Non-Major Courses in Physics and Astronomy

Students who do not plan to pursue majors in the natural sciences or engineering may wish to consider the following courses to satisy their distribution requirements or their intellectual curiosity. Note that Phy 5 includes a lab, and Astr/Phy 7 may be combined with the optional lab, Astr/Phy 8...

PHY 5. Concepts in Physics (4) spring
Fundamental discoveries and concepts of physics and their relevance to current issues and modern technology. For students not intending to major in science or engineering. Lectures, demonstrations, group activities, and laboratories using modern instrumentation and computers. This is a non-calculus course; no previous background in physics is assumed. Three class meetings and one laboratory period per week. No prerequisites. Staff (NS)

PHY 7. (ASTR 7) Introduction to Astronomy (3) fall
Introduction to planetary, stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy. An examination of the surface characteristics, atmospheres, and motions of planets and other bodies in our solar system. Properties of the sun, stars, and galaxies, including the birth and death of stars, stellar explosions, and the formation of stellar remnants such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes. Quasars, cosmology, and the evolution of the universe. May not be taken by students who have previously completed ASTR/PHY 105, 301, or 302. (NS)

PHY 8. (ASTR 8) Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory (1) fall
Laboratory to accompany PHY 7 (ASTR 7). (NS) - Note: cannot be taken without Phy/Astr 7

PHY 105. (ASTR 105, EES 105) Planetary Astronomy (4) fall
Structure and dynamics of planetary interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres. Models for the formation of the solar system and planetary evolution. Internal structure, surface topology, and composition of planets and other bodies in our solar system. Comparative study of planetary atmospheres. Organic materials in the solar system. Properties of the interplanetary medium, including dust and meteoroids. Orbital dynamics. Extrasolar planetary systems. McCluskey (NS)

PHY 110 (ASTR 110) Methods of Observational Astronomy (1)
Techniques of astronomical observation, data reduction, and analysis. Photometry, spectroscopy, CCD imaging, and interferometry. Computational analysis. Examination of ground-based and spacecraft instrumentation, and data transmission, reduction, and analysis. McCluskey (NS)

 

A set of the following entry-level courses are usually taken by students who wish to pursue degrees in science, engineering, or architecture...

PHY 10. General Physics I (4) fall
Statics, dynamics, conservation laws, thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, fluids. Primarily for architecture, biological science, earth and environmental science students. Prerequisite: MATH 21, 31, or 51, previously or concurrently. Dierolf (NS)

PHY 11. Introductory Physics I (4)
Kinematics, frames of reference, laws of motion in Newtonian theory and in special relativity, conservation laws, as applied to the mechanics of mass points; temperature, heat and the laws of thermodynamics; kinetic theory of gases. Two lectures and two recitations per week. Prerequisite: MATH 21, 31 or 51, previously or concurrently. Licini (NS)

PHY 12. Introductory Physics Laboratory I (1)
A laboratory course taken concurrently with PHY 11. Experiments in mechanics, heat, and DC electrical circuits. One three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: PHY 10 or 11, preferably concurrently. Kanofsky (NS)

PHY 13. General Physics II (3) spring
A continuation of PHY 10, primarily for biological science and earth and environmental science students. Electrostatics, electromagnetism, light, sound, atomic physics, nuclear physics, and radioactivity. Prerequisites: PHY 10 or 11 and MATH 21, 31, or 51. Vavylonis (NS)

PHY 21. Introductory Physics II (4)
A continuation of PHY 11. Electrostatics and magnetostatics; DC circuits; Maxwell’s equations; waves; physical and geometrical optics; introduction to modern physics. Two lectures and two recitations per week. Prerequisite: PHY 11; MATH 23, 32, or 52, previously or concurrently. Hickman/Ou-Yang (NS)

PHY 22. Introductory Physics Laboratory II (1)
A laboratory course to be taken concurrently with PHY21. One three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: PHY 12; PHY 21, preferably concurrently. Licini (NS).

PHY 31. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3) spring
Experimental basis and historical development of quantum mechanics; the Schroedinger equation; one-dimensional problems; angular momentum and the hydrogen atom; many-electron systems; spectra; selected applications. Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: PHY 13 or 21; MATH 205, previously or concurrently. Hickman (NS)