Department of Physics

262-472-1067

physics@uww.edu

Physics is the science that is concerned with the basic structure of matter, including its properties and behavior. Physics serves as a foundation for the other sciences and its concepts and principles form the basis of engineering and technology.

Major/Emphases

The recommended general physics course sequence for physics majors and minors is PHYSCS 180 and PHYSCS 181. In certain cases, and with departmental approval, PHYSCS 140 may be substituted for PHYSCS 180 and/or PHYSCS 141 may be substituted for PHYSCS 181.

Astronomy Courses

ASTRONMY 112   INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY (GL)   5 Units

An examination of concepts regarding the organization of the universe. The solar system, astronomical principles and instruments, stellar evolution and galaxies are among topics covered. Activities include field trips, observations of the night sky and of the sun with telescopes, and laboratory work. Four one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory/observation period per week. There are two required evening observation sessions during the semester.
COREQ: MATH 141 OR WAIVER
UNREQ: ASTRONMY 112 AND ASTRONMY 114

ASTRONMY 114   DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY (GM)   3 Units

A non-laboratory course that introduces the basic aspects of astronomy, including cultural and historical considerations. The study of galaxies, stars, as well as our solar system is included. Observational activities may be included as integral parts of the course. Three one-hour lectures per week for the regular semester.
COREQ: MATH 141 OR WAIVER
UNREQ: ASTRONMY 112 AND ASTRONMY 114

ASTRONMY 490   ASTRONOMY WORKSHOP   Repeatable   1-5 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing "hands on" and participatory instructional techniques. Repeatable. Instructor Consent required.

ASTRONMY 496   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings. Department Consent required.

ASTRONMY 498   INDEPENDENT STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable. Department Consent required.

ASTRONMY 498R   INDEPENDENT STUDY - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable. Department Consent required.

Physics Courses

PHYSCS 100   ENERGY (GM)   3 Units

An examination of energy; its nature, the forms in which it appears, its transformation, current and future sources, and energy issues faced by an informed electorate. Three one-hour lectures per week.

PHYSCS 120   LIGHT AND COLOR (GL)   4 Units

An introduction to light science for students in the visual arts and for students with an interest in art. The course includes the properties of light and color, the interaction of light with matter, the formation of visual images, and color vision. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week.
COREQ: MATH 141 OR MATH 140 OR WAIVER

PHYSCS 130   PHYSICS FOUNDATIONS (GL)   5 Units

This course will explore topics in classical physics (motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light) and modern physics (atomic structure, quantum mechanics, and relativity) with an emphasis on how the principles explain and predict phenomena we observe every day. Four one-hour lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week.
COREQ: MATH 141 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR
UNREQ: PHYSCS 130 AND PHYSCS 212

PHYSCS 140   PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS I (GL)   5 Units

An algebra-based course in classical mechanics at the introductory level. The content covers kinematics, Newton's laws, conservation laws, oscillations and waves, applications to fluids and elasticity, and thermodynamics and kinetic theory. Applications to the life and health sciences are emphasized, and essential MCAT subject matter is included. Basic understanding of trigonometry and the manipulation of vectors is necessary. Students with adequate mathematical preparation may wish to consider taking the PHYSCS 180 series. Four one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
COREQ: MATH 152

PHYSCS 141   PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS II (GL)   5 Units

An algebra-based course in electricity and magnetism, circuits, electromagnetic waves, optics and an introduction to modern physics. Applications to the life and health sciences are emphasized, and essential MCAT subject matter is included. Basic understanding of trigonometry and the manipulation of vectors is necessary. Students with adequate mathematical preparation may wish to consider taking the PHYSCS 180 series. Four 0ne-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 140

PHYSCS 150   FROM EINSTEIN TO STAR TREK (GM)   3 Units

This introductory survey course will focus on areas of modern physics that are frequently discussed but often misunderstood. The theories of Einstein and other physicists will be used to examine science fiction devices such as time machines, warp drives, and mass transporters. Integrated throughout wil be a discussion of what are science, science fiction, and pseudo-science. Not applicable toward any physics major or minor. Three hours of lecture a week.
COREQ: MATH 140 OR MATH 141 OR WAIVER

PHYSCS 180   PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS I (GL)   5 Units

A lecture course in introductory physics including a mathematically rigorous analysis of mechanics, vibrations, wave motion, and thermodynamics using calculus. For majors and minors in physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematics. Four one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. High school calculus recommended.
COREQ: MATH 253

PHYSCS 181   PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS II (GL)   5 Units

A course in introductory physics including a mathematically rigorous analysis of electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and modern physics using calculus. For majors and minors in physics, engineering, chemistry, and mathematics. Four one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 180 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR; COREQ: MATH 254

PHYSCS 190   FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING AND PHYSICS   Repeatable   1 Units

An introduction to career tracks and career opportunities in engineering and physics. This course will feature readings on different career possibilities in engineering and physics and visiting lectures by practicing physicists and engineers. Professional skills, identification of career tracks, and scientific and technical communication will be emphasized. One hour lecture per week.

PHYSCS 212   PHYSICS FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS (GL)   4 Units

This course is a one-semester introduction to physics with curriculum and instruction designed as an activity-based hands-on course for K-8 elementary education students and open to all education majors. The course emphasizes a student-oriented pedagogy in order to develop various physics concepts and the nature of science. Topics covered include motion, forces, energy, light, heat, electricity, and magnetism.
PREREQ: MATH 141 AND RESTRICTED TO STUDENTS WITH BSE PROGRAM
UNREQ: PHYSCS 130 AND PHYSCS 212

PHYSCS 221   INTERMEDIATE LABORATORY   2 Units

A laboratory course concentrating on techniques of recording, interpretation of, and reporting experimental data. Extensive use will be made of computers in data processing. Topics covered include data acquisition and the recording of data, error analysis, numerical analysis, graphing techniques, computational tools and report writing. Two two-hour laboratories per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 181, OR PHYSCS 141 AND MATH 254

PHYSCS 240   PHYSICS OF SOUND AND MUSIC (GM)   3 Units

A descriptive course that deals with various properties of sound, the generation of sound by traditional musical instruments and the electronic production and reproduction of sound. The physical process of hearing and the acoustical properties of rooms are also included. Three one-hour lecture periods per week.
COREQ: MATH 140 OR MATH 141

PHYSCS 290   PHYSICS RECITATIONS I   1 Units

Topics include, limits, increments and infinitesimals and their applications to physical problems, differentiation and differentials in physics, integration as anti-differentiation and integration of higher derivatives (application to kinematics in one dimension), vector and coordinate frames: application to kinematics in two and three dimensions, definite integrals and the integral as an area: application to mechanical energy and work. One-hour lecture per week.
COREQ: MATH 253 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHYSCS 291   PHYSICS RECITATIONS II   1 Units

Topics include partial derivatives, increments, and total derivatives: application to force and potential energy, linear momentum, angular momentum, and the dynamics of systems, integrals in two and three dimensions: application to the dynamics of rigid bodies including rotations and forces in equilibrium. One-hour lecture per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 290 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHYSCS 303   MICROPROCESSOR LABORATORY   2 Units

Laboratory experience in microprocessor addressing, digital logic circuits, microcomputer input and output techniques, digital to analog and analog to digital interfacing and device control by microcomputers. This course will not satisfy the laboratory work requirements for the physics major; the credit will count toward the major.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 181 OR PHYSCS 141 AND COMPSCI 171 OR COMPSCI 172 OR COMPSCI 174; COREQ: PHYSCS 496

PHYSCS 305   MECHANICS - STATICS   3 Units

A study of forces on rigid bodies in equilibrium. Topics include force systems, equilibrium, distributed forces, structures, friction, internal forces, centroids and moments of inertia. This course also introduces notations and operations associated with tensor calculus.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 181 OR PHYSCS 141 AND MATH 254

PHYSCS 310   MECHANICS - DYNAMICS   3 Units

A study of classical mechanics. Topics will include Newtonian mechanics, Lagrangean and Hamiltonian formalisms, symmetry principles, conservation laws, oscillations, central force and two-body problems, collisions and scattering cross-sections, motion in non-inertial reference frames, and rigid body motion. Required of all majors and minors in physics. Three one-hour lectures per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 324 WITH A GRADE OF C OR BETTER

PHYSCS 324   METHODS OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS   3 Units

Topics covered include methods of theoretical physics, vector analysis, differential equations of mathematical physics, analytic functions and integration in the complex plane, Laplace transforms, Fourier series, Fourier transforms, and their applications in physics. Three one hour lectures per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 181, OR PHYSCS 141 AND MATH 254

PHYSCS 325   CLASSICAL ELECTROMAGNETISM   3 Units

A study of the electrostatic field, electric multipoles, dielectrics, special methods in electrostatics, the magnetic field, magnetic materials, time-varying fields, conservation laws, and electromagnetic waves. Three one-hour lectures per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 324

PHYSCS 330   ANALOG AND DIGITAL ELECTRONICS   3 Units

An introductory course in electronics with emphasis on solid state devices, diode and amplifier circuits, waveform generation, operational amplifiers, digital circuitry and microcomputer applications to physical measurement. Three one-hour lectures per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 221

PHYSCS 331   ANALOG AND DIGITAL ELECTRONICS LABORATORY   1 Units

A laboratory course in electronics with emphasis on solid state devices, diode and amplifier circuits, waveform generation, analog computer circuitry, digital circuitry and microcomputer applications to physical measurement. One two-hour laboratory per week.
COREQ: PHYSCS 330

PHYSCS 344   MODERN PHYSICS   4 Units

Topics covered include relativity, elementary quantum physics, atomic and molecular structure, elementary nuclear physics and fundamental particles. Laboratory experiments complement material presented in lectures. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 181, OR PHYSCS 141 AND MATH 254

PHYSCS 360   OPTICS   4 Units

This course provides an introductory study of optical phenomena. Geometrical and physical optics beginning with a mathematical treatment of light waves and their interaction with materials. Topics also include interference diffraction, spectroscopy and spectroscopic instruments, polarization, light sources and detectors, lasers, holography, and some topics in modern optics. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 324

PHYSCS 364   THERMAL PHYSICS   3 Units

A study of the Laws of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics. Thermodynamic topics include potentials, equilibrium, phase transitions and critical phenomena with applications to gasses, liquids and solids. Statistical Mechanics topics include Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein Statistics. Three one-hour lectures per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 324 WITH A C OR BETTER AND EITHER PHYSCS 344 OR PHYSCS 425

PHYSCS 424   VIBRATIONS AND WAVES   3 Units

This course emphasizes the relationship between vibrations and waves. Topics include free and damped vibrations in linear and non-linear systems with one- and several-degrees of freedom, longitudinal and transverse waves, and the wave equation. Analytic treatment and applications to real phenomena are stressed throughout this course.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 324

PHYSCS 425   QUANTUM MECHANICS   3 Units

This course will explore the tools and postulates of Quantum Mechanics. Topics will include one and three-dimensional problems, angular momentum, as well as approximation methods such as time independent perturbation theory, and Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB) methods. Three one-hour lectures per week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 324

PHYSCS 489   PHYSICS SENIOR SEMINAR   2 Units

The course will train students in making scientific presentations, summarize the concepts and methods taught in the physics major curriculum, and prepare them for the Physics Major Field Test as the final exam in the course. Students will become familiar with physics literature and learn to write abstracts and project proposals. The will demonstrate proper methods of verbal and visual presentation by delivering a graded series of talks, concluding with a satisfactory colloquium on a physics topic. Two one-hour sessions a week.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 305 AND PHYSCS 344 OR CONSENT OF DEPARTMENT

PHYSCS 490   WORKSHOP   Repeatable   1-8 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques. Repeatable for a maximum of 3 credits in major or minor in physics.

PHYSCS 493   PHYSICS COOPERATIVE EDUCATION   1 Units

The course gives the student an opportunity to intersperse full time study with full time employment. The student will be interviewed by a potential employer identified by the Physics Department. If accepted as an employee, the student may work from one to four terms. A work term is defined as a semester or a summer of employment. No more than two credits may be counted towards the Physics Major. A written report is required.
PREREQ: PHYSCS 181

PHYSCS 494   PHYSICS SEMINAR   Repeatable   1 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member. Repeatable.
PREREQ: SENIOR STATUS

PHYSCS 496   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-10 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings. Repeatable for a maximum of 3 credits in major or minor in physics.
PREREQ: MAJOR OR MINOR IN PHYSICS, JUNIOR OR SENIOR STANDING AND CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHYSCS 497   EXCHANGE STUDY   Repeatable   1-12 Units

Variable Topics

PHYSCS 498   INDEPENDENT STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable for a maximum of 3 credits in major or minor in physics.
PREREQ: JUNIOR/SENIOR STATUS OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

PHYSCS 498R   INDEPENDENT STUDENT - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Repeatable for a maximum of 3 credits in major or minor in physics.
PREREQ: JUNIOR/SENIOR STATUS OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR