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UW-Whitewater Courses in Physics

See the Course Rotation Schedule for when specific upper division courses will be offered.

2011 Spring Semester Physics Course Listing

Other Department Listings: Biology, Chemistry, Diversity, Education, Math, Other


The following table lists all the courses available from the UWW Physics Department. A copy of the syllabus and detailed course information is available by clicking on the course number. Course descriptions can also be found on the UW-Whitewater online course catalog.

Astronomy courses are listed at the bottom of the page.

Physics Courses
 
PHYSCS 100 ENERGY GM 3u
Syllabus

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. Coreq: MATH 140 or MATH 141.

PHYSCS 120 LIGHT AND COLOR GL 4u
Syllabus

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 140 or MATH 141.

PHYSCS 130 PHYSICS FOUNDATIONS GL 5 u
Syllabus

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: PHYSICS 212.

PHYSCS 140 PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS I GL 5 u
Syllabus

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 140 Lab

PHYSCS 141 PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS II GL 5 u
Syllabus

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 one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prereq: PHYSCS 140.

PHYSCS 150 FROM EINSTEIN TO STAR TREK GL 3 u
Syllabus

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 will 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.

PHYSCS 180 PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS I GL 5 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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 1 u
Syllabus

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 4 u
Syllabus

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.

PHYSCS 221 INTERMEDIATE LABORATORY 2 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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. Coereq: MATH 140 or MATH 141.

PHYSCS 290 PHYSICS RECITATIONS 1 u
Syllabus

Topics include, limits, increments and infinitesimals and their applications to physical problems, differentiation and differentials in physics, integration as antidifferentiation 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 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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: Either (a) PHYSCS 181 (or PHYSCS 141) and COMPSCI 171 or (b) concurrent registration in COMPSCI 302/502 or (c) graduate student with computer programming experience or (d) consent of instructor.

PHYSCS 305 MECHANICS - STATICS 3 u
Syllabus

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. Three one-hour lectures per week. Prereq: PHYSCS 181 or PHYSCS 141 and MATH 254.

PHYSCS 310 MECHANICS - DYNAMICS 3 u
Syllabus

A study of classical mechanics. Topics to be covered will include vector calculus techniques, dynamics of particles and systems and central force systems. Required of all majors and minors in physics. Three one-hour lectures per week. Prereq: PHYSCS 324.

PHYSCS 324 METHODS OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS 3 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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 and MATH 361.

PHYSCS 331 ANALOG AND DIGITAL ELECTRONICS LABORATORY 1 u
Syllabus

A laboratory course in electronics with emphasis on solid state devices, diode and amplifier circuits, waveform generation, analog computer circuitry, digital circuitry. One two-hour laboratory per week. Prereq: PHYSCS 330 or co-req in PHYSCS 330.

PHYSCS 344 MODERN PHYSICS 4 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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 or consent of instructor

PHYSCS 364 THERMAL PHYSICS 3 u
Syllabus

A study in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics including the laws of classical thermodynamics, equations of state, thermodynamical processes, and applications to classical and quantum mechanical systems. Three one hour lectures per week. Prereq: PHYSCS 324.

PHYSCS 424 VIBRATIONS AND WAVES 3 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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 u
Syllabus

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. They 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: Students must possess senior-level standing in the major to receive credit for participation. Students with less than senior standing are encouraged to attend in preparation for full participation when they become seniors.

PHYSCS 490/690 PHYSICS WORKSHOP 1-8 u

Repeatable for a maximum of 3 units in major or minor in physics.

PHYSCS 491/691 TRAVEL STUDY Repeatable 1-3 u
PHYSCS 493 PHYSICS COOPERATIVE EDUCATION 1 u

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 units may be counted towards the Physics Major. A written report is required. Prereq: PHYSCS 181 and LSINDP 099 and a declared Physics/Industry major.

PHYSCS 494 PHYSICS SEMINAR: Mathematical Methods for Physics Repeatable 1 u
Syllabus

Prereq: Consent of instructor.

PHYSCS 496/696 SPECIAL STUDIES 1-10 u

Repeatable for a maximum of 3 units in major or minor in physics. Prereq: Physics major or minor, junior or senior standing and consent of instructor.

Fall 2009: Vibrations and Waves 3 u
Syllabus

Topics covered include Free and Damped vibrations, systems with one degree of freedom, Linear systems, Nonlinear systems, Parametric resonance, Oscillations of systems with several degrees of freedom, The wave equation, wave vector and phase velocity, group velocity, impedance, energy density and flux, Doppler effect, Longitudinal Waves in fluids and beams, Transverse waves, Vibrating strings and membranes, the solution of the wave equation and applications. Two seventy five minute lectures per week.

Spring 2012: : Digital Logic and State Controller Design 2 u
Syllabus

This course covers the principles of operation of digital devices and their applications, as well as their use in constructing working state controllers and how both state controllers and discrete digital devices are joined together to make unique instruments.

PHYSCS 498 INDEPENDENT STUDY 1-3 u

Repeatable for a maximum of 3 units in major or minor in physics. Prereq: Jr or sr st and cons dept chp.

Astronomy Courses
 
ASTRONMY 112 INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY GL 5u
Syllabus
(Rybski)

ASTRONMY 112 INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY GL 5u
Syllabus
(Constantinescu)

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 consent of instructor. Unreq: ASTRONMY 114.

ASTRONMY 114 DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY GM 3 u
Syllabus

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 and field trips may be included as integral parts of the course. Three one-hour lectures per week. Coreq: MATH 141 or consent of instructor. Unreq: ASTRONMY 112.

ASTRONMY 430/630 ASTRONOMY FOR TEACHERS 3 u
An individualized course intended for K-12 teachers with limited astronomy background. Subject matter covered will depend on the needs and interests of the students. Each student does experimental or observational projects which are presented at the end of the course as a paper in a seminar. This course may not count toward physics major or minor.

ASTRONMY 490/690 ASTRONOMY WORKSHOP 1-5 u
Repeatable. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

ASTRONMY 496/696 SPECIAL STUDIES Repeatable 1-3 u
Prereq: Consent of department

ASTRONMY 498 INDEPENDENT STUDY Repeatable 1-3 u
Prereq: Cons instr.

Past Physics and Astronomy Course Offerings (Course Catalog Archive):

Retired courses:

PHYSCS 160 General Physics I
PHYSCS 161 General Physics Lab I PHYSCS 162 General Physics II
PHYSCS 163 General Physics Lab II PHYSCS 170 Introductory Physics I
PHYSCS 172 Introductory Physics II
PHYSCS 174 Introductory Physics III
PHYSCS 280Engineering Mechanics: Statics
PHYSCS 282Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics
PHYSCS 320 Electricity and Magnetism I
PHYSCS 354 Optics
PHYSCS 354 Optics Lab
PHYSCS 410 Modern Physics I PHYSCS 412 Modern Physics II

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