Academic Catalog

2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Physics Major

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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:

PHYS-221 General Physics I

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.

PHYS-222 General Physics II

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

PHYS-305 Electronics

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

PHYS-308 Modern Physics

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

PHYS-311 Classical Mechanics

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

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PHYS-420 Quantum Mechanics

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

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.

MATH-131 Calculus I

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

MATH-132 Calculus II

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

MATH-231 Calculus III

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

MATH-232 Calculus IV

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

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

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PHYS-491 Research

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.

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PHYS-499 Honors Project

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.

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PHYS-495 Senior Thesis

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.