Courses Offered Next Semester

The following courses will be offered in the spring 2015 semester.

When the department has decided which courses will be offered in the fall 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 1130 - Introductory Physics I with Lab (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 (Mark Battle and 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 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 1510 - Introductory Astronomy (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.

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 in Physics 1560. (Offered every spring.)

Prerequisite: Mathematics 1600 or higher, or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2140 - Quantum Physics and Relativity (Steve Naculich)

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 two cornerstones of twentieth-century physics: quantum mechanics and special relativity. The introduction to wave mechanics includes solutions ot the time-independent Schroedinger equation in one and three dimensions with applictions. 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 or 3500. (Offered every spring.)

Prerequisite: Physics 1140 or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2150 - Stastistical Physics(Madeleine Msall)

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

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.

Prerequisite: Physics 1140 or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2230 - Modern Electronics (Dale Syphers)

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

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. (Offered every other spring.)

Prerequisite: Physics 1130 or 1140 or permission of the instructor.


Physics 2260 - Nuclear and Particle Physics (Steve Naculich)

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

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. (Offered every other spring.)

Prerequisite: Physics 2140, or permission of the instructor.


Physics 3010 - Methods of Experimental Physics (Mark Battle)

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

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. (Offered every spring.)

Prerequisite: Physics 2130, or permission of the instructor.


Physics 3120 - Advanced Mechanics (Madeleine Msall)

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

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. (Offered every other spring.)

Prerequisite: Physics 3000, or permission of the instructor.


Physics 3500 - General Relativity (Thomas Baumgarte)

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

Furst discusses special relativity, introducing the concept of four-dimensional spacetime. Then develops the mathematcal 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. (Offered every other spring.)

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