Spring 2014 Courses

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PHYS 1081. Physics of the Environment.
Mark Battle.
An introduction to the physics of environmental issues, including past climates, anthropogenic climate change, ozone destruction, and energy production and efficiency.
PHYS 1130. Introductory Physics I.
Stephen Naculich.
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.
Karen Topp.
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.
PHYS 1140B. Introductory Physics II.
Karen Topp.
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.
PHYS 1510. Introductory Astronomy.
Thomas Baumgarte.
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.
Stephen Naculich.
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.
Mark Battle.
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 2250. Physics of Solids.
Madeleine Msall.
Solid state physics describes the microscopic origin of the thermal, mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties of solids. Examines trends in the behavior of materials and evaluates the success of classical and semi-classical solid state models in explaining these trends and in predicting material properties. Applications include solid state lasers, semiconductor devices, and superconductivity. Intended for physics, chemistry, or earth and oceanographic science majors with an interest in materials physics or electrical engineering.
PHYS 3010. Methods of Experimental Physics.
Madeleine Msall and Elise Weaver.
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 3130. Electromagnetic Theory.
Thomas Baumgarte.
First the Maxwell relations are presented as a natural extension of basic experimental laws; then emphasis is given to the radiation and transmission of electromagnetic waves.