Undergraduate course outlines

Undergraduate Program Course Outlines

The Course Outlines and syllabi on this web page represent the best descriptions of some of the undergraduate courses that are available at this time. The Teaching Activities Committee of the Physics Department expects that these topics be covered, but some deviations may result. You should consult the instructor before choosing to take a course because of a specific topic.
Go to the College Catalog

Courses:

  • Physics 121122123 - General Physics I, II, III (Autumn-Spring)
  • Physics 131132133 - Mechanics; Electricity & Magentism; Waves, Optics, & Heat (Autumn-Spring)
  • Physics 141142143 - Honors Mechanics; Honors Electricity & Magentism; Honors Waves, Optics, & Heat (Autumn-Spring)
  • Physics 154 - Modern Physics (Autumn)
  • Physics 185 - Intermediate Mechanics (Winter)
  • Physics 197 - Statistical & Thermal Physics (Autumn)
  • Physics 220 - Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics (Spring)
  • Physics 221 - Mathematical Methods in Physics (Autumn)
  • Physics 225227 - Intermediate Electricity & Magnetism I, II (Winter/Spring)
  • Physics 226 - Electronics (Spring)
  • Physics 234235 - Quantum Mechanics I, II (Spring/Autumn)
  • Physics 236 - Solid State Physics (Winter)
  • Physics 237 - Nuclei & Elementary Particles (Spring)

Physics 121: General Physics I

Level: "Fundamentals of Physics", 10th Ed., by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker

Prerequisites: (MATH 132 OR 152 OR 162)  AND  (CHEM 113 OR 123)

  1. Motion in one dimension
    • average and instantaneous velocity; acceleration
    • equations of motion for constant acceleration; free fall
  2. Vectors
    • properties of vectors
    • adding vectors:  geometrically; by components
    • scalar and vector products
  3. Motion in two and three dimensions
    • position, velocity, and acceleration vectors
    • equations of motion for constant acceleration; projectile motion
    • uniform circular motion; centripetal acceleration
    • uniform relative motion
  4. Newton's Laws
    • first law and force
    • second law and mass
    • third law; force pairs
    • free-body diagrams
    • friction forces
    • dynamics of circular motion
  5. Work and energy
    • work by constant force
    • kinetic energy; work-energy theorem
    • power
  6. Conservation of energy
    • conservative and non-conservative forces
    • potential energy
  7. Systems of particles
    • center of mass
    • linear momentum
    • conservation of momentum
  8. Collisions
    • impulse and momentum
    • elastic and inelastic collisions
    • conservation of momentum in one and two dimensions
  9. Rotational kinematics
    • angular velocity; radial and tangential acceleration
    • equations of motion for constant angular acceleration 
  10. Rotational dynamics
    • rotational kinetic energy
    • rotational inertia (moment of inertia)
    • angular momentum; torque
    • rigid body motion
  11. Static equilibrium
    • conditions
    • center of gravity
    • stable and unstable equilibria
  12. Gravitation
    • Kepler’s laws of planetary motion
    • Newton's law of universal gravitation
    • gravitational potential energy; escape velocity
  13. Oscillations
    • simple harmonic motion
    • mass on spring; simple pendulum
    • energy in harmonic motion
  14. Fluid dynamics
    • statics; Archimedes principle
    • fluid flow; streamlines; continuity equation
    • Bernoulli's equation

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Physics 122: General Physics II

Level: "Fundamentals of Physics", 10th Edition, by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker

Prerequisites: PHYS 121

  1. Electric charge and Coulomb's law
    • conductors and insulations
    • charging by induction
  2. Electric field
    • field of point charge; dipole field
    • field of continuous charge distributions
    • field lines
  3. Gauss' Law
    • electric flux
    • Gauss' Law
    • charge distributions with spherical, cylindrical, and planar symmetry
    • conductors
  4. Electric potential
    • electric potential; electric potential energy
    • calculating potential from field
    • potential of a point charge
    • potential of continuous charge distributions
    • equipotential surfaces
    • conductors
  5. Capacitors
    • definition of capacitance
    • calculating capacitance
    • capacitors in series and in parallel
    • energy stored in electric field
    • dielectrics
  6. Current and resistance
    • current; current density
    • resistance; resistivity, conductivity
    • Ohm's Law
    • energy transfer
  7. DC circuits
    • batteries; electromotive force
    • resistors in series and in parallel
    • single-loop and multi-loop circuits
    • loop theorem; junction theorem; branch method
    • ammeter; voltmeter
    • RC circuits: charging and discharging
  8. Magnetic field
    • magnetic field of moving charge
    • magnetic force on moving charge
    • force between moving charges
    • Biot-Savart law
    • field of current-carrying wire
    • force on current-carrying wire
    • field of magnetic dipole
    • torque on magnetic dipole in external field
  9. Ampere's Law
    • field of current-carrying wire
    • field of solenoid
  10. Faraday's Law
    • motional emf
    • magnetic flux
    • Faraday's Law; Lenz' Law
  11. Inductance
    • mutual inductance; self inductance
    • LR and LC circuits
    • energy stored in magnetic field
  12. AC circuits
    • AC generator
    • rms voltage
    • power in AC circuits
    • transformer
  13. Electromagnetic waves
    • Maxwell's equations
    • generating an electromagnetic wave
    • electromagnetic spectrum

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Physics 123: General Physics III

Level: "Fundamentals of Physics", 10th Edition, by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker

Prerequisites: PHYS 122

  1. Wave motion
    • mechanical waves; transverse and longitudinal waves
    • traveling waves
    • wave speed
    • wave equation
    • power and intensity
    • interference
    • standing waves
  2. Sound
    • speed of sound
    • traveling longitudinal waves
    • power and intensity; decibels
    • standing sound waves
    • beats
    • Doppler effect
  3. Propagation of light
    • speed of light
    • electromagnetic spectrum
    • reflection
    • refraction; Snell's Law
    • total internal reflection
  4. Mirrors and lenses
    • plane mirrors; spherical mirrors
    • image formation
    • mirror equation; magnification
    • thin lenses
    • lens equation; magnification
    • compound optical systems
    • magnifier; microscope; telescope
  5. Interference
    • double-slit interference
    • intensity
    • thin films
  6. Diffraction
    • single-slit diffraction
    • intensity
    • circular aperture; Rayleigh criterion
    • double-slit: interference and diffraction combined
  7. Gratings
    • multiple slits
    • diffraction grating
    • resolving power
  8. Polarization
    • polarization by selective absorption; polarizing sheets
    • polarization by reflection; Brewster's angle
    • double refraction
  9. Quantum physics
    • thermal radiation
    • photoelectric effect
    • Einstein's photonic theory of light
    • Compton effect
    • wave-particle duality
  10. Wave nature of matter
    • de Broglie wavelength
    • x-ray diffraction
    • wave packet's; Heisenberg uncertainty principle
    • wave function; probability
    • barrier penetration; tunneling
  11. Atomic structure
    • Bohr model
    • angular momentum
    • electron spin
    • spectrum of hydrogen; Balmer series
  12. Nuclear physics
    • Rutherford experiment
    • properties of nucleus
    • radioactive decay: alpha, beta, and gamma decay
    • exponential decay law; half life
    • detection of ionizing radiation

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Physics 131: Mechanics

Level: "University Physics", 14th ed., by Young and Freedman

Prerequisites: A three-quarter calculus sequence: MATH 130’s, 150’s, or 160’s. (MATH 150’s or 160’s may be taken concurrently.)

  1. Motion in one dimension
    • average and instantaneous velocity; acceleration
    • equations of motion for constant acceleration; free fall
  2. Vectors
    • properties of vectors
    • adding vectors: geometrically; by components
    • scalar and vector products
  3. Motion in two and three dimensions
    • position, velocity, and acceleration vectors
    • equations of motion for constant acceleration; projectile motion
    • uniform circular motion; centripetal acceleration
    • uniform relative motion; Galilean transformations
  4. Newton's Laws
    • first law and force
    • second law and mass
    • third law; force pairs
    • free-body diagrams
    • friction forces
    • dynamics of circular motion
  5. Work and energy
    • work by constant force; work by variable force
    • kinetic energy; work-energy theorem
    • power
  6. Conservation of energy
    • conservative and non-conservative forces
    • potential energy
  7. Systems of particles
    • center of mass
    • linear momentum
    • conservation of momentum
  8. Collisions
    • impulse and momentum
    • elastic and inelastic collisions
    • conservation of momentum in one and two dimensions
  9. Rotational kinematics
    • linear and angular velocity; rolling
    • radial and tangential acceleration
    • equations of motion for constant angular acceleration
  10. Rotational dynamics
    • rotational kinetic energy
    • rotational inertia (moment of inertia); parallel-axis theorem
    • angular momentum; torque
    • rigid-body motion
    • precession of spin angular momentum
  11. Static equilibrium
    • conditions
    • center of gravity
    • stable and unstable equilibria
  12. Gravitation
    • Newton's law of universal gravitation
    • gravitational potential energy; escape velocity
    • rocket motion; thrust
  13. Oscillations
    • simple harmonic oscillator
    • mass on spring; simple pendulum; physical pendulum
    • energy in harmonic motion
    • damped and driven harmonic motion
  14. Special Relativity
    • Michelson-Morley experiment
    • postulates of special theory of relativity
    • simultaneity
    • time dilation; length contraction
    • Lorentz transformations; velocity addition
    • relativistic momentum
    • relativistic kinetic energy; rest-mass energy
    • energy, momentum, and mass relation

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Physics 132: Electricity & Magnetism

Level: "University Physics", 14th ed., by Young and Freedman

Prerequisites: PHYS 131 OR 141

  1. Electric charge and Coulomb's law
    • conductors and insulators
    • charging by induction
  2. Electric field
    • field of point charge; dipole field
    • field of continuous charge distributions
    • field lines
  3. Gauss' Law
    • electric flux
    • Gauss' Law
    • charge distributions with spherical, cylindrical, and planar symmetry
    • conductors
  4. Electric potential
    • electric potential and electric potential energy
    • calculating potential from field
    • potential of a point charge
    • potential of continuous charge distributions
    • equipotential surfaces
    • calculating field from potential
    • conductors
  5. Capacitors
    • definition of capacitance
    • calculating capacitance
    • capacitors in series and parallel
    • energy stored in electric field
    • dielectrics
  6. Current and resistance
    • current; current density
    • resistance; resistivity, conductivity
    • Ohm's Law
    • energy transfer
  7. DC circuits
    • batteries; electromotive force
    • resistors in series and in parallel
    • single-loop and multi-loop circuits
    • loop theorem; junction theorem; branch method
    • ammeter; voltmeter
    • RC circuits: charging and discharging
  8. Magnetic field
    • magnetic field of moving charge
    • magnetic force on moving charge
    • force between moving charges
    • Biot-Savart law
    • field of current-carrying wire
    • force on current-carrying wire
    • field of magnetic dipole
    • torque on magnetic dipole in external field
  9. Ampere's Law
    • field of current-carrying wire
    • field of infinite plane of current
    • field of solenoid
  10. Faraday's Law
    • motional emf
    • magnetic flux
    • Faraday's Law; Lenz' Law
  11. Inductance
    • mutual inductance; self inductance
    • RL and RLC circuits
    • energy stored in magnetic field
  12. AC circuits
    • AC generator
    • rms voltage
    • power in AC circuits
    • transformer
  13. Electromagnetic waves
    • Maxwell's equations
    • displacement current
    • generating an electromagnetic wave
    • electromagnetic spectrum

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Physics 133: Waves, Optics, & Heat

Level: "University Physics", 14th ed., by Young and Freedman

Prerequisites: PHYS 132 OR 142

  1. Wave motion
    • mechanical waves; transverse and longitudinal waves
    • traveling waves
    • wave speed
    • wave equation
    • power and intensity
    • interference
    • standing waves
  2. Sound
    • speed of sound
    • traveling longitudinal waves
    • power and intensity; decibels
    • standing sound waves
    • beats
    • Doppler effect
  3. Propagation of light
    • speed of light
    • electromagnetic spectrum
    • reflection
    • refraction; Snell's Law
    • total internal reflection
  4. Mirrors and lenses
    • plane mirrors; spherical mirrors
    • image formation; ray tracing
    • mirror equation; magnification
    • thin lenses
    • lens equation; magnification
    • compound optical systems
    • magnifier; microscope; telescope
  5. Interference
    • double-slit interference
    • Michelson interferometer
    • intensity
    • thin films
  6. Diffraction
    • single-slit diffraction
    • intensity
    • circular aperture; Rayleigh criterion
    • double-slit: interference and diffraction combined
  7. Gratings
    • multiple slits
    • diffraction grating
    • resolving power
  8. Polarization
    • polarization by selective absorption; polarizing sheets
    • polarization by reflection; Brewster's angle
    • double refraction
    • quarter-wave and half-wave plate
  9. Kinetic Theory and Ideal Gases
    • ideal gas law
    • kinetic theory: pressure, temperature
    • work; internal energy
  10. Thermodynamics
    • heat capacity; specific heat
    • heat transfer
    • first law of thermodynamics
    • second law of thermodynamics
    • heat engines; refrigerators; Carnot cycle
    • entropy: reversible and irreversible processes

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Physics 141: Honors Mechanics

Level: "An Introduction to Mechanics" by Kleppner and Kolenkow

Prerequisites: College placement

  1. Vectors and kinematics
    • vectors, basis vectors, vector addition
    • position, velocity, and acceleration
    • scalar and cross products; index notation
    • gradient; curl
    • velocity and acceleration in polar coordinates
    • Cartesian, spherical, cylindrical coordinate systems; volume element
  2. Newton’s Laws and Forces
    • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd laws; mass
    • solving integrable equations of motion; setting up integrals in 1- and 3-D
    • gravity; inertial versus gravitational mass
    • gravitational potential energy
    • inertial versus linearly accelerated frames; fictitious forces
    • circular motion, centripetal force
  3. Work and Energy
    • mechanical work; kinetic energy; potential energy; power
    • conservative, dissipative forces
    • applications: escape velocity
  4. Linear Momentum
    • momentum conservation; impulse
    • elastic/inelastic collisions
  5. Torque and Angular Momentum
    • analogy to Newton’s 2nd law
    • rotational kinetic energy
  6. Rigid Bodies
    • systems of particles; center-of-mass frame; COM calculation
    • kinetic energy and angular momentum of system
    • gyroscopic motion; precession
  7. Central Force Motion
    • reduced mass
    • Kepler’s law
    • angular momentum and effective potential; orbits
  8. Oscillatory Motion
    • mass and spring
    • simple pendulum; physical pendulum
  9. Special Relativity
    • postulates of SR; Michelson-Morley
    • light-clock; Lorentz transformation; Galilean transformation
    • time dilatation; length contraction
    • velocity addition
    • relativistic energy and momentum

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Physics 142: Honors Electricity & Magnetism

Level: "Electricity and Magnetism" by Purcell and Morin
           "Div, Grad, Curl and all that" by Schey

Prerequisites: PHYS 141  OR  (PHYS 131 AND permission of Department)

  1. Coulomb’s Law and Static Electric Field
    • electric force; charge; units
    • electric field; field from point charge; superposition of multiple point charges
    • electric potential; equipotentials, lines of force; potential energy
    • gauss’ law and flux
    • Poisson and Laplace equations; Earnshaw’s theorem
    • continuous charge distributions; fields/potentials from line, disk, cylinder, sphere
    • energy stored in electric field; parallel plate capacitor
  2. Conductors and Insulators
    • conductor in electrostatic field
    • Stoke’s theorem; electric field at surface of conductor
    • dielectrics; continuity of electric field across boundaries
    • energy in dielectrics; dielectric capacitor
  3. Steady-state Electric Currents
    • current density
    • resistance, Ohm’s law, energy dissipation and power
    • Kirchhoff’s circuit laws; EMF
  4. Magnetic Field
    • magnetic field of moving charges
    • Lorentz force on element of current
    • Ampere’s and Biot-Savart laws
    • field of current loop; solenoid
    • torque on current loop
    • role of atomic currents; diamagnetism, paramagnetism; ferromagnetism
  5. Electromagnetic Induction
    • Faraday’s law, Lenz’ rule
    • self- and mutual-inductance
    • energy stored in magnetic field
  6. AC Circuits
    • RC, LC, LRC circuits
    • solution of Kirchhoff eqns using complex numbers and exponentials
  7. Maxwell’s Equations
    • displacement current
    • Maxwell’s equations in differential form
    • EM wave equation

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Physics 143: Honors Waves, Optics, & Heat

Level: "The Physics of Vibrations and Waves" by Pain
           "Waves" by Morin
           "Thermal Physics" by Schroeder

Prerequisites: PHYS 142

  1. Oscillations
    • complex exponential solutions to simple, damped, forced oscillators
    • coupled oscillators; beats
    • normal modes; eigenvalue equations
  2. 1D Wave solutions in Continuous Media
    • infinite coupled oscillator chain; wave solution;
    • general traveling wave solutions in 1-D; superposition of waves/pulses
    • differential equations having wave solutions; taut string; pressure wave
    • standing waves; Fourier decomposition; harmonics; timbre, pitch
    • energy and power; impedance
    • phase, group velocity; dispersion
    • continuity at boundaries of two media
  3. Interference and Diffraction
    • waves in 2-D
    • EM waves and polarization; phase of a wave
    • Young’s interference; multiple point sources;
    • thin film interference; Newton’s rings; Michelson interferometer
    • single slit diffraction;
    • diffraction grating
    • pinhole diffraction; Rayleigh criterion
  4. Reflection, Refraction, Lenses, Polarization States
    • index of refraction
    • Huyghen’s principle; Snell’s law; Fermat’s principle
    • critical angle, TIR
    • thin lens formula; optical devices
    • lens as Fourier transformer; Abbe; optical filtering
    • polarizers; Malus’ law
  5. Thermal Physics: Kinetic Theory and Ideal Gas
    • pressure and temperature; ideal gas law
    • specific heat
    • 1st Law of thermodynamics
    • work and internal energy; degrees of freedom
    • reversible and irreversible cycles; heat and heat engines; Carnot cycle
    • Maxwell distribution and Boltzmann constant
    • free expansion of a gas; entropy

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Physics 154: Modern Physics

Level: "Quantum Physics (of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles)" by Eisberg and Resnick (2nd ed.)

Prerequisites: PHYS 143  OR  (PHYS 133 AND PHYS 220)

  1. Photons
    • photoelectric effect
    • Einstein's quantum theory of light
    • Compton effect
  2. Structure of the Atom
    • spectral lines; Rydberg constant
    • Rutherford scattering
    • Bohr model
    • Franck-Hertz experiment
  3. Wave Nature of Particles
    • de Broglie waves
    • wave packets: wave and group velocities
    • Davisson-Germer experiment
    • wave-particle duality
    • uncertainty principle
    • 2-slit interference
  4. Wave Mechanics
    • Schroedinger equation: time-dependent form
    • Schroedinger equation: time-independent form
    • wave functions
    • probabilistic interpretation; expectation values
  5. Solutions to Schroedinger Equation in 1-D
    • particle in a box: energy levels and wave functions
    • particle in a finite potential well
    • step potential: transmission and reflection probabilities
    • barrier penetration; tunnelling: alpha decay
  6. Solutions to Schroedinger Equation in 3-D
    • particle in a 3-D box
    • hydrogen atom: separation of variables [a rigorous solution of the ODE's is deferred until Physics 234-235]
    • energy; angular momentum; space quantization
    • electron spin; exclusion principle
  7. Applications
    • nuclear physics
    • solid-state physics

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Physics 185: Intermediate Mechanics

Level: "Classical Dynamics of Particles and Systems" by Marion and Thornton
           "Analytical Mechanics" by Hand and Finch
           "Classical Mechanics" by Taylor

Prerequisites: (PHYS 131 OR 141)  AND  (PHYS 221 OR MATH 207 OR MATH 20250) {MATH 20250 may be concurrent}

  1. Newtonian Physics
    • Brief math review: transformations, index notation, Levi-Civita
    • integrable problems
    • rocket problems
  2. Work, conservative forces
    • line integrals
    • Helmholtz theorem and potentials
    • source and Poisson equations
    • potential of spherical mass distributions; solid angle
  3. Calculus of Variations
    • variational approach; Euler equation
    • constraints
    • examples: brachistochrone, Fermat’s principle; isoperimetric problems
  4. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Formulations
    • Hamilton's Principle
    • generalized coordinates, forces
    • Euler-Lagrange equation; Beltrami identity
    • undetermined multipliers; constraint forces
    • conservations laws; symmetry principles; cyclic coordinates
    • canonical momenta; Hamiltonian
    • Poisson brackets
  5. Central-Force Motion
    • reduced mass
    • conserved quantities
    • effective potential; equations of motion; orbits
  6. Non-Inertial Frames
    • rotating coordinates
    • centrifugal, Coriolis forces
  7. Rigid-Body Dynamics
    • inertial tensor; principle axes
    • Euler angles; Euler equations; motion of symmetric top

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Physics 197: Statistical & Thermal Physics

Level: "Fundamentals of Statistical and Thermal Physics" by Reif

Prerequisites: PHYS 234  AND  (PHYS 221 OR MATH 205)

  1. Properties of Large systems
    • Equilibrium and fluctuations
    • Elements of probability theory
  2. Statistical Description of Physical Systems
    • Counting states
  3. Thermodynamic Quantities
    • Entropy and temperature
    • Ideal gases
    • Simple paramagnetism
  4. Calculations and Measurements
    • Internal energy
    • Heat capacity
    • Susceptibility
    • Curie-Weiss Theory
  5. Canonical Ensembles
    • Maxwell distribution
    • Equipartition theorem
    • Applications
  6. Equilibrium and the Laws of Thermodynamics
  7. Quantum Statistics of Ideal Gases
    • Maxwell-Boltzmann
    • Bose-Einstein
    • Fermi-Dirac
    • Applications
  8. Kinetic Theory of Transport Processes
    • Viscosity and thermal conductivity

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Physics 220: Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics

Level: "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences", 3rd ed., by Boas

Prerequisites: PHYS 132 AND (MATH 152 OR 162)

  1. Infinite and Power Series
  2. Complex Numbers
  3. Linear Equations; Vectors; Matrices
  4. Partial Differentiation
  5. Multiple Integrals
  6. Vector Analysis
  7. Fourier Series

Physics Goals:

  • differential form of Maxwell's equations (including vector potential)
  • Fourier analysis of waves
  • coupled oscillators

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Physics 221: Mathematical Methods in Physics

Level: "Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences" (3rd ed.) by Boas

Prerequisites: PHYS 220 OR PHYS 142-143

  • Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Coordinate Transformations; Tensors
  • Linear Vector Spaces
  • Series Solutions; Legendre, Bessel; etc.
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Integral Transforms

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Physics 225: Intermediate Electricity & Magnetism I

Level: "Electromagnetic Fields" by Wangsness
           "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by Griffiths

Prerequisites: (PHYS 132 OR 142) AND (PHYS 221 OR MATH 207 OR MATH 20250) {MATH 20250 may be concurrent}

  1. Review of Introductory Electrostatics
    • review of vector calculus
    • Coulomb's law, electrostatic field and potential; flux
    • Gauss's law, Poisson's equation, Laplace's equation
    • capacitance, potential energy of charge distribution, forces on conductors
  2. Boundary Value Problems
    • boundary conditions, the uniqueness theorem
    • image charges
    • separation of variables solutions; Legendre polynomials; multipole expansion
    • solutions to Laplace's equations
  3. Dielectrics
    • LIH electric materials
    • polarization vector, displacement vector, electric susceptibility
    • calculation of electrostatic fields inside and outside a dielectric
    • potential energy of a charge distribution and forces on dielectrics
  4. Magnetostatics
    • Biot-Savart law, magnetic induction, the Lorentz force
    • divergence of B; the vector potential
    • the curl of B, Ampere's law
    • the magnetic dipole, magnetic force and torque
  5. Magnetic Materials
    • LIH magnetic materials
    • M, H, and B
    • paramagnetism, diamagnetism, ferromagnetism and hysteresis
    • boundary conditions for magnetic materials
    • magnetostatic boundary value problems

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Physics 227: Intermediate Electricity & Magnetism II

Level: "Electromagnetic Fields" by Wangsness
           "Introduction to Electrodynamics" by Griffiths

Prerequisites: PHYS 225

  1. Faraday's Law of Induction
    • Faraday's Law in moving and stationary media
    • inductance, self-inductance
    • energy stored in a magnetic field
    • magnetic forces, changes in magnetic energy
  2. Maxwell's Equations
    • current conservation; the displacement current
    • Maxwell's equations in vacuum and in LIH media
    • the Poynting vector, energy flow, EM momentum
    • Maxwell stress tensor
  3. Plane Electromagnetic Waves
    • derivation of the wave equation
    • scalar and vector potentials with Gauge transformation
    • waves in conducting and non-conducting media
    • waves in a plasma
    • polarization (linear and circular)
  4. Reflection and Refraction of EM Waves
    • Snell's Law
    • Fresnel's equations
    • radiation pressure
  5. Radiation
    • retarded potentials and multipole expansion
    • Lienard-Wiechert potentials
    • radiation from a moving point charge
  6. Special Relativity and Covariant Formulation
    • Lorentz transformation and 4-vectors
    • how E, B transform
    • field tensor; Maxwell’s equations in covariant form

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Physics 226: Electronics

Level: "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill

Prerequisites: PHYS 132 OR 142

This course in practical electronics provides students with two afternoons per week in laboratory as well as 3 hours per week of lecture. These lectures are very closely correlated with the work in the laboratory.

Lecture Topics:

  1. Review of DC circuit theory
  2. AC circuit theory
  3. Brief introduction to semiconductor devices
  4. Amplifiers: including small signal models of transistors, transistor biasing, and high frequency behavior.
  5. Feedback
  6. Operational amplifiers
  7. Introduction to digital electronics: including Boolean algebra and digital switches
  8. Multi-vibrators
  9. Counters and shift registers
  10. A/D and D/A converters

Typical Experiments:

  1. DC circuits
  2. Transient and frequency response of simple circuits
  3. Single stage transistor amplifiers
  4. Biasing and feedback
  5. Operational amplifiers
  6. Multi-vibrators
  7. Digital gates and Boolean algebra
  8. Digital multi-vibrators and binary adders
  9. Digital counters and shift registers

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Physics 234: Quantum Mechanics I

Level: "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" (2nd ed.) by Shankar

Prerequisites: PHYS 154 AND (PHYS 221 OR MATH 204)

  1. Wave-particle duality; two-slit experiment; wave packets; compatible and incompatible variables; postulates of quantum mechanics
  2. Schroedinger equation; 1-D problems
  3. Harmonic oscillator
  4. Uncertainty principle
  5. Systems with N degrees of freedom
  6. Rotational invariance and angular momentum
  7. Hydrogen atom
  8. Spin

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Physics 235: Quantum Mechanics II

Level: "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" (2nd ed.) by Shankar
           "Quantum Physics" (2nd ed.) by Gasiorowicz

Prerequisites: PHYS 234

  1. Review of one-dimensional quantum mechanics
    • Hilbert space
    • Hamiltonians
    • eigenstates; observables
    • hydrogen atom
  2. Spin and angular momentum
    • review of spin 1/2
    • addition of angular momentum
  3. Time-independent perturbation theory
    • first- and second-order perturbation theory
    • degenerate perturbation theory
    • fine and hyperfine structure
  4. Electrons in an electromagnetic field
    • role of vector potential in QM
    • Aharonov-Bohm effect
    • Landau levels
    • Zeeman effect; Stark effect
  5. Many-electron atoms
    • helium
    • shell structure
    • Hund's rules
    • variational methods
  6. Molecules
    • orbitals
    • ionic and covalent bonds
    • hybridization
    • molecular spectra
  7. If time permits:
    Radiation of atoms
    • time-dependent perturbation theory
    • electromagnetic interactions
    • dipole transitions; selection rules
    • phase space; Fermi's golden rule
    • lasers

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Physics 236: Solid State Physics

Level: "Introduction to Solid State Physics", 5th Ed., by Kittel

           "Solid State Physics" by Blakemore

           "Solid State Physics" by Elliott and Gibson

Prerequisites: PHYS 235 AND PHYS 197

  1. Crystal Structure, Crystal Binding
    • Space lattice, Miller indices
    • Reciprocal Lattice, Brillouin zones
    • Diffraction, structure factor, atomic form factor
    • Debye-Waller factor
  2. Review of Quantum Statistics
    • Photons and Black Body Radiation
    • Bose condensation and superfluid helium
  3. Lattice Vibrations, Phonons
    • Phonon spectrum for one and more atoms per primitive
    • cell, acoustic and optic branches
    • Density of states
    • Specific heat, Einstein and Debye approximation, Debye temperature, law of Dulong-Petit, equipartition of energy
    • Heat Conduction and its temperature dependence
    • Zero point energy
    • Lindeman melting criterion
  4. Free Electron Model (Sommerfeld)
    • Density of states, Fermi energy, Fermi velocity
    • Electronic specific heat, heat capacity
    • Boltzmann equation and relaxation time
    • Electrical conductivity, mean-free path, scattering by phonons, by impurities, Matthiessen's rule
    • Thermal conductivity of electron gas
    • Wiedemann-Franz law, Lorentz number
    • Compressibility of free-electron gas
    • Thermoionic emission, work function, Richardson- Dushman formula
    • Hall effect
  5. Nearly Free Electron Model, Weak Periodic Potential
    • Energy bands, E(k), origin of energy gap
    • Block theorem or Floquet theorem, Bloch wavefunctions
    • Equation of motion of electrons in periodic potentials
    • Effective mass
    • Electrons and holes, group velocity
    • Metals, semiconductors, insulators
  6. Semiconductors
    • Direct and indirect band gap semiconductors
    • Donors and acceptors in the hydrogenic approximation, effective Bohr radius, ionization energy
    • Electron and hole concentration in pure (intrinsic) semiconductors and those containing donors or acceptors
    • Equation of mass action
    • Calculation of position of Fermi level
    • Mobility, scattering by phonons, scattering by ionized impurities
    • Schottky barrier, p-n junction
    • Rectifier equation, photovoltaic effect, solar cell, solid state particle detector, light emitting diodes, junction lasers, transistor
  7. Optical Properties of Solids
    • Infrared absorption
    • Interband optical absorption

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Physics 237: Nuclei & Elementary Particles

Level: "Nuclei and Particles" by Segre
           "
Introductory Nuclear Physics" by Kane

           "Elements of Nuclear Physics" by Burcham
           "
Introduction to High-Energy Physics" by Perkins

           "Concepts of Particle Physics" by Gottfried and Weisskopf

Prerequisites: PHYS 235

  1. Basic tools and historical perspective
    • The concept of the nucleon and the early development of nuclear physics. The forces and force laws. Nuclear size, shape, binding, and abundance. Overview of the elementary particles.
    • Kinematics and transformations. The concept of cross section. Random decay law.
    • The concept of symmetry and conservation laws.
    • Overview of the historical development of the standard model.
  2. Elementary nuclear physics.
    • The nuclear force. The deuteron. Nucleon-Nucleon scattering.
    • The nuclear shell model.
    • Collective models
    • Nuclear Scattering and reactions. Scattering theory.
    • Electromagnetic transitions.
    • Nuclear beta decay
    • Fission and alpha decay.
  3. Elementary Particles
    • Particles and antiparticles.
    • Baryons and Mesons. Flavors and the quark model.
    • Strong interaction selection rules. Hadron-hadron interactions.
    • Scattering of elementary particles.
    • Leptons and the weak force.
    • Lepton scattering.
  4. Forces unification and the Standard Model.
    • Symmetry violation
    • The weak interactions of quarks and leptons.
    • Phenomenology and the development of the electroweak model.
    • Quantum Chromodynamics.
  5. Techniques
    • Energy loss of charged particles.
    • Detectors
    • Accelerators
  6. Related Topics
    • Astrophysics
    • Cosmic ray physics

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