Physics Immersion

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In a broad sense, the aim of physics is to develop interconnected unifying threads bridging the vast number of seemingly diverse phenomena observed in the physical world around us. This immersion provides students with the opportunity for additional study in physics in order to build a secondary area of expertise in support of their major or other areas of interest. 

Notes about this immersion:

  • This immersion is closed to students majoring in imaging science or physics. 

The program code for Physics Immersion is PHYSICS-IM.

Curriculum for Physics Immersion

   University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for science and engineering majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton's Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
   University Physics II
This course is a continuation of PHYS-211, University Physics I. Topics include electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, DC circuits, magnetic field, Ampere's law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
Required Courses
   Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
   Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
Choose one of the following:
   Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
   Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
   Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
   Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
   Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
   Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.