The courses available in the Physics Department are listed below in order of catalog number. The number of credit hours for the courses are given in parentheses. Please click on the highlighted name for more information about the course you are interested in.

You may also wish to see the official on-line catalog

NOTE: If you are interested in on-line course materials for a specific course or a section of a course, please click here

PHSX PS/SI1010 Introduction to Physics (3) *A,
S, Su*

PHSX PS/SI1030 Introduction to Astronomy (3)
*A, S, Su*

PHSX PS/SI1360 Principles of Physical
Science (3) *A*

PHSX PS/SI2010 General Physics I (4) *A,
S, Su*

PHSX PS/SI2010L General Physics I
Laboratory (1) *A, S, Su*

PHSX 2020 General Physics II (4) *A,
S, Su*

PHSX 2020L General Physics Laboratory II
(1) *A, S, Su*

PHSX 2090 Environmental Physics - Energy
and Power (3)

PHSX PS/SI2210 Physics for Scientists &
Engineers I (4) *A, S*

PHSX PS/SI2210L Laboratory Physics I (1) *A,
S*

PHSX 2220 Physics for Scientists &
Engineers II (4) *A, S*

PHSX 2220L Laboratory Physics II (1) *A,
S*

PHSX 2300 Scientific Computing in C++ and Fortran

PHSX 2600 Laboratory Safety (1) *A, S*

PHSX 2740 Introductory Modern Physics (3)
*S*

PHSX 2890 Cooperative Work Experience
(1-6)

PHSX 2920 Short Courses, Workshops,
Institutes and Special Programs (1-4)

PHSX 3160 Astrophysics (3) *A*

PHSX 3180 Thermal Physics (3) *S*

PHSX 3190 Applied Optics (3) *A*

PHSX 3200 Solid State Physics (3) *S,
alternate years*

PHSX 3300 Computational Physics (3) *S*

PHSX 3410 Electronics I (4) *A*

PHSX 3420 Electronics II (3) *S,
alternate years*

PHSX 3500 Analytical Mechanics (3) *A*

PHSX 3510 Electromagnetic Theory (3) *A*

PHSX 3540 Mechanical and Electromagnetic
Waves (3) *S*

PHSX 3640 Classical Physics Laboratory
(2) *S*

PHSX 4570 Secondary School Science
Teaching Methods (3) *A*

PHSX 4610 Quantum Mechanics (3) *A*

PHSX 4620 Atomic & Molecular Physics
(3) *S*

PHSX 4800 Individual Research Problems
(1-3) *A, S, Su*

PHSX 4830 Topics in Physics (1-3) *A,
S, Su*

PHSX 4890 Cooperative Work Experience
(1-6) *A, S, Su*

PHSX 4920 Short Courses, Workshops,
Institutes and Special Programs (1-4)

PHSX 4970 Senior Thesis (2) *A, S*

PHSX 4990 Seminars in Physics (1) *A,
S*

PHSX 5030 Physics for Teachers (2-3)

**Catalog Description:** A brief survey of physics at the introductory
level. Topics covered include laws of motion, gravity, energy, light, heat, sound,
electricity, magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics, radioactivity, and relativity.
Three hours of lecture per week.

**Additional Course Description:** This is an introductory-level physics course which
aims at providing the student with a broad and general background in many different areas
of physics. The topics in this course include mechanics, heat, optics, atomic, nuclear and
particle physics and relativity.

**Prerequisite:** none

Official Departmental Syllabus

**Catalog Description:** A brief survey of the physical universe using the
fundamental laws of physics. Topics include the history of astronomy, the solar
system, the sun, the evolution of stars, pulsars, black holes, the Milky Way galaxy,
galaxies, quasars, and the Big Bang. Three hours of lecture per week.

**Additional Course Description:** This introductory-level course is designed to
give the student an overview of the physical universe and the objects contained within it
- the planets, stars, and galaxies. The basic physical processes of gravitation, light,
and atomic and nuclear physics are studied and used to describe and explain the structure
and evolution of astronomical objects.

**Prerequisites:** none

Official Departmental Syllabus

**Catalog Description:** A lecture/laboratory course designed to provide
an introduction to the scientific method and its application to the study of selected
topics in physics and chemistry. Two hours of lecture and one 3-hour lab per
week. Recommended for Elementary Education majors.

**Additional Course Description:** Physics 1360 is a lecture/laboratory course
recommended for Elementary Education majors. It is designed to provide an introduction to
the scientific method and its application to the study of selected topics in physics and
chemistry, and is presently being team-taught by faculty from physics and chemistry. There
are two classroom sessions plus one three-hour lab per week. Classroom demonstrations
involving student participation are used throughout the classroom sessions. The
instructors make every effort to provide the students (future elementary school teachers)
with a model of how science should be taught in the classroom.

**Prerequisites:** none.

**References:** Reading materials produced explicitly for this course.

**Suggested Syllabus:** The nature of science, measurement, classification,
experimentation, representing data, motion and Newton's laws, energy and work, heat and
temperature, electricity and magnetism, waves, sound, light, chemical elements, atomic
structure, forces between particles, atomic weights, electronic structure of atoms,
chemical compounds, chemical reactions, solutions, acids and bases, polymers.

**Catalog Description:** First semester of a two-semester sequence
in general physics, primarily for students in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, technology, and
other disciplines requiring physics without calculus. this semester covers topics in
mechanics, including kinematics, Newton's laws, and the conservation laws of energy,
linear momentum, and angular momentum. Also covered are topics in gravity, fluid
mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Prerequisite: Math 1060. Class meets
five hours per week in lecture/discussion format.

**Additional Course Description:** PHSX PS2010-2020 is an algebra-based physics course.
This first semester of the two-semester sequence describes both the translational and
rotational motions of objects, and the forces and torques that act on them. Newton's laws
of motion and the laws of conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum are the
foundations of the course. The important topic of heat (thermodynamics) is also covered.

**Prerequisites:** Math 1060

**Catalog Description:** Co-requisite: Phsx PS2010. One 3-hour
lab per week

**Additional Course Description:** This course is the laboratory component to PHSX PS2010. It includes experiments on
the fundamental laws of mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Each weekly laboratory
session involves a 3-hour experiment. This course must accompany PHSX PS2010.

**References:** Laboratory materials produced explicitly for this course.

**Catalog Description:** Second semester of a two-semester sequence
in general physics. This semester covers topics in electricity and magnetism,
electromagnetic waves, light and optics, relativity, atomic, and nuclear physics.
Prerequisite: Phsx PS2010. Class meets five hours per week in lecture/discussion
format.

**Additional Course Description:** The second semester of *General Physics* starts
with the basic properties and sources of electric and magnetic fields and the properties
of electromagnetic waves. The course then examines the nature of light, including
geometrical optics. Three areas of modern physics are also discussed: the special theory
of relativity, quantum physics, and atomic and nuclear physics.

**Prerequisites:** PHSX
PS2010

**Catalog Description:** Must accompany Phsx 2020. One 3-hour lab per week.

**Additional Course Description:** This course is the laboratory component to PHSX 2020. It includes experiments on
electricity and magnetism, optics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. Each weekly
laboratory session involves a 3-hour experiment. This course must accompany PHSX 2020.

**Catalog Description:** An interdisciplinary course dealing with
the chemical and physical concepts of energy and power. Emphasis will be placed on
the emerging energy crisis, effects upon the environment and the quality of life.

**Catalog Description:** First semester of a two-semester sequence
in calculus-based physics, primarily for students in science, math, computer science, and
pre-engineering. This semester covers topics in mechanics, including kinematics,
Newton's laws, and the conservation laws of energy, linear momentum, and angular
momentum. Also covered are topics in gravity, fluid mechanics, waves, and
thermodynamics. Co-requisite: Math 1210. Class meets five hours per
week in lecture/discussion format.

**Additional Course Description:** PHSX PS2210-2220 is a calculus-based physics course.
The first semester describes both the translational and rotational motions of objects, and
the forces and torques that act on them. Newton's laws of motion and the laws of
conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum are the foundations of the course.
The course also includes discussions of wave motions and heat (thermodynamics).

**Prerequisites:** Math 1210 (co-requisite)

**Catalog Description:** Co-requisite: Phsx PS2210. One
3-hour lab per week.

**Additional Course Description:** This course is the laboratory component to PHSX PS2210. It includes experiments on
the fundamental laws of mechanics, sound, waves, and thermodynamics. Each weekly
laboratory session involves a 3-hour experiment. This course must accompany PHSX PS2210.

**Catalog Description:** Second semester of a two-semester sequence
in calculus-based physics. This semester overs topics in electricity and magnetism,
electromagnetic waves, light and optics, relativity, and quantum, atomic, and nuclear
physics. Pre-requisite: Phsx
PS2210. Co-requisite: Math 1220. Class meets five hours per week in
lecture/discussion format.

**Additional Course Description:** The second semester of *Physics for Scientists and
Engineers* starts with a description of the basic properties and sources of electric
and magnetic fields. Maxwell's equations are then used to study the properties of
electromagnetic waves. The course then examines the nature of light. Three
areas of modern physics are also discussed: the special theory of relativity, quantum
physics, and atomic and nuclear physics.

**Prerequisites:** PHSX PS2210 and Math 1220
(corequisite)

**Catalog Description:** Must accompany Phsx 2220L. One 3-hour
lab per week.

**Additional Course Description:** This course is the laboratory component to PHSX 2220. It includes experiments on
electricity and magnetism, optics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. Each weekly
laboratory session involves a 3-hour experiment. This course must accompany PHSX 2220.

**Catalog Description:** Introduction to the C, C++, and
Fortran programming languages. General programming theory and
practice. Introduction to applications of computers and computer
programming in the sciences. Prerequisites: Math QL1050 and Math
1060 or Math QL1080 or placement test.

**Catalog Description:** An interdisciplinary, team-taught course
that will be an overview of the major chemical, biological and physical safety issues
related to science laboratories and field work. Class will meet once per week and will be
taught in a lecture/demonstration format.

**Catalog Description:** Relativity, quantum effects, the hydrogen
atom, many-electron atoms, molecular and solid-state bonding, quantum effect devices,
nuclear structure, nuclear reactions, and devices, elementary particles.
Prerequisites: Phsx
2220, Math 1220.

**Additional Course Description:** This course presents an introduction to our modern
understanding of nature, which has been developed during the twentieth century. Topics
include Einstein's special theory of relativity, the theory of quantum mechanics,
wave-particle duality, the nature of atoms, and nuclear physics.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2220, Math 1220

**Catalog Description:** Open to all students in the Physics
Department who meet the minimum Cooperative Work Experience requirements of the
department. Provides academic credit for on-the-job experience. Grade and
amount of credit will be determined by the department.

**Catalog Description:** Consult the class schedule for the current
offering under this number. The specific title and credit authorized will appear on
the student transcript.

**Catalog Description:** Selected topics in astrophysics which may
include telescopes, celestial mechanics, stellar structure and evolution, stellar
pulsation, supernovae, black holes, interstellar medium, galactic structure, active
galaxies, quasars, galactic clusters and superclusters, and cosmology. Prerequiste: Phsx 2220.

**Additional Course Description:** Astrophysics uses fundamental physical processes in
order to understand the wide variety of phenomena found throughout the universe.
Consequently, the whole range of ideas studied in the Phsx PS2210-2220 series is applied to
planetary and stellar systems. In this course we will investigate the orbital motions of
planets, the nature of our Sun, the dust and gas found between the stars, the evolution of
stars, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Students will also have
the opportunity to build computer models of astrophysical systems using programs that are
based on the physical processes discussed in class.

**Prerequisite:** Phsx
2220

**Catalog Description:** An introduction to thermodynamics and
statistical mechanics. Topics include heat and work; ideal gases; equipartition of
energy; entropy; the Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein distribution; applications
to heat engines, refrigeration, chemical equilibrium, phase transitions, blackbody
radiation, and properties of solids. Prerequiste: Phsx 2220 and Math 1220.

**Additional Course Description:** Thermodynamics deals with systems containing very
large numbers of particles, bridging the gap between the microscopic and macroscopic
description of such systems. We will see how heat, temperature, and pressure are related
to the motions and energies of individual atoms. We will also learn why many processes are
irreversible and study the implications of this fact.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2220 and Math 1220.

**Catalog Description:** Geometrical and physical optics, lasers,
lenses, optical instruments, interference, thin films, interferometry, holography,
diffraction, gratings, crystal diffraction, polarization. Prerequisites: Phsx 2220/2220L, Math 1220. Two lectures and
one 3-hour lab a week.

**Additional Course Description:** This survey course is an introduction to classical
and modern optics. The laboratory section of the class provides hands-on experience with
the material covered in lecture. Significant experience will be gained with applications
of optics including photonics, interferometry, and lasers.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2220/2220L
and Math 1220

**Catalog Description:** Modern theory of the solid state, with
emphasis on crystal structures, energy gands and fermi levels, conduction in metals and
semiconductors, Hall effect, photoconductivity, junction diodes and transistors, field
effect transistors, integrated circuit structure and fabrication. Prerequisite: Phsx
2740

**Additional Course Description:** The laws of classical physics and quantum mechanics
are used to describe the behavior of atoms and shared electrons in solids. Analysis of
this behavior explains properties of solids that can be measured in laboratories and can
be used in technology.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2740

**Catalog Description:** Computational techniques are discussed in
the context of addressing important physical problems. Topics may include
root-finding algorithms, curve fitting, interpolation methods, linear systems, numerical
integrations, differential equations, boundary value problems, finite difference methods,
eigenvalue problems, Fourier analysis, and Monte Carlo methods. Prerequistes:
Phsx 2220, Math 2250, and a computer
programming language.

**Additional Course Description:** Since their introduction, computers have played an
important role in our ability to understand the physical universe. With the increasing
availability of high-speed computers on the desktop, these machines are fast becoming
indispensable tools for all physicists. In this course, basic numerical methods will be
presented that are commonly used in the modeling of real physical systems. These methods
will allow us to explore a variety of complex problems encountered in physics that do not,
in general, have purely analytical systems.

**Prerequisite:** Phsx
2220; Math 2250; a computer programming language

**Catalog Description:** An introductory course in electronics for
students in physics and other sciences. The course includes a brief review of a.c.
circuit analysis using complex impedances and covers basic principles of semiconductor
operation, transitor switching, analog and digital integrated circuits, analog-digital
conversion techniques used in computer interfacing, and noise. Prerequiste: Phsx 2220/2220L.

**Additional Course Description:** Measurements of physical phenomena in the laboratory
almost always involve the need to detect some event, produce an electrical signal
associated with that event, amplify that signal, and treat or analyze that signal in some
way. Often this involves using a computer for data gathering and/or experiment control.
These steps require a knowledge of electronics that goes beyond the basic Kirchhoff's law
and Ohm's law learned in the introductory course. The courses *Electronics I* and *II*
are designed to introduce students to basic electronics principles, both analog and
digital, that will allow them to move into advanced laboratory work in physics and other
fields of science.

**Prerequisite:** Phsx
2220, 2220L

**Catalog Description:** Intermediate-level course in electronics
for students in physics and other sciences. Topics may include: power supplies and
voltage regulation, analog transistor operation, silicon-controlled rectifiers,
phototransistors, LEDs, unijunction transistors, active filters, oscillators, phase-locked
loops, computer modeling of circuit operation, etc. Prerequiste: Phsx 3410.

**Additional Course Description:** Measurements of physical phenomena in the laboratory
almost always involve the need to detect some event, produce an electrical signal
associated with that event, amplify that signal, and treat or analyze that signal in some
way. Often this involves using a computer for data gathering and/or experiment control.
These steps require a knowledge of electronics that goes beyond the basic Kirchhoff's law
and Ohm's law learned in the introductory course. The courses *Electronics I* and *II*
are designed to introduce students to basic electronics principles, both analog and
digital, that will allow them to move into advanced laboratory work in physics and other
fields of science.

**Prerequisite:** Phsx
3410

**Catalog Description:** Particle motion, oscillating systems;
planetary motion, stability of orbits; collisions; Euler's equations, gyroscopic motion;
Lagrange's equations, Hamilton's equations, theory of vibrations. Prerequiste: Phsx 2220, Math 2250.

**Additional Course Description:** This course employs differential equations to solve
many of the problems involving the relationships between position and time for classical
mechanical situations. It deals with the concepts and relationships of motion, force,
mass, acceleration, energy, torque, momentum, and related topics.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2220, Math 2250

**Catalog Description:** Vector analysis; electrostatics;
calculating electric potentials; solving Laplace's equation; multipole expansions;
electrostatic fields in matter; magnetostatics; charges in motion; electrodynamics;
Faraday's law; Maxwell's equations. Prerequistes: Phsx 2220, Math 2210 and Math 2250.

**Additional Course Description:** The theory of electromagnetism describes the
behavior of electric and magnetic fields and how they are produced by electric charge.
During the first quarter, the geometry of static electric and magnetic fields is
investigated, along with the electric charges and currents that produce the fields.
Techniques for calculating electric and magnetic fields from potentials are developed. The
properties of static electric and magnetic fields inside matter are also studied.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2220, Math 371

**Catalog Description:** Periodic motions, free and forced
vibrations; resonance; normal modes; dispersion; boundary conditions; electromagnetic
waves and light; the Fresnel equations; electromagnetic radiation from accelerating
charges. Prerequisites: Phsx
3500, 3510.

**Additional Course Description:** This course examines wave phenomena that are common
to all waves, with examples drawn from many areas of classical mechanics and
electromagnetic theory. Beginning with the periodic motion of simple mechanical systems,
the course progresses through the superposition of periodic motions, the free and forced
vibration of physical systems and the conditions for resonance. The study of coupled
oscillators and their normal modes leads to Fourier analysis. Wave pulses are used to
study dispersion, and phase and group velocities. Finally, the study of boundary
conditions finds application with both mechanical and electromagnetic waves. Maxwell's
equations are manipulated to reveal the existence of electromagnetic waves. The basic laws
of optics are then derived, and the emission of light by moving charges is studied.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
3500, 3510

**Catalog Description:** Advanced experiments in the areas of
mechanics, electricity and magnetism, modern physics, and nuclear physics.
Introduction to computerized data acquisition and data analysis. Two two-hour labs
each week. Prerequiste: Phsx
2220/2220L
and Phsx 3410

**Additional Course description:** Advanced experiments involving many of the
fundamental concepts of classical physics, the determination of many of the fundamental
constants, and an introduction to the basic instrumentation used in nuclear physics.
Emphasis is placed on obtaining hands-on experience and developing laboratory skills. Key
skills developed in this course include error analysis, computer-based analysis of data,
presentation of results, experimental techniques, and the ability to use
advanced-laboratory instrumentation.

**Prerequisites:** Phsx
2220/2220L,
Phsx 3410

**Catalog Description:** Acquaintance with the various methods and
curriculum of secondary school science. Two lectures and one 3-hour lab a week.
It is recommended that this course be completed before student teaching.
Prerequisites: Phsx
2220/2220L
or approval of instructor, and admission to the Teacher Education Program.

**Catalog Description:** Wave-particle duality, Schrödinger
equation, wave function, quantization rules, one-dimensional motion, one-electron atoms,
spin and orbital angular momentum. Prerequisite: Phsx 2740. Corequisties: Phsx 3500, Math 3710.

**Additional Course Description:** Quantum mechanics is the theory of the interactions
of electrons and atoms. These particles behave in many ways like waves, governed by the
Schrödinger equation. We will solve this equation for a variety of systems, and discuss
the origin of the quantization of energy and angular momentum.

**Prerequisite:** Phsx
2740. Corequisties: Phsx
3500, Math 3710

**Catalog Description:** Approximation methods, multielectron atoms,
atomic radiation, nuclear models, nuclear decay, fission and fusion, nuclear forces,
elementary particles, quark model, strong and electroweak interactions, unified field
theories. Prerequistie: Phsx
4610.

**Additional Course Description:** This course is the application of quantum mechanics
to the study of atomic, molecular, nuclear, and particle physics. Approximation techniques
like perturbation theory and the variational method are studied. These techniques are
applied to study the Zeeman effect, Stark effect, and multi-electron atoms like the helium
atom. The rotational and vibrational energies of molecules may also be investigated. The
course then moves on to discuss nuclear phenomena, including nuclear models, radioactive
decay, nuclear force, and the study of fission and fusion reactions. The course will
conclude with the study of particle physics, including the discovery of pions, kaons,
etc., the quark-parton model, and the gauge theory of elementary particles.

**Prerequisite:** Phsx
4610

**Catalog Description:** Time and credit to be arranged. Open
to qualified students for one or more quarters. Prerequiste: consent of
instructor.

**Additional Course Description:** This course provides the student with the
opportunity for independent work in physics. The student should select the topic under the
guidance and with the consent of a faculty member.

**Catalog Description:** Topics which can be studied include (but
are not limited to): mechanics, thermodynamics, kinetic theory, statistical mechanics,
electronics, electromagnetism, optics, solid-state physics, modern physics, nuclear
physics, relativity, cosmology, and astrophysics. These courses may be taken at any
time on a personalized basis. Time and credit to be arranged. May be repeated.
Prerequiste: consent of instructor.

**Prerequisite:** Consent of instructor.

**Catalog Description:** A continuation of Phsx 2890. Open to all students.

**Catalog Description:** Consult the class schedule for the current
offering under this number. The specific title and credit authorized will appear on
the student transcript.

**Catalog Description:** An individual research program pursued
under faculty supervision. It is expected that one or more semester of research
(Phsx 4800) will precede registration for this
course. Course evaluation will include an oral and a written report.
Prerequistes: senior class standing and consent of departmental committee.

**Prerequisite:** Senior class standing and consent of Departmental committee.

**Catalog Description:** Joint sessions of faculty and students
devoted to current topics in physics. Students taking this course for credit will
make a presentation based on individual library research of a topic agreed on with the
faculty advisor. One credit required for physics majors. May be taken twice
for credit. Prerequiste: previous upper division physics course.

**Additional Course Description:** This course provides the student with the
opportunity to make a presentation based on library or original research of a physics
topic agreed on with a faculty advisor.

**Prerequisite:** Previous upper division physics courses.

**Catalog Description:** Science content course for teachers in the
M.Ed. Science Emphasis Program. To register, select another departmental course and
develop a contract detailing additional work required for graduate credit. Course may be
repeated. Contract must be approved by instructor, departmental chair, and Director of the
Master of Education Program.