2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog

Course Descriptions

Physics
Biological & Physical Sciences
(406) 657-2341

* PHSX 103 Our Physical World
[formerly PHYS 101 Earth, Air, Fire & Water]
3 cr. Prerequisite: M 095. Corequisite: PHSX 104. (F, Sp, Su)  Concentrates on fundamental ideas of physics:  energy, forces, and conservation laws.  Helps students understand basic principles which underlie and explain all diverse phenomena and structures of the physical world.  Emphasizes conceptual rather than mathematical treatment; however, basic algebra skills are required.

* PHSX 104 Our Physical World Laboratory
[formerly PHYS 102 Earth, Air, Fire & Water Lab]
1 cr. Corequisite: PHSX 103. (F, Su)  Examines and analyzes the immediate physical environment in terms of fundamental principles through data collection, analysis, and the formation of scientifically valid conclusions.  Develops an appreciation for the simplicity of basic physical laws and the broad range of phenomena which can be explained by them.

* PHSX 105 Fundamentals of Physical Science
[formerly PSSC 101 The Physical World Around Us]
3 cr. Prerequisite: M 095. Corequisite: PHSX 106. (Sp)  Introduces students to the fundamental ideas of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science and their roles in our understanding of the world, and explores the impact of each on our society.  Emphasizes conceptual rather than mathematical treatment; however, basic algebra skills are required.  Lab required.

* PHSX 106 Fundamentals of Physical Science Lab
[formerly PSSC 102 The Physical World Around Us Lab]
1 cr. (Sp)  Enhances the lecture material of PHSX 105 through the usage of experiential activities.

* PHSX 205 College Physics I
[formerly PHYS 110 College Physics I]
3 cr. Prerequisite: M 122. Corequisite: PHSX 206. (F)  Presents an algebra-based treatment of introductory physics covering vector analysis, Newton’s Laws of Motion, conservation laws, bulk properties of matter, fluid mechanics, and wave motion.  This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence.  Students may receive credit for only one introductory sequence:  PHSX 205-207 or PHSX 220-232.

* PHSX 206 College Physics I Laboratory
[formerly PHYS 111 College Physics I Lab]
1 cr. Prerequisite: M 122. Corequisite: PHSX 205. (F)  Laboratory to complement the lecture in PHSX 205.

PHSX 207 College Physics II
[formerly PHYS 120 College Physics II]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PHSX 205 and PHSX 206. (Sp)  Presents continuation of PHSX 205 with a discussion of thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, and the behavior and properties of light (with an emphasis on optical applications).  This is the second semester of a two-semester sequence.  Students may receive credit for only one introductory sequence: PHSX 205-207 or PHSX 220-232.  Lab required.

PHSX 208 College Physics II Laboratory
[formerly PHYS 121 College Physics II Lab]
1 cr. Prerequisites: PHSX 205 and PHSX 206. (Sp)  Complements the lecture in PHSX 207 with emphasis on electricity, magnetism, and thermodynamics.

PHSX 220 Physics I
[formerly PHYS 210 University Physics I]
3 cr. Prerequisite: M 171. Corequisite: PHSX 221. (F)  Presents calculus-based treatment of introductory physics covering vector analysis, Newton’s Laws of Motion, conservation laws, bulk properties of matter, fluid dynamics, and wave motion.  This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence.  Students may receive credit for only one introductory sequence: PHSX 205-207 or PHSX 220-232.

PHSX 221 Physics I Laboratory
[formerly PHYS 211 University Physics I Lab]
1 cr. Corequisite: PHSX 220. (F)  Laboratory to complement the lecture in PHSX 220.

PHSX 232 Physics II and Thermo
[formerly PHYS 220 University Physics II]
3 cr. Prerequisite: M 171, PHSX 220, PHSX 221. Corequisite: PHSX 233. (Sp)  Presents a continuation of the calculus-based treatment of physics with a discussion of thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, and the behavior and properties of light.  Students may receive credit for only one introductory sequence:  PHSX 205-207 or PHSX 220-232.

PHSX 233 Physics II and Thermo Laboratory
[formerly PHYS 221 University Physics II Lab]
1 cr. Corequisite: PHSX 232. (Sp)  Laboratory to complement the lecture in PHSX 232.

PHSX 343 Modern Physics
[formerly PHYS 230 Modern Physics]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PHSX 232. (even F)  Presents the fundamentals of relativity and quantum mechanics with an emphasis on developing the mathematical tools necessary for coordinate transformations, second order partial differential equations, matrices, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors.

PHSX 344 Modern Physics Lab
[formerly PHYS 231 Modern Physics Lab]
1 cr. Prerequisite: PHSX 232. Corequisite: PHSX 343. (even F)  Presents laboratory exercises to complement the lecture in PHSX 343.

PHSX 391 Special Topics
[formerly PHYS 350 Advanced Topics I]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PHSX 343.  Designed to serve the needs of students who are interested in continued study in physics beyond the introductory level.  The course will be devoted to an in-depth study of one of the following topics: electricity and magnetism, classical mechanics, or quantum mechanics.

PHSX 490 Undergraduate Research
V1-6 cr. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.  Provides students the opportunity to conduct a research project under the supervision of a faculty member, including library and experimental research as appropriate, analysis of the results, and the submission of a formal research report upon completion of the project.

PHSX 491 Special Topics
[formerly PHYS 450 Advanced Topics II]
3 cr. Prerequisite: PHSX 391 in the area to be continued.  Continues a topic covered in PHSX 391.  The follow-up for electricity and magnetism will be electromagnetic wave theory; for classical mechanics will be fluid dynamics; for quantum mechanics will be further analysis of more complicated atomic systems and a study of Dirac’s matrix representation of the Schrodinger equation.

PHSX 492 Independent Study
[formerly PHYS 491 Independent Study]
V1-4 cr. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and department chairperson.  Designed to provide the student with the opportunity to study any special aspect of physics which is not offered directly as a course.

PHSX 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly PHYS 492 Seminar]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisites: major or minor in one of the natural sciences and consent of instructor.  Provides advanced students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Physics.

PHSX 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly PHYS 493 Workshop]
V1-4 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.  Provides an opportunity for experimental study in an area of Physics.

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PHYS 240 Electronics Instrumentation
4 cr. (Lec. 3; Lab 1).  Presents the basics of circuit design and analysis to develop an understanding of the behavior of electric circuits.  The remainder of the course will be devoted to the use of integrated circuit chips in the construction of filters, amplifiers and logic circuits.  Lab required.

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