Physics and Astronomy (PHYS)

PHYS 107. Elementary Astronomy - S3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Description: Introduction to the basic laws of nature as seen in the large-scale structure of the universe: galaxies, stars and our solar system.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 108. Elementary Astronomy Laboratory - SL1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent or prior registration in PHYS 107.

Description: Experiments in astronomy illustrating basic physical concepts.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 111. Elements of Physics - B4 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Appropriate math placement.

Description: An introduction to the physics of mechanics, forces, energy and momentum. Electricity and magnetism: electrical conduction, and magnets. Optics: color, mirrors, and lenses. Basic ideas and concepts of quantum physics.

Note: May not be taken by student who has completed 5 or more hours in Physics at the 200-level.
Note: Not acceptable toward a Physics major.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 219. Contemporary Issues in Meteorology Lab - SL1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Concurrent enrollment in GEOS 220/PHYS 220.

Description: A lab designed to provide real-world examples of atmospheric processes through analysis and problem solving using basic concepts and physical principles relevant to the atmosphere.

Note: Cross-listed with GEOS 219.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 220. Contemporary Issues in Meteorology - S3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Description: Contemporary issues serve as an introduction to the physical basis, distribution and consequences of global-scale meteorological phenomena.

Note: Cross-listed with GEOS 220.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 221. Fundamentals of Physics I - S3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): Appropriate Math placement.

Description: Basic concepts and methods of physics as applied in the study of mechanics, heat and sound.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 222. Fundamentals of Physics II - S3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 221 or its equivalent.

Description: Basic concepts and methods of physics as applied in the study of electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 223. Fundamentals of Physics Lab I - SL1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 221 (or concurrently).

Description: Experiments in mechanics, heat and sound.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 224. Fundamentals of Physics Laboratory II - SL1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 222 (or concurrently).

Description: Experiments in electricity, magnetism, and light.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 295. Introductory Laboratories I - SL1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 298 (or concurrently).

Description: Experiments in mechanics and heat.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 296. Introductory Laboratories II - SL1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 299 (or concurrently).

Description: Experiments in electricity, magnetism, and light.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 298. Introductory Mechanics, Heat and Sound - S4 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): MATH 205 (or concurrently).

Description: Basic methods of physics with calculus applied to topics in mechanics, heat and wave motion.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 299. Introductory Electricity, Magnetism and Light4 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): MATH 206 (or concurrently) and PHYS 298.

Description: Basic methods of physics with calculus applied to topics in electricity, magnetism and light.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 300. Introductory Modern Physics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 299; physics majors should take PHYS 301 concurrently.

Description: Introduction to special relativity and quantum theory, with applications to atomic, nuclear, and solid state physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 301. Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 300 (or concurrently).

Description: Experiments in modern physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 307. Introductory Stellar Astrophysics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 298, PHYS 299, MATH 205, and MATH 206 required; PHYS 300 recommended.

Description: A calculus-based introduction to the physics of the solar system, and stars, covering celestial mechanics, tides, the nature of light, star and planet formation and evolution.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 308. Observational Astronomy1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 221 and PHYS 222, or PHYS 298 and PHYS 299, or equivalent.

Description: Optical astronomy including observing at Moore Observatory, solar observing, instrumentation control with computers, and astronomical data acquisition and interpretation.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 350. Differential Equations for the Physical Sciences4 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): MATH 206 or permission of instructor.

Description: Topics include methods of solution of differential equations,and simple modeling of phenomena using differential equations.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 351. Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory2 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 300.

Description: Experimental procedures in atomic and nuclear physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 355. Optics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 299.

Description: Introduction to wave theory of light and relation between light waves and rays; theory of thick lenses and lens aberrations; interference and diffraction of coherent light.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 356. Optics Laboratory2 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 299.

Description: Laboratory experiments illustrating the reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, and polarization of light.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 360. Introduction to Weather Analysis3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): MATH 205.

Description: A study of day-to-day weather patterns with an emphasis on understanding the basics of meteorological processes, forecast preparation, and mastery of manual data analysis. Topics covered will include manual construction of weather maps, interpreting observations, an introduction to physics of meteorological processes and the structure of circulation patterns.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 361. Atmospheric Thermodynamics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Prerequisite(s): MATH 206 with a C or better, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 550; and MATH 301 (or concurrently).

Description: An introduction to the principles of thermodynamics and their applications to atmospheric structure and dynamics. Includes the study of relationships among pressure, temperature, density, internal energy, entropy, atmospheric interaction with gravity, and the central role of water in atmospheric dynamics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 362. Physical Meteorology3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 361.

Description: An introduction to the application of physics to atmospheric structure and dynamics. Includes cloud formation, and the effects of planetary rotation on large-scale atmospheric motion.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 365. Mesoscale Meteorology3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 360.

Description: Introduction to mesoscale processes, with an emphasis on convective storms and severe weather, and the techniques used for the study and prediction of such events.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 371. Special Topics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): Faculty consent.

Description: Exploration of intermediate level of some well-defined topic not treated comprehensively in a regular course.

Note: Topic announced in Schedule of Courses.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 390. Introductory Computational Physics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 300 and MATH 301.

Description: Introduction to the Unix/Linux operating system and the use of contemporary programming languages with applications to physics, including basic numerical methods, simulations, and data manipulation. Introduction to scientific software packages including data visualization.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 430. Practicum in Physics Education - CUE1 Unit

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): Completion of PHYS 300 and PHYS 460; PHYS majors only; permission to enroll required; minimum 3.0 GPA in major to be eligible.

Description: A guided learning experience in inquiry-based instructional techniques and best practices in STEM education that includes field experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant.

Note: May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit hours.

Course Attribute(s): CUE - This course fulfills the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) requirement for certain degree programs. CUE courses are advanced-level courses intended for majors with at least 90 earned credits/senior-level status.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 450. Introductory Mathematical Physics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 350 and MATH 301.

Description: Introduction to mathematical methods and concepts used in physics. Topics include: vector calculus, matrices and linear vector spaces, special functions and partial differential equations.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 460. Mechanics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 298 and PHYS 350.

Description: Kinematics, particle dynamics, oscillatory motion, central forces, rigid body motion, variation methods.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 465. Dynamic Meteorology I3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 361.

Description: An introduction to the theory of atmospheric dynamics with application of Newtonian physics and classical thermodynamics to geophysical fluid dynamics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 466. Dynamic Meteorology II3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 465.

Description: This is the second semester in the theory of atmospheric dynamics and dynamic meteorology. Topics may include shear instability, atmospheric waves, moist convection, and weather fluctuation.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 469. Synoptic Meteorology - CUE3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Corequisite(s): PHYS 466.

Description: Employing knowledge and skills developed over the entire program, the course will examine the structure and dynamics of mid-latitude weather systems. Students will learn to integrate observations, numerical weather prediction models, and the physical principles developed in previous courses to understand the atmosphere's behavior and develop weather forecasts.

Course Attribute(s): CUE - This course fulfills the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) requirement for certain degree programs. CUE courses are advanced-level courses intended for majors with at least 90 earned credits/senior-level status.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 495. Communicating in Physics1 Unit

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing.

Description: Preparation and oral presentation of scientific results in a seminar format. Organization and written presentation of scientific results in a journal format. Communication of research results through a website.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 496. Senior Seminar in Physics - CUE, WR3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 460 and senior standing.

Description: Students will review current professional journals in the discipline and discuss effective scientific writing, including the draft and revision process. Students will write a reflect on the connections between their physics education and critical thinking models. Students will also perform a research project and present the results in journal format.

Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).

Course Attribute(s): CUE - This course fulfills the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) requirement for certain degree programs. CUE courses are advanced-level courses intended for majors with at least 90 earned credits/senior-level status.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 497. Senior Thesis in Physics - CUE, WR3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 460 and senior standing.

Description: Students will perform original research and write up their methods and results in a multi-chapter thesis. Research projects may be a continuation of previously initiated research.

Note: Approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR).

Course Attribute(s): CUE - This course fulfills the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) requirement for certain degree programs. CUE courses are advanced-level courses intended for majors with at least 90 earned credits/senior-level status.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 498. Undergraduate Research1-3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 301, PHYS 350, PHYS 351 and approval of instructor.

Description: Experimental or theoretical research under the guidance of a physics faculty member. The student will participate in one of the ongoing research projects in the department. The student will acquire hands-on-experience in an actual research project. The student will produce a written report on the results of the research project.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 499. Cooperative Internship in Physics - CUE1-3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 295, PHYS 296, PHYS 298, PHYS 301 and 6 additional hours in Physics; Junior standing or above; approval of department.

Description:

Note: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Note: Three hours may apply toward BA or BS major programs as upper division major electives or may be used to satisfy requirement for Culminating Undergraduate Experience.

Course Attribute(s): CUE - This course fulfills the Culminating Undergraduate Experience (CUE) requirement for certain degree programs. CUE courses are advanced-level courses intended for majors with at least 90 earned credits/senior-level status.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 501. Independent Study1-3 Units

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 502. Independent Study1-3 Units

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 507. Solar System Astronomy3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 298, PHYS 299, PHYS 300; MATH 205 and MATH 206.

Description: This is an advanced course in solar system astrophysics, and will cover orbital mechanics, the nature of light, astronomical instrumentation, solar physics, planetary atmospheres/geophysics, comets/asteroids, interplanetary dust and exo-planets.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 520. Vibrations and Sound3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 298, PHYS 299 and MATH 206.

Description: Vibrating bodies, propagation of sound waves, physical acoustics, and ultrasonics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 530. Thermal Physics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 299 and MATH 301.

Description: The laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic reasoning, and elements of statistical mechanics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 531. Introductory Statistical Physics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 530.

Description: Elementary probability theory applied to the understanding of properties of macroscopic matter in terms of their microscopic constituents. Kinetic theory of gases, transport phenomena. Equations of state derived from ensemble theory.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 541. Electromagnetic Fields3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Occasionally Offered

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 298, PHYS 299, PHYS 300, PHYS 350, and MATH 301.

Description: Electrostatic and magnetostatic fields in free space and in material media, solutions of Poisson's equation, time dependent fields, Maxwell's equations.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 542. Electromagnetic Radiation3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 541.

Description: Poisson's equation and LaPlace's Equation, propagation of electromagnetic fields with applications to optics and microwave physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 545. Advanced Optics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 355 and PHYS 542; or consent of instructor.

Description: Topics in optical physics including optical system design, lasers, and quantum optics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 546. Advanced Optics Lab1 Unit

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 355 or equivalent.

Description: Laboratory experiments illustrating fundamental optical phenomena, the interaction of light and matter, lasers, and quantum optics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 547. Fundamentals of Lasers3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 355; and PHYS 542 or ECE 473; or consent of instructor.

Description: Topics to be discussed include interaction of light with matter, optical amplifiers, laser resonators, Gaussian and higher order optical beams, non-linear optics, and ultra-fast laser pulses.

Note: Cross-listed with ECE 540.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 555. Elementary Quantum Mechanics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 300, PHYS 350, and PHYS 460.

Description: General concepts of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger equation and solutions in one, two and three-dimensions, hydrogen atom, and orbital angular momentum.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 556. Quantum Theory of Matter3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 555.

Description: Spin and general angular momentum, perturbation theory, variational principle, applications, identical particles, and scattering.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 561. Mathematical Physics I3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 350.

Description: Selected mathematical techniques and their applications to various fields of physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 562. Mathematical Physics II3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 350.

Description: Selected mathematical techniques and their applications to various fields of physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 565. Computational Physics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 390; and PHYS 555 or PHYS 561 taken concurrently; familiarity with a programming language.

Description: Introduction to modern computational methods in physics with application to problems in different branches of physics.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 570. Atomic and Molecular Physics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 541 and PHYS 555; or consent of instructor.

Description: The structure of atoms and diatomic molecules, the production of coherent radiation and its interaction with matter.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 575. Solid State Physics3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Fall Only

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 541 and PHYS 555, or consent of instructor.

Description: Crystal structure, elastic waves, lattice dynamics, phonons, band theory of solids and conductivity phenomena.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 580. Nuclear Physics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 541 and PHYS 555; or consent of instructor.

Description: Phenomenological study of nuclear properties. Nuclear structure and reactions, radioactive decay, interaction of charged particles with matter.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 585. Elementary Particle Physics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 541 and PHYS 555, or consent of instructor.

Description: Properties of elementary particles. Detectors and accelerators. Weak and electromagnetic interactions. Quark model of hadrons, strong interactions.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 589. General Relativity3 Units

Term Typically Offered: Spring Even Years

Prerequisite(s): MATH 301 and PHYS 460.

Description: Review of classical gravitation and special relativity, Riemannian geometry, Einstein field equations, exact solutions, tests of the theory, gravitational collapse and black holes, gravitational waves, cosmology.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 590. Astrophysics3 Units

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 307 and PHYS 350, or equivalent.

Description: Physics applied to the interstellar medium; the atmospheres, structure, and evolution of stars; galaxies.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes

PHYS 595. Special Topics1-3 Units

Description: Introduction to an advanced topic or elaboration of an intermediate topic not treated comprehensively in a regular course.

For class offerings for a specific term, refer to the Schedule of Classes