Department of Physics

Description of Courses

Physics, Pre-Engineering, and Physical Science

Physics Courses

103. General Physics I
An introductory course in physics for students of science and engineering. Topics include: vectors, statics, dynamics, rotation, conservation laws, vibrations, and thermodynamics. Students without calculus admitted with permission of instructor. 3 credits Fall Dr. Neeson

103L. General Physics Laboratory I
Basic experiments in classical physics designed to complement the topics covered in Physics 103. 1 credit Fall Drs. Kiefer, Neeson

104. General Physics II
A course designed to follow Physics 103. Topics include: electricity and magnetism, circuit analysis, electromagnetic waves, optics and modern physics. Students without calculus admitted with permission of instructor. 3 credits Spring Dr. Neeson

104L. General Physics Laboratory II
Basic experiments in classical and modern physics designed to implement topics covered in Physics 104. 1 credit Spring Drs. Kiefer, Neeson

110. Physics for Medical Technicians
A one semester general physics course which emphasizes the principles of physics that are most important to a medical technician. The course topics include optics, forces, motion, energy, heat, fluids, electricity, and radioactivity. 4 credits Fall Dr. Kiefer

110L. Physics for Medical Technicians
Two hours per week laboratory with experiments in areas covered in Physics 110. 1 credit Spring Dr. Kiefer

201. Theoretical Mechanics
Vector algebra and calculus. Kinematics of a point. Dynamics of a system of points. Kinematics of rigid bodies. Impulse, Momentum, Work and Energy. 3 credits Fall Dr. Neeson

203. Modern Physics
A study of the transition from classical to modern physics. Topics treated are: relativity, electro-magnetic radiation, discoveries of electron and nucleus, Bohr Theory of atomic structure and introductory quantum mechanics. (formerly Atomic Physics) 3 credits Fall Dr. Kiefer

252. Engineering Mechanics
The study of statics and dynamics with engineering applications. Deformation, strain and stresses in solids of one, two, and three dimensions. Introduction to the mechanics of continuous media, the kinematics and dynamics of fluids; viscous flow, turbulence, Bernoulli's theorem , and the Navier-Stokes equation. 3 credits spring Dr. Neeson

301-302. Electricity and Magnetism
Topics covered include vector analysis, selected topics in vector calculus, the electrostatic field of force, Gauss' law and the application of these principles to the solution of problems involving various geometries is considered. The electrostatic field in dielectric media, boundary value problems in dielectric media, and electrostatic energy and the application of energy concepts are studied. Electric current and circuit analysis are included. Other topics include the magnetic field of steady currents, electromagnetic induction, magnetic properties of matter, magnetic energy, slowly varying currents, Maxwell's Equations, and the applications of Maxwell's Equations. Prerequisite-Math 251-252. First semester 3 credits Second Semester 3 credits. Fall-Spring Dr. DiMattio

304. Thermodynamics
Temperature, Thermodynamic systems, Work, the First Law, Heat, Ideal gases, the Second law, Reversibility and irreversibility, the Carnot cycle, Entropy, Boltzmann statistics, Equipartition of energy. Introductory statistical mechanics. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Budzinski

309. Experimental Physics I
This course introduces the student to the experimental techniques associated with the intermediate level physics courses. Choice of experiments will depend upon the student's background and interest. 3 credits Spring Dr. Budzinski

312. Internship in Applied Physics
This course is a practicum designed to give qualified juniors an opportunity to spend a summer in a structured industrial or research setting so that they can immerse themselves in a project involving applied physics. Open to second semester junior physics majors and with special permission students with a physics minor. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Neeson

402. Nuclear Physics
This course in nuclear physics includes the topics of natural radioactivity, nuclear disintegration, nuclear energy, beta decay, nuclear reactions, nuclear particles, fission, fusion and angular momentum. Much stress is placed on attempts to unify knowledge of the nucleus so that the course climaxes with the discussion of nuclear structure and the applicability of nuclear models in the interpretation of various phenomena. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Neeson

403. Electronics
This course is designed for the advanced undergraduate student or the incoming graduate student who desires a basic training in electronics. The course seeks to acquaint the student with the physical principles which govern the use of electronic devices and to allow the student to use these components in the design of circuits. 3 credits On Occasion Staff

404. Solid State
Crystal Structures and solids. Lattice vibrations. Thermal properties of solids, Electron theory of metals, dia-, para-, and ferromagnetism, Semi-Conductors, Transistors. Prerequisite-Physics 203. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Budzinski

405. Advanced Mechanics
A study of the kinematics and dynamics of point particles and rigid bodies using the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods. The course emphasizes those aspects of classical mechanics important in modern physical theories. (Offered on demand.) Prerequisites-Math 252, Physics 201 and permission of the instructor. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Neeson

406. Introductory Quantum Mechanics
De Broglie waves and wave packets, the Schroedinger equation, applications to one-dimensional problems, the hydrogen atom, perturbation theory, angular momentum and electron spin. (Offered on demand.) Prerequisite-Physics 203-405 and permission of the instructor. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Kiefer

407. Topics in Biophysics
A study of the principles and experimental techniques of physics as they apply to biological systems. Special emphasis will be given to the interactions as they occur on the molecular level. Prerequisite permission of the instructor. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Kiefer

408. Optics
Study of Wave motion, Huygen's principle. Dispersion. Some facts concerning the spectrum, Interference, Diffraction, Double refraction, Plane polarized light, the Electromagnetic theory of light, Velocity of light, the Origin of spectra. 3 credits Spring Dr. Neeson

409. Experimental Physics II
This course is a continuation of Physics 309. Experiments of a more sophisticated nature are available. The experiments are related to lecture courses at the senior level. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Budzinski

410. Special Problems in Physics
Designed to allow qualified seniors to undertake independent study or experimentation in some subject in Physics under the direct supervision of one of the department staff. Modern computer methods will be employed wherever possible so that the student may become acquainted with programming, etc. 3 credits On Occasion Staff

451. Applied Methods in Computational Physics
Problem solving in a wide range of engineering and physics applications, including electricity and magnetism, solid and fluid mechanics, optics, thermal physics, atomic and nuclear physics. Emphasis is placed on numerical methods, approximation techniques, and advanced computer skills for solutions of problems arising in realistic engineering situations. Prerequisite-Computer Science 127 or equivalent. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Kiefer

452. Modeling and Simulation of Physical Systems
Practice in the numerical solution of differential equations and systems of such equations. Finite difference and finite element methods are used on applications drawn from several areas of Physics and Engineering. Prerequisites-Physics 451 or Math 431 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Kiefer

490. Physics Senior Comprehensive
This is an oral comprehensive required of all physics seniors. 0 credits Spring

Return to the Top of the Page

Pre-Engineering Courses

103. Engineering Graphics
Introduction to engineering drawing and Computer Aided Drafting(CAD).  3 credits   Spring  Dr. Kiefer

203. Statics
Static equilibrium of rigid bodies.  Topics include concurrent forces, moments, and truss systems.
3 credits  Dr. Kiefer 

204. Dynamics
Kinematics and dynamics of a particle and of a rigid body.  Principles of momentum, work, and energy
are discussed, as well as motion in three dimensions.  3 credits  Dr. Neeson

205. Strength of Materials
Elementary analysis of strength and deformation of deformable bodies subject to various force
systems.  Strain and stresses in solids of one, two, and three dimensions.  3 credits  Dr. Neeson

220.  Introduction to MatLab
At the present time, much technical and scientific calculation is done with commercially produced software packages.  One of those most widely used in industry and academia is MatLab.  This course provides an introduction to that software package, along with an introduction to the numerical solution of problems in physics and engineering.  Students will learn to write programs in the MatLab environment as well.  3 Credits.
On Occasion.  Dr. Kiefer

Return to the Top of the Page

Physical Science Courses

101. Earth Science
A survey of physical properties and processes of the Earth. The content is drawn from geology, atmospheric science and oceanography. Topics may include the motion of the Earth, atmospheric circulation, plate tectonics and igneous activity, and physical properties of the oceans. This course will not satisfy the natural science requirements for science majors. 3 credits Fall & Spring Dr. Budzinski

102. Physical Science
An introductory level course for non-science majors. Physical principles are discussed at the conceptual level with minimum use of mathematics. The application of these principles to everyday experiences is stressed. Among the topics covered are: motion, forces, energy, momentum, structure of atoms and molecules, liquids, gases, temperature, and heat. This course will not satisfy the science requirement for science majors. 3 credits Fall & Spring Dr. Budzinski

105. Geology
A survey, with emphasis on physical geology, considering processes at work on the earth's crust, such as glaciation, weathering, mass movement, water, diastrophism, and a consideration of rocks and minerals composing the crust. 3 credits Fall Staff

106. Stars and Stellar Systems
A survey of the universe beyond our solar system: stars and multiple star systems, nebulae, galaxies, quasars, pulsars, and black holes. Models of the universe's origin and modern observing techniques will also be discussed. 3 credits Fall & Spring Dr. DiMattio

107. The Solar System
How do the planets move through space and indeed what are the planets like? How did our solar system come into existence? What is our sun like? These and other questions will be treated in depth in the introduction to the astronomical aspects of our star system. 3 credits Fall & Spring Dr. Budzinski

108. Physics for Poets
This course is intended for non-science majors. It investigates the basic theories of modern physics after a brief discussion of those classical ideas that are relevant. Historical, philosophical, and social implications of developments in modern physics are also considered. The course requires no college mathematics as a prerequisite although three years of high school mathematics is strongly recommended. This course will not satisfy the natural science requirement for science majors. 3 credits Fall Dr. Neeson

109. Physics of Sensory Perception
The physical and biophysical principles of sensory reception will be covered. Emphasis will be given to the visual and auditory systems. Mechanisms of neural transmission and information coding will be covered. This course will not satisfy the natural science requirement for science majors. 3 credits On Occasion Dr. Kiefer

113L. Astronomy Laboratory
Basic experiments in astronomy combining astronomical observations with laboratory exercises. May be taken with PHSC 106 or PHSC 107 to fulfill the four hour laboratory science requirement. 1 credit Fall & Spring Staff

115. Alternative Energy Sources
This course is intended for the student who has had an exposure to the rudiments of science and who is interested in exploring the topic of energy sources. This course will deal with energy sources which are state of the art or near state of the art. Each energy source will be examined from the point of view of the physical principles involved and the practical limitations of the utilization. Discussions where pertinent will also include hazard analyses. 3 credits Spring Dr. Neeson

116. Historical Geology
General principles and the origin of the earth. Attention will be directed primarily to the nature of physical conditions and the record of life during the geologic history of the continent of North America. Some treatment will be given to the areas of Europe, because most major divisions of the rock succession were first recognized and defined there. Students having physical geology as an introductory course will be able to tie into a time sequence many previously unassociated facts in relation to the age of the earth. 3 credits Spring Staff

Return to the Top of the Page