Physics Courses

PHYS 101. Physics and Astronomy Seminar. 1 Hour.

Introduces some of the major contemporary problems and research areas in physics and astronomy.

PHYS 131. Introduction to Musical Acoustics: The Science of Sound. 3 Hours.

The course covers basic physical principles of waves required to understand the phenomenon of music, the characteristics of musical instruments and sound effects of rooms/halls for music majors and any one interested in the sciences behind the music, in musician-friendly format. Basic concepts such as frequency, harmonics, and pitch, physics-based questions on such topics as music acoustics, stringed instruments, wind instruments, singing and electronic instruments will be discussed in lectures. Hands on labs and web-based exercises will supplement the lectures. Prerequisites: MATH 131 or MATH 142 or MATH 176 or MATH 179 or MATH 2413.

PHYS 132. Basic Electronics for Scientists and Engineers. 4 Hours.

AC and DC circuits, semiconductor devices, and linear integrated circuits. Applications include voltage dividers, timing circuits, power supplies, amplifiers, oscillators, and filters. Laboratory stresses basic electronic measurements and circuit prototyping.

PHYS 201. Problem Solving in Mechanics. 1 Hour.

Extension of concepts developed in introductory mechanics with emphasis on problem solving techniques.

PHYS 202. Problem Solving in Electricity & Magnetism. 1 Hour.

Extension of concepts developed in introductory Electricity and Magnetism with emphasis on problem solving techniques.

PHYS 270. Science Education Theory and Practice. 1 Hour.

Learning theory and teaching practices for science learning assistants. Topics include questioning strategies, conceptual development, formative assessment, argumentation, metacognition, and nature of science. Prerequisites: Instructor Approval.

PHYS 317. Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering. 3 Hours.

Mathematical techniques from the following areas: infinite series; integral transforming; applications of complex variables; vectors, matrices, and tensors; special functions; partial differential equations; Green's functions; perturbation theory; integral equations; calculus of variations; and groups and group representatives. Prerequisites: Math 192, Corequisite Math 314 or 315, or consent of instructor.

PHYS 319. Computational Physics with Python. 3 Hours.

This self-contained course introduces the student to the Python programming language before exploring applications including finite difference methods, solving linear and non-linear equations, Fourier transforms, simulating physical systems governed by ordinary and partial differential equations, random processes and the Monte Carlo method. No previous programming experience is required. Prerequisites: Phys 2425 with a minimum grade of C.

PHYS 321. Modern Physics. 3 Hours.

An introduction to special relativity and elementary quantum mechanics. Topics include spacetime, relativistic energy and momentum, the uncertainty principle, Schrödinger’s equation, observables and operators, bound states, potential barriers, and the hydrogen atom. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426, MATH 314, or consent of instructor.

PHYS 332. Digital Logic & Circuitry. 4 Hours.

Boolean logic, digital circuits, digital integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices using VHDL. Laboratory instruction in basic digital instrumentation and circuit design tools. Prerequisites: PHYS 1402 or PHYS 2426.

PHYS 333. Wave Motion, Acoustics, and Optics. 4 Hours.

An introduction to vibrational and wave motion with applications to acoustics, optics, and electromagnetic phenomenon. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426 or consent of the instructor.

PHYS 341. Advanced Physics for Educators I. 4 Hours.

Core topics in advanced physics necessary for the in-depth understanding of the subject required for teaching high school physics are discussed. Topics include classical mechanics, special relativity, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426.

PHYS 342. Advanced Physics for Educators II. 4 Hours.

Core topics in advanced physics necessary for the in-depth understanding of the subject required for teaching high school physics are discussed. Topics include quantum mechanics, kinetic theory and statistical mechanics. Prerequisites: PHYS 341.

PHYS 389. Independent Study. 3 Hours.

Individual study of specific problems in physics. Prerequisites: Department head approval.

PHYS 401. Current Topics in Physics and Astronomy. 1 Hour.

Current problems or topics in research, employment, and trends in physics are considered. Prerequisites: Junior standing.

PHYS 407. Science and Society: Contemporary Issues. 3 Hours.

In this University Capstone science course, two or three contemporary science issues of importance to global society will be studied from various points of view including scientific, political, and economic. This course cannot be used for a major or minor in science.

PHYS 411. Classical Mechanics. 3 Hours.

A mathematical treatment of the fundamentals of classical mechanics. Topics include particle dynamics in one, two and three dimensions; conservation laws; dynamics of a system of particles; motion of rigid bodies; central force problems; central force problems; accelerating coordinate systems; gravitation; Lagrange’s equations and Hamilton’s equations. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426, Corequisite Math 314 or 315.

PHYS 412. Electricity and Magnetism. 3 Hours.

An advanced undergraduate course in theoretical electricity and magnetism. Geometry of static electric and magnetic fields, electric charges and currents, calculating electric and magnetic fields from potentials, fields inside matter, Maxwell's equations, and EM waves. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426, Co/Pre req MATH 314 or 315.

PHYS 414. Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the kinetic theory of matter and to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, with applications to physical and chemical systems. Prerequisites: PHYS 317 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 418. Undergraduate Research. 3 Hours.

Individual research related to physics, directed by a faculty member. Prerequisites: Department head approval.

PHYS 420. Quantum Mechanics. 3 Hours.

The Schrödinger equation; one dimensional systems; the Heisenberg uncertainty principle; magnetic moments and angular momentum; two and three dimensional systems; approximation methods; scattering theory. Prerequisites: PHYS 317 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 421. Materials Science. 3 Hours.

The physical, chemical and electrical properties of metals and semi-conductors and the relationship between these properties and the electronic and crystal structures of these materials is studied. Prerequisites: PHYS 321 and PHYS 333.

PHYS 430. Optics. 3 Hours.

Fundamentals of geometrical and physical optics and applications to optical instrumentation. Prerequisites: PHYS 333 or consent of the instructor.

PHYS 432. Advanced Electronics. 3 Hours.

Embedded system design and programming. Topics include microcontroller selection, peripheral interfacing, low and high-level programming languages, and microcontroller development tools. Prerequisites: (PHYS 132 or PHYS 332) and CSCI 151.

PHYS 437. Nuclear Physics. 3 Hours.

The study of nuclear phenomena and properties including mass, stability, magnetic moment, radioactive decay processes and nuclear reactions. The application of nuclear principles to other fields such as astronomy, engineering, manufacturing, and medicine. Prerequisites: PHYS 321.

PHYS 441. Advanced Physics Laboratory. 2 Hours.

An introduction to the equipment and techniques of experimental physics. Experiments are selected from a wide range of fields in physics. Research grade equipment is used in many experiments. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426, Junior standing in physics and consent of instructor.

PHYS 451. The Historical Development of Great Ideas in Science. 3 Hours.

Major people, discoveries, and the evolution of fundamental concepts and theories through time are examined through literature, research, and hands-on inquiry based investigations. Science topics and themes are chosen to emphasize broad concepts in the Texas and national science standards. This course is designed for students pursuing the degree Physics B.A./B.S. w/6-12 Physical Science Certification. Students pursuing the traditional Physics B.S. degree may not apply this course to their degree program.

PHYS 461. Physics Research Project. 3 Hours.

This is the first part of a two-semester course sequence. Each participating student will conduct literature surveys on a research topic agreed to between him/her and their local advisor. The research problem must be approved through the Texas Physics Consortium. Completion of the research will be consummated during the second semester. Areas of research will primarily be in those areas represented by the Consortium which include nuclear physics, high energy particle physics, medical/health physics, computational and mathematical physics, atomic and molecular physics, astrophysics, and other forefront areas. Prerequisites: PHYS 321 and department head approval.

PHYS 462. Physics Research Seminar. 3 Hours.

An experimental or theoretical project will be continued by the student and the results reported in a seminar. Students who have not yet taken the ETS Major Field Test in Physics are required to do so while enrolled in Seminar. Prerequisites: PHYS 461 and department head approval.

PHYS 489. Independent Study. 1-4 Hour.

Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Department head approval.

PHYS 490. Honors Thesis. 3 Hours.

Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Note May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisites: Department head approval.

PHYS 491. Individualized Honors Readings. 3 Hours.

Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Department head approval.

PHYS 492. Instrumentation and Control. 3 Hours.

Sensors and actuators in real-time systems. Topics include the physics of sensors and actuators, sensor signal conditioning, real-time data acquisition, elementary signal processing, motion control, and software for instrumentation and control. Prerequisites: PHYS 2426.

PHYS 497. Special Topics. 1-4 Hour.

Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

PHYS 1401. College Physics I. 4 Hours.

Topics include vectors, mechanics, Newton's laws of motion, work, energy, power, impulse and momentum, conservation laws, heat and thermodynamics. Prerequisites: MATH 141 or 1314 or MATH 142 or MATH 176 or MATH 2413.

PHYS 1402. College Physics II. 4 Hours.

Topics include electric charges and fields, DC circuits, magnetic fields, fields due to currents. Prerequisites: MATH 131 or MATH 142 or MATH 176 or MATH 2413.

PHYS 2425. University Physics I. 4 Hours.

Calculus based physics course in mechanics for science, mathematics and engineering students. Prerequisites: MATH 2413 with a minimum grade of C or concurrent enrollment.

PHYS 2426. University Physics II. 4 Hours.

Second semester of calculus based physics with topics in electricity and magnetism for science, mathematics, and engineering students. Prerequisites: PHYS 2425 with a minimum grade of C, MATH 2413. Additionally, MATH 192 or concurrent enrollment.