Fall 2011 Courses

082. Physics of Musical Sound
Karen Topp T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
An introduction to the physics of sound, specifically relating to the production and perception of music. Topics include simple vibrating systems; waves and wave propagation; resonance; understanding intervals, scales, and tuning; sound intensity and measurement; sound spectra; how various musical instruments and the human voice work. Students are expected to have some familiarity with basic musical concepts such as scales and intervals. Not open to students who have credit for or are concurrently taking any physics course numbered 100 or higher. Formerly Physics 50.
093. Introduction to Physical Reasoning
Dale Syphers T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Climate science. Quantum Physics. Bioengineering. Rocket science. Who can understand it? Anyone with high school mathematics (geometry and algebra) can start. Getting started in physics requires an ability to mathematically describe real world objects and experiences. Prepares students for additional work in physical science and engineering by focused practice in quantitative description, interpretation, and calculation. Includes hands-on measurements, some introductory computer programming, and many questions about the physics all around us. To ensure proper placement, students are expected to have taken the physics placement examination prior to registering for Physics 93.
103. Introductory Physics I
Mark Battle M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
An introduction to the conservation laws, forces, and interactions that govern the dynamics of particles and systems. Shows how a small set of fundamental principles and interactions allow us to model a wide variety of physical situations, using both classical and modern concepts. A prime goal of the course is to have the participants learn to actively connect the concepts with the modeling process. Three hours of laboratory work per week. To ensure proper placement, students are expected to have taken the physics placement examination prior to registering for Physics 103.
103. Introductory Physics I
Roberto Salgado M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
An introduction to the conservation laws, forces, and interactions that govern the dynamics of particles and systems. Shows how a small set of fundamental principles and interactions allow us to model a wide variety of physical situations, using both classical and modern concepts. A prime goal of the course is to have the participants learn to actively connect the concepts with the modeling process. Three hours of laboratory work per week. To ensure proper placement, students are expected to have taken the physics placement examination prior to registering for Physics 103.
104. Introductory Physics II
Thomas Baumgarte T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
An introduction to the interactions of matter and radiation. Topics include the classical and quantum physics of electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with matter, quantum properties of atoms, and atomic and nuclear spectra. Three hours of laboratory work per week will include an introduction to the use of electronic instrumentation.
223. Electric Fields and Circuits
Dale Syphers M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
The basic phenomena of the electromagnetic interaction are introduced. The basic relations are then specialized for a more detailed study of linear circuit theory. Laboratory work stresses the fundamentals of electronic instrumentation and measurement with basic circuit components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors. Three hours of laboratory work per week.
257. Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics
Mark Battle M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
A mathematically rigorous analysis of the motions of the atmosphere and oceans on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Covers fluid dynamics in inertial and rotating reference frames, as well as global and local energy balance, applied to the coupled ocean-atmosphere system.
285. Topics in Contemporary Physics
Thomas Baumgarte T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Seminar exploring recent results from research in all fields of physics. Focuses on discussion of papers in the scientific literature. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.
300. Methods of Theoretical Physics
Stephen Naculich T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Mathematics is the language of physics. Similar mathematical techniques occur in different areas of physics. A physical situation may first be expressed in mathematical terms, usually in the form of a differential or integral equation. After the formal mathematical solution is obtained, the physical conditions determine the physically viable result. Examples are drawn from heat flow, gravitational fields, and electrostatic fields.
302. Methods of Computational Physics
Roberto Salgado M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An introduction to the use of computers to solve problems in physics. Problems are drawn from several different branches of physics, including mechanics, hydrodynamics, electromagnetism, and astrophysics. Numerical methods discussed include the solving of linear algebra and eigenvalue problems, ordinary and partial differential equations, and Monte Carlo techniques. Basic knowledge of a programming language is expected.
310. Quantum Mechanics
Stephen Naculich M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
A mathematically rigorous development of quantum mechanics, emphasizing the vector space structure of the theory through the use of Dirac bracket notation. Linear algebra will be developed as needed.