# Physics Department

## Courses

### PHYS 101 - General Physics I

Calculus-based introduction to the classical mechanics of particles and systems-kinematics, laws of motion, conservation principles, rotational dynamics, oscillators

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): MATH 111 or equivalent. MATH 111 may be taken concurrently.
Instructional Method: Lecture-conference-laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 102 - General Physics II

Calculus-based introduction to electricity and magnetism, optics, and other topics at the discretion of the instructor.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 101 and MATH 111 or equivalent
Instructional Method: Lecture-conference-laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 152 - Energy and Sustainability

This course will focus on the fundamental concept of energy, and its role in human society. Topics include the use of energy in daily life-transportation, heating, food, and electricity; sources and storage of energy-batteries, fuels, wind, solar, and nuclear energy; environmental impacts-air, water, and climate; and assessment of sustainability. The physics underlying each of these topics will be emphasized, and students will learn to quantitatively analyze and clearly communicate scientific information.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Instructional Method: Lecture
Not offered: 2024-25
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 164 - Stars and Stellar Systems

This course provides an introduction to the physics and astronomy of stars and stellar systems from an observational perspective. Topics covered will include stellar structure and energy sources, stellar evolution, binary star systems, and exoplanetary systems. Labs will consist of both evening telescope observation to collect data and computer labs to analyze these data and other publicly available data sets.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Instructional Method: Lecture-laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 202 - Modern Physics

Introduction to thermal physics, special relativity, and quantum mechanics, with applications to atomic, nuclear, condensed matter, and particle physics as time permits. Weekly laboratories include an introduction to computational physics, the Millikan oil drop experiment, measurement of the speed of light, determination of Planck's constant, the charge-to-mass ratio of the electron, and blackbody radiation.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 and PHYS 231 (or PHYS 201)
Instructional Method: Lecture-laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 211 - Oscillations and Waves

Damped and driven vibrations, coupled oscillators, and waves. Related mathematical methods are introduced: complex numbers, ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, and Fourier analysis.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): MATH 111 (or equivalent), MATH 112PHYS 101, and PHYS 102
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.

### PHYS 231 - Introduction to Electronics

A lab-intensive introduction to electronic circuits, focusing on building intuition and skills needed for measurements, circuit design, and analysis. Topics include input/output impedance concepts, Bode plots, filters, and operational amplifiers. Lab exercises range from RC and diode circuits to applications of operational amplifiers.

Unit(s): 0.5
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): MATH 111 (or equivalent), PHYS 101, and PHYS 102
Instructional Method: Laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 311 - Classical Mechanics I

Careful examination of the foundations and limitations of Newtonian mechanics leads to development of the Lagrangian formulation, variational principles, and Hamiltonian mechanics. Applications to the motion of rigid bodies, systems of coupled oscillators, and celestial mechanics are treated as time permits.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 321 - Electrodynamics I

Electrostatics and magnetostatics in vacuum and in matter, electromagnetic induction, force and energy in electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations. Mathematical methods introduced include multivariable calculus and the solution of partial differential equations by separation of variables.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 322 - Electrodynamics II

A continuation of PHYS 321, this course emphasizes time-varying electric and magnetic fields. Topics include radiation from point charges and dipoles; propagation of electromagnetic plane waves in vacuum and in matter; reflection, refraction, and dispersion; and the relativistic formulation of electrodynamics.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 321
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 323 - Topics in Optics

Optics
This course examines theories of light and laser physics. Topics include ray propagation through optical components, interference, diffraction, polarization, Gaussian beam propagation, optical resonators, and atom-light interactions. In laboratory, students construct He-Ne lasers and utilize them to investigate laser physics.

Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
This course begins by applying quantum mechanics to simple optical systems consisting of small numbers of photons. It then uses these concepts to explore topics in quantum information science. An emphasis is placed on how quantum systems differ from their classical counterparts. Laboratory experiments include single-photon interference and tests of local realism.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): MATH 201, MATH 202 and PHYS 211 & PHYS 231 (or PHYS 201), and PHYS 202
Instructional Method: Lecture-laboratory
Repeatable for Credit: May be taken up to 2 times for credit if different topics.
Not offered: 2024-25
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 331 - Advanced Laboratory I

A study of advanced electronics and computer-assisted data acquisition and analysis intended to provide the student with a basis for understanding and designing laboratory systems used in contemporary experimental physics. Topics include operational amplifiers, filters, oscillators, logic circuits, and computer interfacing and analysis using a LabVIEW system.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 and PHYS 231 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202
Instructional Method: Lecture-laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 332 - Advanced Laboratory II

Guided and independent experimental investigations of physical phenomena using research-style measurement techniques.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III, Distribution Group III-Data Collection and Analysis
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 331
Instructional Method: Lecture-laboratory
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 342 - Quantum Mechanics I

An introduction to quantum theory, beginning with the Schrödinger equation and the statistical interpretation of the wave function. One-dimensional applications, including the infinite square-well, the harmonic oscillator, and scattering; in three dimensions, the theory of angular momentum, central potentials, and the hydrogen atom; time-independent perturbation theory, spin, identical particles, and the Pauli exclusion principle. In general, this course concentrates on exact solutions to artificial problems, in contrast to Quantum Mechanics II, which develops approximate solutions to real problems.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 351 - Thermal Physics

Examines the essentials of probability and statistics, the kinetic theory of gases, statistical mechanics, temperature, equations of state, heat, internal energy, entropy, reversibility, and distribution functions.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 362 - Solid-State Physics

Crystalline lattice structures, vibrational modes, and electronic band theory are explored and used to explain the observed electrical, thermal, optical, and magnetic properties of solids.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Not offered: 2024-25
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 364 - Selected Topics of Astrophysical Interest

Specific topics vary from year to year, drawn principally from the following areas: internal constitution, evolution, and death of stars; structure of galaxies; interstellar medium; radiative processes and cosmology.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Not offered: 2024-25

### PHYS 366 - Elementary Particles

Introduction to the theory and phenomenology of elementary particle physics. The course includes a semihistorical overview, followed by relativistic kinematics, the Dirac equation, evaluation of simple Feynman diagrams, and a survey of the strong, electromagnetic, and weak interactions from the perspective of gauge theory.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201) and PHYS 202 and MATH 201 and MATH 202
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 367 - Topics in Scientific Computation

Computational Methods
This course focuses on diverse physical problems and computational techniques that can be applied to them, with an emphasis on the mathematical motivation behind the methods. Problems are drawn from electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, and special and general relativity. The course develops methods for solving ODEs and PDEs and integrating arbitrary functions in multiple dimensions. Numerical linear algebra is covered in both full and iterative form. Additional topics include nonlinear minimization, Galerkin methods, neural network models, and chaotic dynamics.

Quantum Computation and Computational Quantum Mechanics
The course explores the intersection of computation and quantum mechanics, both how computers are used to solve problems in quantum mechanics and how quantum mechanics can be leveraged to perform computations. The first half of the course is an introduction to quantum computing, covering qubits, quantum circuit diagrams, and examples of quantum algorithms. The second half of the course covers classical algorithms used to analyze many-body quantum systems, including exact diagonalization and quantum Monte Carlo techniques.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): MATH 201, MATH 202 and PHYS 211 (or PHYS 201), and PHYS 202
Instructional Method: Conference
Repeatable for Credit: May be taken up to 2 times for credit if different topics.
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 411 - Classical Mechanics II

A continuation of Physics 311; specific content varies from year to year.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 311
Instructional Method: Lecture
Not offered: 2024-25
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.

### PHYS 414 - Introduction to General Relativity

Students in this course will build enough geometric machinery to understand the mathematical formulation and physical significance of general relativity. Focus will be on field equations and particle motion associated with gravity. Predictions studied will be: perihelion precession, bending of light, gravitational redshift (among others), as well as current experimental tests. Exact solutions to Einstein's equation and the strong field predictions for particle motion outside of static, rotating, and charged black holes will be considered.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 311 and PHYS 321
Instructional Method: Lecture
Not offered: 2024-25
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 442 - Quantum Mechanics II

A continuation of PHYS 342, specific content varies from year to year. The emphasis is on approximation techniques (time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, WKB approximation, variational principles, Born approximation), with applications to atoms, molecules, and solids, the quantum theory of radiation, and formal scattering theory.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group III
Prerequisite(s): PHYS 342
Instructional Method: Lecture
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
• Use and evaluate quantitative data or modeling, or use logical/mathematical reasoning to evaluate, test or prove statements.
• Given a problem or question, formulate a hypothesis or conjecture, design an experiment, and collect data or use mathematical reasoning to test or validate it.
• Collect, interpret, and analyze data.

### PHYS 470 - Thesis

The thesis is independent work on an original problem and is intended as an introduction to research. In addition to the thesis project itself, all seniors are expected to participate in a weekly seminar in which various topics from the current literature are discussed

Unit(s): 2
Instructional Method: Independent study