Dr. Wendy Hinton

Department Head

(757) 823-2275

The Department of Physics provides the instruction necessary for the understanding of physics and earth science for students in this department and for other departments of the University. The Department also provides the research basis for students wishing to contribute to knowledge in the areas mentioned.

The Department offers the B.S. degree in Physics. Its graduates may enter occupations in industry, government, and education. Many graduates continue their education in graduate or professional schools. Students in other departments may elect to minor in either physics or astronomy.

The Minor in Astronomy is an ideal complementary minor primarily for students majoring in mathematics, engineering, or the sciences. All science students are invited to complete the astronomy minor. Students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics are the main target for this minor.

The Department also offers graduate study courses leading to the Master of Science degree in Materials Science. An undergraduate student may also elect to pursue a five-year dual degree: B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Materials Science.

The objectives of the Department are:

- To develop in students an appreciation of the scientific method and its use in the solution of physical problems.
- To develop the basic training in physics designed to meet the needs of students in pre-professional fields and professional fields.
- To develop in students those qualities and abilities necessary for success in industry and advanced degree institutions.
- To offer sufficient specialized training beyond the generally recognized basic courses to enable a graduate with a bachelor’s degree to enter directly into a professional career.

## Physics Courses

### Astronomy

**AST 201** **General Astronomy** **(3 Credits)**

General overview of the astronomical sciences at the college physics level. The night sky, the Earth-Moon system, the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, the system of galaxies and Cosmology. Instructional methods include lectures, multimedia presentations and exercises.

**AST 301** **Methods in Observational Astronomy** **(3 Credits)**

This course teaches the observational techniques of optical astronomy at an intermediate level. The celestial sphere, naked-eyed observation and celestial system of coordinates. The use of the telescope and its auxiliary equipment. Observation of the Sun, Moon and planets. Astrography, Photometry and spectrography using CCD cameras.

**AST 302** **Astrobiology** **(3 Credits)**

Study of the origin and evolution of life on earth, exploration of the solar system, and probability of life in the solar system, in the universe, and communication with extra-terrestrial life.

**AST 303** **Introduction to Astrophysics** **(3 Credits)**

Overview of physical fundamentals of astrophysics. Introduction to modern physics: special relativity quantum mechanics, nuclear physics and statistical mechanics. Covers the context of practical application into introductory astrophysics topics. Instructional methods will include lectures, multi-media presentations and exercises.

**AST 401** **Stellar Astrophysics** **(3 Credits)**

This course presents an overview of the physics of stars. It will cover stellar structure, evolution and nucleosynthesis, with strong emphasis in the underlying fundamental physics. In that sense, it will review many topics covered by undergraduate basic physics courses from the viewpoint of astrophysical applications. By the end of the course, students will be able to write a simple numerical simulation of a star.

### Physics

**PHY 100** **Physical Science** **(3 Credits)**

Contact the department for specific course information

**PHY 100L** **Physical Science Laboratory** **(1 Credits)**

Survey of the unity of the physical sciences (astronomy, physics, chemistry, and geology) rather than arbitrary divisions. Emphasis on knowledge of selected facts, principles and methods of science, and the place of science in our modern world.

**PHY 152** **General Physics** **(3 Credits)**

Study of mechancs, heat, sound, electricity,, magnetism, light, and modern physics.

**PHY 152L** **General Physics Laboratory I** **(1 Credits)**

Opportunity to investigate the laws and principles of physics and to make conclusions based on observations and analyses.

**PHY 153** **General Physics** **(3 Credits)**

Study of mechancs, heat, sound, electricity,, magnetism, light, and modern physics.

**PHY 153L** **General Physics Laboratory II** **(1 Credits)**

Opportunity to investigate the laws and principles of physics and to make conclusions based on observations and analyses.

**PHY 154** **Physics of Music** **(3 Credits)**

Contact the department for specific course, information.

**PHY 160** **University Physics I** **(4 Credits)**

This lecture and recitation course deals with , mechanics, heat, sound, light, electricity and, magnetism, and modern physics. The course , emphasizes analytical methods with application of , calculus and problem solving., Accompanying laboratories: PHY 250L, 251L

**PHY 160L** **University Physics Laboratory I** **(1 Credits)**

Opportunity to investigate the laws and principles of physics and to make conclusions based on observations and analysis.

**PHY 161** **University Physics II** **(4 Credits)**

This lecture and recitation course deals with , mechanics, heat, sound, light, electricity and, magnetism, and modern physics. The course , emphasizes analytical methods with application of, Calculus and problem solving. , Accompanying laboratories: PHY 250L, 251L.

**PHY 161L** **University Physics Laboratory II** **(1 Credits)**

Opportunity to investigate the laws and principles of physics and to make conclusions based on observations and analysis.

**PHY 241** **Physics Seminar** **(1 Credits)**

Presentation and discussion of current topics in all areas of physics. Required of sophomore physics majors

**PHY 250** **University Physics** **(4 Credits)**

Contact the department for specific course information

**PHY 260** **University Physics III** **(4 Credits)**

Study of basic concepts and principles oscillatory motion, mechanical waves, electro-magnetic waves, geometrical optics, physical optics, and special relativity. Calculus and vector methods used throughout the course.

**PHY 330** **University Physics III** **(4 Credits)**

Basic concepts and principles of oscillations, , mechanical waves, optics and special relativity , for students majoring in physics, engineering, , chemistry, science, or mathematics. Topics , include: oscillatory motion, mechanical waves, , electro-magnetic waves, geometrical optics, , physical optics, and special relativity. Calculus, and vector methods are used throughout the course.

**PHY 345** **Mathematical Methods Physical Sciences I** **(3 Credits)**

Introductory study of advanced mathematical topics including complex numbers vectors, matrices, series, and differential equations with special emphasis on applications to physics topics.

**PHY 350** **Modern Physics** **(3 Credits)**

Introduction to modern physics including relativity, atomic structure, nuclear structure, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, and elementary particles.

**PHY 351** **Modern Physics** **(2 Credits)**

Emphasis on experimental techniques, including G.M. counters, flow counters, absorption of radiation, half-life, range of alpha particles spectroscopy, selected experiments in neutron physics, and selected experiments in radiochemistry. (Two hours laboratory per week).

**PHY 356** **Heat and Thermodynamics** **(3 Credits)**

Examination of thermal equilibrium and the concepts of temperature, thermodynamic systems, work, heat, and the Laws of Thermodynamics, thermal properties of materials, heat engines, reversibility, Carnot's theorem, enthalpy, and the Helmholtz and Gibbs functions. Applications are made to surfaces, pure substances, magnetic materials in a magnetic field, flow processes, chemical reactions, mixture of gases and fuel cells, steam engines and turbines.

**PHY 365** **Physical Mechanics** **(3 Credits)**

Study of elements of vector analysis, laws of dynamics and statics of particles, cables and rigid bodies, central forces and celestial mechanics, theory of vibrations, and special relativity. Survey of mechanics comparable to the classical Newtonian approach, utilizing topics such as generalized coordinates.

**PHY 366** **Physical Mechanics** **(3 Credits)**

Study of elements of vector analysis, laws of dynamics and statics of particles, cables and rigid bodies, central forces and celestial mechanics, theory of vibrations, and special relativity. Survey of mechanics comparable to the classical Newtonian approach, utilizing topics such as generalized coordinates.

**PHY 375** **Electricity and Magnetism I** **(3 Credits)**

Introduction to classical electromagnetic theory. Topics include elements of vector analysis, static and time-dependent electric and magnetic fields, electric and magnetic properties of matter, electromagnetic induction, and Maxwell's equations.

**PHY 380** **Quantum Mechanics I** **(3 Credits)**

Introduction to Schrodinger's equation and topics, including free particle wave functions, square well and simple harmonic oscillator potentials, the hydrogen atom, and identical particles.

**PHY 397** **Introduction to Research** **(3 Credits)**

Development in the skills of research, including preparations, fabrication, design and execution of experiments, data analysis. Undergraduate research supervised by a faculty member.

**PHY 399** **Advanced Laboratory** **(2 Credits)**

Introduction to techniques of advanced experimentation and to development of research and in technical writing skills. Experiments in mechanics, heat, electronics, optical spectroscopy, and atomic and nuclear physics.

**PHY 445** **Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences II** **(3 Credits)**

Study of advanced mathematical topics including fourier series, calculus of variations, series solutions of differential equations, and partial differential equations, with special emphasis on applications to physics topics.

**PHY 468** **Optics** **(3 Credits)**

Focus on topics from geometrical and physical optics, including circular and elliptical polarization, thick-lens equations, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction, interference and dispersion of electromagnetic waves, fiber optics, and optical pumping.

**PHY 475** **Electricity and Magnetism II** **(3 Credits)**

Advanced treatment of classical electromagnetic theory, including electrostatic and magnetostatic fields, electric and magnetic properties of matter, Maxwell's equations and timedependent electric and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves, and radiation.

**PHY 480** **Quantum Mechanics II** **(3 Credits)**

Advanced treatment of Schrodinger equation and topics, including free particle wave functions, square well and simple harmonic oscillator potentials, the hydrogen atom, identical particles, perturbation theory, and collision theory. Emphasis on applications to nuclei, atoms, molecules, and solids.

**PHY 498** **Sr Project I** **(2 Credits)**

Preparation and presentation of Senior Project proposal planned with a faculty mentor. Oral report describing the plan is required. A faculty review panel offers suggestions for revisions where needed.

**PHY 499** **Sr Project II** **(2 Credits)**

Supervised investigation of a research problem, including planning, execution, and analysis. Preparation of report, oral presentation, and completion of senior assessment examination required.