Physics

Physics is the study of nature, from subatomic particles to the grand scale of the universe. USAO’s physics curriculum provides the student with a solid foundation in the major disciplines of physics. In addition, the physics major acquires strong problem solving abilities, critical thinking skills, laboratory and computational savvy, and a mathematical dexterity which allows graduates to pursue a variety of careers upon graduation or continue on to graduate or professional school.

 

Bachelor of Science in Physics

Required Physics Core (28-30 Hours):

Course                                                   Title                                                                      Hours Required

PHYS 1301                                           General Physics Laboratory I                                           1

PHYS 1401                                           General Physics Laboratory II                                          1

PHYS 2113                                           General Physics I                                                           3

or

PHYS 2214                                          General Physics with Calculus I                                        4

PHYS 2123                                          General Physics II                                                          3

or

PYHS 2224                                         General Physics with Calculus II                                       4

PHYS 2513                                         Modern Physics                                                              3

PHYS 3013                                         Mathematical and Computational Methods in Physics          3

PHYS 3113                                         Physical Mechanics                                                         3

PHYS 3213                                         Electricity and Magnetism -Field Theory                            3

PHYS 4003                                         Quantum Mechanics                                                       3

PHYS 4102                                         Advanced Laboratory                                                      2

PHYS 4113                                         Waves and Physical Optics                                              3

 

Supporting Courses (29 Hours):

MATH 1743                                        Calculus & Analytic Geometry I                                       3

MATH 2223                                        Calculus & Analytic Geometry II                                      3

MATH 2243                                        Calculus & Analytic Geometry III                                     3

MATH 3233                                        Linear Algebra                                                               3

MATH 3263                                        Calculus and Analytic Geometry IV                                  3

MATH 3353                                        Differential Equations                                                    3

and

CHEM 1111                                       General Chemistry Laboratory I                                       1

CHEM 1113                                       General Chemistry I                                                       3

CHEM 1121                                       General Chemistry Laboratory II                                      1

CHEM 1123                                       General Chemistry II                                                      3

and

CSCI 2143                                        Programming in "C/C++" I                                              3

 

Recommended Mathematics and Science Electives:

MATH 2203                                      Elementary Statistics                                                       3

MATH 4303                                      Probability and Statistics I                                                3

MATH 4403                                      Probability and Statistics II                                               3

MATH 4413                                      Numerical Analysis                                                          3

MATH 4423                                      Complex Variable Theory                                                 3

and

CHEM 3021                                      Instrumental Laboratory                                                  1

CHEM 3023                                      Instrumental Techniques                                                 3

CHEM 4411                                      Physical Chemistry Laboratory I                                       1

CHEM 4413                                      Physical Chemistry I                                                       3

CHEM 4421                                      Physical Chemistry Laboratory II                                      1

CHEM 4433                                      Physical Chemistry II                                                      3

PHYS 4313                                       Selected Topics in Modern Physics                                    3

 

Exit Requirements:

A.  Enrollment in Colloquium (NSCI 2700 or NSCI 2701)

B.  Completion of exit exam

Minor in Physics

18 hours to be selected with approval of physics advisor.


COURSE LISTINGS in PHYSICS (PHYS)

1301       GENERAL PHYSICS LABORATORY I
              Simple experiments concerning basic laws of physics. 1 hour

1401       GENERAL PHYSICS LABORATORY II
              Simple experiments concerning basic laws of physics with emphasis on electrical measurements. 1 hour

2113       GENERAL PHYSICS I
              Mechanics, heat, and wave motion. Prerequisites: MATH 1513 and MATH 1613. 3 hours

2123       GENERAL PHYSICS II
              Continuation of PHYS 2113. Electricity, magnetism, physical optics, and modern physics. 
              Prerequisite: PHYS 2113. 3 hours

2214       GENERAL PHYSICS WITH CALCULUS I
              Includes topics from mechanics, heat and wave motion. Co-requisite: MATH 1743. 4 hours

2224       GENERAL PHYSICS WITH CALCULUS II
              Continuation of PHYS 2214. Electricity, magnetism, physical optics, and modern physics. 
              Prerequisite: PHYS 2214. Co-requisite: MATH 2223. 4  hours

2513       MODERN PHYSICS
              Study of physics after 1900. Topics covered include relativity, wave-particle duality of light and particles, atomic 
              structure, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and nuclear physics. 3 hours. Co-requisite: MATH 2223

2880       SPECIAL TOPICS
              Special topics in physics. 1-4 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours).

2900       WORKSHOP
              Guided study in physics under faculty supervision; various topics and methods of instruction. 1-6 hours (may be
              repeated for total of 6 hours with change in title and topic.)

2990       TUTORIAL
              Independent study in physics under faculty supervision. 1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 9 hours with
              change in title and content).

3013       MATHEMATICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL METHODS IN PHYSICS
              Study of the mathematical and computational methods utilized by physicists to solve problems. Topics include
              complex numbers, linear equations, partial differentiation, multiple integrals, vector calculus, Fourier series,
              ordinary and partial differential equations, boundary value problems, special functions and advanced numerical
              techniques. Computer programming and computational techniques will be used for both algebraic and numerical
              computations. 3 hours. Prerequisites: MATH 2223 and PHYS 2513

3113       PHYSICAL MECHANICS
              Statics and dynamics of a particle; potential theory; introduction to orbit theory and rigid body dynamics.    
              Prerequisites: MATH 2223 and PHYS 2123 or PHYS 2224. 3 hours

3213       ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM-FIELD THEORY
              Laws and principles of electrostatics, moving electric charges and electromagnetism. Prerequisites: MATH 2223
              and PHYS 2123 or PHYS 2224. 3 hours

3301       SEMINAR
              Prerequisite: approval of instructor. 1 hour

4003       QUANTUM MECHANICS
              Fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics. Topics include the Schrödinger equation, one-dimensional
              potentials, wave mechanics and operator methods, perturbation theory, and the hydrogen atom. 3 hours.
              Prerequisites: MATH 2223 and PHYS 2513

4102       ADVANCED LABORATORY
              Senior level experiments in physics and digital electronics. 2 hours (may be repeated for total of 4 hours).

4113       WAVE MOTION AND PHYSICAL OPTICS
              Wave equations, wave propagation, coherence, interference, diffraction, polarization, interaction of light with
              matter, and radiation. Prerequisites: MATH 3263 and PHYS 3213. 3 hours

4880       SPECIAL TOPICS
              Special topics in physics. 1-4 hours (may be repeated for total of 6 hours with change in title and content).

4900       WORKSHOP
              Related topics and problems in physics. 1-6 hours (may be repeated for total of 9 hours with change in title and
              content).

4990       TUTORIAL
              Independent study in physics under faculty supervision. 1-3 hours (may be repeated for total of 9 hours with
              change in title and content).