Spring 2017   Fall 2016  

Spring 2017

PHYS 114-01

Modern Astronomy II

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: John Cannon

Notes: This survey course is a two-semester sequence (PHYS 113 in the fall semester and PHYS 114 in the spring semester). These courses will cover various topics of interest in astronomy, including: Planets (both within the Solar System and the exploding field of extrasolar planets); the birth life, and death of stars; exotic remnant objects (e.g., white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes); galaxies (including our own Milky Way and external systems); cosmology and the fate of the universe; the "unseen 95%": dark matter and dark energy; astrobiology and the question of life in the universe. The dramatic change between stellar and galactic physical scales will mark the boundary between the material in the courses. These courses are ideal for students who are curious about the nature of the universe and their place within it.

PHYS 130-01

Science of Renewable Energy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: James Doyle

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 130-01*

Cross-listed with Environmental Studies 130. This is a course on the current status of the most promising alternative and renewable energy options from a primarily scientific and technological perspective. Current methods of electricity generation and transportation energy sources will be briefly reviewed (fossil fuels, nuclear fission, and hydroelectric), including discussion of their limitations and environmental consequences. The focus of the course will be on understanding the scientific basis of alternative and renewable energy sources, and their promise and technological challenges for wide scale implementation. Biofuels, wind, photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, hydrogen, nuclear fusion, and geothermal will be considered in depth.

PHYS 227-01

Principles of Physics II

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: Sean Bartz

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-L1

Principles of Physics II Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 09:10 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-L2

Principles of Physics II Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-L3

Principles of Physics II Lab

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-04:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-L4

Principles of Physics II Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 09:10 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 348-01

Laboratory Instrumentation

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: James Doyle

Notes: This course is an introduction to laboratory methods that are useful in experimental physics and other laboratory-based disciplines, with an emphasis on computer interfacing techniques. Topics will include basic analog electronics, fundamental instrumentation such as analog-digital converters and digital oscilloscopes, and computer interfacing using LabView. Student will design and construct several significant computer interfacing projects throughout the semester. Since this course provides the foundation for advanced experimental work and research, students should take this course in their sophomore or junior year. (4 credits)

PHYS 348-L2

Laboratory Instrumentation Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 154
  • Instructor: James Doyle

Notes: This course is an introduction to laboratory methods that are useful in experimental physics and other laboratory-based disciplines, with an emphasis on computer interfacing techniques. Topics will include basic analog electronics, fundamental instrumentation such as analog-digital converters and digital oscilloscopes, and computer interfacing using LabView. Student will design and construct several significant computer interfacing projects throughout the semester. Since this course provides the foundation for advanced experimental work and research, students should take this course in their sophomore or junior year. (4 credits)

PHYS 444-01

Electromagnetic Radiation

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: This course extends the treatment of Physics 443 to the electromagnetic properties of matter, especially the solid state, and the properties of electromagnetic waves and radiation. The treatment of electromagnetism within the special theory of relativity is also covered. Three lecture and one one-hour laboratory per week. Alternate years. (4 credits)


PHYS 444-L1

Electromagnetic Radiation Lab

  • Days: F
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 154
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: This course extends the treatment of Physics 443 to the electromagnetic properties of matter, especially the solid state, and the properties of electromagnetic waves and radiation. The treatment of electromagnetism within the special theory of relativity is also covered. Three lecture and one one-hour laboratory per week. Alternate years. (4 credits)


PHYS 460-01

Astrophysics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: OLRI 404
  • Instructor: John Cannon

Notes: This course covers advanced topics in astrophysics. It includes spectroscopy of stars, the interaction of light and matter in stellar atmospheres and interstellar medium, nucleosynthesis and the interior of stars, the structure of the Milky Way galaxy and the evidence for dark matter, properties and the formation of different types of galaxies, large-scale structure of the Universe, and observational tests of cosmology. Three hours per week. (4 credits)

PHYS 461-01

Mechanics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: Tonnis ter Veldhuis

Notes: The fundamental principles of classical mechanics are discussed and applied to problems of contemporary interest. Topics include: charged particle motion in electromagnetic fields, oscillations and resonance, central force motion including the Kepler problem and Rutherford scattering, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical dynamics, symmetry and conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, rigid body dynamics and applications, and an introduction to non-linear dynamics. Three lectures, problem discussions, and one one-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 461-L1

Mechanics Lab

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: The fundamental principles of classical mechanics are discussed and applied to problems of contemporary interest. Topics include: charged particle motion in electromagnetic fields, oscillations and resonance, central force motion including the Kepler problem and Rutherford scattering, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical dynamics, symmetry and conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, rigid body dynamics and applications, and an introduction to non-linear dynamics. Three lectures, problem discussions, and one one-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 468-01

Statistical Mechanics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Sean Bartz

Notes: This course explores the equilibrium and kinetic properties of many-particle systems such as gases, liquids, and solids. The fundamental notions of entropy, temperature, and the Boltzmann relation are rigorously derived from statistical mechanics, and are used to develop other thermodynamic ideas such as chemical potential and free energy. The theory is applied to classical and quantum systems, including photon gases (black-body radiation), Bose-Einstein condensation, fermion systems such as metals and neutron stars, classical ideal gases, vibrations in solids (phonons), chemical reactions, semiconductors, and transport phenomena. Three lectures per week. Spring semester. (4 credits)

PHYS 489-01

Physics Seminar

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: *1 credit course*


PHYS 494-01

Research in Astrophysics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:00 am
  • Room: OLRI 404
  • Instructor: John Cannon

Notes: *Permission of instructor required* Selected topics in astrophysics research.

Fall 2016

PHYS 111-01

Contemporary Concepts

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: Sung Kyu Kim

Notes: This course is specifically designed for the liberal arts student who desires an essentially non-mathematical, yet wholly faithful, acquaintance with the fundamental concepts of contemporary physics. Topics include special relativity, curved space-time and black holes, the Big Bang universe, light, quantum theory, and elementary particles. These are presented so as to demonstrate the power of "pure thought" and scientific creativity at its best. The underlying assumption of the course is that physics approached as a way of thinking can be vitally relevant and challenging to students of all intellectual persuasions. Three lectures per week in fall and spring. (4 credits)


PHYS 113-01

Modern Astronomy I

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: John Cannon

Notes: This course discusses topics of current interest in astronomy and the physical concepts that lead to our understanding of the Universe. There are three main sections: the Solar System, Celestial Light and Stars, and Galaxies and the Universe. Lectures include the formation of the sun and planets, properties of stars and stellar remnants (like black holes and supernovae), characteristics of our Milky Way and other galaxies, and the formation and fate of the Universe. Basic algebra and trigonometry are recommended. (4 credits)


PHYS 194-01

Biomechanics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 101
  • Instructor: James Doyle

Notes: *First Year Course only* This course will cover topics in classical mechanics with an emphasis on applications in animal anatomy, physiology, and behavior. Topics include description of motion (kinematics), Newton's Laws of Motion, potential and kinetic energy, oscillations, torque and rotational motion, and stress and strain of materials, with applications to structural aspects of organism design, mechanical properties of biological tissue, animal locomotion including paleo-fauna such as dinosaurs, and human exercise physiology. The course has a co-requisite of Math 135 (Applied Calculus) or equivalent previous experience in calculus. The course is equivalent to Physics 226 Principles of Physics I, and upon successful completion of the course students may take Physics 227 Principles of Physics II. The course counts towards the WA writing requirement.

PHYS 194-02

Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 404
  • Instructor: John Cannon

Notes: *First Year Course only* This first year course will discuss the exploding field of astrobiology. Specific discussion will be given to the properties of astrophysical bodies that are conducive to harboring life, using the Earth as a Rosetta Stone. We will discuss the prevalence of highly evolved molecular species in the interstellar medium, the properties of the quickly growing extrasolar planet population, and the observational techniques that are used and envisioned to infer the life-bearing signatures of such environments. This course is ideal for all students interested in one of the most rapidly-growing fields of science today; students with interests in physics and astronomy are particularly well-suited for this course. Previous or concurrent enrollment in calculus is strongly preferred.

PHYS 194-L1

Biomechanics Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 09:10 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 154
  • Instructor: James Doyle

Notes: *First Year Lab only*


PHYS 226-01

Principles of Physics I

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 08:30 am-09:30 am
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: Sean Bartz

Notes: A study of motion, including Newton's Law of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics, oscillations, waves in elastic media and thermal properties of matter. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 221 and Physics 226. Fall semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 226-02

Principles of Physics I

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: Sean Bartz

Notes: A study of motion, including Newton's Law of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics, oscillations, waves in elastic media and thermal properties of matter. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 221 and Physics 226. Fall semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 226-L1

Principles of Physics I Lab

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-04:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of motion, including Newton's Law of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics, oscillations, waves in elastic media and thermal properties of matter. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 221 and Physics 226. Fall semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 226-L2

Principles of Physics I Lab

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-09:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of motion, including Newton's Law of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics, oscillations, waves in elastic media and thermal properties of matter. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 221 and Physics 226. Fall semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 226-L3

Principles of Physics I Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 09:10 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of motion, including Newton's Law of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics, oscillations, waves in elastic media and thermal properties of matter. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 221 and Physics 226. Fall semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 226-L4

Principles of Physics I Lab

  • Days: T
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of motion, including Newton's Law of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics, oscillations, waves in elastic media and thermal properties of matter. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 221 and Physics 226. Fall semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-01

Principles of Physics II

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 150
  • Instructor: James Doyle

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-L1

Principles of Physics II Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 09:10 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 227-L2

Principles of Physics II Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 152
  • Instructor: Brian Adams

Notes: A study of electric charge and currents, electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Students cannot receive credit for both Physics 222 and Physics 227. Every semester. (4 credits)


PHYS 331-01

Modern Physics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 08:30 am-09:30 am
  • Room: OLRI 101
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: This course provides an introductory treatment of the exciting foundations of modern microscopic physics, including special relativity, quantum theory, atomic structure, nuclear structure and elementary particles. The primary goal of the course is to build the solid theoretical foundation in microscopic physics necessary for advanced studies in nearly all science disciplines. In addition to the theoretical treatment of the topics there will be laboratory exercises, which recreate the spirit and excitement of the pioneering experiments. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 331-L1

Modern Physics Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 08:00 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 154
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: This course provides an introductory treatment of the exciting foundations of modern microscopic physics, including special relativity, quantum theory, atomic structure, nuclear structure and elementary particles. The primary goal of the course is to build the solid theoretical foundation in microscopic physics necessary for advanced studies in nearly all science disciplines. In addition to the theoretical treatment of the topics there will be laboratory exercises, which recreate the spirit and excitement of the pioneering experiments. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 331-L2

Modern Physics Lab

  • Days: R
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 154
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: This course provides an introductory treatment of the exciting foundations of modern microscopic physics, including special relativity, quantum theory, atomic structure, nuclear structure and elementary particles. The primary goal of the course is to build the solid theoretical foundation in microscopic physics necessary for advanced studies in nearly all science disciplines. In addition to the theoretical treatment of the topics there will be laboratory exercises, which recreate the spirit and excitement of the pioneering experiments. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 443-01

Electromagnetic Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: OLRI 101
  • Instructor: Sean Bartz

Notes: This course treats the interactions between electrical charges in free space by developing the concepts of potential, electric and magnetic fields, and electromagnetic induction. Maxwell's equations are developed and used to derive the properties of plane electromagnetic waves in free space. Special emphasis is placed on boundary value problems and other useful mathematical techniques.Three lectures and one one-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 443-L1

Electromagnetic Theory Lab

  • Days: M
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 143
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: This course treats the interactions between electrical charges in free space by developing the concepts of potential, electric and magnetic fields, and electromagnetic induction. Maxwell's equations are developed and used to derive the properties of plane electromagnetic waves in free space. Special emphasis is placed on boundary value problems and other useful mathematical techniques.Three lectures and one one-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 481-01

Quantum Mechanics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Tonnis ter Veldhuis

Notes: The course rigorously covers many fundamental concepts of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, including the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and Pauli exclusion principle, single- and multi-particle stationary states in one, two and three dimensions, and quantized angular momentum and spin. Schrodinger equation solutions for atomic and nuclear systems are studied, using differential equation, matrix and perturbation techniques. A familiarity with linear algebra is also helpful. Three lectures and one one-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 481-L1

Quantum Mechanics Lab

  • Days: F
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: OLRI 143
  • Instructor: James Heyman

Notes: The course rigorously covers many fundamental concepts of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, including the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and Pauli exclusion principle, single- and multi-particle stationary states in one, two and three dimensions, and quantized angular momentum and spin. Schrodinger equation solutions for atomic and nuclear systems are studied, using differential equation, matrix and perturbation techniques. A familiarity with linear algebra is also helpful. Three lectures and one one-hour laboratory per week. (4 credits)


PHYS 494-01

Introduction to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: OLRI 170
  • Instructor: Tonnis ter Veldhuis

Notes: Einstein’s theory of general relativity speaks to the imagination of many. This famous theory resolves in a beautiful way the dilemmas that arise at the cross-section of special relativity and Newton’s theory of gravity. Some of its more exotic consequences, such as the existence of black holes, are a staple of science fiction literature. However, general relativity is now a well-established physical theory, supported by a large number of measurements, including the recent observation of gravitational waves emitted in a black hole merger event.

This course will give a quantitative introduction to general relativity. We will start the course by reviewing Newton’s theory of gravity and special relativity. We will then explore what goes wrong at the interface where these two theories meet. General relativity provides a consistent resolution of these problems that requires a bold new perspective; gravity is no longer understood in terms of forces that massive objects exert on each other. Instead, the presence of matter is seen to curve space-time, and in turn objects follow geodesic trajectories in this curved space-time. In mathematical terms, general relativity is therefore most naturally cast in the form of geometry.

We will then discuss some of the more symmetric types of curved space-times, in particular those that are described by the spherically symmetric Schwarzschild metric and the isotropic and homogeneous Robertson-Walker metric. A firm understanding of these specific cases will allow us to explore a large number of interesting applications, such as precision tests of general relativity within the Solar system, for example the perihelion shift of Mercury, and more exotic topics such as black holes, gravitational lensing, and cosmology, the evolution of the Universe as a whole.