Since the Physics Department discourages students from changing midstream from Physics 140 to Physics 125 or from Physics 240 to Physics 126, it is important that students choose the first course of a physics sequence with care. Prospective engineers, physicists and chemists should elect Physics 140/240 rather than Physics 125/126 because concentration programs in these areas require the Physics 140/240 sequence. In the case of some departmental concentration programs (e.g., biology) or in special individual circumstances, students can elect or are encouraged to elect the Physics 125/126 sequence. Some counselors will advise all students who have had calculus to elect Physics 140/240. Physics 140/240 can be elected by all students who have had calculus, but it should be elected only by students who enjoy solving difficult problems and who think that they will be good at it.
103. The Physical Universe: Relativity and Quanta. High School geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. (1). (NS).
The goal of physicists is to understand everything that goes on in the universe in terms of a small number of fundamental laws of nature. The various laws we presently know may even derive from some single unifying principle. The laws of gravity, relativity, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics will be discussed and applied to simple problems. Grades will be based on homework and a research paper of approximately 3000 words. Cost:1 WL:3
104. The Physical Universe: What Einstein Never Knew. High School geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. (1). (NS).
The goals of physicists is to understand everything that goes on in the universe in terms of a small number of fundamental laws of nature. Recent developments involving quarks, leptons, black holes, big-bang cosmology, dark matter, etc. will be described on an elementary level. In the end, all questions of "how" and "why" must be answered or else pushed to the limit of present knowledge. Grades will be based on homework and a research paper of approximately 3000 words. The are no college physics or advanced mathematics prerequisites. Cost:1 WL:3
112. Cosmology: The Science of the Universe. (3). (NS).
The majority of even college educated adults have only a modest understanding of our place in the universe at large. Most would be hard pressed to answer correctly such questions as: What else is there in the universe besides stars? Why do we think there was a big bang? How big is a galaxy and how might they have formed? This course will provide answers to such questions, stressing conceptual understanding over calculational problem solving. The format will be varied and informal. In addition to regular seminar attendance, students will likely be asked to perform small experiments and present at least one oral presentation. Essays and other written work will play a large role in the grade. Although no science prerequisites are required, exposure to physics at at high school level would be helpful. (Evrard)
125. General Physics: Mechanics, Sound, and Heat. Two and one-half years of high school mathematics, including trigonometry. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 140 or 160. (3). (NS).
Physics 125 and 126 constitute a two-term sequence offered primarily for students concentrating in the natural sciences, architecture, pharmacy, or natural resources; and for preprofessional students preparing for medicine, dentistry, or related health sciences. Physics 125 and 126 are an appropriate sequence for any student wanting a quantitative introduction to the basic principles of physics but without the mathematical sophistication of Physics 140 and 240. Strong emphasis is placed on problem solving, and skills in elementary algebra and trigonometry are assumed. While a high school level background in physics is not assumed, it is helpful. Physics 125 and 126 are not available by the Keller plan.
PHYSICS 125 covers classical mechanics (laws of motion, force, energy and power) and mechanical wave motion (including sound waves). The final course grade is based on three one-hour examinations, class performance and a final examination. Cost:3 WL:4
126. General Physics: Electricity and Light. Phys. 125. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 240 or 260. (3). (NS).
See Physics 125 for a general description of this introductory sequence of courses.
Physics 126 is a continuation of Physics 125; it covers electricity and magnetism, the nature of light, and briefly introduces atomic and nuclear phenomena. The final course grade is based on three one-hour examinations, class performance and a final examination. Cost:3 WL:4
127. Mechanics, Heat and Sound Lab. To be elected concurrently with Physics 125. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Physics 141. (1). (NS).
Physics 127 is a laboratory course intended to accompany Physics 125 and provide a perspective on physics as an experimental science. Evaluation is based on participation and performance in the laboratory classes, and on written laboratory reports and quizzes. Cost:1 WL:4
128. Electricity and Light Lab. To be elected concurrently with Physics 126. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Physics 241. (1). (NS).
Physics 128 is laboratory course intended to accompany Physics 126 and provide a perspective on physics as an experimental science. Evaluation is based on participation and performance in the laboratory classes, and on written laboratory reports and quizzes. Cost:1 WL:4
141. Elementary Laboratory I. To be elected concurrently with Phys. 140. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 127. (1). (NS).
Physics 141 is a laboratory course intended to accompany Physics 140 and provide a perspective on physics as an experimental science. Evaluation is based on participation and performance in the laboratory classes, and on written laboratory reports and quizzes. Cost:1 WL:4
160. Honors Physics I. Math. 115 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Students should elect Physics 141 concurrently. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phys. 140. (4). (NS).
Physics 160 is a rigorous introduction to particle mechanics and the motion of extended objects. Particular topics include vectors, one and two dimensional motion, conservation of laws, linear and rotational dynamics, gravitation, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. Students should also elect a Physics 141 laboratory. Cost:3 WL: Registration in this course is by permission of instructor only. Go to Physics Student Services Office, 2028 E. Engineering, for override.
201(101). Physics and Ideas. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Simple high school algebra and geometry will be helpful. (3). (NS).
This course is designed for all students, especially non-science majors, who are interested in increasing their understanding of the goals, methods, and achievements of physics. A number of physics concepts and laws (e.g., related to gravity, motion, energy, atoms, quarks and leptons, phases of matter) will be discussed, a few in depth. All will be examined along with their historical context, the ways by which they are tested, in what sense we believe them, and what impacts they have had on the development of science and society. The student will learn something about where scientists are today in trying to understand the natural world. The grading will depend on approximately three writing assignments (one based on an original historical work of physics, one based on something involving physics to be selected by the student, and one based on the impact of physics on superstition) plus two tests, one oriented towards facts and relationships and one oriented towards concepts. WL:4
240. General Physics II. Phys. 140 or the equivalent; Phys. 240 and 241 are normally elected concurrently. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 126 or 260. (3). (NS).
See Physics 140 for a general description of the introductory physics sequence.
The topics covered in PHYSICS 240 include (1) classical electromagnetism: charge, Coulomb's Law, electric fields, Gauss' Law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, current and resistance, electromotive force and circuits, magnetic fields, Biot-Savart Law, Ampere's Law, Faraday's Law of induction, simple AC circuits; and (2) geometrical and physical optics. There will be 3 hourly examinations (see Time Schedule for dates and times) and a final examination.
Certain sections of Physics 240 are offered by the Keller Plan, a self-paced program without formal lectures. These sections are marked in the Time Schedule. An information sheet describing the format of Keller Plan offerings is available in the Physics Student Services Office (2061 Randall Lab). Students who want to elect Physics 240 by the Keller Plan should read this information before registering. Cost:3 WL:4.
241. Elementary Laboratory II. To be elected concurrently with Phys. 240. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 128. (1). (NS).
Physics 241 is a laboratory course intended to accompany Physics 240 and provide a perspective on physics as an experimental science. Evaluation is based on participation and performance in the laboratory classes, and on written laboratory reports and quizzes. Cost:1 WL:4
242. General Physics III. Phys. 240 or equivalent. (3). (NS).
This course is the third in a three-term introductory physics sequence, and is required of all physics concentrators. It will deal in a quantitative manner with topics which may be classified as "modern" physics, and shall include the investigation of special relativity, the relationship of particles and waves, the Schrodinger equation applied to barrier problems, atomic structure and the interpretation of quantum numbers, the exclusion principle and its applications, structure of solids, etc. The class will meet as a lecture group. Applications of the principles will be considered in the lecture section on a regular basis. Math 215 is strongly recommended. Cost:2 WL:4
250/Environ. Studies 353. Energy, Entropy, and Environment. Two and one-half years of high school mathematics, or any college course in mathematics or natural science. (3). (NS).
This course introduces the concepts of energy and the environment, which then serve as a basis for discussion of pollution, scarcity of resources, technological impacts, and man's future. Basic science and the political-economic aspects of problems and possible solutions are emphasized. Topics include a survey of non-renewable resources and current energy use patterns, nuclear (fission and fusion) power issues, and the prospects for, and problems with, alternative energy scenarios. Possible energy futures for America and their implication in terms of life-styles, policies, and ethical considerations are explored through lectures, discussions, and simulation games. There are no college physics prerequisites. (Rycus)
260. Honors Physics II. Physics 140 and Math. 115, or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Students should elect Physics 241 concurrently. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phys. 240. (4). (NS).
Physics 260 is a rigorous introduction to the theory of electromagnetic phenomena, involving a great deal of student participation. Topics include electric and magnetic fields and potentials, DC and AC circuits, inductance and Maxwell's equations. Students should elect Physics 241 laboratory. Cost:4 Registration in this course is by permission of instructor only.
262. Honors Physics III. Physics 240 or equivalent, prior or concurrent enrollment in Math. 216 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phys. 242. (4). (NS).
Physics 262 is an introduction to the ideas of modern physics with emphasis on the development of basic Quantum Mechanics. Topics covered include special relativity, particle in a box, quantum oscillators, the hydrogen atom and its spectra, spin and statistics, and, as time permits, some aspects of condensed matter, and nuclear or particle physics.
301. The Science Connection. Upperclass standing. For non natural science concentrators. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phys. 422. (3). (NS).
This laboratory course consists of a series of experiments designed to help students gain an appreciation for the beauty and complexity of nature while building some powerful observational and critical thinking skills. The four experiments – Bead Patterns, Granular Flow, snowflakes and fractals, and fluid swirls – will introduce phenomena and concepts at the forefront of current physics research, while completely avoiding cumbersome jargon and scientific "facts". These fun experiments only use simple setups and familiar materials but are designed so that students can also pursue their own special explorations into nature's behavior. Experimental results will be written up in separate laboratory reports which will determine the course grade. No exams on the covered material will be required. This course is an exercise in learning how to perform REAL SCIENCE in a very natural way.
333. Keller Tutor 140. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). This is a graded course. (EXPERIENTIAL).
Students work as tutors in Physics 140 Keller sections. One to three hours of credit may be earned while providing tutoring on one-to-one basis under the supervision of the faculty member. Tutors are expected to spend three clock hours per week for each credit hour earned. Registration requires instructor approval, and the appropriate application forms are available in the Physics Student Services Office, 2028 E. Engineering.
334. Keller Tutor 240. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). This is a graded course. (EXPERIENTIAL).
Students work as tutors in Physics 240 Keller sections. One to three hours of credit may be earned while providing tutoring on one-to-one basis under the supervision of the faculty member. Tutors are expected to spend three clock hours per week for each credit hour earned. Registration requires instructor approval, and the appropriate application forms are available in the Physics Student Services Office, 2028 E. Engineering.
401. Intermediate Mechanics. Phys. 126 or 240-241, and Math. 216; or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
This course is required for physics concentrators. It presents a systematic development of Newtonian mechanics beginning with single particle motion in on dimension and extending through multiparticle systems moving in three dimensions. The conservation laws of energy and linear and angular momentum are emphasized. Lagrangian mechanics is introduced, and Hamiltonian mechanics may be introduced as well. Physical systems treated in detail include the forced damped-oscillator, inverse square forced orbits, harmonic motion in two dimensions, coupled oscillations and rigid body motion in two and three dimensions. Mathematical topics given extensive treatment include vector algebra, elements of vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, plane and spherical polar coordinates and phasors and/or complex numbers. Grades are based on one or two hourly exams and a two-hour final.
402. Light. Phys. 126 or 240-241, and Math. 216; or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
This course may be included in a concentration in physics. Topics studied cover the phenomena of physical optics, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, and polarization interpreted in terms of the wave theory of light. Several topics in modern optics will also be developed. Cost:3 WL:4
403. Optics Laboratory. Phys. 242 or permission of instructor. (2). (Excl).
This is a laboratory course in geometrical and physical optics intended for science concentrators and especially for students electing Physics 402. One experiment every one or two weeks is performed during four-hour laboratory periods; a short report is required for each experiment. The experiments are designed such that they may be performed without students having a formal background in the topic investigated. The experiments include: (1) lens equations; (2) lens aberrations; (3) telescopes; (4) polarization; (5) diffraction; (6) interferometry; (7) electro-optical effects; (8) light detection; (9) fourier optics; (10) holography; and (11) spectroscopy. Students may also devise experiments. The course grade is based on the work done in the laboratory period as well as written reports. WL:3
405. Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism. Phys. 126 or 240-241, and Math. 216; or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
This is a second course on the classical theory of electromagnetism. Familiarity with Maxwell's equations at the level of 240 is assumed. Physics 242 is strongly recommended. The course elaborates on the the theoretical content of the Maxwell theory as well as practical application. Topics: review of vector analysis; electrostatic boundary value problems; magnetostatics; dielectric and magnetic materials; Maxwell's equations and electrodynamics; the wave equation, electromagnetic waves in free space, waves in conducting and dielectric media; guided waves; electromagnetic radiation, sources of EM radiation. Cost:3 WL:4
406. Statistical and Thermal Physics. Phys. 126 or 240-241, and Math. 216. (3). (Excl).
An introduction to the thermal and other macroscopic properties of matter, their description in terms of classical thermodynamics, and their microscopic interpretation from the perspective of statistical mechanics. Techniques from classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and elementary quantum mechanics will be used. Frequent homework problem assignments, at least one hour exam, and a final examination will be given. Cost:2 WL:4
407. Thermodynamics Laboratory. Phys. 126 or 240-241. (2). (Excl).
This course is normally elected concurrently with Physics 406 and emphasizes thermodynamics and heat transport. Each section consists of eight students subdivided into groups of two with each group rotating through five experiments: (1) use of the thermoelectric effect to measure temperature, (2) use of thermistors for the measurement of temperature, (3) measurement of the viscosity of gases, (4) measurement of the thermal conductivity of gases, and (5) determination of the ice-water phase diagram. Each experiment takes a maximum of three weeks of laboratory time. Grades are based on the record of data taken, computation and analysis, error analysis, display of results (graphs, tables, etc.) and comparison of results with theory and/or accepted values. Laboratory performance is observed and evaluated by the course instructors. Cost:1 WL:3
409. Modern Physics Laboratory. Open primarily to science concentrators with junior standing, or by permission of instructor. (2). (Excl). May not be elected by Physics concentrators unless written permission is given by a Physics concentration advisor.
This course is an advanced undergraduate laboratory course designed to acquaint students in the basic techniques of experimental physics and to introduce them to physical phenomena of modern physics. Students select experiments from among those which are available. The results of the experiments are recorded. These laboratory notes together with a written laboratory report are graded. The reports and performance in laboratory are the basis for the course grade. There are no formal examinations. Students may modify existing experiments or design new experiments. Topics investigated include: photo-electric effect; diffraction; electron charge and charge-to-mass ratio and others. This laboratory is not open to physics concentrators who should choose Physics 459 or 461. This course is required for concentrators in the Engineering Physics program. Cost:1 WL:3
411. Introduction to Computational Physics. Physics 401, Math. 216 or equivalent. Some familiarity with a computer language. (3). (Excl).
This course is an introduction to the techniques of computational physics with application to a range of physical problems. The course is taught with two formal lectures per week together with supervised, informal computer laboratory sessions using microcomputers. Grading will be based on a set of computer problem assignments, a term project on a specific numerical problem selected by the student, and a short oral exam on the latter and the course material given at the end of the term. Some prior knowledge of BASIC, PASCAL or FORTRAN will be useful, but students should be able to learn and use BASIC quickly. However, more advanced students may use FORTRAN or PASCAL for selected assignments or their term projects.
415. Special Problems for Undergraduates. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.
This course emphasizes experimental or theoretical research under the supervision of a faculty member. Generally a small facet of a large research undertaking is investigated in detail. This is an independent study course, and instructor permission is required. The appropriate form is available in the Physics Student Services Office, 2061 Randall Lab.
418/Macromolecular Science 425. Structural Macromolecular Physics. Math. 216 and Phys. 242, 402, and 417; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This course will provide an introduction to physical techniques used to study the ultrastructure of macromolecules and biomolecules: characterization of macromolecular structure; factors influencing conformational stability; an elementary study of structural techniques; scattering theory (such as X-ray diffraction, light scattering, etc.) and spectroscopic methods (such as infrared, Raman, UV, etc.) with applications to macromolecules.
419/IPPS 519/Nat. Res. 574/RC Nat. Sci. 419. Energy Demand. Basic college economics and senior standing. (3). (SS).
The natural resource impact of any particular human activity can usually be drastically reduced-given technological development and institutional change. (This is true for a variety of resources: fuels, forests, clean water, clean air....) This course is about the end use of energy and its efficiency – in contrast with a focus on the supply of energy. Thus we will not find out how to provide more electricity or how to clean up power plants, but how we could provide needed lighting and other services with much less electricity. The course will examine the use of energy in the U.S. for transportation, for processing of materials by industry and for comfortable buildings. There will be focus on transportation and the potential for reducing its environmental impacts, including controlling global warming by reducing the emission of green house gases associated with energy use. The study will be done from the perspectives of physics, economics, behavior, social organization and politics. The course will require a paper on an issue involving a particular end use of energy and a project on some aspect of energy use in the locality. Prerequisites are a college-level course in mathematics or economics or physical science, and SENIOR standing. The course will require establishment of minimum proficiency in analytical techniques concerning energy. Cost:2 (Ross)
435. Gravitational Physics. Physics 242 and 401, or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
The Einstein theory of general relativity provides the foundation of gravitational physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. After an introduction to the theory, experimental tests of general relativity which were performed in the past, the implications of pulsars, black holes, supernovae, and cosmic background radiation as well as the ongoing experimental detection of gravitational waves are discussed. This is an elective course for concentrators in physical sciences and the prerequisites for the course are Physics 242 and 401 or equivalent. Regular exams as for any elective course in physics are given. WL:4 (Tomozawa)
451. Methods of Theoretical Physics. Phys. 401 and Math. 450, or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
This is a course in the mathematical methods used in physics and is considered necessary preparation for graduate school. Among the topics treated are orthogonal functions and vector spaces, complex variables, differential equations and their special functions, Fourier series, and aspects of group theory. Cost:4 WL:3
453. Quantum Mechanics. Phys. 242; recommended Phys. 401 and 405 previously or concurrently. (3). (Excl).
This course begins with an overview of the experimental and theoretical foundations for quantum mechanics. The theory is developed and applied to simple physical systems, with examples taken from atomic, molecular, condensed matter, nuclear and particle physics. Topics include: basics of the Schroedinger equations and its solutions in rectangular and spherical coordinates; properties, uses, and interpretations of state functions; expectation values and physical observables; coherence, correlation, and interference. Other topics include spin, the exclusion principle, and some quantum statistical mechanics.
455. Electronic Devices and Circuits. Phys. 240 and 241. (5). (Excl).
An introduction to DC and AC circuits; equivalence theorems; introduction to diodes, bipolar transistors (BJT), field effect transistors (J-FET, MOSFET, IGFET); transistor amplifiers (frequency and pulse response via circuit simulation with SPICE); transistors as switches; integrated circuits (operational amplifiers and logic gates); Computer based circuit testing. Two or three hour exams, plus a final. Four hours of laboratory per week, with written reports.
459. Nuclear Laboratory. Phys. 242 and any 400-level physics laboratory course, or permission of instructor. (2). (Excl).
This is an advanced laboratory course designed to acquaint students with the techniques of experimental nuclear physics and to introduce them to physical phenomena of modern physics. Included are experiments in the following areas: scintillation counting; gamma-gamma angular correlation; Compton effect; Rutherford scattering; muon lifetime; nuclear magnetic resonance; and nuclear fission. This course is normally elected as a sequel to Physics 403, 407, or 409. Cost:1 WL:3
461. Atomic Laboratory. Phys. 242 and any 400-level physics laboratory course, or permission of instructor. (2). (Excl).
Intended mostly for science majors. Conducted in a manner similar to Physics 403, 407, 409 and 459, but more advanced. Emphasis on atomic phenomena and instrumentation. Experiments available include atomic spectroscopy, Zeeman effect, optical pumping and lasers, x-ray diffraction and Moseley's law, Faraday effect and others. Cost:1 WL:3
464. Solid State Laboratory. Physics 242 (General Physics III) and Physics 406 (Thermodynamics). Prior or concurrent enrollment in Physics 463. (2). (Excl).
This is a laboratory course covering experimental work in x-ray diffraction from solids, electron transport in solids, phase transitions, the use of the electron microscope and thermal mechanisms in solids. Conducted in a manner similar to the other physics labs (403, 407, 409, 459, and 461). Cost:1 WL:3
465. Senior Seminar. Open to Physics concentrators in their junior or senior year. (2). (Excl). Fulfills the Junior-Senior writing requirement.
In this seminar students explore topics chosen on the basis of their importance and interest to physics and on the basis of student and faculty interest. Seminar members read in the research literature, write extensively, and contribute to discussions led by seminar members or visitors. Cost:1 WL:3
468. Elementary Particles. Prior or concurrent election of Phys. 453. (3). (Excl).
The course offers a very broad but disciplined introduction to the exciting field of elementary particle research. Lectures will cover the current understanding of the fundamental constituents of matter-quarks and leptons-and the forces acting between them-the strong, electromagnetic, and weak interactions. Open questions and new concepts will be discussed. Also covered will be the physics of particle beams, accelerators, storage rings, and detectors. Since the course is not part of a required sequence, students are expected to be motivated primarily by a fundamental curiosity to learn about one of the frontier sciences. Cost:3 WL:3
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