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Fall 2023 Courses

SCI 100: Climate Change

This course provides an introduction to the science of climate change. Core topics include albedo, the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle, and feedback mechanisms between these phenomena. Students will study past climates, climate models, and the impacts of modern climate change. Near the end of the semester students will discuss efforts to mitigate climate change. They conclude by briefly discussing the most widely adopted climate change policies. No previous experience with these subjects is assumed.

Gen Ed Attribute: Science Distributive Requirement.

Dr. Morrison

SCI 102: Electricity with Phys and Bio Applications

An exploration of the physics of electrical circuits, the chemical basis of electricity as the flow of electrons, acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions in chemical and in chemical and in living systems, the electrical activity in the human nervous system, and connections between electricity and sensation and locomotion in humans.

Pre / Co requisites: Education majors only.

Dr. Hoang

SCI 103: Waves of Reality

This class will be geared towards how physics shows up in art and music. Students will initially study what will seem like basic physics: force and motion, electric and magnetic fields, periodic oscillations, and wave properties. They will then begin to focus on light, optics and color, and the human eye. Next, they will focus on sound, sound production, sound perception, and the organization of sound into musical scales such that "music" can be constructed.

Gen Ed Attribute: Science Distributive Requirement.

Dr. Mitchell 

PHY 100: Elements of Physical Science

A study of motion, energy, light, and some aspects of modern physics.

Gen Ed Attribute: (SD) Science Distributive Requirement.


100-01 Dr. Sawyer

100-02   Dr. Sudol
100-03    Dr. Chyba 

PHY 123: Food, Fire, and Physics: The Science of Cooking

An exploration of food and cooking from a physical science perspective. Principles of soft matter physics (e.g. phase diagram, intermolecular forces, viscosity, diffusion, self-assembly, polymer physics) are discussed and used to gain insight into food and cooking.

Gen Ed Attribute: Science Distributive Requirement.

Dr. Aptowicz

PHY 130: General Physics I

An introductory, non-calculus, physics course. Mechanics of solids and fluids, wave motion, heat and temperature, thermodynamics, and kinetic theory.

Gen Ed Attribute: (SD) Science Distributive Requirement.


130-01   Dr. Pfeil
130-02   Dr. Chen
130-03   Dr. Sudol

130-04 Dr. Chen

PHY 140: General Physics II

An extension of PHY 130. Electricity and magnetism, geometrical and physical optics, and modern physics.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 140 has a prerequisite of PHY 130.


140-01 Dr. Kandalam
140-02 Dr. Thornton

140-03 Dr. Pfeil                                                                                                                          

PHY 170: Physics I

An introductory calculus-based physics course. Includes mechanics, kinetic theory, waves, heat, and thermodynamics. The laboratory emphasizes error analysis, the writing of technical reports, and data analysis using computers.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 170 has a prerequisite of MAT 161.
Gen Ed Attribute: (SD) Science Distributive Requirement.

Dr. Chen

PHY 180: Physics II

A continuation of PHY 170. Includes electricity and magnetism, geometrical and physical optics, electronics, and modern physics.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 180 requires prerequisite of PHY 170 and co-requisite of MAT 162.
Gen Ed Attribute: (SD) Science Distributive Requirement.

Dr. Kandalam

PHY 300:  Mechanics

Particle kinematics, dynamics, energy, and momentum considerations; oscillations; central force motion; accelerated reference frames; rigid body mechanics; Lagrangian mechanics.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 300 has prerequisites of PHY 140 or PHY 180 and MAT 162.

Dr. Mitchell

PHY 310:  Intermediate Physics Lab: Experimental Methods & Scientific Communication

A lecture and laboratory course designed to familiarize students with experimental physics and scientific communication. Students conduct experiments, analyze data, and come to evidence-based conclusions. In addition, explicit instruction occurs on writing and presenting in the discipline of physics. Students write a scientific report on an experiment and present their findings to the department.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 310 has prerequisites of PHY 240 and PHY 175.
Gen Ed Attribute: Speaking Emphasis, Writing Emphasis.

Dr. Aptowicz

PHY 370: Mathematical Physics

Selected topics in mathematics applied to problems in physics, ordinary differential equations, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, matrix algebra, and eigenvalue problems.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 370 has prerequisites of PHY 175, PHY 180, MAT 261, MAT 315 or (MAT 311 and MAT 343), or instructor permission.

Dr. Waite

PHY 410: Optics

Geometrical and physical optics. Reflection and refraction at surfaces, lenses, interference and diffraction, and polarization.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 410 has prerequisites of MAT 261, MAT 315, and PHY 175.

Dr. Pfeil

PHY 420: Quantum Mechanics I

An introductory course in quantum mechanics. Topics covered include the Schrödinger equation, stationary states, time evolution, position and momentum space wave functions, bound states, scattering states, spin and orbital angular momentum, hydrogenic atoms, and entanglement. Additional topics may include perturbation theory, conserved quantities, particle statistics, and quantum information.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 420 has a prerequisite of PHY 240 and a corequisite of MAT 370.

Dr. Morrison

PHY 430: Electricity and Magnetism I

Electrostatics of point charges and extended charge distributions, fields in dielectrics, and magnetic fields due to steady currents. Ampere's Law and induced emfs. Topics in electromagnetic waves as time permits.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 430 has prerequisites of PHY 300 and MAT 343 or PHY 370.

Dr. Kandalam