College of Arts and Sciences


Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy
Courses in Physics
  • PHYS-P 101 Physics in the Modern World I (4 cr.) Three lectures and one 1 1/2-hour laboratory period each week. Includes elements of classical physics and the ideas, language, and impact of physics today. Not open to students with credit in PHYS-P 100, PHYS-P 103, PHYS-P 151, PHYS-P 201, or PHYS-P 221. (Fall/Spring (occasionally))
  • PHYS-P 120 Energy and Technology (3 cr.) Intended for students majoring in the social sciences and the School of Business and Economics. Provides physical basis for understanding interactions of technology and society, thereby promoting rational decision making in problems such as energy use, automation, and the directions of technological change. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 201 General Physics I (5 cr.) P: MATH-M 125, MATH-M 126 or equivalent. Newtonian mechanics, wave motion, heat and thermodynamics, fluids. Application of physical principles to related scientific disciplines including life sciences. One discussion section, two lectures, and one two-hour laboratory period each week. Credit cannot be given for PHYS-P 201 and PHYS-P 221. (Fall)
  • PHYS-P 202 General Physics II (5 cr.) P: PHYS-P 201. Wave motion, electricity and magnetism, geometrical and physical optics, introduction to concepts of relativity, quantum theory, atomic and nuclear physics. One discussion section, two lectures, and one two-hour laboratory each week. Credit cannot be given for PHYS-P 202 and PHYS-P 222. (Spring)
  • PHYS-P 221 Physics I (5 cr.) P: MATH-M 216 or consent of instructor. First semester of a three-semester sequence intended for chemistry, mathematics, and physics majors. Newtonian mechanics, oscillations and waves, heat and thermodynamics. Lectures, discussion section, two-hour laboratory. Credit cannot be given for PHYS-P 201 and PHYS-P 221. (Fall)
  • PHYS-P 222 Physics II (5 cr.) P: PHYS-P 221. Second semester of a three-semester sequence. Primarily electricity, magnetism, and geometrical and physical optics. Lectures, discussion, and two-hour laboratory. Credit cannot be given for PHYS-P 202 and PHYS-P 222. (Spring)
  • PHYS-P 301 Physics III (3 cr.) P: PHYS-P 222. Third semester of three-semester sequence. Students from PHYS-P 202 who have taken or are now taking MATH-M 216 are also eligible for this course. Special theory of relativity; introduction to quantum theory; atomic, nuclear, solid state, and elementary particle physics. Two lecture periods. (Spring—alternate year)
  • PHYS-P 303 Digital Electronics (1-3 cr.) P: PHYS-P 282 or consent of instructor. A laboratory course dealing with digital devices, decoders, multiplexers, light-emitting displays, flip-flops, multivibrators, memories, registers, microcomputer construction, and programming. Three hours of laboratory work per week for each credit hour. Course may be retaken up to a total of 3 credit hours. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 309 Intermediate Physics Laboratory (2 cr.) P: PHYS-P 202 or PHYS-P 222, MATH-M 216 or equivalent. Fundamental experiments in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, optics, and modern physics. Emphasis is placed upon developing basic laboratory skills and data analysis techniques, including computer reduction and analysis of the data. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 310 Environmental Physics (3 cr.) P: PHYS-P 201 or PHYS-P 221; MATH-M 215; or consent of instructor. For biological and physical science majors. Study of relationship of physics to current environmental problems. Energy production, comparison of sources and by-products, nature of possible solutions to problems of noise, particulate matter in atmosphere. Credit will not be given for both PHYS-P 310 and PHYS-E 350 or for PHYS-P 310 and PHYS-E 300. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 320 Introduction to Biophysics (3 cr.) P: PHYS-P 202 or PHYS-P 222; MATH-M 119 or equivalent; CHEM-C 106; one biology course; or consent of instructor. Application of physical principles to biological systems from the molecular to the organismal level. Primarily for biology and chemistry majors. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 331 Theory of Electricity and Magnetism I (3 cr.) P: MATH-M 311 or MATH-M 313, PHYS-P 202 and PHYS-P 222 or consent of instructor. Electrostatic fields and differential operators, Laplace and Poisson equations, dielectric materials, steady currents, power and energy, induction, magnetic fields, scalar and vector potentials, Maxwell's equations. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 332 Theory of Electricity and Magnetism II (3 cr.) P: PHYS-P 331 or consent of instructor. Magnetic materials, wave equations and radiation, energy transfer and conversion, Poynting vector and momentum, retarded potentials, dipole radiation, transmission lines and wave guides, relativity. (Occasionally)
  • PHYS-P 340 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (3 cr.) P: PHYS-P 202 or PHYS-P 222. C: MATH-M 311 or MATH-M 313. Intermediate course, covering three laws of thermodynamics, classical and quantum statistical mechanics, and some applications. (occasionally)

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