David G. Seely, chair and professor.
B.A., 1981, Gustavus Adolphus College; M.S., 1983, Ph.D., 1990, University of Missouri, Rolla. Appointed 1991.
Aaron J. Miller, assistant professor.
B.A., 1995, Albion College; Ph.D., 2001, Stanford University. Appointed 2005.
Charles E. Moreau, associate professor.
B.S., 1994, Alma College; M.S., 1996, Ph.D., 2001, Michigan State University. Appointed 2002.
Nicolle E. B. Zellner, assistant professor.
B.S., 1993, University of Wisconsin; M.S., 1998, Ph.D., 2001, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Appointed 2005.
101 Basic Concepts of Physics (1)
Prerequisite: High school algebra.
The basic ideas of physics in a historical and philosophical framework to give the student insight and appreciation of physics of this century and how physics relates to our contemporary society. Not intended for science majors. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Staff
102 The Physics of Urban and Environmental Problems (1)
Prerequisite: High school algebra.
The physics of modern urban and environmental problems with respect to their causes, effects and possible cures. Topics include transportation, energy generation and transmission, pollution and resources. Not intended for science majors. Offered in alternate years. Seely, Zellner.
105 Introductory Astronomy (1)
Prerequisite: High school algebra.
A study of the night sky, planets, stars, galaxies, cosmology, and our place in the universe, along with discussion of observational techniques and space missions. Not intended for science and math majors or minors or students who have taken physics or calculus in high school. Lecture and laboratory, with additional multiple observing sessions required. Zellner.
115, 116 General Physics (1 each)
Prerequisite: High school algebra. Freshmen need permission of instructor. Physics 115 is a prerequisite for 116.
Various forms of energy and their interactions: mechanics, sound, heat, light, electricity, magnetism and atomic and nuclear physics. Includes analytical, historical and philosophical aspects. Lecture and laboratory. Seely.
167, 168 Analytical Physics I, II (1 each)
Corequisite for 167: Mathematics 141, or permission of instructor.
Prerequisite for 168: Physics 167.
Corequisite for 168: Mathematics 143 or permission of instructor.
A calculus-based survey of general physics. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion, sound, electricity and magnetism, light and optics, relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic physics and nuclear physics. Lecture and laboratory. Staff.
191 Physics and Astronomy Seminar (1/4)
Discussion of selected topics in physics and astronomy as determined by student and staff interest. Led by departmental faculty, visiting speakers and students. Students are required to read selected scientific papers, attend presentations and actively participate in discussions. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.
206 Astronomy and Astrophysics (1)
Prerequisites: Mathematics 141 and previous physics course, or permission of instructor.
Covers topics related to cosmology, including our expanding universe. Provides an understanding of stars and how they work, and examines our solar system. Intended for mathematics and science majors and minors and for students pursuing teacher certification in science. Students who take Physics 105 cannot take Physics 206; students who take Physics 206 cannot take Physics 105. Zellner.
243 Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics I (1/2)
Prerequisite: Physics 168 and Mathematics 143, or permission of instructor.
An introduction to the mathematical methods in physics using symbolic and numerical computational software. Topics include statistical interpretation of data and distribution functions, functions of a complex variable, coordinate transformations and curvilinear coordinates. Staff.
244 Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics II (1/2)
Prerequisites: Physics 168 and 243, or permission of instructor.
A continuation of Physics 243. Topics include partial differential equations, Fourier analysis, special functions and orthogonal functions. Staff.
245 Electronics (1)
Prerequisite: Physics 168, or Physics 116 with Mathematics 141 and 143, or permission of instructor.
The use of linear and integrated circuits, discrete devices, amplifiers, power supplies, oscillators and digital logic in experimental design and data acquisition. Applications of measurement instrumentation. Lecture and laboratory. Miller.
250 Introductory Modern Physics (1)
Prerequisites or corequisites: Physics 244 and Mathematics 245, or permission of instructor.
A survey of modern physics. Topics include special relativity, the quantum theory of light and quantum mechanics of matter with applications in atomic, nuclear and elementary particle physics. Staff.
291 Physics and Astronomy Seminar II (1/4)
Prerequisite: Physics 191, junior or senior standing.
Discussion of selected topics in physics and astronomy as determined by student and staff interest. Led by departmental faculty, visiting speakers and students. Students are required to read selected scientific papers, attend presentations, actively participate in discussions, and give a presentation on a scientific paper of their choice. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Miller.
308 Optics (1)
Prerequisite: Physics 168 and 244, or permission of instructor.
An introduction to geometrical and physical optics which includes paraxial theory, polarization, interference and diffraction phenomena, and optical instruments. Topics in contemporary optics, including lasers, holography and Fourier optics will also be discussed. Lecture and laboratory. Offered in alternate years. Seely.
322 Solid State and Nuclear Physics (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 243, 244.
An introduction to the modern quantum mechanical description of solids and the atomic nucleus. Lecture. Offered in alternate years. Moreau.
325 Theoretical Mechanics (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 243, 244 and Mathematics 247.
Review of elementary mechanics, one-dimensional motion, harmonic oscillator, motion in two and three dimensions, central force motion and orbital mechanics, many-particle systems, rotational motion, gravitation, moving coordinate systems and Lagrangian mechanics. Seely, Zellner.
336 Electricity and Magnetism (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 243, 244 and Mathematics 245, 247.
A thorough discussion of Maxwell's electromagnetic field equations in differential form. Major topics are electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetic induction and electromagnetic waves.
350 Advanced Laboratory (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 168 and 244 or permission of instructor.
A junior-level laboratory designed to give students experience in independent research in experimental physics. Experiments include topics in optics, electricity and magnetism, atomic physics, and quantum physics. Strong emphasis is given to statistical analysis of data, error analysis, interpretation of measurements, techniques of measurement, and experimental design. Computer control of apparatus and computational analysis is also emphasized. Staff.
380 Mathematical Physics (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 242 and Mathematics 247, or permission of instructor.
Mathematical methods in physics including vector calculus, transform calculus, tensor analysis and special functions (viz. Fourier series, Gamma functions, Hermite polynomials, Bessel functions, spherical harmonics and Laguerre polynomials). Offered in alternate years. Same as Mathematics 380. Staff.
384 Thermodynamics (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 168, Mathematics 247.
Classical thermodynamics, including kinetic theory and an introduction to statistical mechanics.
387 Quantum Mechanics (1)
Prerequisites: Physics 243, 244, 325, and 336, or permission of instructor.
Non-relativistic quantum interpretation of matter and energy, employing both the wave mechanics of Schroedinger and the matrix mechanics of Heisenberg. Staff.
388, 389 Selected Topics (1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
The course content will vary depending on student and faculty interests.
391, 392 Internship (1/2, 1)
Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.
401, 402 Seminar (1/2, 1)
411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1)