Courses Offered Next Semester

The following courses will be offered in the fall 2014 semester.

When the department has decided which courses will be offered in the spring of 2015, this page will be updated with that information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Emily Briley, the academic coordinator.


Physics 1083 - Energy, Physics, and Technology (Mark Battle and Madeleine Msall)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics. It also meets the distribution requirement for inquiry in the natural sciences.

How much can we do to reduce the disruptions of the Earth's physical, ecological, and social systems caused by global climate change? How much climate change itself can we avoid? A lot depends on the physical processes that govern the extraction, transmission, storage, and use of available energy. Introduces the physics of solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric power and discusses the physical constraints on their efficiency, productivity, and safety. Reviews current technology and quantitatively analyzes the effectiveness of different strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Not open to students who have credit for Physics 1140.


Physics 1093 - Introduction to Physical Reasoning (Dale Syphers)

Climate science. Quantum Physics. Bioengineering. Rocket science. Who can understand it? Anyone with high school mathematics (geography 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 engeneering 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. Registration for this course is by placement only. To ensure proper placement, students must have taken the physics placement examination prior to registering for Physics 1093.


Physics 1130 - Introductory Physics I with Lab (Mark Battle and Karen Topp)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics. It also meets the distribution requirement for inquiry in the natural sciences as well as the distribution requirement for mathematical, computational, or statistical reasoning.

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 endure proper placement, students are expected to have taken the physics placement examination prior to registering for Physics 1130. (Offered every semester.)


Physics 1140 - Introductory Physics II with Lab (Thomas Baumgarte)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics. It also meets the distribution requirement for inquiry in the natural sciences as well as the distribution requirement for mathematical, computational, or statistical reasoning.

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. (Offered every semester.)

Prerequisite: Physics 1130 or placement in Physics 1140, and previous credit or concurrent registration in Mathematics 1700, 1750, or 1800; or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2130 - Electrical Fields and Circuits (Dale Syphers)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics. It also meets the distribution requirement for inquiry in the natural sciences.

The basic phenomena of the electromagnetic interactions 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. (Offered every fall.)

Prerequisite: Physics 1140 or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2240 - Acoutstics (Madeleine Msall)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics. It also meets the distribution requirement for mathematical, computational, or statistical reasoning.

An introduction to the motion and propagation of sound waves. Covers selected topics related to normal modes of sound waves in enclosed spaces, noise, acoustical measurements, the ear and hearing, phase relationships between sound waves, and many others, providing a technical understanding of our aural experiences.

Prerequisite: Physics 1140 or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2510 - Astrophysics (Thomas Baumgarte)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics.

A quantitative discussion that intriduces the principle topics of astrophysics, including stellar structure and evolution, planetary physics, and cosmology. (Offered every other fall.)

Prerequisite: Physics 1140 and Physics 1510, or permission of the instructor.


Physics 3000 - Methods of Theoretical Physics (Stephen Naculich)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics.

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.

Prerequisite: Physics 1140 and Mathematics 1800, or permission of the instructor.


Physics 3140 - Quantum Mechanics (Stephen Naculich)

This course meets the division requirement for natural science and mathematics.

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.(Offered every fall.)

Prerequisite: Physics 2140 and Physics 3000, or permission of the instructor.