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    Catalog of Courses

    Physics

    Applicable for the 2019-2020 academic year.

    Physics Website

    Professors BURNS (chair), HILT; Associate Professors CERVANTES, LANG, PURDUE; Adjunct Associate Professor DICENZO; Assistant Professor GOSNELL

    The Department of Physics offers both major and minor programs. The core physics major consists of only nine physics courses and their math prerequisites. This allows the flexibility to adapt the core physics curriculum to a student's specific career goals.  In addition we offer numerous tracks within the major (called emphases) which are focused on specific interests and career goals.  Emphases for the physics major include:

    • Liberal Arts (= core physics major)
    • Comprehensive
    • Astrophysics
    • Environmental Physics
    • Geophysics
    • Chemical/Materials Science
    • Education
    • Computational Physics

    For students intending to pursue physics professionally, the Comprehensive Emphasis is strongly recommended. 

    Additional emphasis information

    In addition, the college partners with several engineering schools to offer a 3-2 or 4-2 engineering degree.  In this program, students spend three or four years at CC, completing a major (in physics or some other subject), and two years at the partner school. They receive two undergraduate degrees, a BA from CC and an engineering degree from the partner school.

    Pre-engineering options

    If you are considering a major in physics, it is important that you take both PC 241 and 242 during your freshman year. This will prevent serious scheduling conflicts during subsequent years.

    Major Requirements

    Physics Major Requirements:

    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC 362 Observational Astronomy
    PC450: Senior Seminar
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3
    AND
    Three units of physics numbered 262 or above, along with any prerequisites

    All first-year students who intend to major in physics should take Introductory Classical Physics I and II (PC241 and PC242) during their first year. Our department web page contains a guide to choosing a first physics course for those who have taken AP or IB physics in high school.

    One block of Investigations in Physics may be included and is recommended but Readings in Physics may not. In addition, all majors must actively participate in the departmental colloquium program. Additional advanced courses in physics and mathematics are strongly recommended, especially for those who intend to pursue a career in physics, astrophysics, or applied science. Click here for course descriptions.

    Sample Course Track for students starting in their first year
    Sample Course Track for students starting in their second year

    Emphases

    There are a wide variety of opportunities available to students after graduating from Colorado College. There are several course emphases available to provide guidance in preparing for your future. An emphasis is a collection of courses designed to help you specialize in a particular field of study. These emphases are only guides to help you select courses, and there is no formal application or obligation to finish an emphasis. Successfully completing the core requirements for the physics major is equivalent to completing a physics degree with the liberal arts emphasis. Successful completion of an emphasis will be noted on your transcript. 

    Summary of emphasis requirements

    The available emphases are:

     Liberal Arts - Comprehensive - Astrophysics - Environmental - Geophysics - Chemical/Materials Science - Education - Computational


     

    Liberal Arts Physics Major

    This emphasis is designed to cover core requirements for the physics major while leaving time for a broad liberal arts education. This is the default track and it is appropriate for any student interested in physics as well as those following pre-med or education-based tracks.  This track is also good for students who are interested in double majoring.  

    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    PC450: Senior Seminar
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3
    AND
    Three units of physics numbered 262 or above, along with any prerequisites


    Comprehensive Major

    This emphasis is for students interested in pursuing graduate school in physics or a related field. A broad coverage of major topics of physics is represented, preparing you for graduate school in any field of physics. This emphasis is very comprehensive and includes nearly every available physics course offered at CC. 


    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    One physics elective numbered PC262 or higher
    PC311: Vector Analysis
    PC341: Mechanics
    PC349: Thermal Physics
    PC353: Electromagnetic Theory
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    PC441: Quantum Mechanics I
    PC450: Senior Seminar 
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3
    MA220: Linear Algebra

    Recommendations:
    CP122: Computer Science I
    PC253: Computational Physics (adjunct, .5 units)
    PC354: Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
    PC420: Advanced Topics in Physics
    PC442: Quantum Mechanics II

    Astrophysics Emphasis 

    This is designed for physics majors who are interested in astronomy and astrophysics. Although this emphasis provides a good preparation for graduate work in astronomy and astrophysics, it is also a good choice for those interested in a liberal arts education with a strong background in the physical sciences.


    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC311: Vector Analysis
    PC341: Mechanics
    PC349: Thermal Physics
    PC357: Astrophysics
    PC358: Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology
    PC362: Observational Astronomy
    PC441: Quantum Mechanics I
    PC450: Senior Seminar 
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3
    MA220: Linear Algebra

    Recommendations:
    PC253: Computational Physics (adjunct, .5 units)
    PC353: Electromagnetic Theory
    PC354: Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
    PC420: Advanced Topics in Physics
    PC442: Quantum Mechanics II

    Interdisciplinary Emphases: 

    The following emphases are interdisciplinary and consist of the liberal arts physics major (the core requirements to complete a physics major) and a minor in another department. It is recommended that students planning on completing one of these emphases consult an adviser in both departments.

    Environmental Physics Emphasis

    Students who are interested in applying physics to environmental issues should consider this major. 


    EV128: Introduction to Global Climate Change
    EV145: Environment and Society
    MA125 or 126: Calculus I
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3
    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    Two physics electives numbered 262 or higher
         Recommended:
         PC333: Solid State Physics
         PC341: Mechanics 
         PC349: Thermal Physics 
         PC441: Quantum Mechanics I
    EV333: Atmospheric Dynamics
    One additional environmental course
         Recommended:
         EV212: Energy: Environmental Thermodynamics and Energetics
         EV315: Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions
         EV351: Hydrology
         EV431: Atmospheric Chemistry 
    At least one 200, 300, or 400 level EV humanities or social science course
    PC450: Senior Seminar* or EV499: Environmental Science Thesis 
        *Senior Seminar must be relevant to environmental physics

    Recommendations:
    One or more summer research programs in environmental physics
    Additional advanced physics courses
    Additional math courses (particularly MA218/EV228, MA220, MA315)
    Introductory Chemistry, Geology, or Biology

    Geophysics Emphasis 

    Students who are interested in going into geophysics in employment or graduate school may be interested in this emphasis, which combines a liberal arts major in physics with five or more courses in geology. We recommend that you discuss this career path with Dick Hilt in the Department of Physics and Megan Anderson in the Department of Geology. 


    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    Three physics electives numbered 262 or higher
         Recommended electives:
         PC333: Solid State Physics
         PC341: Mechanics 
         PC349: Thermal Physics 
         PC354: Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
    PC450: Senior Seminar
    GY130: Introductory Geology or GY140: Physical Geology 
    GY308/PC308: Introductory Geophysics
         Two of the following three geology courses:
         GY240: Plate Tectonics
         GY315: Structural Geology
         GY320: Surface Processes and Geomorphology
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3

    Recommendations:
    One or more summer research programs in physics or geophysics
    Additional advanced physics and geology courses
    Additional math courses (particularly MA313, MA220, CP122, MA316, MA318)
    General Chemistry I (CH107)

    Chemical Physics or Material Science Emphasis

    Students who are interested in employment or graduate school in chemical physics or material science may be interested in the chemical physics emphasis, which combines a liberal arts physics major with a minor in chemistry. We recommend that you seek advice from Phillip Cervantes, Stephanie DiCenzo, or Kristine Lang in the Department of Physics and Ted Lindeman or Sally Meyer in the Department of Chemistry. 


    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    Three physics electives numbered 262 or higher
         Recommended Electives:
         PC333: Solid State Physics
         PC349: Thermal Physics 
         PC354: Electromagnetic Waves and Optics
         PC441: Quantum Mechanics I
         PC442: Quantum Mechanics and Relativity II
    PC450: Senior Seminar
    CH107: General Chemistry I
    CH108: General Chemistry II
    CH366: Physical Chemistry I
    CH367: Physical Chemistry II
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3

    Recommendations:
    One or more summer research programs in physics or physical chemistry
    CH241: Analytical/Bioanalytical Chemistry
    CH250: Structures of Organic Molecules
    Additional advanced physics, chemistry, and math courses

    Teaching Emphasis

    The teaching emphasis is intended for students interested in teaching physics at the high school level. In Colorado, physics teachers are certified to teach all sciences. This means that you need to major in physics, but also take at least two courses in biology, chemistry, and earth sciences. CC has two options for becoming a certified physics teacher. One is completed as an undergraduate: you major in physics, take the introductory courses in the other sciences, plus the education courses (essentially a minor) and student-teach. You can also be a 9th semester student where you graduate in May, then delay student teaching until the following fall, with a substantial reduction in tuition for the 9th semester. The second option is to focus on majoring in physics and completing the science requirements. You should take ED100 and ED120, then apply for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program, which is a 14-month certification and master's degree program in the Department of Education. For more information, contact Mike Taber or Deb Mortenson in the Department of Education for advising. 


    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    Three physics electives numbered 262 or higher
    PC450: Senior Seminar
    College Aids in Colorado Springs Schools (ED100)
    Experience Aids in Colorado Springs Schools (ED120)
    Two lab-based introductory science courses chosen from biology, chemistry, and geology
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3

    Recommendations:
    PC133: Astronomy
    Additional education courses,such as ED 203 or 275(ED 275 is particularly useful for those interested in Teach for America)

    Computational Physics Emphasis

    The computational physics emphasis is for physics students interested in computational modeling, computer control of equipment, or students considering a career in electrical or computer engineering.  We recommend you consult with Shane Burns in the Department of Physics or Matthew Whitehead in Computer Science about this track.   


    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    PC361: Techniques of Experimental Physics or PC362: Observational Astronomy
    PC253: Computational Physics (adjunct, .5 units)
    2 physics electives PC 262 or higher
    PC450: Senior Seminar
    CP122: Computer Science I
    CP222: Computer Science II
    CP274: Software Design
    CP275: Computer Organization
    MA126: Calculus 1
    MA129: Calculus 2
    MA204: Calculus 3

    Recommendations:
    Additional advanced physics courses especially PC341, PC349, PC353, PC441, PC442
    Additional computer science courses especially CP344, CP360, CP407
    Additional advanced math courses especially MA201, MA220, MA251
    One or more summer research programs

    Minor Requirements

    Minors are required to take the following courses:

    PC241: Physics for the Physical Sciences I: Mechanics
    PC242: Physics for the Physical Sciences II: Electricity & Magnetism
    PC251: Introductory Modern Physics
    PC261: Electronics I
    Plus one additional course, level 200 or higher

    Courses

    Physics

    PC108 Introduction to Machining and Fabrication

    Introduces machining and fabrication through hands-on experience. Provides an introduction to use of a mill, lathe, band saw, plasma and oxyacetylene torch, welding equipment and other common machining and fabrication tools. Also introduces use of precision measurement tools and mechanical drawing. Using these tools, students will complete an independent project. The course will lead to an understanding of possibilities, limitations and tolerances for custom machined and fabricated parts. Such knowledge is essential for experimental scientists designing equipment, entrepreneurs designing prototypes, and others who work with machinists. Extended format.

    .5 unit — Burt

    PC120 Topics in Physics:

    Experimental or occasional courses taught by visiting professors or permanent faculty. Courses under this rubric will vary year to year. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    .5 to 1 unit

    PC122 Cosmology and Place in the American Southwest

    This FYE Seminar introduces students to the foundations of Anthropology and Cultural Astronomy by exploring how groups in the American Southwest imbued the landscape and sky with memories, meanings, and other lived experiences. Students will explore how the Ancient peoples of this region developed complex societies, constructed monumental buildings, and positioned structures and features to engage with the natural world. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    2 units

    PC123 Scientific Revolutions: The Copernican Revolution

    Planetary astronomy from the Greeks to the age of Newton. This course is a blend of history and science, and it explores the role of planetary astronomy in the development of Western thought. Readings from Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton. Astronomical observations and laboratory work. (Satisfies the laboratory/field requirement for natural sciences.) (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.) (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.) 1 unit - Hilt. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC124 Scientific Revolutions: Relativity

    This course examines 19th and 20th-century modifications of Newtonian ideas of space, time and interactions. We focus on the concepts and consequences of the theory of relativity: length contraction, time dilation, the relativity of simultaneity, the equivalence of mass and energy, new approaches to gravitation, and black holes. We also explore the impact of relativity outside science. Readings from Einstein, Minkowski, Holton, Kuhn and others. Prerequisite: Physics 123. (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.) (Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.) 1 unit - DiCenzo. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    Prerequisite: Physics 123.

    1 unit

    PC129 Acoustics

    Physics of motion, vibrations and waves, with application to hearing, music and architectural acoustics. (Meets the laboratory/field requirement for natural sciences.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC131 Cultural Astronomy of the Southwest

    Surveys the history and concepts of Western astronomy as background for other cultural approaches to astronomy. Focuses on archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy of native Southwestern peoples, including Ancestral Puebloans as well as modern Pueblo and Athabascan tribes. Explores relationships among astronomy, rock art, ritual, oral narratives, social patterns and belief systems. (Also listed as SW 200 and AN 211.) 1 unit. Hilt and department May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC132 Observational Astronomy for Amateurs

    A course for non-physics majors who are interested in learning to use a telescope and studying the sky. Class activities will include: understanding and learning to use the telescope and CCD camera, learning to manipulate and reduce images, offering observational opportunities for campus and community members, and performing individual or group observational projects, such as looking for Messier objects, tracking the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, and observing the tilt of Saturn's rings.

    Prerequisite: No credit after completing Physics 362; may be taken up to two times for credit.

    .25 unit — Wetterer

    PC133 Astronomy

    Our solar system, our galaxy, the expanding universe of galaxies. Methods for obtaining astronomical data; fundamental properties of planets, stars, interstellar matter and galaxies; their origin and evolution; unusual objects like pulsars, quasars and black holes; life in the universe. (Meets the laboratory/field requirement for natural sciences.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    1 unit — Burns, Gosnell

    PC135 Meteorology

    Basic physics principles are introduced and used to study dynamic processes in the atmosphere: atmospheric energy flow, solar radiation, green-house effect, large-scale circulation of the atmosphere, small-scale processes including clouds and storms, weather forecasting, man's impact on weather and climate. Laboratory and field experiments and field trips will be utilized. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC136 How Things Work

    A practical introduction to the physics in everyday life. Covers examples from simple experiences like ice skating and drinking through a straw to complicated devices like televisions and microwaves,these are explained using physical principles, logical arguments, schematic diagrams, lots of demonstrations, and a few equations. Each student dissects and explains a mechanical or electrical device, such as a wind up clock, bicycle, or vacuum cleaner, using principles and techniques developed in the course. Requires no previous experience with physics. Those with significant previous physics experience will find some repetition, but significant new applications. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC137 Conceptual Physics

    A nonmathematical introduction to some of the important concepts in physics such as inertia, gravity, energy, relativity, and quanta. Some examples of phenomena and devices that might be covered include falling and floating bodies, rocket action, tides, waves of many kinds, the behavior of atoms, fission and fusion, lasers, the twin paradox, and black holes. (Meets the laboratory/field requirement for natural sciences.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC141 Physics for the Life Sciences l

    This is the first block of a two-block sequence in introductory physics tailored to students majoring in one of the life sciences. This course covers mechanics, thermodynamics, and fluids. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    Prerequisite: Mathematics 125 or 126 or equivalent of consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Brown, DiCenzo, Purdue

    PC142 Physics for the Life Sciences ll

    This is the second block of a two-block sequence in introductory physics tailored to students majoring in one of the life sciences. This course covers electricity, magnetism, basic electrical circuits, waves, optics, and quantum physics Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    Prerequisite: Physics 141 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Cervantes, Lang

    PC151 Biophysics: Physics and Living Things

    How physical principles apply to living things. Some examples of the kinds of topics to be discussed are muscle action, running, jumping, flying, circulation of blood, keeping warm, keeping cool, nerve action, hearing, and seeing. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    1 unit — Bull, Lang

    PC210 Investigations in Engineering

    Project-based course taught by a visiting engineer to introduce students to a particular field of engineering. Content will vary substantially between offerings.

    .5 unit

    PC220 Topics in Physics:

    Courses offered under this rubric will vary year to year. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).

    1 unit

    PC224 Spacetime Physics

    An introductory examination of some of the physics of spacetime. Flat spacetime geometry, momentum and energy, gravity and curved spacetime. Effects of relativity in mechanics, optics and particle physics. More mathematical than 124. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: HS Math & Science.

    .5 to 1 unit

    PC241 Physics for the Physical Sciences l: Mechanics

    This is the first block of a two-block sequence in introductory physics for students planning to major in the physical sciences or enter an engineering program. This course covers mechanics and thermodynamics. The course emphasizes mathematically rigorous problem solving. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    Prerequisite: Mathematics 125 or 126 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Brown, Cervantes, Gosnell, Light

    PC242 Physics for the Physical Sciences ll: Electricity & Magnetism

    This is the second block of a two-block sequence in introductory physics for students planning to major in the physical sciences or enter an engineering program. This course covers electricity & magnetism, waves, and optics. The course emphasizes mathematically rigorous problem solving. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    Prerequisite: Physics 241 and Mathematics 129 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Brown, DiCenzo, Light

    PC251 Introductory Modern Physics

    A continuation of introductory physics using calculus begun in 241 and carried forward in 242. Special relativity and quantum theory are introduced and then used to understand such things as atomic structure, statistical mechanics, and radioactive decay. Experimental exploration of these topics is an especially important component of this course. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

    Prerequisite: Physics 242 or equivalent.

    1 unit — Burns, Lang

    PC253 Computational Physics

    Numerical modeling of physical systems, data acquisition and analysis. The use of data analysis/visualization tools, analytic computation tools, and a general scientific programming language are covered. Students will use topics from regular block courses as the basis for computational projects.

    Prerequisite: Physics 242.

    .5 unit — Burns

    PC261 Electronics I

    The block begins with basic circuit theory and discrete circuit elements. We then go on to a study of analog and digital electronics. The emphasis is on experimental work.

    Prerequisite: Physics 242 or equivalent.

    1 unit — Cervantes, DiCenzo

    PC262 Electronics II

    The block begins with more analog and digital electronics using integrated circuits. The applications are to physics instrumentation. An introduction to micro-processors may be included. The emphasis is again on experimental work. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Physics 261.

    1 unit

    PC270 Readings in Physics:

    Directed readings in selected areas of physics with discussions and written reports.

    .5 to 1 unit

    PC308 Introductory Geophysics

    Applications of physics to the study of Earth structure from crust to core. Seismology, magnetics, gravity, and geodesy. Explores history of Earth's formation, current geologic and tectonic problems, and uniqueness of interpretation issues. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Calc 1 (Mathematics 125 or 126). Introductory Physics (Physics 141 or 241), and Geology 260 or consent of instructor.

    1 unit

    PC311 Vector Analysis

    Vector functions, divergence and curl. Green's and Stokes's theorems, and the properties of three-dimensional curves and surfaces. Related topics from linear algebra and differential equations.

    Prerequisite: Mathematics 204.

    1 unit — Brown

    PC320 Topics in Physics:

    Courses offered under this rubric will vary year to year. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Physics 251.

    1 unit

    PC333 Solid State Physics

    Explores the nature of condensed matter and the geometrical arrangement of atoms in a crystal and how that arrangement affects the electronic structure of that material. Understanding of the different band structures of metals, semiconductors, and insulators, and how these govern the interactions of each material with photons and electrons and lead to the very different roles of these materials in the objects we create and use. Particular subjects are likely to include semiconductor devices, alloys, and the effect of dislocations and impurities on material properties. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Physics 251.

    1 unit

    PC335 Atmospheric Physics and Climate Change

    A survey of the physical and chemical components of weather, air pollution and climate at both global and local scales that will outline local, national and global political responses to threats to our atmospheric environment. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Physics 251.

    1 unit

    PC341 Mechanics

    Forces, potentials and motion according to Newton, Lagrange and Hamilton. Conditions for conservation of momentum, energy and angular momentum. Topics such as gravitation, oscillations, chaos, scattering and things that go bump in the night. Prerequisite: 251 and Mathematics 203 or Consent of Instructor. 1 unit - Hilt

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor or Physics 251 & Mathematics 204.

    1 unit — Lang

    PC349 Thermal Physics

    First and second laws of thermodynamics and their applications. Statistical mechanics, kinetic theory, elementary transport processes. Maxwell-Bolzman, Fermi Dirac, and Bose-Einstein statistics and their applications in solid state, nuclear and molecular physics.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor or Physics 251 & Mathematics 204.

    1 unit — Cervantes

    PC353 Electromagnetic Theory

    The theory of electricity and magnetism: electric charges, forces, fields and potentials; electric currents, magnetic forces, fields and potentials. Electromagnetic induction. Maxwell's equations, plane waves in vacuum.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor or Physics 251, 311.

    1 unit — Cervantes

    PC354 Electromagnetic Waves and Optics

    The continuation of 353. Electromagnetic fields in matter: conduction, polarization, magnetization; a brief introduction to condensed matter physics. Plane waves in linear media, boundary conditions, interference, diffraction. Radiation from simple sources, coherence.

    Prerequisite: Physics 353.

    1 unit — Purdue

    PC357 Astrophysics

    An introduction to stellar structure and evolution with an emphasis on the physics underlying the observed phenomena. Topics include the birth, evolution, and death of stars, pulsars, black holes, and white dwarfs.

    Prerequisite: Physics 251.

    1 unit — Gosnell

    PC358 Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology

    A study of the large scale structure of the universe and evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present epoch. Topics include expansion of the universe, dark matter, dark energy, cosmic background radiation and the formation and evolution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Physics 251.

    1 unit

    PC361 Techniques of Experimental Physics

    The design, execution, and analysis of experiments in physics. Data analysis, probability and statistics. One or more laboratory projects to be completed.

    Prerequisite: Physics 251, 261 or consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Light

    PC362 Observational Astronomy

    The design and execution of observations of astronomical objects. Reduction and analysis of astronomical data. Probability and statistics applied to astronomical observations. Includes a weeklong observing run at major research observatory.

    Prerequisite: Physics 251, 261.

    1 unit — Gosnell

    PC370 Readings in Physics:

    Directed readings in selected areas of physics with discussions and written reports.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

    .5 or 1 unit

    PC391 Investigations in Physics:

    Independent experimental and/or theoretical practice-research in areas such as nuclear magnetic resonance, geophysics, atomic physics, non-linear dynamics, and astrophysics. Affiliation with a staff member for work as an apprentice researcher in the area of his or her interest. As many as four units of Investigations may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor & Physics 251, 261.

    1 unit — Gosnell, Lang, Light

    PC392 Investigations in Physics:

    Independent experimental and/or theoretical practice-research in areas such as nuclear magnetic resonance, geophysics, atomic physics, non-linear dynamics, and astrophysics. Affiliation with a staff member for work as an apprentice researcher in the area of his or her interest. As many as four units of Investigations may be taken for credit.

    1 unit — Cervantes

    PC420 Advanced Topics in Physics:

    An advanced course in a topic of current interest in physics. Examples: special and general relativity; quantum mechanics of atoms, molecules, and solids; elementary particle physics, relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics vary from year to year.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Burns

    PC431 Air: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry

    Introduction to atmospheric circulation, radiation transfer, thermodynamics and radiation balance as they determine the vertical structure of the atmosphere and regulate the surface temperature. Kinetics, modeling, and reaction systems as they relate to air pollution and ozone chemistry in the stratosphere and troposphere. Course includes a student-designed laboratory/field project related to local air pollution issues. (Not offered 2019-20).

    Prerequisite: Environmental Program 212 or Chemistry & Biochemistry 108 and Physics 241 or Physics 251.

    1 unit

    PC441 Quantum Mechanics I

    General formulation of quantum mechanics: hermitian operators, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, physical content of the wave function, indeterminacy relations and simultaneous observables, angular momentum and spin. Solutions of the Schrodinger equation in one and several dimensions, the hydrogen atom.

    Prerequisite: PC311,341, Mathematics 220 or consent of instructor.

    1 unit — Gosnell

    PC442 Quantum Mechanics and Relativity II

    Applications of quantum mechanics. Perturbation theory, scattering theory, and interpretations of quantum mechanics. A short introduction to relativistic quantum theory.

    Prerequisite: Physics 441.

    1 unit — Brown

    PC450 Senior Seminar

    A course emphasizing research and presentation of physics. Students will prepare and deliver a series of presentations on a variety of topics, and will learn to research a topic in the physics literature. The presentations will increase in length and complexity throughout the block. The last part of the course will be devoted to preparing a full-length seminar on a suitable topic. This seminar will be presented later in the semester, and a major part of the student's evaluation will be based upon it. Successful completion of this course is required of all physics majors.

    1 unit — DiCenzo

    PC470 Readings in Physics:

    Directed readings in selected areas of physics with discussions and written reports.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

    .5 or 1 unit

    PC491 Advanced Investigations in Physics

    Yearlong independent experimental and/or theoretical research in areas such as nuclear magnetic resonance, geophysics, atomic physics, non-linear dynamics, and astrophysics. Affiliation with a staff member for work as an apprentice researcher in an area of the faculty member's interest. Combines an extended format course (one-half unit of credit) working with a faculty member to plan and begin research with a block of intensive work (one unit of credit) resulting in a formal written report and an oral seminar presentation before the Physics Department faculty and students.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor & Physics 251, 261.

    .5 to 1 unit