Spring 2020

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
ASTR 105-01 Life in the Universe
Instructor: Catrina Hamilton-Drager
Course Description:
A comprehensive study of the astronomical possibilities of extraterrestrial life including a brief survey of the universe, conditions necessary for life, and astronomical observations (including UFOs) which support or deny the premise that life in the universe is a common phenomenon.
1330:MR   STUART 1104
ASTR 110-01 Stars, Galaxies, and Beyond!
Instructor: Windsor Morgan
Course Description:
Modern astronomy encompasses a wide range of fascinating topics, from cutting-edge techniques used to detect and survey exosolar planets, to advances in astrophysics that reveal tantalizing glimpses into the nature of space and the beginning and possible end of our universe as a whole. This course will look at the tools and physics that astronomers utilize, as well as the electromagnetic spectrum to explore and expand our understanding of the Universe. Students will apply fundamental ideas from physics to the Sun, as well as distant objects, both within and outside our own Galaxy. Three hours classroom, one two-hour laboratory a week. This course may count toward the astronomy minor.
1330:T   TOME 105
1030:TR   TOME 115
ASTR 205-01 The Physics of Life in the Universe
Instructor: Catrina Hamilton-Drager
Course Description:
Cross-listed with PHYS 205-01. "Life", as we know it, is primarily composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, along with phosphorus and sulfur. Where did these elements come from? How might they combine to produce "Life", and what do the laws of physics have to do with it all? We will begin our study with the Big Bang theory and the origin of the Universe and investigate the fundamental interactions that produced the first stars. We will consider the Early Earth and the conditions under which "Life" most likely formed. Do those conditions exist on other planets around other stars? What kind of physics is needed to detect "Life" on other planets? We will cover topics from nuclear, atomic, and molecular structure, to thermonuclear fusion in stars, to processes on the primordial Earth, as well as electromagnetic communication. Students taking this course will attend the same lectures as ASTR 105, but will have additional reading assignments and homework, and will be required to produce a final project in the course.Prerequisite: PHYS 131 and 132 or 141 and 142. This course is cross-listed as PHYS 205.
1330:MR   STUART 1104
ASTR 306-01 Cosmology
Instructor: Robert Boyle
Course Description:
Cross-listed with PHYS 306-01.
1130:MWF   TOME 213
Courses Offered in PHYS
Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
PHYS 114-01 Climate Change and Renewable Energies
Instructor: Hans Pfister
Course Description:
An introduction to the physics of global climate change and a hands-on exposure to several types of renewable energy. The first third of this project-centered course introduces the basic physical principles of global climate change with a focus on radiative equilibrium, greenhouse effect, energy balance, and entropy. Since the energy sources of an energetically sustainable future will consist of renewable energies and possibly thermonuclear fusion energy, the remaining two thirds of the course is devoted to an exploration of wind turbines, solar concentrators, thermoelectric convertors, and photovoltaic systems. This course will not count toward major requirements in physics. Offered every two years.
1330:MR   TOME 103
PHYS 132-01 Introductory Physics
Instructor: Brett Pearson
Course Description:
An introduction to basic physics topics using the workshop method. This method combines inquiry-based cooperative learning with the comprehensive use of computer tools for data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modeling. Topics in thermodynamics, electricity, electronics and magnetism are covered. Additional topics in chaos or nuclear radiation are introduced. Basic calculus concepts are used throughout the course. Recommended for physical science, mathematics, and pre-engineering students and for biology majors preparing for graduate study. Three two-hour sessions per week. (Students enrolled in Physics 132 who have completed Mathematics 170 are encouraged to continue their mathematics preparation while taking physics by enrolling in Mathematics 171.) Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 132 and 142. Prerequisite: 131 and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in MATH 170.
0930:MWF   TOME 101
PHYS 132-02 Introductory Physics
Instructor: David Jackson
Course Description:
An introduction to basic physics topics using the workshop method. This method combines inquiry-based cooperative learning with the comprehensive use of computer tools for data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modeling. Topics in thermodynamics, electricity, electronics and magnetism are covered. Additional topics in chaos or nuclear radiation are introduced. Basic calculus concepts are used throughout the course. Recommended for physical science, mathematics, and pre-engineering students and for biology majors preparing for graduate study. Three two-hour sessions per week. (Students enrolled in Physics 132 who have completed Mathematics 170 are encouraged to continue their mathematics preparation while taking physics by enrolling in Mathematics 171.) Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 132 and 142. Prerequisite: 131 and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in MATH 170.
1230:MWF   TOME 101
PHYS 142-01 Physics for the Life Sciences
Instructor: Catrina Hamilton-Drager, Windsor Morgan
Course Description:
Introductory, non-calculus physics, principally for life science and pre-med students. Topics include acoustics, optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 132 and 142. Prerequisite: 141 or 131.
1330:W   TOME 105
1030:MWF   TOME 115
PHYS 142-02 Physics for the Life Sciences
Instructor: Brett Pearson, Catrina Hamilton-Drager
Course Description:
Introductory, non-calculus physics, principally for life science and pre-med students. Topics include acoustics, optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 132 and 142. Prerequisite: 141 or 131.
1330:R   TOME 105
1030:MWF   TOME 115
PHYS 205-01 The Physics of Life in the Universe
Instructor: Catrina Hamilton-Drager
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ASTR 205-01. "Life", as we know it, is primarily composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, along with phosphorus and sulfur. Where did these elements come from? How might they combine to produce "Life", and what do the laws of physics have to do with it all? We will begin our study with the Big Bang theory and the origin of the Universe and investigate the fundamental interactions that produced the first stars. We will consider the Early Earth and the conditions under which "Life" most likely formed. Do those conditions exist on other planets around other stars? What kind of physics is needed to detect "Life" on other planets? We will cover topics from nuclear, atomic, and molecular structure, to thermonuclear fusion in stars, to processes on the primordial Earth, as well as electromagnetic communication. Students taking this course will attend the same lectures as ASTR 105, but will have additional reading assignments and homework, and will be required to produce a final project in the course.Prerequisite: PHYS 131 and 132 or 141 and 142. This course is cross-listed as ASTR 205.
1330:MR   STUART 1104
PHYS 212-01 Introduction to Relativistic and Quantum Physics
Instructor: Lars English
Course Description:
Completion of both PHYS 211 and PHYS 212 fulfills the WID Requirement. A project-based course focusing on special relativity and quantum physics. Projects, such as the detection and measurement of ionizing radiation, relativistic mass increase, or the investigation of delayed choice experiments, are used to understand the concepts of the atom, nuclear structure, relativity, and quantum mechanics. Prerequisite: 132 or 142, and Math 171 or permission of instructor. NOTE: Completion of both 211 and 212 fulfills the WID graduation requirement.
1330:W   TOME 103
1030:MWF   TOME 213
PHYS 282-01 Introduction to Theoretical Physics
Instructor: Robert Boyle
Course Description:
A rigorous survey of mathematical topics and techniques that are commonly used in theoretical physics. Topics include vector analysis, differential equations, power series, linear algebra, tensors, and vector calculus (gradient, divergence, curl, line integrals, and so on). The primary focus of this course is on solving problems as a means to improve students confidence and understanding of mathematics within the context of physical systems. Prerequisite: 211 or permission of instructor. Corequisite: MATH 171 or permission of the instructor.
1330:TF   TOME 103
PHYS 306-01 Cosmology
Instructor: Robert Boyle
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ASTR 306-01.
1130:MWF   TOME 213
PHYS 331-01 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Instructor: Lars English
Course Description:
The basic laws of thermodynamics are derived from principles of statistical mechanics. Thus, the laws governing our macroscopic world are seen as fundamentally statistical in nature. Familiar quantities, like temperature and pressure, will be re-discovered, and new ones, like entropy and free energy, will be developed and applied to real-world problems in engineering, condensed-matter physics, and chemistry. We will conclude with an examination of phase transitions and quantum statistics. Prerequisite: 211 and 212 and 282. Offered every two years.
1030:TR   TOME 213
PHYS 361-01 Computational Physics
Instructor: David Jackson
Course Description:
This course is designed to give students an introduction to computational techniques and simulations in physics using the Open Source Physics Library. A significant fraction of the students' time will be spent actually programming specific physics problems rather than learning abstract techniques. Students should therefore be prepared to learn by doing.
0900:TR   TOME 103
PHYS 550-01 An Investigation into the Presence of Star B in the Historical Spectra of KH 15D
Instructor: Catrina Hamilton-Drager
Course Description:
 
PHYS 550-02 A Novel Solar Air Heater with a State-of-the-Art 3D Printed Absorber
Instructor: Hans Pfister
Course Description:
 
PHYS 550-03 Building a Schlieren Optics Experiment and Investigating Acoustic Levitation
Instructor: David Jackson
Course Description:
 
PHYS 550-04 Designing a Sophomore-Level Observational Astronomy Course
Instructor: Catrina Hamilton-Drager
Course Description:
 
PHYS 550-05 Nonlinear Oscillator Networks for Optimization
Instructor: Lars English
Course Description: