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Gen. Ed. Courses   ·   Lower Division   ·   Upper Division

Course Descriptions

General Education Courses

PHYS-103 Introduction to Astronomy, 3 cr.
An introduction to the field of Astronomy. Course topics include: the history of astronomy and the philosophy of science; methods of observational astronomy; an overview of the scientific method; gravitation and orbital dynamics; the origin, dynamics, and composition of our solar system; descriptions of asteroids, comets, and planets; the formation, evolution and death of stars; white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes; novae and supernovae; star clusters, galaxies, and galactic clusters; the Big Bang theory, cosmology, dark energy and dark matter; the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
PHYS-104 Energy, 3 cr.
A course for non-science majors requiring no previous college-level mathematics or science background. Physics and its application to the problems of energy consumption and production are discussed. Topics include the need for nuclear reactors and the implications thereof, the dumping of nuclear waste at sea and alternatives, better energy sources and energy depletion, the motion of pollutants through the environment, and other related topics.
PHYS-108 Concepts For Middle School Teaching, 4 cr.
A laboratory oriented course that integrates concepts from geometry, algebra and trigonometry. Central concepts of physics (the laws of mechanics and electricity, the properties of light, atoms and nuclei) and how they are applied in the modern world (rockets, electric motors, optical instruments, automobiles, fuel cells, alternative fuels, stationary i.e. power plant and non-stationary i.e. aircraft, green technology etc.) are investigated. Issues of smart materials, celestial mining, nanotechnology, quantum computing and other contemporary critical technologies may be investigated. Discussion may include topics and concepts related to kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies and electrostatics, electric fields, electric potentials, currents, magnetic fields, wave motion. Basic concepts of geology, meteorology, oceanography and the solar system may be threaded throughout. Course content is aligned to the National Science Teachers Association Teaching Standards and the Illinois Content Standards for Educators of Science. PHYS-108 is linked to MATH-280.
PHYS-110 Physics in Everyday Life, 3 cr.
A laboratory oriented course for the non-science major. Central concepts of physics (the laws of mechanics and electricity, the properties of light, atoms and nuclei) and how they are applied in the modern world (rockets, electric motors, optical instruments, automobiles, toys, etc.). Knowledge of basic algebra skills is assumed. Lecture 2 hours, lab 2 hours. Prerequisites: MATH 092 - 499 or MATH 092A - 499Z or NEIU Math Placement Result 30 - 40 or ACT Math 22 - 36 or Accuplacer College Level Math 020 - 120

Introductory Physics (Algebra Based)

PHYS-201L College Physics I with Lab, 5 cr.
This is the first course of a two-term algebra-based lecture and laboratory sequence intended for non-physics majors: PHYS-201L and PHYS-202L. Kinematics and dynamics of a particle and systems of particles, momentum, energy, angular momentum, conservation laws, applications to problems involving collisions, oscillatory motion and motion in a gravitational field, rigid body motion, temperature, heat, the laws of thermodynamics, application to thermodynamic engines, and ideal gases are discussed. Students who have had calculus are strongly encouraged to enroll in PHYS-206L instead of PHYS-201L. Lecture: 4hrs. Lab: 2 hrs. Prerequisites: MATH-185 Minimum Grade of C or MATH-106 Minimum Grade of C.
PHYS-202L College Physics II with Lab, 5 cr.
This is the second course of a two-term algebra based lecture and laboratory sequence intended for non-physics majors, PHYS-201L and PHYS-202L. Electrostatics, Coulomb's law, electric fields, electric potentials, currents, Ohm's law, magnetism, magnetic fields, the forces on or due to moving charges, induction, electromagnetic radiation, wave motion, physical and geometrical optics will be discussed. Time permitting concepts in modern physics such as special relativity, quantum physics and radioactivity will also be discussed. Lecture: 4 hrs. Lab: 2 hrs. Prerequisites: PHYS-201 Minimum Grade C, or PHYS-201L Minimun Grade C.

Introductory Physics (Calculus Based)

PHYS-206L University Physics I with Lab, 5 cr.
This is the first term of a two-term calculus-based lecture and laboratory sequence intended for students majoring in physics, biology, chemistry, earth science or mathematics: PHYS-206L and PHYS-207L. Kinematics and dynamics of a particle and systems of particles, momentum, energy, angular momentum, conservation laws, applications to problems involving collisions, oscillatory motion and motion in a gravitational field, rigid body motion, temperature, heat, the laws of thermodynamics, application to thermodynamic engines, and ideal gases are discussed. Lecture: 3 hrs. Lab: 2 hrs. Prerequisites: MATH-187 Minimum Grade of C.
PHYS-207L University Physics II with Lab, 5 cr.
This is the second course of a two-term calculus based lecture and laboratory sequence intended for students majoring in physics, biology, chemistry, earth science or mathematics. Charges, Coulomb's and Gauss's laws, conductors and dielectrics, Ohm's law, magnetic fields, Ampere's law, motion of charges in a magnetic field, Faraday's law, inductance, simple L.R.C. circuits, magnetic properties of matter, electromagnetic waves, kinematics of wave motion, reflection, refraction, interference, and diffraction are discussed. Lecture: 3 hrs. Lab: 2 hrs. Prerequisites: ( PHYS-201 Minimum grade of C and MATH 187). Minimum grade of C or (PHYS-206 Minimum Grade of C or PHYS-206L Minimum Grade of C).

Upper-division Courses

PHYS-300 Interdisciplinary Seminar in STEM, 2 cr.
Interdisciplinary STEM Seminar is a 300-level elective to be taken by Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Mathematics and Physics majors or minors who are interested in acquiring introductory training in research methodologies in the physical and mathematical sciences and are intending to serve as peer leaders for the lower level classes in their program. MATH 185 Minimum Grade of C.
PHYS-301 Independent Study in Physics, 1 cr.
Research, laboratory work, study or tutorial in a specific area of physics under faculty supervision. Prerequisites: consent of department.
PHYS-302 Independent Study in Physics, 2 cr.
(See PHYS-301 for description.)
PHYS-303 Independent Study in Physics, 3 cr.
(See PHYS-301 for description.)
PHYS-305 Modern Physics I, 3 cr.
This course covers the advances made in the discipline of physics during the first half of the twentieth century that continue to drive the technologies we use today. Topics that will be covered include an introduction to the theory of relativity, elementary quantum theory, and its applications to atomic, molecular and nuclear physics. Prerequisites: PHYS-207L or PHYS-207 or PHYS-202L or PHYS-202 minimum grade of C. MATH-202 minimum grade of C.
PHYS-306A Modern Physics II, 3 cr.
Modern Physics II is the second part of a two course sequence covering advances made in physics during the twentieth century. This content includes aspects of the general theory of relativity, cosmology, thermal physics, and applications of elementary quantum theory to atomic physics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, particle physics and condensed matter physics. Prerequisites: PHYS-305, minimum grade of C.
PHYS-307 - Writing Intensive Program: Modern Physics Lab, 3 cr.
An introduction to intermediate-level experimental methods, scientific writing, and investigations which provided the experimental foundation for the major revolutions in 20th century physics. Students will perform classic modern physics experiments which demonstrate quantization in nature, wave particle duality, and the properties and interactions of fundamental particles. Students will present written results of their investigations in a variety of formats common in the discipline. Prerequisites: ENGL-101 and PHYS-305
PHYS-308 Introductory Mathematical Physics, 3 cr.
This course is an introduction to mathematical methods in physics, which include partial differentiation, multiple integration, vector analysis, complex numbers, complex variables, linear algebra, Fourier series, ordinary differential equations, special functions, and tensor analysis. Prerequisites: PHYS-207 (or PHYS-202) minimum grade of C. MATH-203 minimum grade of C.
PHYS-309 Computing for Scientists, 3cr.
Introduction to the use of computers in modeling scientific problems; modern programming languages are introduced and used to model several phenomena in the natural sciences and engineering. Prerequisites: MATH-187 minimum grade of C or consent of instructor.
PHYS-311 Mechanics I, 3 cr.
Statics of particles and rigid bodies, kinematics and dynamics of particles (including damped and forced harmonic oscillators), work and energy, linear and angular momentum, conservation laws, dynamics of rigid bodies, introduction to special relativity. Prerequisites: [PHYS-206 or PHYS-201] and MATH-202 with a minimum grade of C.
PHYS-321 Electricity and Magnetism I, 3 cr.
Coulomb's law, electric fields and electrostatic potential, Gauss's law, Poisson's equation, capacitance, dielectric media, current density, simple circuits, magnetic fields, Lorentz force, magnetic media, induction, Ampere's law, inductance, Maxwell's equations. Prerequisites: [PHYS-207L or PHYS-202L] and MATH-203 with a minimum grade of C.
PHYS-324 Advanced Classical Physics, 3 cr.
Introduction to advanced topics in classical physics. Topics include the Lagrangian formalism of classical mechanics and its application to the theories of planetary motion, small oscillations, rigid body mechanics; Maxwell's equations, radiation, and propagation of electromagnetic waves. Prerequisites: PHYS-311 and PHYS-321. minimum grade of C.
PHYS-330 Intermediate Physics Lab, 3 cr.
An introduction to scientific measurement procedures, with special attention paid to the examination of error and uncertainty and to certain widely used experimental techniques and their applications. Techniques used include those in optics, electronics, and atomic, solid state and nuclear physics. Experiments are chosen according to the individual student's needs and interests. This course may be taken up to three times. Prerequisites: PHYS-204
PHYS-331 Optics, 4 cr.
The fundamental principles of geometrical and physical optics and their application to the design of modern instruments as well as atomic spectra, properties of photons, and lasers. Principles discussed in the lecture will be explored in various lab exercises. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prereq,: [PHYS-207 or PHYS-202], PHYS-204, and MATH-202.
PHYS-332 Electronics, 4 cr.
Laboratory and lecture covering both the basic structure of various electronic components, and their use and behavior in circuits. The course begins with linear elements, such as resistors, inductors, and capacitors, and proceeds through various semiconductor devices, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers, and culminates with the structure and use of logic circuits. Major emphasis is placed on laboratory work where the properties and interactions of various circuits are investigated. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prerequisites: PHYS-204., [PHYS-207 or PHYS-202]
PHYS-335 Thermal Physics, 3 cr.
Thermal Physics provides an introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Course content includes the relationship between volume, pressure, heat, work, energy, temperature, entropy, free energy, enthalpy, chemical potential, heat capacities, and other quantities. Topics presented in this course include the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics; heat engines, refrigerators, and heat pumps; mechanical, thermal, and chemical equilibrium, phase diagrams, phase transitions, Boltzmann and Gibbs distributions, partition functions, the equipartition theorem, blackbody radiation, and degenerate fermi gasses. Prerequisites: PHYS-305 minimum grade of C.
PHYS-336 Quantum Mechanics I, 3 cr.
This course provides an introduction to Quantum Mechanics and is intended for physics majors/minors, and math or chemistry majors. The knowledge base covered is an essential foundation for students seeking to understand physical phenomena at a microscopic level. The Schrodinger equation is introduced and applied to problems in quantum mechanics including square wells, potential barriers, the harmonic oscillator, angular momentum, and the hydrogen atom. Time permitting, spin and many-particle systems will be discussed. Prerequisites: PHYS-305 and MATH-203 minimum grade of C.
PHYS-338 Quantum Mechanics II, 3 cr.
Second part of a two term sequence dealing with quantum physics with primary emphasis on the physics of bulk matter: review of thermodynamics, classical and quantum statistics, the nuclear properties of solids, conductors, semi- and superconductors, ferromagnetism, nuclei, and elementary particles. Prerequisites: PHYS-336.
PHYS-340 The Science of Sustainable Energy, 3 cr.
Sustainable energy provides a quantitative understanding of energy use and energy resources on both global scales and local settings. This courses will identify and quantify current energy resources, provide an understanding of energy conservation, efficiency, and the conversion of energy from less useful to more useful forms. PHYS-340 investigates the environmental consequences of our energy use, and emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach required to solving real-world problems. This course focuses on the science which informs development, policy, and management decisions. Prerequisites: (PHYS-207L or PHYS-202L) and MATH-187
PHYS-344 Introduction to Solid State Physics, 3 cr.
Crystal structure, crystal bonding, thermal properties of solids, dielectric properties, free electron model of metals, band theory of solids, magnetism, superconductivity, current applications. Prerequisites: PHYS-336
PHYS-350 Field Experience in Physics, 3 cr.
Practical experience in industrial or government physics laboratories under the joint supervision of the department and the laboratory. There are six hours of field experience required per week. This course may be taken up to three times. Prerequisites: sixteen credit hours of physics courses and consent of department
PHYS-361 Materials I: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties, 3 cr.
An introductory course on the properties of materials for students in all areas of science and technology. Topics include structural, thermal and mechanical properties of metals, alloys, ceramics, and plastics, and their explanation in terms of molecular and atomic properties. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 2 hours. Prerequisites: PHYS-305 or consent of instructor.
PHYS-369 Instrumentation Electronics, 4 cr.
Lecture and laboratory course on the properties and uses of electronic scientific instruments used in making physical measurements, including computer interfacing. The instruments are studied from input transducer to final output. A major emphasis is placed on laboratory work, where actual instrumentation circuits are built and tested. The course culminates with each student building an actual scientific instrument. Lecture 2 hours, Lab 4 hours. Prerequisites: PHYS-332 or consent of instructor.
PHYS-391 Astrophysics, 3 cr.
Astrophysics applies the laws of physics to celestial objects and phenomena. Course content includes orbital mechanics, the formation and evolution of the solar system, and solar system objects like planets, asteroids, comets, and satellites. This course covers the physics of stars including the birth, evolution, and death of stars, nuclear fusion, stellar atmospheres, solar cycles, HR diagrams, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. On larger scales, this course discusses clusters of stars, the interstellar medium, galaxies, and galactic clusters. Prerequisites: PHYS-305 minimum grade of C or PHYS-305 concurrently.
PHYS-392 Cosmology, 3 cr.
Cosmology is the study of the history, structure, constituents, and dynamics of the universe. Course content includes primordial nucleosynthesis, cosmological and astronomical observations, the Friedman equation, dark matter and dark energy, the cosmological constant, cosmic inflation, the accelerating and expanding universe, the cosmic microwave background, inflation, and baryogenesis. Prerequisites: PHYS-305 minimum grade of C.
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