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Physics (PS)

PS 101  Introduction to Physics  (3)  

For non-majors. Recommended for partial fulfillment of the graduation requirement in natural science. Selected topics from the field of classical and modern physics are studied and discussed in terms of their impact on modern society without mathematical emphasis.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 102  Physics for Health Professions  (3)  

For non-majors. Recommended for partial fulfillment of the graduation requirement in natural science. Selected topics from the field of classical and modern physics are studied and discussed in terms of their impact on the health profession. Students will not receive credit for both PS 101 and PS 102. Prerequisite: MA 112 or MA 116 or higher, or concurrent enrollment.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 108  Physical Science  (3)  

Introduces basic physics and chemistry with an emphasis on the understanding and significance of accepted fundamental principles. It provides an opportunity to develop critical thinking suited to pursuing any science, as well as giving a larger perspective than can be obtained by study of a single science. Explores contemporary issues as well as the methods, limitations, and societal implications of scientific advancement. Students will be encouraged to explore the relationship between science and everyday life. For non-majors. Recommended for partial fulfillment of the graduation requirement in natural science. Prerequisite: MA 112 Essential Mathematics or MA 116 College Algebra or higher, or concurrent enrollment.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 120  Meteorology  (3)  

The Earth’s atmosphere and basic circulation patterns including types and classification of clouds and air masses, the formation of fronts, winds aloft computations, principles of forecasting, energy considerations and other associated physical processes. Prerequisite: MA 104 or one and one-half years of High School algebra.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 126  Physical Science for Elementary Educators  (5)  

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of physics and chemistry, for the pre-service elementary school teacher. Course activities are inquiry-based, serving to improve confidence in both scientific process and content learning, with methods applicable to elementary curricula.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 131  Biological Physics for the Health and Life Sciences  (3)  

A one-semester course covering classical and modern physics, designed primarily for students in the health professions. Typical subjects include the laws of motion, gravity, heat, sound, light, electricity, and magnetism. Subjects are treated conceptually along with the use of basic data. Recommended for partial fulfillment of the graduation requirement in natural science. Not applicable toward credit for physics major requirements. Students will not receive credit for both PS 101 and PS 131. Prerequisite: MA 112 Essential Mathematics or MA 116 College Algebra or higher, or concurrent enrollment.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 132  Biological Physics for the Health and Life Sciences Laboratory  (1)  

A laboratory exploring classical and modern physics, designed primarily for students in the health professions. Experiments in motion, gravity, heat, sound, light, electricity, and magnetism are designed to teach physics concepts and basic laboratory techniques. The course is designed to introduce students to laboratory techniques used in physics emphasizing instrumentation, data acquisition, and analysis. One three-hour laboratory period per week. Recommended for partial fulfillment of the graduation requirement in natural science. Not applicable toward credit for physics major requirements. Prerequisite: PS 131 Biological Physics for the Health and Life Sciences or concurrent enrollment. Concurrently enrolled students may not drop PS 131 and remain enrolled in PS 132.

PS 261  College Physics I  (5)  

Recommended for medical arts and general science students. Mechanics, heat, and sound are studied. Lecture-recitation and laboratory. Prerequisite: MA 117 or MA 123 or MA 151 (or concurrent).

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 262  College Physics II  (5)  

A continuation of College Physics I. Electricity, optics and modern physics. Lecture-recitation and laboratory. Prerequisite: PS 261 with a grade of C or better.

PS 281  General Physics I  (5)  

Required for students who wish to major in physics and astronomy and for pre-engineering students. Mechanics, heat, and sound are studied. Lecture-recitation and laboratory. Prerequisite: MA 151 or concurrent enrollment.

(General Ed Natural Science. Quan and Sci Reason Lit.)  

PS 282  General Physics II  (5)  

A continuation of General Physics I. Electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Lecture-recitation and laboratory. Prerequisite: PS 281 with a grade of C or better.

PS 291  Elementary Computational Physics  (2)  

An introduction to computer modeling of physics problems using spreadsheet programs, computer algebra systems, and other mathematical software. Prerequisite: MA 151 or concurrent.

PS 310  Relativity  (2)  

Concepts of space and time, frames of reference, Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity and Elements of General Relativity. Prerequisite: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 318  Earth and Space Science for STEM Educators I  (3)  

Designed to introduce the history, structure, composition, and dynamic processes that shape our planet, as well as the impact humans have on Earth’s resources, to STEM educators. Connects astronomy and geology through the study of planetary science and exploration. This course does not satisfy any physics requirement outside of the STEM education program. Prerequisites: CH 317 with a letter grade of C or higher; concurrent enrollment in ED 318.

PS 320  Electromagnetic Theory I  (3)  

The basic theory of electro-magnetic fields and waves using the calculus and vector methods. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 321  Electromagnetic Theory II  (3)  

A continuation of Physics 320. Prerequisite: PS 320.

PS 322  Electrical Laboratory  (2)  

Basic theory of semiconductors and the application of this theory in electrical measurements. One-hour lecture and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 330  Optics  (3)  

Physical and geometrical optics. Lecture-recitation. Prerequisite: PS 262 or PS 282.

PS 332  Optics Lab  (1)  

Experiments with lens systems, mirrors, aberrations, the spectrometer, interference and diffraction, and polarization. Prerequisite: PS 330 or concurrent enrollment.

PS 334  Thermodynamics  (3)  

Consideration of heat phenomena, first and second laws of thermodynamics, their principal consequences and application to simple systems, and the kinetic theory of gases. Prerequisite: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 335  Theoretical Mechanics I  (3)  

A mathematical study of classical mechanics. Rigid body statics and dynamics, kinematics and dynamics of particles and systems of particles, and conservative and non-conservative force fields. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 336  Theoretical Mechanics II  (3)  

A continuation of Theoretical Mechanics I. Prerequisite: PS 335.

PS 340  Electronics  (3)  

Digital electronic circuits and devices with special emphasis on computer interfacing to instrumentation. Two one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory a week. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 350  Modern Physics I  (3)  

Phenomena specific to the extra-nuclear structure of the atom; phenomena peculiar to the atomic nucleus; introduction to quantum and wave mechanics, and relativity. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 351  Modern Physics II  (3)  

A continuation of Physics 350. Prerequisite: PS 350.

PS 352  Modern Physics Laboratory  (1)  

Measurements of constants fundamental to atomic physics: Planck’s constant, electron charge and mass, speed of light, etc. Techniques of nuclear alpha, beta and gamma ray spectroscopy. Prerequisite: PS 350.

PS 360  Physics Research  (1, 2)  

Experimental design and techniques. Extensive use of technical literature will be necessary. Independent work is encouraged. This Capstone requires summative reflection, serving as a culminating experience for Bachelor’s degree students. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

PS 365  Introduction to Theoretical Physics  (3)  

Application of ordinary and partial differential equations, Fourier series and Transforms, partial differential equations with solution methods, and tensor analysis as applied to problems in the fields of physics and engineering. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282 or concurrent enrollment; MA 253.

PS 366  Introduction to Computational Physics  (3)  

Techniques and models in computational physics. Prerequisites: PS 262 or PS 282; MA 253.

PS 368  Computational Physics Research  (3)  

Computational physics research in any of the areas of physics. A written and an oral presentation of the work is required. This Capstone requires summative reflection, serving as a culminating experience for Bachelor’s degree students. Prerequisite: Departmental permission.

PS 370  Special Subjects in Physics  (1-3)  

Offered on demand as teaching schedules permit. Material is to be chosen according to student interest from any one of a number of fields of physics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.