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Physics Courses

Below is a list of available courses offered by the Physics Department. Consult the Registrar’s Office and the College Catalog for registration information.

PHYS 101 - PHYSICAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING
This course is a lab/lecture course in which students will study physics and applied mathematics at the level of pre-calculus or calculus, depending on the level of the student enrolled. In the lab portion, students will study robotics and do a building project. This is an intensive class for new students and will meet for 45 hours over two weeks prior to August orientation. Hours credit: 3. Offered in the summer prior to the start of the fall semester.

PHYS 105 - INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS I
An algebra-based introduction to fundamental topics in physics, including mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion and electromagnetism. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: MATH 119R or equivalent. Calculus is not required. Alternate years.

PHYS 105L - INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS I LABORATORY
Laboratory work and experiments related to topics studied in Physics 105. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite or prerequisite: Physics 105, 106 or equivalent. Alternate years.

PHYS 106 - INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS II
Electricity and Magnetism. An algebra-based introduction to fundamental topics in phyics, including mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion, and electronmagnetism. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: MATH 119R or equivalent. Calculus is not required. Alternate years.

PHYS 106L - INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS II LABORATORY
Laboratory work and experiments related to topics studied in Physics 106. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite or prerequisite: Physics 106 or equivalent. Alternate years.

PHYS 115 - GENERAL PHYSICS I
Classical mechanics, heat, and electromagnetism. A calculus-based presentation of basic physical principles for students interested in the sciences or mathematics. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite or corequisite: Mathematics 149R or equivalent.

PHYS 115L - GENERAL PHYSICS I LABORATORY
Laboratory work and experiments related to the topics studied in Physics 115. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite or prerequisite: Physics 115 or equivalent.

PHYS 116 - GENERAL PHYSICS II
Classical mechanics, heat, and electromagnetism. A calculus-based presentation of basic physical principles for students interested in the sciences or mathematics. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: Mathematics 149R or equivalent (or corequisite with permission of the instructor).

PHYS 116L - GENERAL PHYSICS II LABORATORY
Laboratory work and experiments related to the topics studied in Physics 116. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite or prerequisite: Physics 116 or equivalent.

PHYS 125 - MATLAB & LABVIEW
This course covers beginning and intermediate programing in the Matlab and Labview computer languages. Students will learn the basics of computer programming as well as the specifics of programing in Matlab and Labview including data input/output, code structuring, coding best practices and limitations, data acquisition and beginning GUI development. This course is project based with projects taken from real world computing problems. Hours credit: 3. Alternate years.

PHYS 176 - PHYSICAL GEOLOGY
Identical with Environmental Studies 176. Hours credit: 3.

PHYS 176L - PHYSICAL GEOLOGY LAB
Identical with Environmental Studies 176L. Hours credit: 1

PHYS 216 - STATICS
This course focuses on external (both applied and reactive) and internal forces on rigid bodies or particles that are stationary or moving with constant velocity. These concepts are applied to simple trusses, frames, and machines. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: PHYS 115. Alternate years.

PHYS 251 - RELATIVITY & INTRO TO QUANTUM MECHANICS
Topics include special relativity, wave/particle duality, the Bohr model of hydrogen, and an introduction to quantum mechanics. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: PHYS 116.

PHYS 256 - GREEN ENGINEERING DESIGN
Energy crisis. Rising gas prices. Climate change. Massive oil spills. Advances in Technology. Green engineering has been around since humans started using tools, but a confluence of events in the past decade has made green engineering one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. Students will be given a chance to see first-hand how engineers design power plants, buildings, and transportation to be cleaner and more energy efficient. The class will visit power plants, manufacturers, and buildings that use innovative and environmentally conscious design. Students will design and build their own scale cars, and will work with the Cub Scouts' Pinewood Derby and the Randolph College Science Festival. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: one semester of any science. Alternate years.

PHYS 290 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

PHYS 302 - QUANTUM MECHANICS
A continued study of quantum mechanics, including important one-dimensional applications, and the hydrogen atom. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: PHYS 251.

PHYS 331 - ELECTRONICS LABORATORY
A lecture laboratory course with emphasis on practical applications. Includes hands-on experience in building and testing electronic circuits and devices, and an introduction to digital logic, digital electronics, and computer interfacing. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: PHYS 116,116L; MATH 150R. Alternate years.

PHYS 332 - ADVANCED PHYSICS LABORATORY
A lecture laboratory with experiments in various branches including optics and lasers of physics with emphasis on modern physics. Includes the study of physical systems through computer simulations and modeling as well as advanced techniques in data analysis. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: PHYS 251, MATH 150R. Alternate years.

PHYS 341 - CLASSICAL MECHANICS
Topics include solutions of Newtonian equations of motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: PHYS 116 and MATH 250 and 331. Mathematics 331 may be a corequisite. Offered alternate years.

PHYS 351 - THERMODYNAMICS & STATISTICAL MECHANICS
An introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, including review of important topics from statistics and probability, statistical description of particle systems, calculation of thermodynamic quantities, quantum statistics of ideal gases, and other basic methods and results of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite or Corequisite: PHYS 302. Offered alternate years.

PHYS 361 - ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY
A study of classical electromagnetic theory including electrostatic and magnetostatic fields, Maxwell's equations, and electromagnetic plane waves. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: PHYS 116 and MATH 250 and 331. Offered second semester alternate years.

PHYS 371 - TOPICS IN THEORETICAL PHYSICS
Topics selected from classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, optics, or other subjects of interest to faculty and students. Hours Credit: 3. Prerequisites: PHYS 302, 341, 361. May be repeated for credit if topic differs. Offered alternate years.

PHYS 394 - RESEARCH TOPICS IN PHYSICS
Students take part in research projects in conjunction with a faculty member in a field of mutual interest and learn research and problem solving methods. Research results are written up in formal lab reports and in some cases will be published. Hours credit: 1, 2, or 3. Prerequisite: permission of the Department. May be repeated for credit up to a maximum of nine hours.

PHYS 398H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR

PHYS 474 - QUANTUM MECHANICS II
Quantum mechanics, including postulates and formalism, angular momentum, and spin. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: PHYS 302 and MATH 241 and 331. Offered alternate years.

PHYS 493 - SEMINAR
Students are asked to make connections across the subject areas in physics through a review of the major ideas in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, relativity and quantum mechanics. The seminar also requires students to explore more deeply the areas of their personal interest in physics, in order to inform their choice of research in PHYS 494 and future graduate school and employment decisions. Hours credit: 1. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

PHYS 494 - SENIOR RESEARCH
Students complete individualized research projects. Research results are presented in a formal paper and an oral presentation before faculty and students. The senior research course also includes a comprehensive final examination of physics. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: permission of the Department.

PHYS 497H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR

PHYS 498H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR