Introductory Physics Courses
The picture at the left shows "nematic" bubbles in a liquid crystal; the
distribution of galaxies in the universe should have similar features following
the "big bang!" See /research/he_theory/
for Fall, 2000
The courses below are on the "basic list" to satisfy divisional perspectives
requirements in Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Major Concepts of Physics (3)
Do physicists really predict the future? Learn about Isaac Newton and his
laws of motion and gravity. Why is conservation of energy a big deal? Learn
why your car's windshield has frost when the temperature is above freezing.
An what's new? what's a quark? and why is the current search for 'dark
Nahmin Horwitz. Uses high school algebra (just so you'll know).
There is an optional, 1-credit laboratory (PHY 111); a sequence
with PHY 102.
Science for the 21st Century (4)
What is science, and what isn't science? How does one distinguish
the hype from the real inventions? Science is a dynamic subject, changing
Improve your understandng of the behavior of light and matter to apply
to today's and tomorrow's technology. Lasers, CD's, liquid crystals, and
Contact: Prof. Alan Middleton. A laboratory/writing-intensive
course; a sequence for Arts & Sciences when taken with PHY 106 (either
Our Corner of the Universe (4)
Learn about the origin of the solar system, about liquid planets with no
place to stand, about cataclysmic collisions which nearly wiped out life
on Earth, and more!
Navigate the night sky - constellations, eclipses, shooting stars - by
naked eye, telescope, and photo.
Contact: Prof. Carl Rosenzweig.
Lab credit included. AST 104 will be offered in the Spring.
Science and Computers (3)
Cellular Biophysics (3)
Newton's laws for the motion of molecules, planets, and white dwarf stars
-- but a computer will be doing the calculations. Chaos, fractals, and
Although not a programming course, you will learn a little about C and
JAVA, as well as about advanced tools such as Mathematica.
Contact: Prof. Simon Catterall. No
previous physics required, but Calc I (Mat 285 or Mat 295) is a co-requisite.
PHY 308 continues the sequence.
An evolution based, reductionist approach to the fundamentals that underlie
the biology of cells with particular emphasis on the theory required to
design and analyze experiments.
Electrical, imaging, rheometric, calorimetric, spectroscopic and computer
Contact: Prof. Kenneth Foster. Prerequisites:
PHY212, MAT 286 or 296 (Calc II) or equivalent.
The Physics Minor and Major
If you really enjoy physics, you might want to consider a physics
minor or major. The
physics department has small class sizes for required courses. There
are many opportunities for close interaction with faculty, including physics
research. The programs for majors and minors are designed for students
who will pursue all sorts of careers, including journalism, teaching, law,
business administration, information science, and (of course) science and
Minors and majors need to take calculus-based introductory physics (Phy
211/212/361); a smallclass option (Phy 215/216/361) is available.
After that you'll need 9 extra physics credit hours (for a minor) and 22
more (for a B.A.); the 300-level courses listed above can be used to satisfy
some of these requirements, as well as additional courses with more stringent
prerequisites. Students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science
may find that some of their required engineering courses count towards
a physics minor.
Prof. Peter Saulson, undergraduate physics program director (263-4 Physics
Bldg., 4435994, firstname.lastname@example.org)
can help you set up your physics minor or major program.
/courses/shopping.html (last updated: March 3, 1998,
E. A. Schiff)