Physics Program

Dr. WeiDong Zhu, Chairperson

The Physics Program is housed within the Department of Applied Science and Technology. The Department offers both a major and a minor in Physics.

Requirements for Physics Major

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Fourteen of the required credits for the major count towards the Core Curriculum Requirements.

PC-185General Physics I 13
PC-187General Physics Laboratory I1
PC-186General Physics II 13
PC-188General Physics Laboratory II1
Select one of the following:3
Math Methods in Physics
Mathematical Modeling
Topics in Applied Mathematics
PC-337Modern Physics4
PC-374Electricity and Magnetism I3
PC-Electives (300-level or above)6
MA-143Differential Calculus 24
MA-144Integral Calculus 24
MA-273Multivariable Calculus I4
MA-274Multivariable Calculus II4
CH-131General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis I4
CH-131LGeneral Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis I Lab0
PC-390Independent Study in Physics1
Total Credits56

Special Notes on Core Curriculum Requirements


 May count towards the Core Natural Science Requirement.


 May count towards the Core Mathematics Requirement. These courses may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.

Special Note on Major Requirements and Electives


MA-247 Introductory Linear Algebra and MA-377 Ordinary Differential Equations are highly recommended.

Requirements for a Minor in Physics

PC-185General Physics I3
PC-187General Physics Laboratory I1
PC-186General Physics II3
PC-188General Physics Laboratory II1
Select one of the following:4
Modern Physics
PC-Electives (300-level or above)6
Total Credits18


PC-104. Descriptive Astronomy. 3 Credits.

A non-mathematical introduction to astronomy. Topics include: solar system, structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and cosmology.

PC-106. Meteorology and Climatology. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the workings of our planet's atmosphere with emphasis on weather and weather forecasting. Topics will include: the interaction between the earth and the sun; air masses and weather fronts; how to read and interpret weather maps, satellite, and radar images including real time data from around the globe and from space; sever weather including hurricanes, thunderstorms, and tornados; and unusual local and regional weather phenomena. The course will also briefly investigate climate and global climate change. A field trip to a TV weather forecasting office will also be included.

PC-110. Science Goes to the Movies. 3 Credits.

This course considers the evolution of the science behind the movies - the technical advances that have made modern movie making possible and how the treatment of science, scientific discovery and inventions have evolved particular movie genres. Lectures and movie clips will be used to illustrate the above.

PC-130. Technology in the 21st Century. 3 Credits.

This course will discuss the history, development and scientific breakthroughs that have led to the amazing devices and technologies available to humans today. Particular attention to the people, time and places involved in the development of inventions like TV, radio, computers, phones, transmission of electric power, movies, and some of the many advances in genetics and medicine.

PC-140. How Stuff Works. 3 Credits.

This course will illustrate how the many devices we use in everyday life were invented and how they work. Devices like the radio, TV, microwave, smart phones, computers, etc. will be used as examples.

PC-145. Astro-Archeology. 3 Credits.

Travel back through time to walk in the footsteps of ancient astronomers, emperors, shamans, priest, and kings as we go in search pf the cosmic secrets of early cultures and investigate important archeological sites around the globe. Explore: the Sun Daggers of Chaco Canyon, the Temple of Heaven and the Starry Vaulted Tomb of Princess Yung T?ai, the Kukulcan?s Serpent of Light and Shadow & the Mayan Cult of Venus. The Inca?s Enclosure of Gold, the Book of the Dead and the Star Clocks of the Ramesside Pharaohs, the mysteries of Stonehenge, the standing stones of Kenya?s Namora-tunga, and much more. Prerequisites: SO-121.

PC-185. General Physics I. 3 Credits.

Classical mechanics. Prerequisites: MA-124 MA-144 OR MA-133.

PC-186. General Physics II. 3 Credits.

Electromagnetism. Optics. Atomic and nuclear physics. Prerequisites: PC-185 MA-124 MA-144 OR MA-133.

PC-187. General Physics Laboratory I. 1 Credit.

A laboratory course to accompany Pc185.

PC-188. General Physics Laboratory II. 1 Credit.

A laboratory course to accompany Pc186.

PC-190. Applied Electronics. 3 Credits.

DC and AC circuits, semiconductor devices, operational amplifiers, digital logic, and digital computer fundamentals. Prerequisites: PC-191.

PC-191. Applied Electronics Laboratory. 1 Credit.

A laboratory course to accompany PC190. Prerequisites: PC-190.

PC-210. LabVIEW Measurement and Automation. 3 Credits.

Introduction to National Instruments LabVIEW program and its interaction with various instruments, measurements and automation.

PC-295. Co-Op. 3 Credits.

Co-operative work experience.

PC-300. Math Methods in Physics. 3 Credits.

This one semester course offers a comprehensive introduction to a variety of mathematical subjects used in the areas of physics with application to specific problems. Topics covered include: Vector and Tensor Analysis, Functions of a complex Variable and Calculus of Residues, Strum-Liouville Theory, Introduction to Special Functions and Fourier Series. Prerequisites: PC-186 MA-144.

PC-331. Electronics. 4 Credits.

Circuit principles, diodes and rectifiers, filters transistors as amplifiers and switches, operational amplifiers with applications, oscillators. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: PC-185 PC-186 PC-187 PC-188.

PC-336. Physical Electronics. 3 Credits.

Semiconductor theory and the physics of diodes, of bipolar transistors, and of field- effect transistors. Prerequisites: PC-186.

PC-337. Modern Physics. 4 Credits.

The special theory of relativity, quantum phenomena, atomic and nuclear structure, molecular spectra, radio activity, fission and fusion, elementary particles. Lecture and Laboratory.

PC-344. Optics. 4 Credits.

Geometrical optics, wave nature of light, interference, diffraction, polarization, selected topics in quantum optics. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: PC-185 PC-186 OR PC-190.

PC-355. Thermodynamics and Stat Mechanics. 3 Credits.

Heat and heat transfer, thermal behavior of gases, the laws of thermodynamics, entropy and enthalpy, partition functions, and engineering applications. Prerequisites: PC-186.

PC-370. Mechanics. 3 Credits.

Statics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies. Theory of small vibrations. Gravitation, moving frames of reference. Relativistic dynamics. Prerequisites: MA-247 PC-185 PC-186.

PC-374. Electricity and Magnetism I. 3 Credits.

Electrostatics in free space and in the presence of dielectrics and conductors. Magnetostatics. Electromagnetic induction. The Maxwell equations. Prerequisites: PC-186.

PC-380. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 3 Credits.

Mathematical foundation of quantum mechanics. Schroedinger's equation with applications. The one-electron atom. Selected topics in atomic and nuclear physics. Prerequisites: PC-186.

PC-390. Independent Study in Physics. 1 Credit.

This course provides the opportunity for individual work on an assigned research problem. Prerequisites: PC-185 PC-186 MA-274.