- Home
- About
- Courses
- Undergrad
- Grad
- Events
- Faculty
- Research
- Research Areas
- Accelerator Physics
- Astronomy & Astrophysics
- Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics
- Biophysics
- Computational Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Cosmology and String Theory
- High Energy Physics
- Nano Science
- Nonlinear Optics & Photonics
- Plasma Physics
- Soft Condensed Matter/Fluids
- Statistical Physics

- REU
- Organizations
- Outreach
- Gallery
- Directions

# Undergraduate Courses in Physics and Astronomy

**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)

**ASTR 8. Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory (1) fall**

Laboratory to accompany ASTR 7. (NS)

**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 9. Introductory Physics I Completion (1-2)**

For students who have Advanced Placement or transfer credit for 2 or 3 credits of PHY 11. The student will be scheduled for the appropriate part of PHY 11 to complete the missing material. The subject matter and credit hours will be determined by the Physics Department for each student. Students with AP Physics C credit for mechanics will take the thermodynamics and kinetic theory part of PHY 11 for one credit. Prerequisite: MATH 21, 31, or 51 previously or concurrently; and consent of the department. (NS)**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 19. Introductory Physics II Completion (1-2)**

For students who have Advanced Placement or transfer credit for 2 or 3 credits of PHY 21. The student will be scheduled for the appropriate part of PHY 21 to complete the missing material. The subject matter and credit hours will be determined by the Physics Department for each student. Students with AP Physics C credit for electricity and magnetism will take the optics and modern physics part of PHY 21 for one credit. Prerequisite: 4 credits of PHY 10 or 11, MATH 23, 32, or 52 previously or concurrently; and consent of the department. (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)**PHY 91. Measurement and Transducers (1)**

Computer-assisted laboratory course, dealing with physical phenomena in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, spectroscopy and thermodynamics. Measurement strategies are developed and transducers devised. Computer simulation, analysis software, digital data acquisition. Prerequisites: PHY 21 and 22 or their equivalent or consent of chairperson. Kim (NS)**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)**PHY 190. Electronics (3) spring**

DC and AC circuits, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, oscillators, and digital circuitry. Two laboratories and one recitation per week. Prerequisites: PHY 21 and 22, or PHY 13 and 22. Stavola (NS)**PHY 212. Electricity and Magnetism I (3) fall**

Electrostatics, magnetostatics, and electromagnetic induction. Prerequisites: PHY 21 or 13; MATH 205, previously or concurrently. Rotkin (NS)**PHY 213. Electricity and Magnetism II (3) spring**

Maxwell’s equations, Poynting’s theorem, potentials, the wave equation, waves in vacuum and in materials, transmission and reflection at boundaries, guided waves, dispersion, electromagnetic field of moving charges, radiation, Lorentz invariance and other symmetries of Maxwell’s equations. Prerequisite: PHY 212. Toulouse (NS)**PHY 215. Classical Mechanics I (4) spring**

Kinematics and dynamics of point masses with various force laws; conservation laws; systems of particles; rotating coordinate systems; rigid body motions; topics from Lagrange’s and Hamilton’s formulations of mechanics; continuum mechanics. Prerequisites: PHY 21 or 13 and MATH 205, previously or concurrently. DeLeo (NS)**PHY 262. Advanced Physics Laboratory (2) spring**

Laboratory practice, including machine shop, vacuum systems, and computer interfacing. Experiment selected from geometrical optics, interference and diffraction, spectroscopy, lasers, fiber optics, and quantum phenomena. Prerequisites: PHY 21 and 22 or PHY 13 and 14. Staff (NS)**PHY 272. Special Topics in Physics (1-4)**

Selected topics not sufficiently covered in other courses. May be repeated for credit. (NS)**PHY 273. Research (2-3)**

Participation in current research projects being carried out within the department. Intended for seniors majoring in the field. May be repeated for credit. (NS)**PHY 281. Basic Physics I (3)**

A course designed especially for secondary-school teachers in the master teacher program. Presupposing a background of two semesters of college mathematics through differential and integral calculus and of two semesters of college physics, the principles of physics are presented with emphasis on their fundamental nature rather than on their applications. Open only to secondary-school teachers and those planning to undertake teaching of secondary-school physics. (NS)**PHY 282. Basic Physics II (3)**

Continuation of PHY 281. (NS)

**For Advanced Undergraduates And Graduate Students****PHY 301. (ASTR 301) Modern Astrophysics I (4) fall**

Physics of stellar atmospheres and interiors, and the formation, evolution, and death of stars. Variable stars. The evolution of binary star systems. Novae, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes. Stellar spectra, chemical compositions, and thermodynamic processes. Thermonuclear reactions. Interstellar medium. Prerequisites: PHY 10 and 13, or PHY 11 and 21, MATH 22 or 52. McSwain (NS)**PHY 302. (ASTR 302) Modern Astrophysics II (4) spring**

The Milky Way Galaxy, galactic morphology, and evolutionary processes. Active galaxies and quasars. Observed properties of the universe. Relativistic cosmology, and the origin, evolution and fate of the universe. Elements of General Relativity and associated phenomena. Prerequisites: PHY 10 and 13, or PHY 11 and 21, MATH 22 or 52. McCluskey (NS)**PHY 321 (BioE 321) Biomolecular & Cellular Mechanics (3)**

Mechanics and physics of the components of the cell, ranging in length scale from fundamental biomolecules to the entire cell. The course covers the mechanics of proteins and other biopolymers in 1D, 2D, and 3D structures, cell membrane structure and dynamics, and the mechanics of the whole cell. Prerequisites Math 205, Math 231, and PHY 13/22 or 21/22, or permission of the instructor. (NS)**PHY 331 (BioE 331) Integrated Bioelectronics/Biophotonics Laboratory (2) spring**

Experiments in design and analysis of bioelectronics circuits, micropatterning of biological cells, micromanipulation of biological cells using electric fields, analysis of pacemakers, instrumentation and computer interfaces, ultrasound, optic, laser tweezers and advanced imaging and optical microscopy techniques for biological applications, Prerequisites PHY 13/22 or PHY 21/22 and ECE 81 or PHY 190, or permission of instructor. (NS)**PHY 332. (ASTR 332) High-Energy Astrophysics (3) spring, odd numbered years**

Observation and theory of X-ray and gamma-ray sources, quasars, pulsars, radio galaxies, neutron stars, black holes. Results from ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma-ray satellites. Prerequisites: MATH 23 or 33, previously or concurrently, and PHY 21. McCluskey (NS)

P**HY 340. Thermal Physics (3) fall**

Basic principles of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and statistical mechanics, with emphasis on applications to classical and quantum mechanical physical systems. Prerequisites: PHY 13 or 21, and MATH 23, 32 or 52. Kim (NS)**PHY 342. (ASTR 342) Relativity and Cosmology (3) spring, even numbered years**

Special and general relativity. Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes. Super massive stars. Relativistic theories of the origin and evolution of the universe. Prerequisites: MATH 23 or 33, previously or concurrently, and PHY21. McCluskey (NS)**PHY 348. Plasma Physics (3)**

Single particle behavior in electric and magnetic fields, plasmas as fluids, waves in plasmas, transport properties, kinetic theory of plasmas, controlled thermonuclear fusion devices. Prerequisites: PHY 21, MATH 205, and senior standing or consent of the chairman of the department. Kritz (NS)**PHY 352. Modern Optics (3)**

Paraxial optics, wave and vectorial theory of light, coherence and interference, diffraction, crystal optics, and lasers. Prerequisites: MATH 205, and PHY 212 or ECE202. Toulouse (NS)**PHY 355. Lasers and Nonlinear Optics (3)**

Basic principles and selected applications of lasers and non-linear optics. Topics include electromagnetic theory of optical beams, optical resonators, laser oscillation, non-linear interaction of radiation with atomic systems, electro- and acousto-optics, optical noise, optical waveguides, and laser devices. Prerequisites: PHY 31; PHY 213 or ECE 203, previously or concurrently. Biaggio (NS)**PHY 362. Atomic and Molecular Structure (3) fall**

Review of quantum mechanical treatment of one-electron atoms, electron spin and fine structure, multi-electron atoms, Pauli principle, Zeeman and Stark effects, hyperfine structure, structure and spectra of simple molecules. Prerequisite: PHY 31 or CHM 341. Biaggio. (NS)**PHY 363. Physics of Solids (3) fall**

Introduction to the theory of solids with particular reference to the physics of metals and semiconductors. Prerequisite: PHY 31 or Mat 316 or CHM 341, and PHY 340 or equivalent, previously or concurrently. Stavola (NS)**PHY 364. Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics (3) spring**

Models, properties, and classification of nuclei and elementary particles; nuclear and elementary particle reactions and decays; radiation and particle detectors; accelerators; applications. Prerequisites: PHY 31 and MATH 205. Kanofsky (NS)**PHY 365. Physics of Fluids (3) spring**

Concepts of fluid dynamics; continuum and molecular approaches; waves, shocks and nozzle flows; nature of turbulence; experimental methods of study. Prerequisites: PHY 212 or ECE 202, and PHY 340 or ME 104 or equivalent, previously or concurrently. Kim (NS)**PHY 369. Quantum Mechanics I (3) spring**

Principles of quantum mechanics: Schroedinger, Heisenberg, and Dirac formulations. Applications to simple problems. Prerequisites: PHY 31, MATH 205; PHY 215, previously or concurrently. Rotkin (NS)**PHY 372. Special Topics in Physics (1-4)**

Selected topics not sufficiently covered in other courses. May be repeated for credit. (NS)**PHY 380. Introduction to Computational Physics (3) spring**

Numerical solution of physics and engineering problems using computational techniques. Topics include linear and nonlinear equations, interpolation, eigenvalues, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, statistical analysis of data, Monte Carlo, and molecular dynamics methods. Prerequisite: MATH 205 previously or concurrently. Kritz (NS)