Physics & Astronomy
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Course Descriptions

The following are decriptions of all courses currently offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. For more information see the Rowan Course Catalog. For course availability, see the Section Tally Report from the Registrar's Office.

Physics (PHYS00)

PHYS00.120..........................................3 s.h.
Selected Topics in Physics
The content of this course varies to reflect the role of physics in society. A limited number of topics are selected from among the following: mechanics, thermodynamics, sound, light and optics, electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, modern physics or the investigation of the physics of applied technologies. It studies the fundatmental principles underlying the topics and considers connections to the physical and social environment.

PHYS00.140..........................................4 s.h.
The Physics of Current Technologies (Lecture and Lab)
This course introduces contemporary concepts of physics through their application in commercially available technologies. The course mostly focuses on information storage technologies but actual course content evolves to reflect the specialties of the instructor. Concepts such as electrical resistance, magnetic fields, magnetic domains, electron tunneling, and assorted microscopic techniques will be introduced. Laboratories consist of hands-on activities including the imaging of magnetic information (magnetic domains), optical information (CD dyes) and individual atoms.

PHYS00.150..........................................4 s.h.
Physics of Everyday Life (Lecture and Lab)
The goal of this course is to expose students with a non-science background to physics. The students will experience the excitement of physics by examining phenomena of our everyday environment. The historical development of such ideas will be studied as well. Topics selected for study include mechanics, matter, heat, sound, light, electricity magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics. Physics will be communicated conceptually rather than mathematically.

PHYS00.175..........................................4 s.h.
Physics of Sound and Music (Lecture and Lab)
The goal of this course is to expose students to physics through its application to sound and music. The students will study these applications by examining the phenomena of voice, sound, hearing, musical instruments, acoustics, electronic technology, and reproduction of sound and music. The historical development of such topics will be studied as well.

PHYS00.210..........................................4 s.h.
Physics I w/o Calculus (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: a score of at least 60 on the College Level Math Placement exam or MATH01.122 or co-requisite MATH01.130 or MATH01.140)
This course studies the basic principles of mechanics, heat, and fluids. Calculus is not used. The course emphasizes problem work involving the use of Algebra, Trigonometry, and Geometry.

PHYS00.211..........................................4 s.h.
Physics II w/o Calculus (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.210 or PHYS 00.220)
This course studies the basics principles of electricity, magnetism, and light. Calculus is not used. The course emphasizes problem work involving the use of Algebra, Trigonometry, and Geometry.

PHYS00.220..........................................4 s.h.
Introductory Mechanics (Lecture and Lab)
(Co/Prerequisite: MATH01.130 or MATH01.140)
This course studies the basic principles of mechanics and is equivalent to most calculus based introductory mechanics courses often entitled Physics I. The course is designed to cover introductory mechanics (Newton's laws, energy and momentum conservation, rotating systems, statics, gravity and simple harmonic motion) at a level appropriate for future scientists and engineers. The course includes a laboratory component and it emphasizes problem solving techniques.

PHYS00.221..........................................4 s.h.
Introductory Thermodynamics, Fluids, Waves, & Optics (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.220)
This introductory course studies the basic principles of thermodynamics, fluids, waves, and optics and their application. The concepts will be applied through problem solving and laboratory experiences. A large portion of the content of this course builds from the concept of conservation of energy covered in the introductory mechanics course. The course is required for any physical science or physics major and recommended for those majoring in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, engineering, or mathematics. The specific topics covered include elastic properties of materials, fluid mechanics mechanical waves, sound, conduction of heat, kinetic theory of gasses, the laws of thermodynamics, light, geometric optics, interference and diffraction.

PHYS00.222..........................................4 s.h.
Introductory Electricity & Magnetism (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.220; Co/Prerequisite MATH01.131)
This course studies the basic principles of electricity and magnetism and is equivalent to most calculus based introductory electricity and magnetism courses often entitled Physics II. The course is designed to cover introductory electricity and magnetism (charge, current, potential, fields, AC and DC circuits, Maxwell's Equations, and electromagnetic waves) at a level appropriate for future scientists and engineers. The course includes a laboratory component and it emphasizes problem solving techniques.

PHYS00.250........................................1–3 s.h.
Physics Research I
(Prereqisite: minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in physics. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

PHYS00.251........................................1–3 s.h.
Physics Research II
(Prereqisite: minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in physics. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

PHYS00.300..........................................4 s.h.
Modern Physics (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: MATH01.131 or MATH01.141 and PHYS00.211 or PHYS 00.222)
This course covers modern physics developed since the turn of the 20th century. After a review of some classical physics, course topics include special relativity, wave and particle aspects of radiation, matter waves, models of the atom, ionization, spectra, x-rays, and introductory quantum theory. It also covers theories developed by Planck, Einstien, Rutherford, Bragg, Bohr, Compton, de Broglie, Pauli, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg.

PHYS00.310..........................................4 s.h.
Analytical Mechanics
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
This course teaches students Newtonian, Lagrangian, and Hamiltionian formulations of mechanics, and their applications to such problems as Central Force Motion, Linear and Nonlinear Oscillations, Collisions between particles, Noninertial Systems, Coupled Oscillations and Normal Coordinates, and Rigid Bodies.

PHYS00.320..........................................4 s.h.
Electricity and Magnetism I
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
This course studies classical electromagnetism. Its topics include: the laws of electromagnetic force, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic induction, interaction of currents, and electromagnetic energy and waves.

PHYS00.321..........................................3 s.h.
Electricity and Magnetism II
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.320)
This course studies advanced applications of Maxwell's equations. For example, the generation of electromagnetic radiation and its propagation through matter will be discussed. The connection between Maxwell's equations and the special theory of relativity will be emphasized.

PHYS00.325..........................................4 s.h.
Electric Circuits (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: PHYS 00.300)
This course provides a lab-intensive introduction to electronic circuit design, construction, and troubleshooting, developing many of the analytical and laboratory skills needed to work with circuits commonly encountered in experimental physics research. Although the emphasis is on analog circuits, elementary digital circuits will be studied as time permits. A required final project integrates elements learned throughout the term.

PHYS00.330..........................................3 s.h.
Mathematical Physics
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
This course studies mathematical topics as they apply to physics: infinite series, complex numbers, determinants and matrices, partial differentiation, vector calculus, Fourier series. Certain more advanced topics may be treated: calculus of variations, gamma and beta functions, coordinate transformations, tensor analysis, functions of complex variable, Legendre polynomials and Bessel functions.

PHYS00.340..........................................4 s.h.
Optics and Light (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
This course studies the nature and propagation of light, dispersion, reflection and refraction at plane and spherical surfaces, lenses (thin and thick), aberrations of lenses and mirrors, optical instruments, polarization, diffraction and photometry. It also discusses modern developments and techniques (such as fiber optics, lasers, holography).

PHYS00.345..........................................3 s.h.
Introduction to Optical Desgin Program ZEMAX
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
The ZEMAX optical design program is a comprehensive software tool for opitcal design. It integrates all the features required to conceptualize, design, optimize, analyze, tolerance, and document virtually any optical system. This course discusses the theory of optical system design with focus on geometrical optics and aberration theory. It introduces the computer program ZEMAX as a tool for lens designs such as spectrometers, scanning systems and telescopes. ZEMAX is widely used in the optics industry as a standard design tool.

PHYS00.350........................................1–3 s.h.
Physics Research III
(Prereqisite: PHYS00.300 AND minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in physics. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

PHYS00.361..........................................2 s.h.
Physics Learning Assistant for Introductory Mechanics
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300, 3.0 minimum GPA in intro physics courses and permission of instructor)
This upper-level physics course is designed to provide students with experience in solving laboratory problems and broaden their knowledge of basic physics. Students will gain this experience by 1) providing assistance to student groups during the laboratory activity, 2) preparing materials for laboratory activities, and 3) developing new laboratory activities. This course is recommended for all Physics and Physical Science students since it improves their depth of knowledge of physics while enhancing their communication skills. This specific course is geared toward the area of mechanics.

PHYS00.362..........................................2 s.h.
Physics Learning Assistant for Thermodynamics, Fluids, Waves, and Optics
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300, 3.0 minimum GPA in intro physics courses and permission of instructor)
This upper-level physics course is designed to provide students with experience in solving laboratory problems and broaden their knowledge of basic physics. Students will gain this experience by 1) providing assistance to student groups during the laboratory activity, 2) preparing materials for laboratory activities, and 3) developing new laboratory activities. This course is recommended for all Physics and Physical Science students since it improves their depth of knowledge of physics while enhancing their communication skills. This specific course is geared toward the area of thermodynamics, fluids, waves, and optics.

PHYS00.363..........................................2 s.h.
Physics Learning Assistant for Introductory Electricity & Magnetism
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300, 3.0 minimum GPA in intro physics courses and permission of instructor)
This upper-level physics course is designed to provide students with experience in solving laboratory problems and broaden their knowledge of basic physics. Students will gain this experience by 1) providing assistance to student groups during the laboratory activity, 2) preparing materials for laboratory activities, and 3) developing new laboratory activities. This course is recommended for all Physics and Physical Science students since it improves their depth of knowledge of physics while enhancing their communication skills. This specific course is geared toward the area of electricity and magnetism.

PHYS00.410..........................................4 s.h.
Quantum Mechanics I
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
This course will serve as an introducction to quantum mechanics. Students will learn the basic concepts of quantum mechanics and how to solve simple problems using quantum mechanics. Topics selected for study include the origins of quantum mechanics, the free particle in wave mechanics, particles in one-dimensional potentials, the axiomatic formulation of quantum physics, particles in three-dimensions, spin, and the Pauli exclusion principle.

PHYS00.411..........................................3 s.h.
Quantum Mechanics II
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.410)
This course is a continuation of Quantum Mechanics I. Students will learn more advanced concepts and problems in quantum mechanics. Topics selected for study include the formalism of quantum mechanics, particles in three-dimensions, spin and angular momentum, quantum statistical mechanics, time-independent perturbation theory, time-dependent perturbation theory, and scattering. Some topics may overlap with the ones in Quantum Mechanics I, but are taught on a higher level.

PHYS00.430..........................................3 s.h.
Statistical Physics
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
The student will study in detail the laws of thermodynamics. The statistical derivation of these laws wil be presented. Topics include: ideal gasses, classical and quantum distribution functions, phase transitions, and other special topics.

PHYS00.440..........................................4 s.h.
Advanced Laboratory (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300)
This course introduces modern experimental techniques commonly used in physics. Experimental results will be correlated with existing theories. Technical writing skills will be developed and evaluated.

PHYS00.450........................................1–3 s.h.
Physics Research IV
(Prereqisite: PHYS00.300 AND minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in physics. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

PHYS00.470........................................3–4 s.h.
Selected Topics in Advanced Physics
(Prerequisite: PHYS00.300 or permission of instructor)
This course is aimed to expose students to advanced physics topics that are important for their career development and their involvement with faculty research. The topics include, but are not limited to, Solid State Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Occupational Physics, Special Relativity, and Elementary Particles. One topic from the above list will be chosen each time the course is offered.

PHYS00.499........................................1–4 s.h.
Independent Study—Physics

Astronomy (ASTR11)

ASTR11.120..........................................4 s.h.
Introduction to Astronomy (Lecture and Lab)
This course is a descriptive study of the universe that emphasizes the physical concepts that explain astronomical phenomena. The evolutionary, structural, and dynamical aspects of the solar system, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and the entire universe are discussed. The laboratory experience has both quantitative and qualitative components that include outdoor observations of night sky objects, daytime solar observations, and computer simulations. There is occasional evening viewing outside of class.

ASTR11.210..........................................3 s.h.
Exploration of the Solar System
(Prerequisites: Score of 60 or higher on College Level Math Placement Exam)
In the study of planetary science, the students will explore geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy in their applications to the composition, dynamics, atmospheres, surfaces, and magnetospheres of objects within the solar system. The search for life or conditions suitable for life in other parts of the solar system is a driving force of solar system exploration, thus biology is incorporated as well. This course will help the student develop skills necessary to discuss and write about science.

ASTR11.220..........................................4 s.h.
Observational Astronomy (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisites: ASTR11.120 or ASTR11.230 and MATH01.122 or MATH01.130 or MATH01.140 or MATH03.125)
This course surveys current methods in modern astronomy research and education. The topics include, but are not limited to, modern telescopes (optical and radio), CCD cameras, astronomical data, imaging software, solar observing, and planetarium operation. Topics during a given term may be chosen around a theme of either research or education. This course features the use of precision instruments and quantitative methods. Evening observational projects, field trips, and oral presentations are part of this course.

ASTR11.230..........................................4 s.h.
Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics (Lecture and Lab)
(Prerequisites: MATH01.130 or MATH01.140)
This course is an overview of astrophysics, with an emphasis on the relevant physics in modern astronomy. Topics include the solar system, properties of stars, stellar structure and evolution, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, the Milky Way galaxy, star formation, interstellar medium, normal galaxies, active galaxies and quasars, and Big Bang cosmology. The relevant physics will be briefly presented in the course. This course is intended for students majoring in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

ASTR11.250........................................1–3 s.h.
Astronomy Research I
(Prereqisite: minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in astronomy. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

ASTR11.251........................................1–3 s.h.
Astronomy Research II
(Prereqisite: minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in astronomy. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

ASTR11.301..........................................3 s.h.
Planetary Astronomy
(Prerequisites: ASTR11.230 and PHYS00.222)
The science of planetary systems, both solar and extra-solar, is examined. Topics include planet formation, radioactive dating, small-body dynamics, interactions of radiation with matter, tides, planetary interiors, atmospheres, and magnetospheres.

ASTR11.302..........................................3 s.h.
Stellar Astrophysics
(Prerequisites: ASTR11.230 and PHYS00.222)
This course presents the properties, structure, formation, evolution, and deaths of stars. The physics of stellar atmospheres and stellar spectroscopy is presented, and the development of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is examined. The theory of stellar structure is detailed including the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. Degenerate matter and the structure of collapsed stars are described. Other topics include: stellar pulsation, close binary systems, accretion, novae, supernovae, pulsars, black holes, and star clusters.

ASTR11.303..........................................3 s.h.
Galactic Astronomy and Cosmology
(Prerequisites: ASTR11.230 and PHYS00.222)
The structure, kinematics, formation, and evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy and other galaxies are studied. Elements of general relativity are introduced as the physics of supermassive black holes and active galaxies are examined. This course covers relativistic (Big Bang) cosmology, the large-scale structure of the Universe, the expansion history and fate of the Universe, and current estimates of the age of the Universe. Observations that measure the matter and energy content of the Universe are presented. Cosmic inflation, primordial nucleosynthesis, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the Hubble flow are covered in depth.

ASTR11.350........................................1–3 s.h.
Astronomy Research III
(Prereqisite: PHYS00.300 AND minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in astronomy. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.

ASTR11.450........................................1–3 s.h.
Astronomy Research IV
(Prereqisite: PHYS00.300 AND minimum 3.0 GPA within major/minor AND permission of instructor)
This course introduces and/or develops modern research techniques used in astronomy. Research is performed in collaboration with one or more faculty in an area of specialization of the faculty. Emphasis will be placed on developing research skills, developing technical writing skills, and the development of skills needed for scientific presentations.