Physics (PHYS)

PHYS-114  Newtonian Mechanics    3 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-102, PHYS-115
Prerequisites: MATH-101 or MATH-101X
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring
A calculus-based introduction to classical Newtonian mechanics including; vectors, translational and rotational kinematics and dynamics, work, energy, impulse, and linear and angular momentum.
Lecture: 3, Lab 0, Other 1

PHYS-115  Newtonian Mechanics Laboratory    1 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-102, PHYS-114
Prerequisites: MATH-101 or MATH-101X
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring
Laboratory activities will explore position, velociy, and acceleration, force, momentum and energy, all as function of time. Applications to vehicle crash safety are incorporated. Laboratory skills, including: uncertainty, simple data acquisition and sensor instrumentation, and analysis techniques are essential.
Lecture: 0, Lab 2, Other 0

PHYS-191  Physics Special Topic    4 Credits

Prerequisites: None
Lecture: 4, Lab 4, Other 0

PHYS-224  Electricity and Magnetism    3 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-203, PHYS-225
Prerequisites: PHYS-114 and PHYS-115 and (MATH-102 or MATH-102X or MATH-102H)
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring
An investigation of the physics of electricity and magnetism with a focus on the physics of electric and magnetic fields and their effects on electric charges. Topics will include the relationships between charges, forces, fields, potentials, and currents, as well as the physics of capacitors, resistors, and inductors.
Lecture: 3, Lab 0, Other 1

PHYS-225  Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory    1 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-203, PHYS-224
Prerequisites: PHYS-114 and PHYS-115 and (MATH-102 or MATH-102X or MATH-102H)
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring
This laboratory investigates the physics of electricity and magnetism. It includes a practical study of electric potential and electric current, as well as the fundamental circuit elements: capacitors, resistors, and inductors.
Lecture: 0, Lab 2, Other 0

PHYS-302  Vibration, Sound and Light    4 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-204
Prerequisites: PHYS-224 and PHYS-225 and (MATH-203 or MATH-203H)
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore 2
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall
The phenomena of vibration and waves provide a fundamental background necessary to approach a wide variety of applications in physics and engineering. The first part of this course will introduce students to the basics of vibration, including the effects of real damping, response to driving forces, nonlinear oscillation and application to several acoustical, optical, electrical, and mechanical systems. After this introduction to vibration, the course will focus on wave motion. The behavior of non-dispersive waves in solids, acoustic sound waves, electromagnetic waves, and transverse waves on a string will be discussed along with an introduction to Fourier analysis as a means of analyzing wave signals. Non-dispersive waves in non-uniform media will also be explored with applications to several different types of waves occurring in nature. Basic wave phenomena including reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference will be discussed with respect to a variety of wave types. Students successfully completing this course will be well prepared for further study in optics, acoustics, vibration, and electromagnetic wave propagation.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-354  Medical Physics Principles    4 Credits

Prerequisites: PHYS-224 and PHYS-225
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore
Terms Offered: As needed
This course is designed to give physicists, engineers, chemists, pre-med students, and other technical majors an introduction to the application of physics in the field of medicine. Students will be introduced to the fundamental science and real-world application of diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, and health physics. This course will cover topics such as radiation interactions with matter, the concept of radiation dose, the effect of radiation on biology, 2D x-ray imaging, computed tomography (CT) imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, biomedical optics, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), and the treatment of cancer utilizing radiation therapy.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-362  Modern Physics and Lab    4 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-204
Prerequisites: PHYS-224 and PHYS-225
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore
Terms Offered: Winter Spring
Overview of the discoveries and applications of physics from the early 20th century on. Topics include relativity, quantum phenomena, wave-particle duality, quantum physics, solid state physics, semiconductors and superconductors, and nuclear and particle physics. Laboratory experiments will accompany topics introduced in lecture.
Lecture: 3, Lab 2, Other 0

PHYS-376  Photonics and Optoelectronics    4 Credits

Prerequisites: (MATH-203 or MATH-203H) and PHYS-224 and PHYS-225
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore
Terms Offered: As needed
The course is intended for all those who want to find out and understand what lasers, fiber optics, and photonic devices are all about without a reliance on rigorous mathematical treatment. This course covers the fundamental aspects of optical fibers. It also provides an introduction to integrated optic devices. Various techniques for the manipulation of laser light based on electro-optic, magneto-optic and acousto-optic effects are described. The course ends with a discussion of optical detection principles and the working of a solar cell. While the level of prerequisites and mathematical sophistication is intermediate, intense independent learning and academic maturity is expected.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-378  Spectroscopy and Microscopy    4 Credits

Prerequisites: PHYS-362
Minimum Class Standing: Junior
Terms Offered: As needed
Introduction to the spectroscopy and microscopy techniques and instrumentation most widely used in the characterization and imaging of materials, with applications to materials science, chemistry and life-sciences. The topics include optical spectroscopy instrumentation (light sources, detectors, dispersive elements and instruments) and techniques (UV-VIS, Luminescence, Atomic Emission and Absorption, FTIR and Raman), electronic spectroscopy (XPS-ESCA and Auger), mass spectroscopy (SIMS), optical microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), scanning probe microscopy (AFM, STM, MFM) and combined techniques such as fluorescence microscopy.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-388  Acoustics in the Human Environment    4 Credits

Prerequisites: PHYS-224 and PHYS-225
Minimum Class Standing: Junior
Terms Offered: Summer of odd years; Fall of even years
This course surveys elements in acoustics that involve human factors, including the physiology of hearing, psychoacoustics and sound quality metrics, and the basic signal processing needed for these metrics. Topics in architectural and room acoustics will also explore how we experience and control our acoustic environment. While the level of prerequisites and mathematical sophistication is intermediate, intense independent learning and academic maturity is expected. Computer software will be used to manipulate audio signals and understand processing that is often automated (and used carelessly). In this course, less emphasis will be placed on technical practice that may change. Instead, students will be challenged to understand why standards are written as they are, how metrics are designed, and how “rules of thumb” originated.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-412  Theoretical Mechanics    4 Credits

Prerequisites: PHYS-114 and (MATH-204 or MATH-204H)
Terms Offered: Winter, Spring
A look at classical physics. Topics include the projectile motion with air resistance, simple harmonic and nonlinear oscillation, central force motion, Kepler's laws and planetary motion, motion in noninertial reference frames, motion of systems of particles, rigid body motion, Lagrangian mechanics, and Hamiltonian theory. Computational methods for solving advanced physics problems will also be introduced.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-452  Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics    4 Credits

Corequisites: MATH-204, PHYS-362
Prerequisites: (MATH-203 or MATH-203H) and PHYS-224 and PHYS-225
Minimum Class Standing: Sophomore 2
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall
Introduction t to statistical approaches for the analysis of systems containing a large number of particles. Specific topics include the fundamentals of thermodynamics, conditions for equilibrium and stability, ensemble theory, non-interacting systems, and phase transitions.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-462  Quantum Mechanics    4 Credits

Prerequisites: (MATH-204 or MATH-204H) and PHYS-362
Minimum Class Standing: Junior
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall
Intoduction to the fundamentals of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics include: photons, matter waves, the Bohr model, the time-independent Schrodinger equation (and its application to one dimensional potentials), quantization of angular momentum, spin, the hydrogen atom, multi-electron atoms, and perturbation theory.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-464  Nuclear Physics: Principles and Applications    4 Credits

Prerequisites: (CHEM-135 or CHEM-137) and PHYS-362
Minimum Class Standing: Junior
Terms Offered: As needed
This course discusses the nuclear structure, nuclear instability, and nuclear reactions. It also covers the various detectors and instruments, including gas detectors, proportional counters, Geiger counters, scintillation detectors and particle accelerators. The biological effects of radiation and its industrial applications in tracing, gauging, materials modification, sterilizations, and food preservations are also introduced. The applications of nuclear physics for diagnosis and treatment in medical sciences including Computer Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Radiation Therapy (RT). The course also discusses radioactivity, nuclear fission, fusion, and nuclear reactors. While the level of prerequisites and mathematical sophistication is intermediate, intense independent learning and academic maturity is expected.
Lecture: 4, Lab 0, Other 0

PHYS-477  Optics and Lab    4 Credits

Prerequisites: (MATH-204 or MATH-204H) and PHYS-302
Minimum Class Standing: Junior
Terms Offered: Summer, Fall
A study of geometrical and physical optics. Topics in geometrical optics include phenomena of reflection, refraction, total internal reflection and their application to imaging systems consisting of lenses and mirrors. Physical optics will start from the electromagnetic wave nature of light and will focus on such wave-like phenomena as optical interference, diffraction, polarization, and dispersion of light. Limited topics in interaction of light with matter, crystal optics, optical properties of materials and their applications in such areas as optoelectronics, photonics and fiber optics will also be addressed. The lab investigates optical component analysis, ray tracing, interferometry, diffraction, polarization, interference, optical fibers and other special topics.
Lecture: 3, Lab 2, Other 0

PHYS-495  Scientific Research in Physics I    2 Credits

Prerequisites: None
Minimum Class Standing: Senior 2
Terms Offered: As needed
This initial half of the senior research experience in Physics equips the student with necessary tools for a chosen project with a faculty member. Background literature will be emphasized, including searching databases to build a thorough bibliography. Planning for the research work will involve demonstrating mastery of the necessary lab or computer skills specific to the topic. Opportunities to work with faculty advisors will be coordinated by the Physics Department Head, who will collect proposals from students interested in this course. Regardless of the topic, students will develop skills in planning, executing, and communicating research through one-on-one interaction with faculty.
Lecture: 0, Lab 4, Other 2

PHYS-496  Scientific Research in Physics II    2 Credits

Prerequisites: PHYS-495
Minimum Class Standing: Senior 2
Terms Offered: As needed
This second half of the senior research experience in Physics allows students time to conduct, reflect upon, and communicate work done under the mentorship of a Physics faculty advisor. The prerequisite course (PHYS-495) is designed for planning and background efforts. Critical thinking and clear communication of results is emphasized. Regardless of the topic, students will develop skills in planning, executing, and communicating research through one-on-one interaction with faculty.
Lecture: 0, Lab 4, Other 2