Physics Courses

PHYS 101 - Introductory Physics (4 hours)

Prerequisite: MAPLE Algebra placement score of at least 13 or MATH 013 with a grade of C- or higher.

A laboratory science course for the student with no previous background in physics. A conceptual, rather than mathematical, approach is emphasized, though some arithmetic calculations are required. Topics include mechanics, heat, sound, electromagnetism, light, and modern physics. 3 Lec 3 Lab. (Fall)

PHYS 112 - Introductory Astronomy (4 hours)

Prerequisite: MAPLE Algebra placement score of at least 13 or MATH 013 with a grade of C- or higher.

An introductory study of the solar system; stellar structure and evolution; star clusters, galaxies, quasars, the large scale structure of the universe, and cosmology. A conceptual, rather than mathematical, approach is emphasized, though some arithmetic calculations are required. 3 Lec 3 Lab. (Spring)

PHYS 121 - General Physics I (4 hours)

Prerequisite: MATH 121

An introduction to motion in one dimension, vectors in 2 and 3 dimensions, the laws of motion, work and energy, momentum and collisions, uniform circular motion, gravity, rotational equilibria and dynamics involving torque and angular momentum, solids and fluids, thermal physics and heat, thermodynamical laws, vibrations, waves, and sound. Math level is algebra and trigonometry. 3 Lec 3 Lab. (Fall)

PHYS 122 - General Physics II (4 hours)

Prerequisite: PHYS 121 with a grade of C- or higher

Continuation of PHYS 121. Topics include: electic force and electric field, electric potential, capacitance, resistance and resistivity, direct and alternating currents, Kirchhoff's Rules, Ohm's Law, magnetism and Ampere's Law, Faraday's Law, electromagnetic waves, reflection and refraction of light, mirrors and lenses, relativity, quantum physics, atomic and nuclear physics, and elementary particles. 3 Lec 3 Lab. (Spring)

PHYS 221 - General Physics with Calculus I (1 hour)

Prerequisite: MATH 181. Corequisite: PHYS 121

A one hour addition to the topics of PHYS 121 where calculus is thoroughly used. A student taking PHYS 121 and PHYS 221 will have the equivalent of a 4-hour university course in calculus-based general physics (topics as in PHYS 121). (Offered periodically, Fall)

PHYS 222 - General Physics with Calculus II (1 hour)

Prerequisite: MATH 181. Corequisite: PHYS 122

A one hour addition to the topics of PHYS 122 where calculus is thoroughly used. A student taking PHYS 122 and PHYS 222 will have the equivalent of a 4-hour university course in calculus-based general physics (topics as in PHYS 122). (Offered periodically, Spring)

PHYS 291 - Selected Topics (1 hour)

Prerequisite: Approval of the department chair.

Study in areas of interest beyond those listed in the bulletin. May include lectures, lab or readings under the direction of a faculty member. Content and method of study to be arranged prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of 2 credits.

PHYS 305 - Digital Electronics (4 hours)

Prerequisite: PHYS 122

An introduction to the theory and application of digital logic circuits. Combinatorial and sequential logic design principles and practices. Microcomputer interfacing: I/O programming, system bus structures, and I/O interfaces. Does not apply toward a Mathematical Physics major or a Physics minor. 3 Lec 3 Lab. (Spring)

PHYS 311 - Modern Physics (3 hours)

Prerequisite: PHYS 122, PHYS 222. Corequisite: MATH 282.

Special relativity and quantum theory applied to atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei, and elementary particles. (Offered periodically, Fall)

PHYS 322 - Classical Mechanics (3 hours)

Prerequisite: PHYS 122, PHYS 222, MATH 283

The Newtonian dynamics of particles and rigid bodies including central forces, harmonic motion, many particle systems, and an introduction to the formalisms of Lagrange and Hamilton. (Offered periodically, Fall)

PHYS 351 - Electromagnetic Fields (3 hours)

Prerequisite: PHYS 122, PHYS 222, MATH 283

Electric and magnetic fields in the presence of matter, scalar, and vector potentials, multipole expansions, Poisson's and LaPlace's equations, and an introduction to Maxwell's equations. (Offered periodically, Spring)

PHYS 411 - Quantum Mechanics (3 hours)

Prerequisite: PHYS 311, MATH 283

The Schrödinger equation, operators, angular momentum, perturbation theory, scattering theory, and many particle systems. Techniques from the theory of partial differential equations and linear algebra will be introduced as needed. This course fulfills the requirement for an upper-division course with components as specified in Southwestern's Quality Enhancement Plan. (Offered periodically, Spring)

PHYS 491 - Selected Topics (1-3 hours)

Prerequisite: Approval of the department chair.

Study in areas of interest beyond those listed in the bulletin. May include lectures, lab, or readings under the direction of a faculty member. Content and methods of study to be arranged prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.