experiments give the student a basic understanding of experimental methods. Involves several lectures and extensive lab work. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350, ENG-110, PHYS-222, and MATH-132 FILA general education: writing intensive Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Study of differential calculus of a single variable. Applications of the derivative are made to curve sketching, max-min problems, and linear approximation, and I'Hopital's Rule. Also included are applications of the Intermediate Value Theorem and Mean Value Theorem. Credit may not be received for both MATH 130 and 131. Prerequisites: MATH-120 or satisfactory performance on placement test

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Study of integral calculus of a single variable. Included are techniques of integration and numerical methods of integration. Applications of the integral are made to computing area, volume, arc length, and selected topics. Prerequisite: MATH-131

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Continuation of Calculus I and II. Included are Taylor polynomials, infinite series, and polar coordinates. Also included is an introduction to multivariate calculus and multiple integrals. Prerequisite: MATH-132

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Introduction to multivariate calculus. Included are calculus of vector-valued functions and motion in space; limits, continuity, and partial derivatives of functions of several variables; vector fields, Green's Theorem, The Divergence Theorem, and Stokes' Theorem. Prerequisites: MATH 210 and 231

And two additional PHYS courses numbered 300 or above.

In addition, complete the Senior Capstone requirement by choosing one of the following options:

PHYS-497 Senior Capstone Project I

**Credits:** 1
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Students design, develop, and present a project based on a theoretical, computational, and/or experimental problem in physics or applied physics. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a major in physics or applied physics, or permission of instructor

PHYS-498 Senior Capstone Project II

**Credits:** 2
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

-or-

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

Upon approval of the department and the division head, a student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or better may engage in an independent study or research project. One desiring to pursue independent study or research must submit a written description of the proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. At the end of the semester, the supervising professor files with the registrar a grade for the student and a description of the work accomplished. Credit may be received for not more than three independent studies or research projects.

-or-

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

An honors project is one in which a student researches a subject, by examination of relevant literature or by experimentation or both; the student reports the results in an accurately documented and well-written paper or appropriate representation of the work. Whenever the study deals with the subject of an established course, the student is expected to go well beyond the usual work of the course in research and in assimilation of the results as revealed in the report. Juniors and seniors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 or above may register for an honors project. One desiring to pursue an honors project must submit a written description of his or her proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. Upon the completion of the Honors Project, the student must present an oral defense of his or her project. The final grade must include a satisfactory performance on the oral defense, assessed by a three-faculty member team. The Project Advisor will authorize the make-up of the oral defense team and will assign the final grade on the project. The honors project title will be noted on the student's transcript. It is the student's responsibility to provide a copy of the written paper or appropriate representation of the work to the library in compliance with specifications approved by the Council on Education. The library director arranges for binding and storage.

-or-

**Credits:** 1
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

With prior permission of the Physics Department, a summer research experience in physics or a closely-related field may be used as the basis for a written thesis and oral defense. The thesis will demonstrate synthesis of previous coursework in the program and a professional level of writing and oral communication. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a major in physics or applied physics, or permission of instructor

Students admitted to the Teacher Education Program may substitute EDU-470 to meet the Senior Capstone requirement.

Degree Type Offered: Minor

Required courses:

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Study of differential calculus of a single variable. Applications of the derivative are made to curve sketching, max-min problems, and linear approximation, and I'Hopital's Rule. Also included are applications of the Intermediate Value Theorem and Mean Value Theorem. Credit may not be received for both MATH 130 and 131. Prerequisites: MATH-120 or satisfactory performance on placement test

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Study of integral calculus of a single variable. Included are techniques of integration and numerical methods of integration. Applications of the integral are made to computing area, volume, arc length, and selected topics. Prerequisite: MATH-131

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: MATH-130 or MATH-132 or concurrent enrollment in MATH-131, MATH-132 respectively.

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-221 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

A survey of 20th century physics. Topics include relativity, wave-particle dualism, Schroedinger equation, wave functions, spectra, nuclear physics and elementary particles. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

And three additional PHYS courses numbered 300 or above.

Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School in Physics

CSCI-200 Intermediate Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

This course will further develop and expand upon the topics introduced in CSCI 105. Topics will include object-oriented concepts such as inheritance, polymorphism and exception handling. Other topics include I/O, multithreading and graphical user interfaces. The object-oriented programming language Java will be used to illustrate these topics. Problem solving, algorithm development, program design, and testing are emphasized. The course contains 3 credit hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: CSCI-105 Corequisite: MATH-110

MATH-331 Differential Equations

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Introduction to ordinary and partial differential equations. Included are solving first order differential equations, and linear differential equations with constant coefficients; series solutions of differential equations; solving elementary partial differential equations. Prerequisites: MATH 231 Alternate years: offered 2017-2018

MATH-210 Introduction to Linear Algebra

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Emphasis on finite dimensional vector spaces and the algebra of matrices. Vector topics include n-dimensional vectors, dot product, norm, orthogonality, lines, planes, projections and cross products. Matrix topics include systems of equations, matrix operations, Gauss elimination, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Prerequisite: MATH-120

-or-

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Fundamentals of linear algebra, including vector spaces, matrix algebra, linear transformations, and eigenvectors and eigenvalues Prerequisites: MATH-132, MATH-200 and MATH-210 Offered alternate years

PHYS-331 Electricity and Magnetism

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Electrostatics, scalar potential, electric fields and energy in conductors and dielectrics, electric currents, magnetic fields and energy, leading up to Maxwell's equations and from there to electromagnetic radiation. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Schroedinger equation, square well, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom, matrix methods, angular momentum, spin, and approximation methods. Prerequisites: PHYS-308 and MATH-232 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School in Engineering

CSCI-200 Intermediate Programming

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

This course will further develop and expand upon the topics introduced in CSCI 105. Topics will include object-oriented concepts such as inheritance, polymorphism and exception handling. Other topics include I/O, multithreading and graphical user interfaces. The object-oriented programming language Java will be used to illustrate these topics. Problem solving, algorithm development, program design, and testing are emphasized. The course contains 3 credit hours of lecture and 2 hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: CSCI-105 Corequisite: MATH-110

MATH-331 Differential Equations

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Introduction to ordinary and partial differential equations. Included are solving first order differential equations, and linear differential equations with constant coefficients; series solutions of differential equations; solving elementary partial differential equations. Prerequisites: MATH 231 Alternate years: offered 2017-2018

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Topics include iterative techniques for solving non-linear equations, numerical differentiation and integration, and differential equations. Prerequisites: MATH-231 and CSCI-105 Offered alternate years

PHYS-401 Computational Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Computational and numerical techniques for problem-solving in physics. Methods for differential equations, Monte Carlo simulations, and modeling of physical systems (eg, fluid flows, electrostatics, waves). Topics implemented in a programming language appropriate for computational physics (eg, Python). Prerequisites: CSCI-105 and PHYS-222 Offered alternate years: 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Course in fluid mechanics covering fluid properties, statics, and dynamics. Topics covered include hydrodynamics, viscous flows, potential flows, turbulence, and boundary layer analysis. Use of Bernoulli, Euler, and Navier-Stokes equations. Additional topics may include airfoil theory, shock waves, instabilities, and plasmas. Prerequisites: PHYS-300 and a minimum grades of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School for Teaching Licensure in Mathematics

MATH-200 Introduction to Number Theory

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Emphasis is on mathematical proofs. Topics include properties of integers (such as odd, even, prime, etc.), division algorithm, least common multiples, greatest common divisors, binary operations ad modular arithmetic. Prerequisite: MATH-110

MATH-210 Introduction to Linear Algebra

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Emphasis on finite dimensional vector spaces and the algebra of matrices. Vector topics include n-dimensional vectors, dot product, norm, orthogonality, lines, planes, projections and cross products. Matrix topics include systems of equations, matrix operations, Gauss elimination, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Prerequisite: MATH-120

MATH-140 Introduction to Statistics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Basic descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression. Statistical computer software is used to analyze data. Prerequisites: MATH-118, MATH-110, MATH-115, or satisfactory performance on placement test

-or-

MATH-341 Theoretical Statistics I

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Fundamentals of probability and distribution theory. Includes probability theory, counting techniques, conditional probability, random variables, moments, moment generating functions, an introduction to multivariate distributions, and transformations of random variables. Prerequisites: MATH-231 or permission of the instructor Offered alternate years

MATH-300 Set Theory and Symbolic Logic

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

The first part of the course is devoted to naive set theory and includes the algebra of sets, relations, functions and orders. The second part is devoted to logic, including truth tables and first-order predicate calculus. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and MATH-200

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Fundamental concepts of geometry, including projective and non-Euclidean geometries, with emphasis on the axiomatic method. Prerequisites: MATH-132, MATH-210 and MATH-300, or permission of the instructor Offered alternate years

MATH-360 History of Mathematics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Survey of the history of mathematics from ancient civilizations to the modern mathematics of the 19th-century. Prerequisite: MATH-132 Offered alternate years

Recommended Minors for Graduate School in Physics or Engineering

Computer Science (for Physics or Engineering)

Mathematics (for Physics or Engineering)

Environmental Science (for Environmental Engineering/Civil Engineering)

PHYS-110 Introductory Astronomy

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Designed to help students appreciate and understand their physical environment and the methods of physical science through the study of basic astronomy. Topics include the history of astronomy; motion of celestial objects; planets of the solar system; birth, life, and death of stars; galaxies; and cosmology. Three hours in class and two hours in laboratory per week. Prerequisites: MATH-110 or MATH-115 or MATH-118 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

PHYS-119 Physics and the Modern World

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Physics has given humanity the ability to better understand our world as well as transform our relationship with it. This course investigates the influence of physics principles, discoveries, and applications in human endeavors, such as electricity and nuclear radiation. The role that physics plays in energy use, technology and modern society is explored along with the impacts these discoveries and applications have on global and personal scales. Prerequisites: MATH-110 or MATH-115 or MATH-118 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

An introduction to the basic concepts of physics emphasizing practical applications of physical laws to common occurrences. Physical descriptions are presented on how things move, the behavior of sound and light, uses of electricity and magnetism, and the behavior of fundamental particles. Three hours in class and two hours in laboratory per week. Prerequisites: MATH-110 or MATH-115 or MATH-118 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** May Term

This course is a set of lectures and active-learning activities that explore the physics of sounds and music. Topics covered include propagation and energy of sound waves, frequency and wavelength, harmonics and overtones, perception of sound intensity, how various musical instruments produce different sounds, and standing waves in different media. Prerequisite: MATH-110 or MATH-118, or permission of instructor

PHYS-150 Astrophysics for Beginners

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** May Term

An introduction to astrophysics using computational models to explore the astrophysical processes responsible for the properties and structure of stars, stellar remnants, and black holes. We will also explore the formation of stars, dynamics of clusters, and large scale structure of the Universe. This course will include an off-campus visit to a national center of astrophysical research. No previous computing experience is necessary. Prerequisites: MATH-110 or MATH-118 or permission of instructor

PHYS-195 Visualizing Physics With Computers

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** May Term

A hands-on introduction to scientific computing with professional software packages. Emphasizes the graphical capabilities of software, such as Mathematica, applied to problems in physics. Prerequisite: MATH-120 or permission of instructor

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

An algebra-based exploration of the concepts of motion, forces, energy, waves, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisite: MATH-120

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

An algebra-based exploration of the concepts of motion, forces, energy, waves, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. Prerequisites: PHYS-218

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

PHYS-300 Mathematical Methods in Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Series expansions, complex exponential functions, vector and partial derivatives, and transforms (eg, Fourier and Laplace). Methods and applications of differential equations (wave equation, boundary value problems, separation of variables, Sturm-Liouville type equations such as Bessel functions). Mathematical software (eg, Mathematica) is incorporated. Prerequisite: PHYS-221 Corequisite: MATH-132

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Analog electronics including diode and transistor operation, mathematical circuit analysis, operational amplifier applications. Two hours in class and six hours in lab per week. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Analysis and applications of digital circuits such as flip-flops, registers, counters and analog-to-digital converters leading to interfacing real-time data collection to computers. Prerequisites: PHYS-219 or PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Kinematics and dynamics in one, two and three dimensions including oscillating systems, central force motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, motion of rigid objects, and wave motion. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

PHYS-331 Electricity and Magnetism

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Electrostatics, scalar potential, electric fields and energy in conductors and dielectrics, electric currents, magnetic fields and energy, leading up to Maxwell's equations and from there to electromagnetic radiation. Prerequisites: MATH-132 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

PHYS-341 Thermal & Statistical Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and an introduction to statistical mechanics. Prerequisites: MATH-232 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Offered alternate years: 2018-2019

PHYS-345W Experimental Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** May Term

Classical and modern experiments give the student a basic understanding of experimental methods. Involves several lectures and extensive lab work. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350, ENG-110, PHYS-222, and MATH-132 FILA general education: writing intensive Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

PHYS-401 Computational Physics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Computational and numerical techniques for problem-solving in physics. Methods for differential equations, Monte Carlo simulations, and modeling of physical systems (eg, fluid flows, electrostatics, waves). Topics implemented in a programming language appropriate for computational physics (eg, Python). Prerequisites: CSCI-105 and PHYS-222 Offered alternate years: 2019-2020

PHYS-410 Optics and Laser Physics

**Credits:** 4
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

Topics include electromagnetic nature of light, geometrical optics, polarization, interference, diffraction, holography, and basics of lasers with applications. Three hours in class and three hours in laboratory per week. Prerequisites: MATH-232 and a minimum grade of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Course in fluid mechanics covering fluid properties, statics, and dynamics. Topics covered include hydrodynamics, viscous flows, potential flows, turbulence, and boundary layer analysis. Use of Bernoulli, Euler, and Navier-Stokes equations. Additional topics may include airfoil theory, shock waves, instabilities, and plasmas. Prerequisites: PHYS-300 and a minimum grades of C- in PHYS-222 Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

Schroedinger equation, square well, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom, matrix methods, angular momentum, spin, and approximation methods. Prerequisites: PHYS-308 and MATH-232 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

PHYS-442 Fundamentals of Astrophysics

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

This course covers the basic principles of astrophysics. Topics include energy sources and transport, stellar structure and evolution, end states of stars, radiative processes, interstellar medium, galaxies, and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS-308 or permission of instructor Offered alternate years: 2019-2020

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** FS

Devoted to a subject chosen from some field of physics in which regular courses are not offered. The course may be repeated for credit provided a different topic is covered. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

Devoted to a subject chosen from some field of physics in which regular courses are not offered. The course may be repeated for credit provided a different topic is covered. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

Provides an opportunity for a student to gain field experience in an area related to the student's concentration or career goals. Supervision of an intern is provided by an appropriate faculty member and by a staff member of the agency or business in which the student is an intern. A student who wishes to engage in an internship must consult with the appropriate faculty member at least eight weeks in advance of the start of the term in which the internship is to be completed. A description of the internship, signed by the student and the faculty sponsor, must be filed with the director of internships by the first day of the semester prior to the start of the internship. Approval of each application for an internship is made by the director of internships based upon policies and guidelines as approved by the Council on Education and the faculty. To be considered for an internship, a student must have junior or senior status and at least a 2.00 grade point average. Internships are graded on an S or U basis. A student may enroll in an internship program for 3 credits per semester, and internship credit may be earned in subsequent semesters subject to the limitations that no more than two internships may be pursued in any one agency or business and a maximum of 9 credits in internships may be applied toward graduation.

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

Upon approval of the department and the division head, a student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or better may engage in an independent study or research project. One desiring to pursue independent study or research must submit a written description of the proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. At the end of the semester, the supervising professor files with the registrar a grade for the student and a description of the work accomplished. Credit may be received for not more than three independent studies or research projects.

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

**Credits:** 1
**Term Offered:** Fall and Spring

With prior permission of the Physics Department, a summer research experience in physics or a closely-related field may be used as the basis for a written thesis and oral defense. The thesis will demonstrate synthesis of previous coursework in the program and a professional level of writing and oral communication. Prerequisites: Senior standing with a major in physics or applied physics, or permission of instructor

PHYS-497 Senior Capstone Project I

**Credits:** 1
**Term Offered:** Fall Only

PHYS-498 Senior Capstone Project II

**Credits:** 2
**Term Offered:** Spring Only

**Credits:** 3
**Term Offered:** All Terms

An honors project is one in which a student researches a subject, by examination of relevant literature or by experimentation or both; the student reports the results in an accurately documented and well-written paper or appropriate representation of the work. Whenever the study deals with the subject of an established course, the student is expected to go well beyond the usual work of the course in research and in assimilation of the results as revealed in the report. Juniors and seniors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 or above may register for an honors project. One desiring to pursue an honors project must submit a written description of his or her proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. Upon the completion of the Honors Project, the student must present an oral defense of his or her project. The final grade must include a satisfactory performance on the oral defense, assessed by a three-faculty member team. The Project Advisor will authorize the make-up of the oral defense team and will assign the final grade on the project. The honors project title will be noted on the student's transcript. It is the student's responsibility to provide a copy of the written paper or appropriate representation of the work to the library in compliance with specifications approved by the Council on Education. The library director arranges for binding and storage.