Physics 2018-04-18T08:29:11+00:00


Kurt Bachmann, Ph.D., 
Columbia University
Shayne Johnston, Ph.D., 
Princeton University
Jayanta Rudra, Ph.D., 
Lehigh University
Charles Ratliff, Ph.D., 
University of Pennsylvania
William Underwood, Ph.D., 
University of Tulsa

General Physics
 | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course introduces students to basic concepts of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, and optics and lays the foundation for further physics courses.  Laboratory sessions introduce students to procedures for data collection, analysis, and report writing.


 | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents a calculus-based treatment of standard topics in mechanics:  one- and two-dimensional motion, Newton’s laws, work and energy, impulse and momentum, rotational motion, equilibrium, gravitation, and periodic motion.  Laboratory is included.

Prerequisites: General Physics. Recommended:  Calculus I taken concurrently.


Principles of English Composition | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course prepares students for a variety of writing tasks encountered in college and in the workplace.  Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills, applying rhetorical strategies, and utilizing techniques for effective and efficient communication.

Prerequisites: Required of all seniors.

Electricity and Magnetism | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents a calculus-based treatment of standard topics in electricity and magnetism: electric charge, field, and potential; Gauss’ Law, capacitance, current and resistance, DC circuits, magnetic fields and forces, induction and inductance.  Laboratory is included.

Prerequisites: Mechanics.  Recommended: Calculus I completed.  A student concurrently enrolled in Mechanics may take this course with instructor’s permission.

Thermal Physics, Waves and Optics  | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents a calculus-based treatment of elasticity, fluid physics, laws of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of matter, heat transfer, entropy, properties of waves, sound, electromagnetic waves and light, geometric optics, polarization, interference, and diffraction.  Laboratory is included.

Prerequisites: Electricity and Magnetism.  Recommended:  Calculus II taken concurrently.

Introduction to Modern Physics | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents a calculus-based treatment of fundamental physics topics that ushered in the twentieth-century:  postulates of special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, concept of quantization, Bohr-Rutherford atom, wave-particle duality, and the Schrodinger equation.  Laboratory is included.

Prerequisites: Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism.  Recommended:  Calculus II completed.


Modern Physics II | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents topics in twentieth-century physics leading to the modern age:  the hydrogen atom, quantum statistics, atomic and molecular structure, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, and modern astrophysics.  Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding of quantum physics and on performing calculations of accessible quantities.

Prerequisites: Modern Physics I


Electronic Circuits | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents an overview of electronics, emphasizing both theoretical knowledge and actual construction of circuits.  Topics include pn-junction theory, semiconductor diodes, bipolar junction transistors, transistor circuits, small-signal amplifiers, operational amplifiers, oscillator circuits, filtering circuits, and field effect transistors.  Laboratory sessions require students to construct, test, and troubleshoot projects of their own design.

Prerequisites: Electricity and Magnetism.


Astronomy | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents a descriptive overview of modern astronomy plus quantitative coverage of selected issues.  Topics include constellations and the sky, telescopes and detection systems, motion of the earth and moon, classical astronomy, the solar system, the sun and stars, stellar evolution, the Milky Way and galaxies, cosmology, and life in the universe.

Prerequisites: Electricity and Magnetism.


Topics in Theoretical Physics | One semester (1/2 unit of credit)
This course presents a selection of advanced undergraduate material in the areas of mechanics and electromagnetism.  Topics in mechanics may include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian theory, non-inertial frames, central force motion, rigid body rotation, oscillating systems, and an introduction to general relativity and black holes.  Topics in electricity and magnetism may include electrostatics, multipole fields, Maxwell’s equations, vector potential, magnetic materials, electromagnetic waves, and radiating systems.

Prerequisites: Electricity and Mechanism.