Physics and Astronomy Courses

Physics

NumberNameUnitsDescription
PHY 161General Physics I1Introduction to mechanics, fluid mechanics, waves, and sound. Uses basic albegra and trogonometry. Lecture and laboratory. Partially satisfies Natural World LADR.
PHY 185General Physics II1Introduction to electricity, magnetism, and light. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: 161.
PHY 225Modern Physics1Introduction to relativity and quantum machanics. Applications in atomic, nuclear, and particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Prerequisite: 185
PHY 226Ancient Thought to Modern Science1The beginnings of science and the evolution of scientific ideas, with philosophical perspectives, from the Babylonians and pre-Socratics through the Hellenistic years, to medieval times, to the Scientific Revolution and beyond. Emphasis is placed upon the role of developments in natural philosophy, which was the precursor of classical and modern physics.
PHY 320Thermal Physics1Introduction to fluid mechanics, temperature and heat, kinetic theory, the laws of thermodynamics with applications, phase space probability distribution and approach to equilibrium, equilibrium ensembles. Prerequisite: 185.
PHY 331Classical Mechanics1Newton's laws, projectiles and charged particles, momentum, angular momentum, energy, oscillations, introduction to rigid body motion, Lagrangian formulation. Prerequisite: 161.
PHY 332Electromagnetism1Electrostatics, electric currents, magnetostatics, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations, conservation laws, electromagnetic waves. Prerequisite: 185.
PHY 340Optics1Theoretical and experimental study of the properties of light: wave mo- tion, propagation of light in media, geometrical optics, polarization, interference, diffraction, Fourier optics and coherence theory. Prerequisite:185.
PHY 341Advanced Physics Laboratory1Experiments in upper-level physics topics requir- ing measurement using optical, mechanical and electrical devices; report writing including standard methodologies and techniques in data handling, analysis and display. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Phy 225.
PHY 408Senior Thesis0.5A two-semester equivalent of 471. .50 unit each.
PHY 409Senior Thesis0.5A two-semester equivalent of 471. .50 unit each.
PHY 432Quantum Mechanics1Hilbert space, wave function and the Schrodinger equation, 1-dimensional problems, states and operators, the postulates of quantum mechanics, angular momentum and spin, quantization, uncertainty, central potentials and the Hydrogen atom, motion in an electromagnetic field. Prerequisite: 225.
PHY 433Advanced Quantum Mechanics1Approximation methods, several-electron atoms, Zeeman effect, Stark effect, molecules, time-dependent phenomena, central potential, scattering theory, supersymmetric quantum theory, state and measurement in quantum mechanics. Prerequisite: 432.

Astronomy

NumberNameUnitsDescription
AST 111Life in the Universe1An introduction to physical conditions and dynamics in the known universe as they permit or preclude life, examining the compatibility of presently ac- cepted cosmology and cosmogony with the dynamics and time scales of evolutionary change in living systems viewed as quantitatively circumscribable processes.
AST 165Stars and the Universe1An in-depth introduction to the physical processes oc- curring in and causing the dynamical evolution of stars, to the dynamics of galaxies, and to physical processes and the evolution of a variety of cosmological models of the universe. Laboratory work emphasizes hands-on experiences including data collection and manipula- tion. Partially satisfies Natural World LADR.
AST 166The Solar System1Explores current understanding of the solar system from its formation to possible final states. Study of the planetary system and the sky both as a system offering humans objective truths and as a battleground of competing human conceptions of the system of the world. Partially satisfies Natural World LADR.
AST 237Intermediate Astronomy1Equilibrium structure of stars; dynamics and evolution of galaxies; origin, structure, and dynamics of the universe.

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