Ithaca College

School of Humanities and Sciences

Physics Courses

PHYS-10100-PHYS-10200 Introduction to Physics I and II NS LA 2a

Principles and concepts of classical physics. Mechanics, including rotational motion and energy and momentum conservation, properties of matter, heat and thermodynamics, standing waves and sound, physical and geometrical optics, electrostatics, magnetism, DC and AC circuits, and an introduction to atomic physics. Three lectures and one recitation/laboratory per week. Prerequisites: Math placement in group 2 for PHYS-10200: PHYS-10100. 4 credits. (PHYS-10100-F, PHYS-10200-S,Y)

PHYS-11700 Principles of Physics I: Mechanics NS LA 2a

Intended as the first semester of college physics for students majoring in science or mathematics. Topics include vectors, kinematics in one and two dimensions, dynamics, work, energy, momentum, rotational motion, oscillation, and the properties of fluids. Emphasis is placed on the mathematical analysis of concepts. Prerequisites: MATH-11100 (may be taken concurrently). 4 credits. (F,Y)

PHYS-11800 Principles of Physics II: Electricity and
Magnetism NS LA 2a

Intended as the second semester of college physics for students majoring in science and mathematics. Topics include static electric fields and Coulomb's law, Gauss's law, electric potential, capacitors, Ohm's law, the magnetic field and Ampere's law, induction and Faraday's law, and elementary circuit theory. Emphasis is placed on mathematical analysis. Prerequisites: PHYS-11700; MATH-11200 (may be taken concurrently). 3 credits. (S,Y)

PHYS-11900 Problem Solving in Physics U LA

Introduction for beginning physics students to problem-solving strategies in physics, physics laboratory work, and the use of computers in physics. It consists of short lectures, problem assignments, and laboratory exercises based on examples from PHYS-11700 Principles of Physics I: Mechanics and applications of physics in astronomy. Students work in pairs solving problems and presenting their solutions to the rest of the class. Corequisites: PHYS-11700. 2 credits. (F,Y)

PHYS-12000 Freshman Laboratory NS LA 2a

A laboratory course designed to develop experimental skills. Focus is on the use of modern electronics and computers to measure and analyze data. Students construct analog and digital circuits, and then use them to carry out experiments illustrating physical principles from mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Corequisites: PHYS-11800. 2 credits. (S,Y)

PHYS-14000 Why the Sky Is Blue and All That NS LA 2a

An attempt to alter the usual approach to physics for non-science majors by giving the student an appreciation of the methodology of physics and how physicists view the universe in which we live. Some topics to be discussed are the extent of the physical universe in space and time, motion and forces, the conservation laws of nature, the nature of light (including why the sky is blue), and the ideas of modern physics. The approach is descriptive and nonmathematical. 3 credits. (Y)

PHYS-14300 Power: Energy Options for a Global Society NS LA 2a

Survey of energy. Topics include energy technologies and energy resources (fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass). Students are introduced to electricity, heat production and transfer, heat engines, energy efficiency, and sustainable energy systems. Energy use sectors such as residential, commercial, and transportation are examined. The course begins with a look at energy use in the home and gradually expands to complex subjects such as the electrical grid, national energy policy, deregulation, and international fusion research. The emphasis is on energy literacy, and the goal is to provide students with the basic technical principles necessary to design energy projects of their own and to evaluate their costs and benefits. 3 credits. (S,E)

PHYS-16000 The Physics of Sound NS LA 2a

Physical basis of sound, with an emphasis placed on musical instruments, the human voice, and sound recording and reproduction. Physics concepts are introduced and developed as needed to understand these areas. Open to all students. Prerequisites: High school algebra. 3 credits. (Y)

PHYS-17100 Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World NS LA 2a

Formation and evolution of planet Earth from the astronomer's perspective: creation of elements, the first rocks, development of oceans, the first atmosphere, formation of the moon, records of climate history, and how life on Earth fits into the context of life in the universe. We will examine Venus and Mars as possible analogs for Earth's evolution (past and future). Other topics include the influence of the sun on Earth's climate, the greenhouse effect, the geologic record of the development of continents, and the asteroid and comet impact hazard. Emphasis is placed on our sources of knowledge, the errors of our measurements, and the attendant model uncertainties in predicting Earth's future. Students may not receive credit for both PHYS-17100 and PHYS-17200. Prerequisites: Math placement in group 3, 2, or 1. 3 credits. (S,Y)

PHYS-17200 Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World with Lab NS LA 2a

Formation and evolution of planet Earth from the astronomer's perspective: creation of elements, the first rocks, development of oceans, the first atmosphere, formation of the moon, records of climate history, and how life on Earth fits into the context of life in the universe. We will examine Venus and Mars as possible analogs for Earth's evolution (past and future). Other topics include the influence of the sun on Earth's climate, the greenhouse effect, the geologic record of the development of continents, and the asteroid and comet impact hazard. Emphasis is placed on our sources of knowledge, the errors of our measurements, and the attendant model uncertainties in predicting Earth's future. Students enrolled in this course attend the lecture of PHYS-17100 but also meet for an additional weekly lab. Students may not receive credit for both PHYS-17100 and PHYS-17200. Prerequisites: Math placement in group 3, 2, or 1. 4 credits. (S,Y)

PHYS-17400 Solar System Astronomy NS LA 2a

Survey of the solar system from the earliest conceptions of motions in the sky to modern findings of space exploration in the solar system. Emphasis is placed on physical processes and dynamics of the moon, earth, planets, comets, meteoric matter, and asteroids. Astronomical instruments and measurements. 3 credits. (Y)

PHYS-17500 Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe NS LA 2a

Survey of the universe lying beyond the solar system; introduction to characteristics and motions of stars; stellar structure and evolution; interstellar matter; star clusters, the sun, galaxies; introduction to cosmology; the question of life in the universe; astronomical instruments and measurements. 3 credits. (Y)

PHYS-17600 Solar System Astronomy with Lab NS LA 2a

Students enrolled in this course attend the lecture of PHYS-17400 Solar System Astronomy but also meet for an additional weekly evening lab. Introduction to observational procedures in solar system astronomy. Activities include both outdoor observing sessions and indoor lab exercises. Outdoor sessions emphasize learning the night sky and hands-on use of telescopes. Indoor laboratories emphasize data analysis through the use of celestial globes, spectroscopes, computer simulation, and image processing. This course is not open to students with prior credit in PHYS-17400. 4 credits. (Y)

PHYS-17700 Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe with Lab NS LA 2a

Students enrolled in this course attend the lecture of PHYS-17500 Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe but also meet for an additional weekly evening lab. Introduction to observational procedures in stellar and galactic astronomy. Activities include both outdoor observing sessions and indoor lab exercises. Outdoor sessions emphasize learning the night sky and hands-on use of telescopes. Indoor laboratories emphasize data analysis through the use of celestial globes, spectroscopes, computer simulation, and image processing. This course is not open to students with prior credit in PHYS-17500. 4 credits. (Y)

PHYS-21700 Principles of Physics III: Heat and Optics NS LA

The third semester of the introductory sequence for science majors. Topics include the first and second laws of thermodynamics, Maxwell distribution, entropy, geometrical optics, interference, diffraction (single and double slits and gratings), optical spectra, and polarization. Prerequisites: PHYS-11800; MATH-11200. 4 credits. (F,Y)

PHYS-21800 Principles of Physics IV: Modern Physics NS LA

A course aimed at giving students a working knowledge of the concepts of modern physics. Topics include the theory of relativity, interaction of photons with matter, quantum theory, the hydrogen atom, statistical and solid state physics, nuclear physics, and elementary particles. Prerequisites: PHYS-21700. 4 credits. (S,Y)

PHYS-22500 DC and AC Circuits NS LA

Experiments on DC and AC circuits with emphasis placed both on test instruments and accurate measurements, and on mathematical analysis and theory (including the use of complex numbers for AC theory). Circuits include steady state and transient RC and RL, and series and parallel RLC. Prerequisites: PHYS-11800; PHYS-12000. 3 credits. (F,Y)

PHYS-29600 Independent Study U LA

One-semester course in which a student may pursue a topic of interest in physics. Offered on demand only. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above; permission of instructor. 0.5-3 credits; 6-credit limit.

PHYS-29900 Independent Research - Introductory U LA

Original research participation with faculty member in a specialized field. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above; permission of instructor. 0.5-3 credits; 6-credit limit. (F-S,Y)

PHYS-30100 Mathematical Methods of Physics NS LA

Algebra of complex numbers and complex functions, vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, Fourier and Legendre series, and partial differential equations with applications to selected physics topics. There will be several exercises using computer analysis. It is highly recommended that MATH-21200 Calculus IV be taken prior to this course. Prerequisites: COMP-17100; MATH-21100; PHYS-21800. 3 credits. (F,Y)

PHYS-30500 Electromagnetism NS LA

An intermediate course in electricity and magnetism that builds on the foundation received in PHYS-11800. Topics include electric and magnetic fields, Gauss's law, electric potential, circuits, Ampere's law, Faraday's law, and Maxwell's equations. There will be several exercises using computer analysis. Prerequisites: COMP-17100; PHYS-21700. 3 credits. (F,Y)

PHYS-31100 Analytical Mechanics NS LA

Intermediate mechanics, including statics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies, central forces, planetary motion, Lagrange's equation, and Hamilton's equation. Extensive computer analysis. Prerequisites: PHYS-11800; PHYS-30100. 3 credits. (S,Y)

PHYS-32000 Thermodynamics NS LA

Topics include laws of thermodynamics with applications, thermodynamic functions and potentials, kinetic theory, real and idealized systems, and intermolecular processes. Prerequisites: PHYS-21700. 3 credits. (S,O)

PHYS-32600 Analog Electronics NS LA

A laboratory course on electronics covering the origination, amplification, processing, and digital conversion of analog signals. Experiments involve bipolar transistors, operational amplifiers, active and passive filters, oscillators, and analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters. Emphasis is placed on the basic theory underlying the circuits and devices and on general lab techniques. Prerequisites: PHYS-22500. 3 credits. (S,E)

PHYS-35100 Digital Electronics NS LA

A laboratory course on digital electronics covering combinatorial and sequential logic, microprocessors, and interfacing. Experiments involve basic logic gates, flip-flops, counters, memories, multiplexers, demultiplexers, microprocessors, and interfacing counter/timers. Prerequisites: PHYS-22500. 3 credits. (S,E)

PHYS-36000 Advanced Laboratory I NS LA

An advanced laboratory course in which students are expected to conduct four or five investigations in areas such as mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, and electricity and magnetism. Emphasis is placed on the development of good laboratory techniques and data-taking procedures. Students work independently and are expected to become familiar with modern developments in instrumentation, formal report writing, and the statistical basis for data analysis. Prerequisites: PHYS-21800; PHYS-22500. 3 credits. (S,O)

PHYS-39900 Independent Research - Intermediate U LA

Prerequisites: Two credits of PHYS-29900; permission of instructor. 0.5-3 credits. (F-S,Y)

PHYS-42100 Quantum Mechanics NS LA

Emphasis is placed on understanding the nature of quantum theory and how it differs from classical ideas. Topics include the uncertainty principle, the Schr?dinger equation and solutions to various potentials, perturbation theory, and the one-electron atom. Prerequisites: PHYS-31100; permission of instructor. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHYS-45100 Advanced Laboratory II NS LA

Students are expected to gain a thorough understanding of several major experiments carried out during the term, rather than to complete a large number of small projects. Emphasis is placed on independent work. Available experiments include nuclear techniques, gamma ray spectroscopy, and the Mossbauer effect. Prerequisites: PHYS-21800; PHYS-22500. 3 credits. (S,E)

PHYS-45500 Electrodynamics NS LA

Builds on the foundation gained in PHYS-30500. Topics include electric and magnetic fields, Gauss's law, electric potential, circuits, Ampere's law, Faraday's law, and Maxwell's equations. Prerequisites: PHYS-30500. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHYS-47000 Selected Topics in Advanced Physics NS LA

A capstone course in which students apply their physics skills to advanced topics. Current topics will be chosen based on faculty and student interests and may include advanced astronomy, environmental science, geophysics, and physics topics such as atomic, condensed matter, nuclear, and optical physics. This course may be repeated for credit for selected topics on different subjects. Prerequisites: Senior standing; permission of instructor. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHYS-49900 Independent Research - Advanced U LA

Prerequisites: Two credits of PHYS-39900; permission of instructor. 0.5-3 credits. (F-S,Y)