Courses in Physics (Division 444)

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.

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:1

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:1

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. Macintosh computers are used for data acquisition and analysis. Evaluation is based on participation and performance in the laboratory classes, and on written laboratory reports and quizzes. Cost:2 WL:1

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 a 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:2 WL:1

140. General Physics I. Prior or concurrent election of calculus. Phys. 140 and 141 are normally elected concurrently. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 125 or 160. (3). (NS).

Physics 140, 240, and 242 constitute a three-term sequence which examines concepts in physics fundamental to the physical sciences and engineering. This introductory sequence uses calculus, and, while it is possible to elect Physics 140 and Mathematics 115 concurrently, some students will find it more helpful to have started one of the regular mathematics sequences before electing Physics 140. The introductory sequence is primarily designed to develop a skill: the skill to solve simple problems by means of mathematics. Developing this skill requires daily practice and a sense for the meaning of statements and formulas, as well as awareness of when one understands a statement, proof, or problem solution and when one does not. Thus one learns to know what one knows in a disciplined way.

The topics in Physics 140 include: vectors, motion in one dimension, circular motion, projectile motion, relative velocity and acceleration, Newton's laws, particle dynamics, work and energy, linear momentum, torque, angular momentum of a particle, simple harmonic motion, gravitation, planetary motion, pressure and density of fluids, and Archimedes' principle. Evaluation is based on performance on 3 hourly examinations (see Time Schedule for dates and times) and a final examination.

Certain sections of Physics 140 are offered by the Keller Plan, a self-paced program without formal lectures. These sections are marked PSI 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 140 by the Keller Plan should read this information before registering. Cost:3 WL:1

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. Macintosh computers are used for data acquisition and analysis. Evaluation is based on participation and performance in the laboratory classes, and on written laboratory reports and quizzes. Cost:2 WL:1

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:1

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:2 WL:1

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.


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.