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To graduate with a minor in physics, students must successfully complete the following five courses:

PHYS 210 Introduction to Classical Mechanics

Classical mechanics provides an accurate description of the objects and phenomena of everyday experience, and constitutes the basis of most of engineering, science, and technology. This course introduces the classical laws governing motion of particles and extended bodies in space and time, beginning with their active formulation in terms of force and acceleration and then deriving the equivalent formulation in terms of conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum. Topics include motion, Newton’s laws, gravitation, and conservation laws. (4 credits) Prerequisite: MATH 281

PHYS 224 Introduction to Solids, Fluids, and Thermodynamics

This course introduces the general principles of statics, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics. It develops the fundamental principles of conservation of energy and entropy, which underlie the behavior of all physical systems. Topics include statics and elasticity, pressure, fluid flow, temperature and heat, kinetic theory of gases, and heat engines. (4 credits) Prerequisites: MATH 282 and PHYS 210

PHYS 230 Introduction to Electromagnetism

Electrical forces largely determine the observable properties of matter in the whole range of science from atomic theory to cell biology. The integration of electricity and magnetism constitutes the first unified field theory, anticipating contemporary approaches by more than a century. This course introduces electric and magnetic forces, electric current, and electromagnetic interactions, along with the concepts of electric and magnetic fields and electric potential used to understand and describe them. Topics include Coulomb’s and Gauss’s laws, the Biot-Savart law and Ampere’s law, Faraday’s law, and Maxwell’s equations. (4 credits) Prerequisites: MATH 282 and PHYS 210 (PHYS 224 recommended but not required.)

PHYS 244 Introduction to Harmonics, Waves, and Optics

Wave behavior has applications in every area of physics, including sound, light, mechanical vibrations and waves, electrical signals, thermal behavior, and quantum physics. This course introduces common characteristics and mathematical representations of oscillations and standing and traveling waves and applies them to the investigation of sound and physical and geometrical optics. Topics include simple harmonic motion; resonance; mathematical representations of traveling waves; wave properties such as refraction, diffraction, interference, and polarization; and optical phenomena related to lenses and mirrors. (4 credits) Prerequisites: MATH 308 (PHYS 210 recommended but not required.)

PHYS 250 Introduction to Modern Physics

Quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity are the major themes of this course. Topics include special relativity, the birth of quantum mechanics, Schrödinger’s equation, wave mechanics of one-dimensional problems, and the hydrogen atom. (4 credits) Prerequisites: PHYS 210 and MATH 308

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