Physics

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Matthew Enjalran
CHAIRPERSON
Jennings 119
(203) 392-5444 - Fax (203) 392-6466
enjalranm1@SouthernCT.edu
Department Secretary: (203) 392-6450

Akbar Bidarian, Professor
Christine Broadbridge, Professor
Karen Cummings, Professor
James Dolan, Professor
Matthew Enjalran, Professor
Leon Evan Finch, Assistant Professor
Elliott Horch, Professor
Todd Schwendemann, Associate Professor
Binlin Wu, Assistant Professor

MAJOR PROGRAMS IN PHYSICS

The Physics Department offers three Bachelor of Science degree options (general program, engineering concentration and secondary education) as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.

Students in these programs develop a mastery of the important theories, unifying principles, and engineering applications of physics. All students are encouraged to build active curiosity, investigative skills, and intellectual confidence and the ability to think and act independently.

Upper level students typically participate in research with faculty mentors. Projects currently in progress include nano-structured materials, atomic force and electron microscopy, correlated many-body physics, astronomical studies of binary stars, research on the learning and teaching of physics, theoretical condensed matter physics, fluorescence spectroscopy, biophysics, fiber optics, superconductivity, materials engineering, nuclear, and high-energy physics.

Since all 100-level courses are introductory, a student may not receive credit for more than one of PHY 100, 101, 103, and 111.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics - General

The general program emphasizes in depth inquiry into the central principles, analytical techniques, and key applications of physics. The program requirements form the core of the preparation expected for graduate study in fundamental and applied physics, or for initial positions in physics-based careers. Students can prepare for productive industrial and governmental research, development and technical management careers, and for many other science and technology oriented professional opportunities.

Students planning to be professional physicists are encouraged to pursue additional courses, independent study, and research beyond the minimum requirement, in physics, mathematics, and other related fields.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics - Engineering Concentration

This newly-instituted program is designed for students whose primary interest is in the applications of physics in engineering and advanced technology. The engineering concentration integrates intensive study of the underlying science with training in the practice of engineering. An engineering education requires a solid scientific foundation based on principles of mathematics and physics. Some of the technological fields that require a strong background in physics include materials science, nanotechnology, telecommunications, digital imaging, renewable energy systems, and microelectronics. The engineering concentration provides the opportunity to prepare for employment or graduate study in any of these critical areas of innovation. There is also an increasing emphasis on connections among scientific and engineering fields and this degree program provides excellent preparation for an interdisciplinary future. The engineering concentration also offers valuable preparation for technology-oriented careers in business management and marketing.

Bachelor of Science in Physics - Secondary Education

The department is actively involved in the preparation of science teachers. Students who successfully receive the B.S. degree and pass Praxis II will be recommended for Initial Teacher Certification.

The specific professional requirements for Initial Teaching Certification in Connecticut are listed in the secondary education section of the School of Education.

Bachelor of Arts in Physics

This program offers students the greatest flexibility in choosing courses of interest. Imaginative combinations are possible which enable the student to relate the study of physics to wide-ranging areas such as the social sciences and the fine arts as well as the other natural sciences. It also develops advanced skills in quantitative and analytical thinking for a career in business, law, medicine, or other professions. Students may elect to pursue a double major in physics and education.

EGR 151 - Engineering Concepts

An introduction to the tools and problem solving techniques used in the engineering profession.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 230 and MAT 150.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

EGR 232 - Materials Science and Engineering

An interdisciplinary introduction to materials science and engineering with topics including historical perspective, structure property relationships, engineering design, characterization techniques, manufacturing/synthesis, nanoscale applications and ethical/society implications.

Prerequisite(s): EGR 151 and PHY 200 or PHY 230.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

EGR 251 - Engineering Mechanics I: Statics

The emphasis is on analyzing the forces and torques acting on objects and structures which are at rest. Topics include calculation of centers of mass and moments of inertia for extended bodies and the application of Newton’s second law in multiple dimensions to systems of particles and rigid bodies in equilibrium.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 230 and MAT 151.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

EGR 298 - Special Topics

Examination of developments, issues, and/or creative work in the field of Engineering.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015

EGR 398 - Special Topics

Topics vary.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 100 - Physics through Inquiry

Fundamental physics necessary to understand a particular contemporary social issue such as electric energy production and alternatives to fossil fuels. Laboratory activities involve genuine scientific inquiry including using observation to develop, evaluate, and refine models of the physical world. Topics are selected from electricity and magnetism, mechanics, heat, waves, and modern physics. Lecture, 2 hours; laboratory, 2 hours.

Special Information: Laboratory fee required. Prerequisites: LEP Quantitative Reasoning.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 101 - Inquiries in Elementary Physics

Central topics and applications of physics studied through laboratory-based investigations. Emphasis on processes of science such as observation, measurement, and construction of theories. Recommended for prospective teachers, especially K-6. Some lab periods used for visits to school science classes. Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 4 hours.

Prerequisite(s): MAT 105 or EDU major.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2012

PHY 103 - Physics and Technology for Healthcare Professionals

An introduction to physics concepts and applications associated with the medical professions. There is an emphasis on technological applications and potential ethical/societal impacts.

Special Information: Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite(s): MAT 095 or placement in MAT 100, MAT 102, or higher.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 111 - Physics for Today

An introduction to physics concepts with emphasis on class demonstrations and everyday applications. Lecture-demonstration, 3 hours.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Summer 2015

PHY 120 - Physics for Tomorrow: Nanotechnology

An introduction to the science and engineering of nanoscale materials (nanotechnology). Emphasis on technological applications and potential ethical/societal impacts.

Special Information: Laboratory Fee

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 123 - Critical Thinking and Science for Future Leaders

A critical analysis of contemporary science and physics topics. The primary goal of this course is development of the critical thinking skills and habits of mind necessary to think like a leader.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 200 - General Physics I

Examines motion, force, energy, momentum, vibrations, temperature, heat, and fluids using algebra and trigonometry with an emphasis on applications. Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours.

Prerequisite(s): MAT 107 or higher, may be taken concurrently.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 201 - General Physics II

A continuation of PHY 200. Electricity, magnetism, circuits, waves, optics, and the atomic and nuclear structure of matter are studied using algebra and trigonometry with an emphasis on applications.

Special Information: Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 200.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Summer 2016

PHY 210 - College Physics

Selected topics from the field of basic physics employing algebra and trigonometry. Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours.

Special Information: Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite(s): MAT 107 or higher taken prior or concurrently.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 230 - Physics for Scientists and Engineers I

Basic principles of mechanics, heat, and oscillatory motion using calculus with an emphasis on applications. Lecture, 3 hours; laboratory, 3 hours.

Special Information: Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite(s): C- or better in MAT 122 or math placement of MAT 150.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 231 - Physics for Scientists and Engineers II

Basic principles of electricity, magnetism, and optics are studied using calculus with an emphasis on applications. MAT 151 must be taken prior to, or concurrent with, this course.

Special Information: Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 230 and C- or better in MAT 150.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 251 - Engineering Mechanics I: Statics

The emphasis is on analyzing the forces and torques acting on objects and structures which are at rest. Topics include calculation of centers of mass and moments of inertia for extended bodies and the application of Newton’s second law in multiple dimensions to systems of particles and rigid bodies in equilibrium.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 230 and MAT 151.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2013

PHY 298 - Special Topics

Examination of developments, issues, and/or creative work in the field of Physics.

3 to 6 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015

PHY 309 - Modern Physics

Relativity, atomic structure, quantum physics, and nuclear transformations are studied.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 111 or ENG 112 and C- or better in MAT 151, PHY 230, and PHY 231.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 340 - Lasers and Fiber Optics

Coherent light and photons, fundamentals of laser theory, semiconductor lasers, laser applications. Multi-mode and single-mode optical fibers. Fiber optic systems and telecommunications. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 231 and MAT 151.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 355 - Electricity and Electronics

An operational introduction to DC and AC circuits and electronic devices (diodes and transistors) emphasizing laboratory skills. Lecture, 2 hours; laboratory, 6 hours.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 201, PHY 210, or PHY 231.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 370 - Modern Physics Laboratory

Selected major experiments from modern physics. Data analysis and presentation skills are emphasized. Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 3 hours.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 231 and PHY 309.

2 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHY 398 - Special Topics in Physics

Examination of developments, issues, and/or creative work in the field of physics.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 210, PHY 201, or PHY 231.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHY 400 - Classical Mechanics I

Application of Newton’s laws in one and multiple dimensions, to moving coordinate systems, and to systems of particles. MAT 252 must be taken prior to, or concurrent with this course.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 231 and MAT 151.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHY 401 - Classical Mechanics II

A continuation of PHY 400. A study of rigid body motion, the Lagrange and Hamilton equations of motion, and small oscillations. It is recommended that MAT 245 be taken prior to or concurrent with this course.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 400 and MAT 252.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2015

PHY 405 - Scientific Computer Interfacing

Computer peripherals, interfacing method standards. Use of machine language and digital electronics for measurement and control of physical phenomena.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 355.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHY 406 - Electricity and Magnetism

Basic principles of electromagnetism, electrical, and magnetic properties of matter, Maxwell’s equations. It is recommended that MAT 245 and PHY 400 be taken prior to or concurrent with this course.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 231 and MAT 252.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 415 - Solid State Physics

Crystal structure, X-ray diffraction, lattice vibrations, band theory of metals, electrical conductivity of metals and semi-conductors, semiconductor devices, and superconductivity.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 309 and MAT 151.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2014

PHY 430 - Thermodynamics

Basic principles of heat and energy transfer applied to the properties of matter.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 231; MAT 252 which may be taken concurrently.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 440 - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

Physical concepts and mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. Topics include the Schrodinger equation, and eigenfunctions and approximation methods. It is recommended that MAT 245 and MAT 372 be taken prior to, or concurrent with this course.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 309 and MAT 252.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015

PHY 461 - Methods in Physics Research

Exposes students to the areas of research in which our faculty are engaged. Students carry out a series of research related activities each under the supervision of a different faculty member. 6 laboratory hours per week.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 370.

2 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHY 471 - Capstone Experience in Physics

A continuation of PHY 461, this course is the culminating capstone experience in physics and satisfies the Tier III requirement of the LEP. It requires an independent research project or design activity, an oral presentation and significant written report. Course consists of a six-hour laboratory per week and outside work.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 461.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHY 499 - Independent Study and Research

Prerequisite(s): Departmental permission.

1 to 4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016