General Education Courses

PHYS-103 The Universe: Past, Present, and Future, 3 cr.

An introductory-level Astronomy/Astrophysics course for non science majors requiring no previous college-level science background. The evolution of the universe: Big Bang creation, expansion of the universe, formation, development and properties of stars, endings of the universe; as well as the history of our understanding of the universe from the perspectives of culture, philosophy, and science. Knowledge of basic algebra skills is assumed.

Prereq.: MATH-O91 or MATH-102 Placement.

PHYS-104 Energy, 3 cr.

A course for non-science majors requiring no previous college-level mathematics or science background. Physics and its application to the problems of energy consumption and production are discussed. Topics include the need for nuclear reactors and the implications thereof, the dumping of nuclear waste at sea and alternatives, better energy sources and energy depletion, the motion of pollutants through the environment, and other related topics.

PHYS-104 Concepts For Middle School Teaching, 4 cr.

A laboratory oriented course that integrates concepts from geometry, algebra and trigonometry. Central concepts of physics (the laws of mechanics and electricity, the properties of light, atoms and nuclei) and how they are applied in the modern world (rockets, electric motors, optical instruments, automobiles, fuel cells, alternative fuels, stationary i.e. power plant and non-stationary i.e. aircraft, grenn technology etc.) are investigated. Issues of smart materials, celestial mining, nanotechnology, quantum computing and other contemporary critical technologies may be investigated. Discussion may include topics and concepts related to kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies and electrostatics, electric fields, electric potentials, currents, magnetic fields, wave motion. Basic concepts of geology, meteorology, oceanography and the solar system may be threaded throughout. Course content is aligned to the National Science Teachers Association Teaching Standards and the Illinois Content Standards for Educators of Science. PHYS-108 is linked to MATH-280.

PHYS-110 Physics in Everyday Life, 3 cr.

A laboratory oriented course for the non-science major. Central concepts of physics (the laws of mechanics and electricity, the properties of light, atoms and nuclei) and how they are applied in the modern world (rockets, electric motors, optical instruments, automobiles, toys, etc.). Knowledge of basic algebra skills is assumed. Lecture 2 hours, lab 2 hours. Prereq.: MATH-102

Introductory Physics sequence (Algebra Based)

PHYS-201 College Physics I, 3 cr.

Kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies: Newton's laws, energy, momentum and angular momentum. Physics of fluids, vibration and sound. Heat and thermodynamics. Students who have had calculus are stongly encouraged to enroll in PHYS-206L. Prereq.: MATH-185. Concurrent registration in PHYS-203 strongly recommended.

PHYS-202 College Physics II, 3 cr.

Electrostatics, Coulomb's law, electric fields, electric potentials, currents, Ohm's law, magnetism, magnetic fields, the forces on or due to moving charges, induction, electromagnetic radiation, wave motion, physical and geometrical optics. Prereq.: PHYS-201. Concurrent registration in PHYS-204 strongly recommended.

PHYS-203 Physics I Laboratory, 1 cr.

Laboratory course covering the subject matter of Physics I, and meant to be taken concurrently. Coreq: PHYS-201. 

PHYS-204 Physics II Laboratory, 1 cr.

Laboratory course covering the subject matter of Physics II and meant to be taken concurrently. Coreq: PHYS-202. Prereq.: PHYS-203. 

Introductory Physics Sequence (Calculus Based)

PHYS-206L University Physics I, 5 cr.

This is the first term of a three-term sequence intended for students majoring in physics, chemistry, or mathematics, PHYS 206, 207, 215. Kinematics and dynamics of a particle and systems of particles, momentum, energy, angular momentum, conservation laws, applications to problems involving collisions, oscillatory motion and motion in a gravitational field, rigid body motion, temperature, heat, the laws of thermodynamics, application to thermodynamic engines, and ideal gases are discussed. Prereq.: MATH-187. 

PHYS-207L University Physics II, 4 cr.

Charges, Coulomb's and Gauss's laws, conductors and dielectrics, Ohm's law, magnetic fields, Ampere's law, motion of charges in a magnetic field, Faraday's law, inductance, simple L.R.C. circuits, magnetic properties of matter, electromagnetic waves, kinematics of wave motion, reflection, refraction, interference, and diffraction. Prereq.: PHYS-206. 

PHYS-215 Physics III, 4 cr.

This course is being phased out. It has been replaced by the Modern Physics Sequence (PHYS-305 and PHYS-306). Prereq.: PHYS-202 or PHYS-207.

Intermediate and Upper-division Physics courses

PHYS-301 Independent Study in Physics, 1 cr.

Research, laboratory work, study or tutorial in a specific area of physics under faculty supervision. Prereq.: consent of department.

PHYS-302 Independent Study in Physics, 2 cr.

(See PHYS-301 for description.)

PHYS-303 Independent Study in Physics, 3 cr.

(See PHYS-301 for description.)

PHYS-305 Modern Physics I, 3 cr.

This course covers the advances made in the discipline of physics during the first half of the twentieth century that continue to drive the technologies we use today. Topics that will be covered include an introduction to the theory of relativity, elementary quantum theory, and its applications to atomic, molecular and nuclear physics. Prereq.: [PHYS-207 or PHYS-202]

PHYS-306 Modern Physics II, 3 cr.

This course is the second part of a two course sequence covering advances made in physics during the twentieth century. This content includes aspects of the general theory of relativity, cosmology, and applications of elementary quantum theory to atomic physics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, particle physics and condensed matter physics. Prereq.: PHYS-305

PHYS-307 Modern Physics Laboratory, 3 cr.

An introduction to intermediate experimental methods, scientific writing, and investigations which provided the experimental foundation for the major revolutions in 20th century physics. Students will perform classic modern physics experiments which demonstrate quantization in nature, wave particle duality, and the properties and interactions of fundamental particles. Students will present written results of their investigations in a variety of formats common in the discipline. Prereq.: PHYS-305

PHYS-308 Introductory Mathematical Physics, 3 cr.

Vector and tensor analysis, matrices, and matrix algebra, ordinary differential equations with constant coefficients; Fourier series, introduction to complex variables. Prereq.: PHYS-207 (or PHYS-202) and MATH-202.

PHYS-309 Fortran and Numerical Analysis for Scientists, 3cr.

Introduction to the use of computers in solving scientific problems; Fortran programming is described and applied to solve several fundamental problems.Prereq.: MATH-202, or consent of instructor.

PHYS-311 Mechanics I, 3 cr.

Statics of particles and rigid bodies, kinematics and dynamics of particles (including damped and forced harmonic oscillators), work and energy, linear and angular momentum, conservation laws, dynamics of rigid bodies, introduction to special relativity. Prereq.: [PHYS-206 or PHYS-201] and MATH-202

PHYS-321 Electricity and Magnetism I, 3 cr.

Coulomb's law, electric fields and electrostatic potential, Gauss's law, Poisson's equation, capacitance, dielectric media, current density, simple circuits, magnetic fields, Lorentz force, magnetic media, induction, Ampere's law, inductance, Maxwell's equations. Prereq.: [PHYS-207 or PHYS-202]. Coreq. or Prerec. MATH-203

PHYS-324 Advanced Classical Physics, 3 cr.

Introduction to advanced topics in classical physics in preparation for the study of modern physics. Topics include the Lagrangian formalism of classical mechanics and its application to the theories of planetary motion, small oscillations, rigid body mechanics; Maxwell's equations, radiation and propagation of electromagnetic waves, the theory of special relativity. Prereq.: PHYS-311 and PHYS-215. Coreq. or Prereq. MATH-203.

PHYS-330 Intermediate Physics Lab, 3 cr.

An introduction to scientific measurement procedures, with special attention paid to the examination of error and uncertainty and to certain widely used experimental techniques and their applications. Techniques used include those in optics, electronics, and atomic, solid state and nuclear physics. Experiments are chosen according to the individual student's needs and interests. This course may be taken up to three times. Prereq.: PHYS-204

PHYS-331 Optics, 4 cr.

The fundamental principles of geometrical and physical optics and their application to the design of modern instruments as well as atomic spectra, properties of photons, and lasers. Principles discussed in the lecture will be explored in various lab exercises. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prereq,: [PHYS-207 or PHYS-202], PHYS-204, and MATH-202.

PHYS-332 Electronics, 4 cr.

Laboratory and lecture covering both the basic structure of various electronic components, and their use and behavior in circuits. The course begins with linear elements, such as resistors, inductors, and capacitors, and proceeds through various semiconductor devices, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers, and culminates with the structure and use of logic circuits. Major emphasis is placed on laboratory work where the properties and interactions of various circuits are investigated. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prereq.: PHYS-207L, or [PHYS-202 and PHYS-204].

PHYS-335 Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory, 3 cr.

Thermodynamic systems; pressure and temperature; ideal gas laws; heat, work and energy; entropy; kinetic theory. Prereq. or Coreq.: PHYS-305 and MATH-203.

PHYS-336 Quantum Mechanics I, 3 cr.

First part of a two term sequence dealing with quantum physics. Review of the experimental evidence for the wave properties of light and discussion of atomic spectra and electron spin, elementary wave mechanics, the hydrogen atom, the properties of many electron atoms and the periodic table, and the structure of molecules. Prereq.: PHYS-305 and MATH-203

PHYS-338 Quantum Mechanics II, 3 cr.

Second part of a two term sequence dealing with quantum physics with primary emphasis on the physics of bulk matter: review of thermodynamics, classical and quantum statistics, the nuclear properties of solids, conductors, semi- and superconductors, ferromagnetism, nuclei, and elementary particles. Prereq.: PHYS-336.

PHYS-344 Introduction to Solid State Physics, 3 cr.

Crystal structure, crystal bonding, thermal properties of solids, dielectric properties, free electron model of metals, band theory of solids, magnetism, superconductivity, current applications. Prereq.:PHYS-336

PHYS-350 Field Experience in Physics, 3 cr.

Practical experience in industrial or government physics laboratories under the joint supervision of the department and the laboratory. There are six hours of field experience required per week. This course may be taken up to three times. Prereq.: sixteen credit hours of physics courses and consent of department

PHYS-361 Materials I: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties, 3 cr.

An introductory course on the properties of materials for students in all areas of science and technology. Topics include structural, thermal and mechanical properties of metals, alloys, ceramics, and plastics, and their explanation in terms of molecular and atomic properties. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 2 hours.Prereq.: PHYS-305 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-362 Materials II: Electronic and Optical Properties, 3 cr.

Companion course to Materials I with primary emphasis on the electronic properties of: materials and their industrial use. Topics include conductors, semiconductors, superconductors, ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, optical and infra-red properties. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 2 hours. Prereq.: PHYS-305 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-365 Microprocessor Electronics, 4 cr.

The course acquaints the students with the basics of microprocessor technology, both from the point of view of understanding the theory of operation, and in learning to program and use these devices to accomplish a given task. The Motorola 6800 is the principal example, and each student has access to a microprocessor trainer for practical lab experiences. Interfacing microprocessors to each other and to the outside world is included, and the course culminates with each student completing a major interfacing project. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prereq.: PHYS-332 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-366 Communication Electronics, 3 cr.

The course covers tuned circuits, radio frequency amplifiers, intermediate frequency amplifiers, cavity resonators and U.H.F. amplifiers, modulation, detection, R.F. power amplifiers, transmitters, transmission lines, antennas, television, and special topics in communication electronics, including digital methods and telemetry. Lecture 2 hours, lab 2 hours. Prereq.: PHYS-332 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-367 Transducer and Special Purpose Electronics, 4 cr.

Lecture and laboratory on the characteristics of devices which convert physical quantities such as heat, light, motion, and sound into electrical signals. This includes both the practical aspects of using such devices and the intrinsic physical properties which make their use possible. Sensors used include thermistors, thermopiles, microphones, solar cells, and piezoelectric/pyroelectric films. . The course culminates with each student doing a major project, which may include computer interfacing to the transducers. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prereq: PHYS-332 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-369 Instrumentation Electronics, 4 cr.

Lecture and laboratory course on the properties and uses of electronic scientific instruments used in making physical measurements, including computer interfacing. The instruments are studied from input transducer to final output. A major emphasis is placed on laboratory work, where actual instrumentation circuits are built and tested. The course culminates with each student building an actual scientific instrument. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prereq.: PHYS-332 or consent of instructor.

PHYS-391 Astrophysics, 3 cr.

An introduction to such topics in astrophysics as the formation, structure, evolution, and death of planets, stars, clusters, galaxies, the universe (Big Bang), and other esoteric objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and quasars. Significant application of physics and mathematics is assumed. Prereq.:PHYS-305

PHYS-392 Beyond The Cosmos' Creation, 3 cr.

Modern theories for the development of the universe from the Planck Time through the Radiation era and Matter era, to the possible end scenarios, as well as pertinent experimental evidence; Hubble's Law; the Big Bang; the inflationary Big Bang; the evolution of the universe with time and temperature; is the universe open or closed; Dark Energy; current developments. Prereq.: PHYS-305 and PHYS-311 or consent of instructor.