2013-2014 Catalog


PHY - Physics

PHY-120 Physical Science

An introductory course in the physical sciences designed for the non-science major. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the major principles and concepts of the physical sciences. Mathematical skills are not emphasized. Co-requisite: PHY-120L. This course with its co-requisite laboratory fulfills the general education lab science requirement. Required for Science Minor for Education Majors.


PHY-120L Physical Science Lab

Lab to be taken as a co-requisite to PHY-120.


PHY-140 Astronomy

A descriptive survey of the basic concepts of astronomy. Topics to be studied will include the sun and its family of planets, the properties of stars and galaxies, and the structure of the known universe. Math skills are not emphasized. Optional co-requisite: PHY-140L. This course with its co-requisite laboratory fulfills the general education lab science requirement (PHY-140 and PHY-140L taken concurrently). Considered an elective in the Science Minor for Education Majors if taken with PHY-140L. Prerequisite: high school algebra.


PHY-140L Astronomy Lab

This course is an optional lab which can ONLY be taken concurrently with PHY-140. Laboratory sessions will include several outdoor sessions, weather permitting, using IWU portable telescopes to observe and photograph craters on the moon, the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus, brighter nebula and star clusters. Other topics to be covered include the basic operation and handling of telescopes, use of celestial coordinates and setting circles, and an introduction to the visible constellations. The remaining labs will be performed indoors, incorporating laboratory studies of optics, spectral emission lines, Doppler shifts and other astronomy related topics. This course will fulfill the general education lab science requirement ONLY if it is taken concurrently with PHY-140.


PHY-211 General Physics I

First part of a two-semester non-calculus introductory course in physics covering mechanics, thermodynamics (heat), and waves. Prerequisite: High school trigonometry or MAT-120. Co-requisite: PHY-211L.


PHY-211L General Physics Lab

Lab to be taken as a co-requisite to PHY-211.


PHY-212 General Physics II

Second part of a two-semester non-calculus introductory course in physics covering electricity, magnetism, optics, and topics in modern physics. Prerequisite: PHY-211 or equivalent, high school trigonometry or MAT-120. Co-requisite: PHY-212L.


PHY-212L General Physics Lab II

Lab to be taken as a co-requisite to PHY-212.


PHY-221 University Physics I

Calculus-based introductory physics covering kinematics, dynamics, statics, introductory rotational motion, waves, harmonic motion, and basic heat and thermodynamics. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MAT-253 or equivalent. Co-requisite: PHY-221L.


PHY-221L University Physics I Lab

Lab to be taken as a co-requisite to PHY-221.


PHY-222 University Physics II

Calculus-based introductory physics covering electricity, magnetism, optics, and topics in modern physics. Prerequisite: PHY-221 or equivalent. Co-requisite: PHY-222L.


PHY-222L University Physics II Lab

Lab to be taken as a co-requisite to PHY-222.


PHY-230 Electronics

A study of the theory and application of transistors, integrated circuits, and other components of electronic circuits. Three class periods and one laboratory period. Prerequisite: High school algebra and trigonometry or MAT-120.


PHY-270 Modern Physics

Modern Physics is an intermediate (sophomore-level) course that expands on what is considered "modern physics" - physics based on two major breakthroughs in the 20th Century: special relativity and quantum mechanics. The course details the conceptual evolution of modern physics ideas and describes the struggles between classical ideas of Newtonian mechanics versus relativistic mechanics, and between the particle and wave view of light and matter. The theoretical framework is also discussed and important experiments critical to this evolution detailed. Prerequisites: PHY2222 and MAT-254 or their equivalents.


PHY-311 Analytical Mechanics

In-depth study of the motion of rigid bodies. Three-dimensional translational and rotational motion. Oscillations. Lagrange equations. Inertial and non-inertial frames. Prerequisite: PHY-222 (or PHY212 and permission of instructor) and MAT-254.


PHY-321 Thermodynamics/Statistical Mechanics

Thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic equations of states. Thermodynamic potentials.Irreversibility. Phase transitions. Kinetic theory of gases. Introduction to classical quantum statistical mechanics. Prerequisite: PHY-222 (or PHY-212 and permission of instructor) and MAT-254.


PHY-325 Mathematical Methods of Physics

This course introduces a variety of mathematical techniques used in solving many problems in the field of physics. The course begins with a review of linear Euclidean vector spaces and generalizes this to tensor analysis and to the higher dimensions of Hilbert space. Linear algebra and its formalisms will be developed and applied to linear vector spaces and applied to simple problems of relativity. The physical intuition behind vector calculus theorems such as the Divergence Theorem and Helmholtz Theorem will be emphasized. The approach of linear algebra as applied to variables will then be generalized to analytical functions. The course will then introduce the concepts of basis eigenfunctions, eigenvalues, normalization and orthogonality in the context of infinite-dimensional Hilbert Space. The different approaches to solving different types of differential equations appearing in all branches of physics will be studied. Legendre polynomials and Hermite polynomials will be introduced as naturally arising in solving the hydrogen atom problem and quantum mechanics problems. The powerful theory of Green's function will be introduced and applied to problems in electromagnetism. Throughout the course, examples and applications that have connections to other branches of physics (e.g. classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics, etc.) will be employed extensively to give the student the sense of universal utility of these mathematical methods. Prequisite: MAT-353.


PHY-331 Electromagnetism I

Electrostatic fields in vacuum. Gauss's law. Solution of electrostatic boundary-value problems. Electrostatic fields in material media. Electric currents. Electromagnetic waves. Maxwell's equations. Special relativity. Prerequisite: PHY-222 (or PHY-212 and permission of instructor)and MAT-254.


PHY-341 Waves and Optics

Topics include geometrical and physical optics, interference, diffraction, lasers, fiber-optics, electromagnetic wave theory, and optical instruments. Prerequisite: PHY-222 (or PHY-212 and permission of instructor).


PHY-351 Quantum Mechanics I

Topics include wave-particle duality, wave functions, operators and observables, matrix representation, and three-dimensional Schroedinger's equation. Prerequisite: PHY-222 (or PHY-212 and permission on instructor) and MAT-254.


PHY-361 Introduction to Health and Medical Physics

Introduction to the use, detection, and disposal of radioisotopes in medicine and biological research. Biological effects of radiation, including from nuclear weapons. Introduction to different imaging techniques in medicine, such as X-ray and MRI. Applications of lasers in medicine.


PHY-385 Advanced Physics Laboratory/Measurements

Theory of measurements, detectors, interfaces, error and accuracy analysis, data acquisition, and processing. Laboratory application of a design of an experiment and experimental apparatus and measurements of physical quantities. Prerequisite: PHY-222 (or PHY-212 and permission of instructor).


PHY-440 Astrophysics

This is an introductory course in astrophysics which serves as an elective for the Physics major and Physics minor program. Other science or math majors may take this as a simple general elective. Three class periods per week are required. The class provides the student with an introduction to most of the major concepts and principles of the workings of observational and theoretical astrophysics. We will discuss current thoughts on modern cosmology, and investigate major revisions of our ideas concerning the workings of the universe, the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology; including recent discoveries about the planets, moon, sun, pulsars, quasars, space explorations and radio astronomy, and blackholes. Prerequisites: PHY-222 and MAT 254 Calculus II or equivalent.


PHY-475 Independent Learning-Physics

Individually arranged study and/or research in physics. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

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PHY-490 Physics Senior Seminar

This course is intended to help science majors to synthesize, integrate, and apply their scientific understanding. The course will focus on advanced topics and on ethical and social implications of science. Some emphasis will be given to research and to written and oral communication skills as used in the sciences. The major Field advancement Tests in physics will be administered as a part of this course. The course is required of all majors. Prerequisite: Senior standing, physics major or minor.


PHY-495 Research in Physics

Students will engage in original research under the direction of a faculty member. This course may be repeated but only two credits total may be applied toward the physics minor. Specific areas of physics research may include but are not limited to astronomy, atomic physics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, mathematical physics, medical physics, physics education, to name a fewl. Prerequisites: PHY-212 or PHY-222 (or equivalent) and permission from instructor.

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