2005 - 2006 Physics Courses

PHYS

102

Introduction to the Physical Universe, LE

(3)

Elementary study of physics and chemistry as applied to understanding the universe. Topics include planet Earth, the solar system, stars and galaxies, cosmology, introduction to astrophysics, the role of physics in understanding natural phenomena, plus historical and philosophical development of scientific thought. Active learning strategies including writing are employed. MATH 105 is recommended as background.

 

PHYS

104

Explorations in Science and Society, LE

(4)

Science is full of discourse and debate, but what are these scientists arguing about and how does it affect you? This class is more than just a physics class. It is a class in how science as a whole works and its ramifications for society at large. We will examine the different circumstances under which scientists may disagree and explore the extent to which these disagreements can affect public policy. In addition to learning about contemporary debates in science, students will also take part in debates and will work collaboratively to propose unique solutions to problems in sustainability and resource management.

 

PHYS

151-
152

Principles of Physics I and Lab
Principles of Physics II and Lab

(4)
(4)

A one-year algebra and trigonometry-based introductory physics course using the workshop method. This method combines inquiry-based cooperative learning with the comprehensive use of computer tools for data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modeling. Kinematics, Newton's Laws of motion, conservation laws (energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum), rotational motion, and oscillations are studied during the first semester. In the second semester, topics in electricity, magnetism, dc circuits, thermodynamics, and geometric optics are covered. Recommended for life science and pre-med. students. Prerequisite: MATH 141-142. A passing grade of C- or better in PHYS 151 or PHYS 211 is a prerequisite for PHYS 152.

 

PHYS

200

Special Topics in Physics

(1-4)

Topics in physics of wide interest and interdisciplinary nature will be offered as requested. Regular offerings include physical science for elementary and junior high teachers, conceptual physics and physics of biology. Prerequisite: MATH 105.

 

PHYS

211-
212

Physics for Scientists and Engineers I and Lab
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II and Lab

(4)
(4)

A one-year calculus-based introductory physics course using the workshop method. This method combines inquiry-based cooperative learning with the comprehensive use of computer tools for data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modeling. Kinematics, Newton's Laws of motion, conservation laws (energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum), rotational motion, and oscillations are studied during the first semester. In the second semester topics in electricity, magnetism, dc circuits, thermodynamics, and chaos dynamics are covered. Recommended for physical science, mathematics, computer science, and 3-2 engineering students and for biology majors preparing for graduate study. Three two-hour sessions per week. Prerequisite: MATH 141-142. Co-requisites: MATH 201-202. A passing grade of a C- or better in PHYS 211 is a prerequisite for PHYS 212.

 

PHYS

300

Special Topics in Physics

(1-4)

Topics of interest and importance to students majoring in the physical sciences are offered as needed. Regular offerings include topics such as solid state physics, particle physics, and others in modern physics are offered as requests are made or need arises. Prerequisite: MATH 142.

 

PHYS

301

Introduction to Modern Physics

(3)

Elementary concepts of modern physics. Topics include: special relativity, elementary quantum theory, atomic and molecular spectra, X-rays, introduction to solid state, nuclear and laser physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 152 or 212.

 

PHYS

305

Optics and Electronics

(4)

This class is intended to give students a background in practical optical and electronic design. Topics studied include lenses and mirrors, systems of lenses and mirrors and aberrations in lenses and mirrors, polarizers and filters, interference and diffraction, logic gates flip-flops and counters, displays, various sensors and operational amplifiers as amplifiers, active filters and oscillators and timers. Ray diagrams and Fermat's Principle of least time are treated along with waves, the electromagnetic basis for understanding polarization, and Laplace Transforms for circuit analysis. Prerequisites: PHYS 152 or 212 and MATH 202.

 

PHYS

309

Mathematical Methods of Physics

(4)

Specifically designed to introduce physical science students to the elements of mathematics that are useful in the upper division coursework. Prerequisites: MATH 202, 204. This course is a prerequisite for most of the upper division physics classes and should be taken as early as possible.

 

PHYS

311

Analytical Mechanics

(4)

Intermediate problems in Newtonian mechanics, system of particles, dynamics of rigid bodies, gravitation, moving coordinate systems, mechanics of continuous media, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, and the theory of small vibrations. Prerequisites: MATH 202, 204; PHYS 212, 309.

 

PHYS

352

Methods of Teaching Physical Sciences

(3)

For physics secondary education majors. Offered on sufficient demand.

 

PHYS

370

Scientific Computing

(3)

An introduction to programming techniques that apply to a wide range of scientific disciplines. Topics include basic programming principles, equation solving, and model simulation. Prerequisites: PHYS 211, or both PHYS 151 and MATH 201 or equivalent. Students who have completed CMPT 201 may not take this course without instructor's approval. Same as BIOL 370 and CHEM 370.

 

PHYS

400

Advanced Topics in Physics

(1-5)

Meets the special needs of physics majors. Subjects offered include: (a) Topics in Modern Physics: Relativity and Quantum Theory, and (b) Biophysics. The course offering depends upon student need and interest. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

 

PHYS

401

Directed Studies

(1-4)

A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Physics Program. Prerequisites: senior standing and consent of instructor and school dean.

 

PHYS

410

Quantum Mechanics

(4)

A study of the basic principles of quantum mechanics and its application to atomic structure, molecular structure and spectroscopy. A laboratory section accompanies the lecture. Prerequisites: CHEM 112; MATH 204; PHYS 212, 309. Same as CHEM 421.

 

PHYS

411

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

(4)

A study of the theoretical macroscopic properties of matter. An introduction to statistical mechanics, chemical thermodynamics and kinetics with applications to gases, solutions, and phase and chemical equilibria. A laboratory section accompanies the lecture. Prerequisites: CHEM 112; MATH 204; PHYS 212; 309. Same as CHEM 422.

 

PHYS

425

Quantum Physics

(3)

Study of the mathematical fundamentals of quantum mechanics and its application to diverse non-chemical problems. Applications include quantization of problems, measurability, fundamental particles, scattering, operator algebra, representation theory, and more approximate methods. Prerequisite: PHYS 410.

 

PHYS

430

Undergraduate Research

(1-4)

Students undertake a portion of a research project and learn all aspects of scientific inquiry. One credit hour equates to three hours per week in the laboratory. This course may be taken one credit at a time. Permission of a faculty mentor is required.

 

PHYS

431

Electrodynamics

(4)

Fundamental theories of electricity and magnetism from the viewpoint of fields. Topics include electrostatic fields, Laplace's and Poisson's equations, magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations, propagation of electromagnetic waves, and electromagnetic radiation. Prerequisites: PHYS 212, 309; MATH 204.

 

PHYS

440

Internship

(1-8)

Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster), minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of the Career Resource Center Internship Workshop, and consent of program director and Career Center Internship Coordinator.

 

PHYS

487

Undergraduate Teaching

(1)

Provides an opportunity for teaching experience in lower-division laboratories by junior- and senior-level Physics majors. PHYS 487 may not be used as elective hours in the Physics majors or minors. This course is graded Credit/No Credit. Prerequisite: consent of program director.