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Department of Physics

Physics is the most basic of the natural sciences. Its domain includes the study of the smallest fundamental particles of nature and the largest aggregations of galaxies in the universe. It is a study of forces and conservation principles. The language of physics is mathematics, and the deepest understanding and the most elegant expressions of physics are communicated symbolically through mathematics.

Physics outlines the fundamental principles on which other sciences are based. A year of college-level physics is a requirement for the bachelor of science degrees in biology, chemistry and exercise science, as well as in some tracks in mathematics and computer science. Medical schools as well as some other schools in the health professions require a year of college-level physics.

Students planning to take PH 211-212 must have MA 141 College Algebra and Trigonometry or math placement, or introductory calculus.

The minor in physics is suspended until the University resumes offering 300 and 400 level courses in physics. Courses in physics numbered 300 or higher will not be offered until further notice.

Courses in Physics

PH 111 Physics and the Modern World
(3 credits - Fall, Spring)

The excitement of seeing the physics in the world around us makes this course appropriate for students majoring in humanities, social sciences and education. Principles studied in motion, light and waves are from classical physics (conceptual rather than mathematical), but students will be introduced to ideas from twentieth-century relativity, quantum physics and cosmology.
Must be taken concurrently with PH 111L.

PH 111L Laboratory for Physics and the Modern World
(1 credit - Fall, Spring)

Physical observations and measurements in experiments that relate to topics in the lecture course are assigned, some of which are done outside the laboratory as 'every-day world' physics.
Must be taken concurrently with PH 111.

PH 211 Principles of Physics I
(3 credits - Fall)

The physical principles of motion of particles and interaction forces, equilibrium, work-energy, fluids, wave motion, sound, heat and thermodynamics are introduced using conceptual ideas and problem solving. Parallel mathematical derivations will be used occasionally to introduce students to calculus formulations.
Must be taken concurrently with PH 211L.
Prerequisite: MA 141 College Algebra and Trigonometry or math placement, or introductory calculus

PH 211L Laboratory for Principles of Physics I
(1 credit - Fall)

Selected experiments in topics that parallel the lecture course in motion, equilibrium, sound and heat using analog and digital electronic data acquisition with traditional equipment will introduce the student to methods of investigating scientific phenomena and communicating results.
Must be taken concurrently with PH 211.

PH 212 Principles of Physics II
(3 credits - Spring)

The physical principles of electricity and magnetism, electromagnetic radiation and light, optics, relativity, quantum theory and nuclear physics are introduced using conceptual ideas and problem solving. Parallel mathematical derivations will be used occasionally to introduce students to calculus formulations.
Must be taken concurrently with PH 212L.
Prerequisites: PH 211 or consent, MA 141 College Algebra and Trigonometry or math placement, or introductory calculus

PH 212L Laboratory for Principles of Physics II
(1 credit - Spring)

Selected experiments in topics that parallel the lecture course in electricity and magnetism, optics and radiation physics will continue the methods used for investigating scientific phenomena and communicating scientific findings.
Must be taken concurrently with PH 212.

PH 261 Analog and Digital Electronics
(2 credits - Spring Odd Years)

An introduction to electricity, electronic components and digital electronic circuits will be covered. In the lab students will build analog and digital circuits that demonstrate these topics.
Course meets for one lecture and one three-hour laboratory session.

PH 271 Astronomy
(3 credits - Offered on Sufficient Demand)

An introduction to the universe and concepts of our solar system, including origins of planets, stars and galaxies will be studied. Group observations of the evening sky will be part of the course.
Knowledge of algebra is assumed.