PHYS 103. Basic Physics (4)
An elementary presentation of concepts and principles of physics. Topics include mechanics, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light, relativity, and astronomy. Intended for the non-science major.
PHYS 104. Basic Physics with Laboratory (4)
An elementary presentation of concepts and principles of physics. Topics include mechanics, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light, relativity, and astronomy. Intended for the non-science major. Lecture and laboratory. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory.
PHYS 105. Topics in Physics (4)
An elementary presentation of a topic in physics. Possible topics include light and color, sound, quantum world (molecules, atoms, atomic nuclei, and elementary particles), relativity, and cosmology.
PHYS 121. College Physics I (4F)
Introduction to the principles of physics not requiring calculus. Particle motion, Newton’s laws, momentum, work and energy, gases and liquids, harmonic motion, and waves. Lecture and laboratory. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory, but it does not satisfy the degree requirements for majors in physics, natural science, and chemistry. Co-requisite: PHYS121L
PHYS 122. College Physics II (4S)
Harmonic motion, traveling wave, standing waves and sound, light and optics, electricity and magnetism. Lecture and laboratory. This course does not satisfy the degree requirements for majors in physics, natural science, and chemistry. Prerequisite: PHYS 121. Co-requisite: PHYS122L
PHYS 141. General Physics I (4F)
Mechanics of particle motion, rotational motion of a rigid body, kinematics and dynamics. Lecture and laboratory. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Co-requisite: MATH 151 and PHYS141L. Recommended for chemistry, biochemistry, and biology majors.
PHYS 142. General Physics II (4S)
Waves, optics, quantum mechanics and relativity. Topics include transverse/longitudinal waves, interference, wave/particle duality, the Bohr atom, the Schrodinger equation, time dilation/length contraction, and relativistic energy/momentum. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Lecture and laboratory. Recommended for chemistry, biochemistry and biology majors. Prerequisite: PHYS 141 or PHYS 151. Co-requisite: MATH 152 and PHYS142L.
PHYS 151. Fundamentals of Physics I (4F)
In-depth introduction to Newton’s laws of motion, including 1-D kinematics, vectors, dynamics of motion, rotational motion and the universal law of gravitation. This course represents a more in-depth analysis of introductory physics than PHYS 141. Recommended for physics majors and minors. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Corequisite: MATH 151 and PHYS151L
PHYS 152. Fundamentals of Physics II (4F)
In-depth introduction to waves, optics, quantum mechanics and relativity. Topics include transverse/longitudinal waves, interference, wave/particle duality, the Bohr atom, the Schrodinger equation, time dilation/length contraction, and relativistic energy/momentum. Recommended for physics majors and minors. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 141 or PHYS 151. Corequisite: MATH 152 and PHYS152L.
PHYS 199/299/399/499. Independent Study (1-4E)
This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a physics faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration.
PHYS 251. Fundamentals of Physics III (4F)
Electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetism, and DC circuits. This course satisfies the Core Exploration requirement in the Natural Sciences with Laboratory. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 142 or PHYS 152. Corequisite: MATH 255
PHYS 281. Mathematical Methods of Physics (4)
Presentation of mathematical fundamentals necessary for theoretical physics. Topics include tensor analysis, matrices and determinants, infinite series, complex analysis, partial differential equations, special functions, Fourier series, and Fourier transforms. Prerequisite: MATH 152.
PHYS 297/397/497. Directed Research in Physics (1-4E)
Under the direct supervision of a faculty member, a student participates in physics research. A learning contract that specifies the research goals and methodology must be filed with the Office of the Registrar. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Learning contract filed in the Office of the Registrar.
PHYS 307. Classroom Assistantship in Physics (1-2E)
Supervised experience in the understanding and explanong physics concepts and reasoning. Activities may include, but are not limited to, organizing problem sessions outside of class time, correcting (but not grading) assignments, promoting group work in class or laboratory, and other specific tasks assigned by the instructor. This course will follow the general college guidelines (see “Classroom Assistantships” under “Academic Policies” section). May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Student must have a minimum GPA of 2.5, be of junior or senior standing or completed 2 courses of 200-level work or above in Physics. Learning contract must be filed in the Office of the Registrar.
PHYS 311. Electronics (4F)
Methods of dc & ac analog circuits (network analysis, superposition, and equivalent circuits; impedance; power; diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers). Digital logic (Boolean algebra and optimization techniques), number systems and codes (binary, octal, hexadecimal, Gray codes), and circuit implementations of digital logic (discrete gates and functional blocks). Students will design and analyze circuits in the laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 251.
PHYS 312. Advanced Physics Laboratory (4S)
Set-piece experiments as well as directed experimental projects to study selected phenomena in modern physics. These experiments and projects serve as an introduction to the contemporary instrumentation and the precise measurement techniques used in physics research laboratories. One lecture and four hours of laboratory a week. Prerequisite: PHYS 251.
PHYS 342. Mechanics (4S)
Fundamental concepts of mechanics, kinematics, dynamics of a particle, oscillators, planetary motion, systems of many particles, statics, rotation of rigid bodies. Prerequisite: PHYS 251.
PHYS 350. Physics Research Experience & Presentation (0E)
In order to complete a physics major with a concentration in applied physics, as described in the requirements for the major, students must complete an approved research experience and present their research in public. This course is a co-requisite for the fourth credit of upper-level Directed Research in Physics (PHYS 397/497) or for other approved research experiences. It is not required when a student undertakes a St. Mary’s Project. Students will receive a grade of “Pass” or “Fail.” Requires permission of the instructor.
PHSC 351. Electricity and Magnetism (4S)
Electrostatics, magnetism, direct currents and associated networks, oscillations, alternating current theory, Maxwell’s equations. Prerequisite: PHYS 251.
PHYS 382. Optics (4)
Analytical treatment of geometrical and physical optics. Topics include light wave propagation, reflection, refraction, mirrors, thin lenses, interference, coherence, diffraction, and polarization. Prerequisite: PHYS 251.
PHYS 391. Astrophysics (4AS)
An introduction to the physics of the stars, including stellar structure, the theory of the main sequence and the Hertzprung-Russell diagram, stellar birth, and the end stages of stellar life (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.) We also examine planetary formation, detection of exoplanets, and the physics of extraterrestrial life. Prerequisites: PHYS152 or PHYS142
PHYS 392. Cosmology (4AS)
An introduction to the study of cosmology, featuring the Consensus Model of the Inflationary Big Bang theory. The course covers the history of the universe including cosmic microwave background, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, evidence for inflation, dark matter and dark energy and their roles in the evolution of the universe. We also explore the history of scientific and pre-scientific models for the beginning and end of the Universe. Prerequisites: PHYS152 or PHYS142
PHYS 398/498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)
A variety of off-campus learning opportunities can be arranged through the Career Development Center. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. Prerequisites: Admission to the Internship Program and approval of the academic adviser and department chair. Credit/no credit grading.
PHYS 462. Quantum Mechanics (4F)
Postulates of quantum mechanics and operator formalism, Fourier techniques, correspondence principle, angular momentum theory, matrix representations, central force problems. Prerequisites: PHYS 231 or PHYS 251, MATH 256, and consent of the instructor. Students with several chemistry courses may seek the instructor’s permission to have the PHYS251 prerequisite waived.
PHYS 473. Statistical Mechanics (4S)
Statistical and microscopic treatment of thermodynamical systems. Topics include probability concepts, heat and temperature, thermal interaction, work, internal energy, entropy, and canonical distribution. Prerequisite: PHYS 231. or PHYS 251.
PHYS 475. Topics in Applied Physics I (4E)
An in-depth exploration of a topic in applied physics. Lectures, discussion, readings of appropriate papers and texts. Student presentations and papers will be required. Prerequisites: Four courses in physics and permission of the instructor.
PHYS 490. Senior Seminar in Physics (4)
An in-depth exploration of a topic in physics. The topic is broad enough to integrate several areas of physics. Lectures, discussion, readings of appropriate papers and texts. Student presentations and papers will be required. Prerequisites: 20 credit hours in physics and consent of the instructor.
PHYS 494. St. Mary’s Project (1-4E)
The project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, analytical skills, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work in physics. The student initiates the project, identifies an area of physics to be explored, and proposes a method of inquiry appropriate to the topic. It must be shared with the College community through posters, presentations, or other means. The project may be within physics, across disciplines, or in a cross-disciplinary studies area. The project is supervised by a physics faculty mentor. PHYS 494 may be repeated for up to a total of eight credit hours. Prerequisite: Approval of faculty mentor and department chair of the student’s major(s). Consult faculty mentor for project guidelines.