Undergraduate Courses in Physics and Astronomy

Physics Courses (Courses Designated PHY)

PHY 005 Concepts In Physics 4 Credits
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.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 009 Introductory Physics I Completion 1-2 Credits
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. Consent of department required.
Prerequisites: MATH 021 or MATH 031 or MATH 051 or MATH 076 or MATH 075
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 021, MATH 031, MATH 051, MATH 076, MATH 075
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 010 General Physics I 4 Credits
Statics, dynamics, conservation laws, thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, fluids. Primarily for architecture, biological science, earth and environmental science students.
Prerequisites: MATH 021 or MATH 031 or MATH 051 or MATH 076 or MATH 075
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 021, MATH 031, MATH 051, MATH 076, MATH 075
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 011 Introductory Physics I 4 Credits
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.
Prerequisites: MATH 021 or MATH 031 or MATH 051 or MATH 076 or MATH 075
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 021, MATH 031, MATH 051, MATH 076, MATH 075
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 012 Introductory Physics Laboratory I 1 Credit
A laboratory course taken concurrently with PHY 10 or 11. Experiments in mechanics, heat, and DC electrical circuits. One three-hour laboratory period per week.
Prerequisites: PHY 010 or PHY 011
Can be taken Concurrently: PHY 010, PHY 011
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 013 General Physics II 3 Credits
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 010 or PHY 011) and (MATH 021 or MATH 031 or MATH 051)
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 021, MATH 031, MATH 051
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 019 Introductory Physics II Completion 1-2 Credits
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. Consent of instructor required.
Prerequisites: (PHY 010 or PHY 011) and (MATH 022 or MATH 032 or MATH 052)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 021 Introductory Physics II 4 Credits
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. May not be taken by students who have previously completed PHY 023.
Prerequisites: (PHY 010 or PHY 011) and (MATH 022 or MATH 032 or MATH 052)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 022 Introductory Physics Laboratory II 1 Credit
A laboratory course to be taken concurrently with PHY 13 or 21. One three-hour laboratory period per week.
Prerequisites: (PHY 012) and (PHY 021 or PHY 013 or PHY 023)
Can be taken Concurrently: PHY 021, PHY 013, PHY 023
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 023 Introductory Physics II with Relativity 4 Credits
A version of PHY 021 for students interested in majoring in physics or astrophysics, or students with a strong interest in related fields. It is well-suited for students with PHY 011 AP credit, or with PHY 021 AP credit who wish to replace that course with a more sophisticated version. The theory of electricity and magnetism is developed from a modern point of view, emphasizing the unity of electric and magnetic fields in the context of special relativity.
Prerequisites: (PHY 010 or PHY 011) and (MATH 022 or MATH 032 or MATH 052)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 031 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics 3 Credits
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.
Prerequisites: (PHY 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023) and MATH 205
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 205
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 091 Measurement and Transducers 1 Credit
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 021 or PHY 023) and PHY 022
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 190 Electronics 3 Credits
DC and AC circuits, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, oscillators, and digital circuitry. Two laboratories and one recitation per week.
Prerequisites: (PHY 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023) and PHY 022
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 212 Electricity and Magnetism I 3 Credits
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, and electromagnetic induction.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 013 or PHY 023) and MATH 205
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 205
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 213 Electricity and Magnetism II 3 Credits
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.
Prerequisites: PHY 212
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 215 Classical Mechanics I 4 Credits
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 021 or PHY 013 or PHY 023) and MATH 205
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 205
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 220 Advanced Physics Laboratory I 3 Credits
In a lab/lecture format, students learn basic elements needed for experimental, observational and computational work in physics, astrophysics and other technical areas. This course and its continuation as PHY 221 include topics such as electronics, optics, vacuum systems, data acquisition and analysis, curve fitting, scientific computing, interfacing of computers to experiments, and modern machining. These methods will be utilized in the examination of various physical systems; e.g., atomic and molecular spectroscopy, astronomical observations, condensed-matter phenomena, and others.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and PHY 022 and CSE 002
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 221 Advanced Physics Laboratory II 2 Credits
This is a continuation of PHY 220.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and PHY 022 and PHY 220
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 262 Advanced Physics Laboratory 2 Credits
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 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023) and PHY 022
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 272 Special Topics In Physics 1-4 Credits
Selected topics not sufficiently covered in other courses.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

PHY 273 Research 2-3 Credits
Participation in current research projects being carried out within the department.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 281 Basic Physics I 3 Credits
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.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 282 Basic Physics II 3 Credits
Continuation of PHY 281.
Prerequisites: PHY 010 or PHY 011 or PHY 281
Attribute/Distribution: NS

For Advanced Undergraduates And Graduate Students...

PHY 300 Apprentice Teaching 1-4 Credits

PHY 321 (BIOE 321) Biomolecular & Cellular Mechanics 3 Credits
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 and MATH 231 and PHY 022 and (PHY 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 331 (BIOE 331) Integrated Bioelectronics/Biophotonics Laboratory 2 Credits
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 013 or PHY 021) and PHY 022 and (PHY 190 or ECE 081)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 332 (ASTR 332) High-Energy Astrophysics 3 Credits
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. Generally offered in the spring of odd-numbered years.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 023 or MATH 033)
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 023, MATH 033
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 340 Thermal Physics 3 Credits
Basic principles of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and statistical mechanics, with emphasis on applications to classical and quantum mechanical physical systems.
Prerequisites: (PHY 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 023 or MATH 032 or MATH 052)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 342 (ASTR 342) Relativity and Cosmology 3 Credits
Special and general relativity. Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes. Super massive stars. Relativistic theories of the origin and evolution of the universe. Generally offered in the spring of even-numbered years.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 023 or MATH 033)
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 023, MATH 033
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 348 Plasma Physics 3 Credits
Single particle behavior in electric and magnetic fields, plasmas as fluids, waves in plasmas, transport properties, kinetic theory of plasmas, controlled thermonuclear fusion devices. Must have senior standing or consent of the department chair.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and MATH 205
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 352 Modern Optics 3 Credits
Paraxial optics, wave and vectorial theory of light, coherence and interference, diffraction, crystal optics, and lasers.
Prerequisites: MATH 205 and (PHY 212 or ECE 202)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 355 Nonlinear Optics 3 Credits
This course will introduce the fundamental principles of nonlinear optics. Topics include nonlinear interaction of optical radiation with matter, multi-photon interactions, electro-optics, self and cross phase modulation, and the nonlinear optical susceptibilities that describe all these effects in the mainframe of electromagnetic theory.
Prerequisites: PHY 031 and (PHY 213 or ECE 203)
Can be taken Concurrently: PHY 213, ECE 203
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 362 Atomic and Molecular Structure 3 Credits
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.
Prerequisites: PHY 031 or CHM 341
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 363 Physics of Solids 3 Credits
Introduction to the theory of solids with particular reference to the physics of metals and semiconductors.
Prerequisites: (PHY 031 or MAT 316 or CHM 341) and PHY 340
Can be taken Concurrently: PHY 340
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 364 Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics 3 Credits
Models, properties, and classification of nuclei and elementary particles; nuclear and elementary particle reactions and decays; radiation and particle detectors; accelerators; applications.
Prerequisites: PHY 031 and MATH 205
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 365 Physics Of Fluids 3 Credits
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)
Can be taken Concurrently: PHY 212, ECE 202, PHY 340, ME 104
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 369 Quantum Mechanics I 3 Credits
Principles of quantum mechanics: Schroedinger, Heisenberg, and Dirac formulations. Applications to simple problems.
Prerequisites: PHY 031 and MATH 205 and PHY 215
Can be taken Concurrently: PHY 215
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 372 Special Topics In Physics 1-3 Credits
Selected topics not sufficiently covered in other courses.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 380 Introduction to Computational Physics 3 Credits
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.
Prerequisites: MATH 205
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 205
Attribute/Distribution: NS

PHY 389 Honors Project 1-8 Credits
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

 

Astronomy/Astrophysics Courses (Courses Designated ASTR)

ASTR 007 Introduction to Astronomy 3 Credits
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 105, PHY 105, ASTR 301, PHY 301, ASTR 302 OR PHY 302.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 008 Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory 1 Credit
Laboratory to accompany ASTR 007. Must be enrolled concurrently in ASTR 007.
Corequisites: ASTR 007
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 105 Planetary Astronomy 3 Credits
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.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 110 Methods of Observational Astronomy 1 Credit
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.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 272 Special Topics in Astronomy 1-4 Credits
Selected topics not sufficiently covered in other courses.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 273 Research 2-3 Credits
Participation in current research projects being carried out within the department.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

For Advanced Undergraduates And Graduate Students...

ASTR 300 Apprentice Teaching 3 Credits

ASTR 301 Modern Astrophysics I 3 Credits
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 010 or PHY 011) and (PHY 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 022 or MATH 032 or MATH 052)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 302 Modern Astrophysics II 3 Credits
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 010 or PHY 011) and (PHY 013 or PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 022 or MATH 032 or MATH 052)
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 332 (PHY 332) High-Energy Astrophysics 3 Credits
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. Generally offered in the spring of odd-numbered years.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 023 or MATH 033)
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 023, MATH 033
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 342 (PHY 342) Relativity and Cosmology 3 Credits
Special and general relativity. Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes. Super massive stars. Relativistic theories of the origin and evolution of the universe. Generally offered in the spring of even-numbered years.
Prerequisites: (PHY 021 or PHY 023) and (MATH 023 or MATH 033)
Can be taken Concurrently: MATH 023, MATH 033
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 372 Special Topics in Astronomy 1-4 Credits
Selected topics not sufficiently covered in other courses.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: NS

ASTR 389 Honors Project 1-6 Credits
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.