Physics Minor

The physics minor requires a minimum of 23 credit hours.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

MATH 231: Calculus I
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Two years of high school algebra and one semester of high school trigonometry. 
A study of the fundamental principles of analytic geometry and calculus with an emphasis on differentiation.

MATH 232: Calculus II
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  MATH 231 or MATH 236. It is recommended that students receive a grade of C or better in MATH 231 or MATH 236 to be successful in this course. 
Continuation of Calculus I including techniques of integration and infinite series.

PHYS 150: Physics Tool Kit
1 credit hours

Introduces a variety of experimental and computation techniques used in physics so that students can then pursue their own independent research projects. Topics include learning how to use specific equipment (3D printer, high-speed camera, Oculus Rift, Arduino, etc.) as well as computer applications (Excel spreadsheets, LabPro video-motion analysis software, VPython programming, etc.). Offered fall and spring semesters.

PHYS 211: General Physics I
4 credit hours

Co-requisite:  MATH 231. 
The principles of Newtonian mechanics including motion, energy, and force. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format — integrated laboratory and lecture — emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered fall semester.

PHYS 212: General Physics II
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  PHYS 211. 
Continuation of Newtonian mechanics, including working, 2-d motion, impulse-momentum, and circular motion. Also electrical and magnetic properties of matter, fields and forces, and DC circuits. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format — integrated laboratory and lecture — emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered spring semester.

PHYS 213: Magnetism, Waves and Optics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PHYS 212. 
Principles of magnetic and electromagnetic interactions; wave phenomena, including interference; and an introduction to geometrical optics including shadow, mirrors, and lenses. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format — integrated laboratory and lecture — emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Two two-hour sessions per week. Offered fall semester.

Choose One (3-4 hrs.)

PHYS 309: Modern Physics
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  PHYS 213 or PHYS 222
Extensive exploration of models of light, fundamental particles, and how they interact, starting with Newton and continuing through to Bohr. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format — integrated laboratory and lecture — emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered spring semester.

PHYS 320: Biophysics
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: PHYS 212CHEM 238
Improves and develops understanding of physics concepts, and applies them to molecular and cellular biological systems. Concepts and principles from thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and electricity will be applied to systems such as bacteria, cell membranes, vascular networks, and biological molecules (RNA, DNA, and proteins including enzymes). For biology and biochemistry students who seek to learn more about the application of physics concepts and principles in biological systems, as well as for physics students interested in thinking more about cells and biological molecules.

PHYS 350: Intermediate Mechanics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  PHYS 212. Co-requisite: MATH 233
Particle and rigid body dynamics, moving coordinate systems, rotating bodies, variational principles, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian approaches, small oscillations, planetary orbits, Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion. Offered fall semester.

PHYS 361: Mathematical Methods for Physics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: MATH 232PHYS 212.
This course extends students’ physical understanding through the incorporation of advanced mathematical methods. Topics include numerical integration and Gaussian quadrature; special functions, including the Gamma function and applications to quantum mechanics, elliptical functions and the pendulum, and the error function: applications of linear algebra and the eigenvalue problem to classical coupled systems and quantum mechanics; orthogonal functions and solution methods for differential equations. Offered occasionally.

PHYS 411: Electricity and Magnetism I
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  MATH 233PHYS 213. 
Principles and applications of static and moving charges, magnetism, electromagnetic theory and Maxwell’s equations. Offered fall semester.