Course Offerings

The purpose of the Physics curriculum is to provide students with the concepts of classical and contemporary physics and to develop both theoretical and experimental skills. The objective is to give students a fuller awareness of the structure and principles of the created universe and their relationship to technological culture.

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Physics Courses (PHYS)

See the Financial Information section of the College catalog for course fees.

PHYS *205. Physics of Music. Basic concepts of sound and acoustics; vibrations, waves, fundamentals and overtones, musical scales, harmony, noise, physical and physiological production, and detection of sound waves; acoustical properties of materials and enclosures. (2)

PHYS *221. General Physics I. Basic concepts of mechanics, waves and heat. Non-calculus based. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: MATH 218 or equivalent. Not open to students with prior credit for PHYS 231 or 233.

PHYS *222. General Physics II. Basic concepts of electromagnetism, optics, and modern physics. Non-calculus based. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 221. Not open to students with prior credit for PHYS 232 or 234.

PHYS 231. Introductory Physics I. Energy and momentum, conservation laws, Newtonian mechanics, Einstein’s special relativity. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Pre or Corequisite: MATH 231.

PHYS 232. Introductory Physics II. Electricity, magnetism, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: 4 hours of PHYS 231 or PHYS 233. Pre or Corequisite: MATH 232.

PHYS 233. Introduction to Special Relativity. Reference frames, nature of spacetime, conservation of four-momentum. Prerequisites: score of 4 or 5 on AP Physics C- Mechanics or equivalent. Pre or Corequisite: MATH 231. (1)

PHYS 234. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. Quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYS 231 or PHYS 233 and score of 4 or 5 on AP Physics C- Electricity/Magnetism or equivalent. Pre or Corequisite: MATH 232 or equivalent. (2)

PHYS 294. Physics and Engineering Seminar. Exploration of professional issues related to the physics and engineering disciplines including career choices, current research and trends, the relationship of physics/engineering to church and society, and the relationship of physics/engineering to the liberal arts. Open to freshmen and sophomores only. (1)

PHYS *301. Origins of Modern Science. The historical development of science from its Babylonian and Egyptian origins, through Greek science to the scientific revolution, including basic concepts in astronomy and mechanics, and their cultural interactions. Prerequisite: 4 hour lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster.  (2)

PHYS *302. Ideas of Modern Science. The historical development of the ideas of science from the Newtonian synthesis to the present, including concepts in optics, electromagnetism, relativity, and quantum theory and their cultural interactions. Prerequisite: 4 hour lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. (2)

PHYS *303. Ideas of Quantum Mechanics. Conceptual and historical development of quantum mechanics raising questions of cultural, theological, and philosophical interactions. Prerequisite: 4 hour lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster.  (2)

PHYS 311. Introduction to Medical Physics. A survey of radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging, and health physics with discussion on ethical and stewardship concerns of these technologies. Prerequisites: PHYS 222 or 232. (2)

PHYS *315. Topics in Physical Science. Selected topics from the following: atmospheric physics, cosmology, or nonlinear dynamics and chaos. (2)

PHYS 321. Math Methods for Physics and Engineering I. Vector Calculus, Matrices and Determinants, Linear Vector Spaces, Probability and Statistics. Applications in classical and quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism appropriate for science and engineering. Prerequisite: MATH 232.

PHYS 322. Math Methods for Physics and Engineering II. Infinite Series, Fourier Analysis, Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, Special Functions, Calculus of Variations. Applications in classical and quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism appropriate for science and engineering.  Prerequisite: PHYS 321; or MATH 245 and MATH 331.

PHYS 333. Thermal Physics and Fluids. An introduction to the thermodynamic principles of microstates, entropy, and heat engines as well as basic fluid mechanical concepts of buoyancy and fluid flow. Prerequisite: PHYS 232.  (2)

PHYS 334. Computer Modeling of Physical Systems. An introduction to computer methods for the analysis, modeling and simulation of physical systems and analysis of experimental data. Applications taken from mechanics, fluids, electricity and magnetism. Prerequisite: PHYS 232. (2)

PHYS 335. Modern Science Skills Laboratory. Development of skills in experimental technique, error analysis, writing lab reports, oral presentations, use of spreadsheets and Matlab, and the study of ethical issues in industry. Prerequisites: PHYS 321 (or consent of instructor) and PHYS 334. (2)

PHYS 341. Analytical Mechanics. Particle and rigid body dynamics, central forces and gravitation, rotating systems and bodies, Lagrange and Hamilton formulations, generalized coordinates, and normal modes. Prerequisites: PHYS 334 and ( PHYS 322 or MATH 333). Alternate years.

PHYS 342. Electromagnetic Theory. Electrostatics, steady currents, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and radiation. Pre or Corequisite: PHYS 322 or MATH 333. Prerequisites: PHYS 334 and (PHYS 321 or MATH 331). Alternate years.

PHYS 343. Experimental Physics. Basic experimental methods and laboratory experiments in electrical measurements and modern physics given as an independent research project. Six hours laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYS 335 and Junior or higher standing. (2, lin)

PHYS 344. Quantum Mechanics. Elements of quantum physics, solutions of Schroedinger's equation applied to atomic and molecular structure, applications, interpretations. Prerequisites: PHYS 334 and (PHYS 322 or MATH 333). Alternate years.

PHYS 351. Analog Electronics. Basic principles of electronic circuits and devices. AC and DC circuit fundamentals, filters, diodes, transistors, amplifiers, and operational amplifiers. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 334. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 352. Computer Data Acquisition. Digital electronics, analog to digital conversion, computer interfacing, and data acquisition with LabView software. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 351. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 353. Introductory Optics. Electromagnetic and quantum mechanical theory of light, geometrical and physical optics, interference, diffraction, and optical instruments. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 334. Pre or Corequisite: PHYS 335. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 354. Advanced Optics. Light propagation in matter, polarization, Fourier optics, aberrations, holography, lasers, and modern optical materials and components. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 353. Pre or Corequisite: PHYS 322. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 359. Thermodynamics. Theory of heat and gases, introduction to kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Alternate years. Prerequisite: PHYS 334.

PHYS 361. Solid State Physics and Nanotechnology. Bonding and structure of crystals, electronic properties of insulators, semiconductors, metals, and superconductors, limits of smallness, molecular assembly, and nanoscale physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 344. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 362. Plasma Physics. Introduction to plasma physics including definition of a plasma, single particle and guiding center motions, fluid descriptions, waves, instabilities, and applications of plasma physics in space and astrophysics, controlled thermonuclear fusion, and industry. Pre or Corequisite: PHYS 342. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 365. Mathematical Physics. Applications of mathematical methods in physics, including boundary value problems, partial differential equations, complex variables. Prerequisites:  PHYS 334 and (PHYS 322 or MATH 333). Alternate years.

PHYS 366. Particle Physics and Cosmology. Elementary particles, fundamental interactions, conservation laws and symmetries, big bang cosmology, dark matter and dark energy. Prerequisite: PHYS 334. Alternate years. (2)

PHYS 494. Seminar. Study of the wider cultural significance of physics including its historical development; its relationship to other disciplines; its philosophical interpretations; its place in a Christian worldview; and one's stewardship toward society. Independent study and classroom presentation. Prerequisite: senior standing in the major. (2, lin)

PHYS 495. Independent Study. Independent research. (1-4)

PHYS 496. Internship. Supervised off-campus experience with departmental approval. Graded pass/fail. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing with Physics major. (2-4)

PHYS 499. Honors Thesis. An independent project providing original laboratory research developed in a scholarly paper and culminating in an oral examination.  Fulfills partial requirement for an honors degree in physics.  Additional requirements are available in the Physics Office.  (2-4 hours).

*Not applicable to physics major or minor.

Astronomy Courses (ASTR)

ASTR 301. Planetary Astronomy. Observation of the sky and its cycles. Study of historical ideas about the planets, origin and development of the solar system, and modern discoveries in planetary astronomy. Prerequisite: 4 hour lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster.  (2)

ASTR 302. Stellar Astronomy. Observation of the sky and its cycles. Study of Big Bang Cosmology and the life history of stars in the light of Christian theology. Prerequisite: 4 hour lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. (2)

ASTR 303. History of Cosmology. Study of the historical development of cosmology in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Greece, Asia, and the Americas through contemporary developments. Cultural and religious interactions with developments in cosmology are emphasized. Prerequisite: 4 hour lab course in the Studies in Nature cluster. Nature cluster non-lab general education course. Diversity designation (2)

Revision date: June 1, 2011

 

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