Minor in Physics

Physics Minor

Physics is the study of the natural world: how things work, why they behave as they do and where they came from. Physics uses experiments and mathematics to study the underlying laws governing matter, radiation, and energy.

Course requirements for a Minor in Physics include:

1. A freshman calculus-based physics sequence (two courses) with labs (8 credit hours)
2. Modern Physics (3 credit hours)
3. Classical Mechanics (3 credit hours)
4. Electromagnetism (3 credit hours)
5. Quantum Mechanics (3 credit hours)
6. Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics (3 credit hours)
Note: Each course must be passed with a letter grade of "C " or better.

Course Descriptions

PHU 103 – Mechanics & Waves for Engineers (3 +1)
The material of this course requires knowledge of differential and integral calculus. The covered material includes the basics of vectors, kinematics, Newtonian Mechanics, energy and momentum conservation, harmonic motion, mechanical waves, and sound. The course includes a mandatory laboratory.
Prerequisite or Co-requisite: MAT 101 (Calculus I)

PHU 124 – Electromagnetism & Optics Engineers (3+1)
The material of this course requires knowledge of differential and integral calculus. The covered material includes the basics of electricity and magnetism, electromagnetic radiation, and optics. The course includes a mandatory laboratory.
Prerequisite: PHU 103

PHU 212 -- Modern Physics (3)
This course explores the two 20th century revolutions in physics: quantum mechanics and special relativity. We study the evidence that led to the acceptance of each of these theories and some of the implications of these theories. In the quantum mechanics part, we present brief descriptions of the particle and wave aspects of matter; quantum mechanics in one and three dimensions, quantum theory of the hydrogen atom; atomic physics; statistical physics; selected topics in solid state physics; nuclear physic.
Prerequisite: PHU 124

PHU 311 -- Classical Mechanics (3)
This course investigates various aspects of classical mechanics, including kinematics and dynamics of motion including Newton’s laws of motion and conservation theorems; rigid bodies; oscillatory motion; central forces and gravitation; Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of classical mechanics.
Prerequisites: MATH 213, PHU 212

PHU 323 -- Electromagnetism (3)
This course provides an introduction to classical electromagnetic theory based on vector calculus. It deals with the study of electric and magnetic fields, their origins and the features of nature that affect the strengths of these fields; it also deals with Maxwell’s equations and how they unify all of electricity and magnetism.
Prerequisites: PHU 124, MATH 213

PHU 411 -- Quantum Mechanics (3)
This course extends the investigation of quantum mechanics begun in the Modern Physics course to include the fundamentals of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. This course covers topics such as failures of classical physics in describing microscopic phenomena; the mathematical tools and basic postulates of Quantum Mechanics; the matrix formulation of Quantum Mechanics; the Schrödinger equation and its application to various one-dimensional systems; orbital angular momentum; applications of Quantum Mechanics to the study of three-dimensional systems, most notably to the hydrogen atom.
Prerequisite: PHU 311, MAT 212, MAT 320

PHU 412 -- Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics (3)
This course provides an introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. It deals with the concepts of temperature, the three laws of thermodynamics, entropy, thermodynamic relations, and free energy. Applications to phase equilibrium, multicomponent systems, chemical reactions, and thermodynamic cycles. Application of statistical mechanics to physical systems; introduction to treatment of Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics with applications.
Prerequisites: PHU 411

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