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Spring 2024 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.

SCI 100-02 Dr. Sawyer

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: Science in the Arts: Color and Music

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  

NSC 200: Tools of Nanoscience

This survey course introduces students to the major concepts and techniques of nanoscience through lectures and demonstrations. This survey is intended to be phenomenological and conceptual, setting the stage for the exploration of experimental nanoscience. Students will be introduced to why nanoscale objects are different, how to make them, how to characterize them, and how to visualize them.

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.

PHY 100-01 Dr. Sudol Syllabus
PHY 100-02 Dr. Pfeil    Syllabus

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.

PHY 123-01 Dr. Aptowicz Syllabus
PHY 123-02 Dr. Aptowicz Syllabus

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.

PHY 130-01 Dr. Pfeil    Syllabus
PHY 130-02 Dr. Morrison Syllabus
PHY 130-03 Dr. Morrison Syllabus

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 requires prerequisite of PHY 130.

PHY 140-01 Dr. Chen   Syllabus
PHY 140-02 Dr. Kandalam   Syllabus                                                                                                                   

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 requires a prerequisite of MAT 161.
Gen Ed Attribute: (SD) Science Distributive Requirement.

Dr. Kandalam   Syllabus

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. Chen   Syllabus  

PHY 205 Cellular and Molecular Biophysics

This course draws on concepts and tools from physics, biology, and chemistry to understand how energy is transformed into order in living systems. This will require students to consider the roles evolution, polymer physics, and chemistry have played in shaping the machinery of life. This course is aimed at students from physics, biology, and chemistry who are interested in stretching themselves beyond disciplinary boundaries.

Dr. Pfeil   Syllabus  

PHY 240 Introduction to Modern Physics

An atomic view of electricity and radiation, atomic theory, special relativity theory, X-rays, radioactivity, nuclear fission, and introductory quantum mechanics.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 240 requires prerequisites of PHY 140 or PHY 180 and MAT 162.

Dr. Waite   Syllabus

PHY 245 Measurement and Uncertainty Units

This course is designed to strengthen students' understanding of measurement and uncertainty in the laboratory setting as well as how to present data in a manner consistent with (i) the standards and conventions of the scientific community and (ii) the concepts of transparency, reproducibility, and credibility.

Dr. Sudol Syllabus

PHY 275:  Computational Physics

This is an introductory course on the basic ideas and programming skills of computational physics, with a six-week introduction to programming given at the beginning of the course. Students will develop their own computer software to solve problems in mechanics, electrostatics, magnetism, quantum mechanics, chaos and other areas.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 275 requires prerequisites of MAT 162 and PHY 170 and corequisite courses of MAT 261 and PHY 180.

Dr. Chen   Syllabus

PHY 330: Electronics

Emphasis is divided between theory and experiment. The course begins with a brief review of resistive and RC voltage dividers. Electronic circuits studied include basic operational amplifiers, timers, instrumentation amplifiers, logic circuits, flip flops, counters, and timers.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 330 requires prerequisites of MAT 161 and PHY 140 or PHY 180.

Dr. Thornton   Syllabus

PHY 350: Heat and Thermodynamics

Equations of state, first and second laws of thermodynamics, ideal and real gases, entropy, and statistical mechanics.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 350 requires prerequisites of PHY 240 and MAT 261.

Dr. Pfeil   Syllabus  

PHY 390: Fundamentals of Astrophysics

An advanced physics course that deals with a broad range of topics in modern astrophysics. Topics include, but are not limited to, astronomical measurements, celestial mechanics, radiative transfer theory, stellar structure, and both newtonian and relativistic cosmology.

Dr. Sudol Syllabus

PHY 455:  Advanced Physics Lab

This course is a continuation of PHY 310, a lecture and laboratory course designed to familiarize students with modern physics laboratory equipment and practices through a series of experiments. Students write three research papers and give one research talk describing the experiments and their results in a style consistent with scientific conventions.

Pre / Co requisites: PHY 455 requires a prerequisite of PHY 320.
Gen Ed Attribute: (W) Writing Emphasis.

Dr. Mitchell