Spring 2015 Courses

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PHYS 1130. Introductory Physics I.
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 1130 (103).
PHYS 1140A. Introductory Physics II.
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. Llaboratory work (three hours per week) includes an introduction to the use of electronic instrumentation.
PHYS 1140B. Introductory Physics II.
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. Llaboratory work (three hours per week) includes an introduction to the use of electronic instrumentation.
PHYS 1510. Introductory Astronomy.
A quantitative introduction to astronomy with emphasis on stars and the structures they form, from binaries to galaxies. Topics include the night sky, the solar system, stellar structure and evolution, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, and the expansion of the universe. Several nighttime observing sessions required. Does not satisfy pre-med or other science departments’ requirements for a second course in physics. Not open to students who have credit for Physics (62) or Physics 1560 (162).
PHYS 2140. Quantum Physics and Relativity.
An introduction to two cornerstones of twentieth-century physics, quantum mechanics, and special relativity. The introduction to wave mechanics includes solutions to the time-independent Schrödinger equation in one and three dimensions with applications. Topics in relativity include the Galilean and Einsteinian principles of relativity, the “paradoxes” of special relativity, Lorentz transformations, space-time invariants, and the relativistic dynamics of particles. Not open to students who have credit for or are concurrently taking Physics 3140 (310), or 3500 (375).
PHYS 2150. Statistical Physics.
Develops a framework capable of predicting the properties of systems with many particles. This framework, combined with simple atomic and molecular models, leads to an understanding of such concepts as entropy, temperature, and chemical potential. Some probability theory is developed as a mathematical tool.
PHYS 2230. Modern Electronics.
A brief introduction to the physics of semiconductors and semiconductor devices, culminating in an understanding of the structure of integrated circuits. Topics include a description of currently available integrated circuits for analog and digital applications and their use in modern electronic instrumentation. Weekly laboratory exercises with integrated circuits.
PHYS 2260. Nuclear and Particle Physics.
An introduction to the physics of subatomic systems, with a particular emphasis on the standard model of elementary particles and their interactions. Basic concepts in quantum mechanics and special relativity are introduced as needed.
PHYS 3010. Methods of Experimental Physics.
Intended to provide advanced students with experience in the design, execution, and analysis of laboratory experiments. Projects in optical holography, nuclear physics, cryogenics, and materials physics are developed by the students.
PHYS 3120. Advanced Mechanics.
A thorough review of particle dynamics, followed by the development of Lagrange’s and Hamilton’s equations and their applications to rigid body motion and the oscillations of coupled systems.
PHYS 3500. General Relativity.
First discusses special relativity, introducing the concept of four-dimensional spacetime. Then develops the mathematical tools to describe spacetime curvature, leading to the formulation of Einstein’s equations of general relativity. Finishes by studying some of the most important astrophysical consequences of general relativity, including black holes, neutron stars, and gravitational radiation.