Physics
The Applied Physics Major provides opportunities for students to study the applied nature of physics from within a broad liberal arts context. The course of study prepares students for a variety of challenging and rewarding careers, not only in the fields of science and technology, but also in education, engineering and computer science, as well as careers emphasizing advanced analytical skills, such as business management and medicine. Students interested in a career in engineering should apply for graduate study in engineering.
In addition to the major, the department offers several courses in astronomy and physics that meet the general education needs of nonscience majors.
Programs

Applied Physics, Bachelor of Science  Major 
Endorsement in Physics (612), Teacher Licensure
Supporting Coursework for Applied Physics Majors
Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School in Engineering
CSCI102 Programming II
MATH331 Differential Equations
MATH350 Numerical Analysis
Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School for Teaching Licensure in Mathematics
MATH200 Introduction to Number Theory
MATH210 Introduction to Linear Algebra
MATH140 Introduction to Statistics or MATH341 Theoretical Statistics I
MATH300 Set Theory and Symbolic Logic
MATH320 Modern Geometry
MATH360 History of Mathematics
Recommended Minors for Graduate School in Engineering
Computer Science
Mathematics
Environmental Science (for Environmental Engineering/Civil Engineering)
Courses
PHYS101: Foundations of Engineering 1
An introduction to the engineering profession for firstyear students, with a focus on the engineering design process and problemsolving. Includes data collection, modeling/analysis, and ComputerAided Design software. Emphasizes professional practices and expectations, including communication, teamwork, and ethics.
PHYS102: Foundations of Engineering 2
An introduction to the engineering profession for firstyear students, with a focus on the engineering design process and problemsolving. Includes data collection, modeling/analysis, and ComputerAided Design software. Emphasizes professional practices and expectations, including communication, teamwork, and ethics.
PHYS110: Introductory Astronomy
Designed to help students appreciate and understand their physical environment and the methods of physical science through the study of basic astronomy. Topics include the history of astronomy; motion of celestial objects; planets of the solar system; birth, life, and death of stars; galaxies; and cosmology. Three hours in class and two hours in laboratory per week. FILA general education: natural and physical sciences.
PHYS119: Physics and the Modern World
Physics has given humanity the ability to better understand our world as well as transform our relationship with it. This course investigates the influence of physics principles, discoveries, and applications in human endeavors, such as electricity and nuclear radiation. The role that physics plays in energy use, technology and modern society is explored along with the impacts these discoveries and applications have on global and personal scales. FILA general education: natural and physical sciences.
PHYS125: Concepts of Physics
An introduction to the basic concepts of physics emphasizing practical applications of physical laws to common occurrences. Physical descriptions are presented on how things move, the behavior of sound and light, uses of electricity and magnetism, and the behavior of fundamental particles. Three hours in class and two hours in laboratory per week. FILA general education: natural and physical sciences.
PHYS140: The Physics of Music
This course is a set of lectures and activelearning activities that explore the physics of sounds and music. Topics covered include propagation and energy of sound waves, frequency and wavelength, harmonics and overtones, perception of sound intensity, how various musical instruments produce different sounds, and standing waves in different media.
PHYS150: Astrophysics for Beginners
An introduction to astrophysics using computational models to explore the astrophysical processes responsible for the properties and structure of stars, stellar remnants, and black holes. We will also explore the formation of stars, dynamics of clusters, and large scale structure of the Universe. This course will include an offcampus visit to a national center of astrophysical research. No previous computing experience is necessary.
PHYS195: Visualizing Physics With Computers
A handson introduction to scientific computing with professional software packages. Emphasizes the graphical capabilities of software, such as Mathematica, applied to problems in physics.
PHYS218: College Physics I
An algebrabased exploration of the concepts of motion, forces, energy, waves, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week.
PHYS219: College Physics II
An algebrabased exploration of the concepts of motion, forces, energy, waves, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week.
PHYS221: General Physics I
During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week.
PHYS222: General Physics II
During the first term: Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, periodic motion, and fluid mechanics. During the second term: Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. A combination of lectures and learning by inquiry are employed. Computers are used for data acquisition, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. Three hours in class, one hour in recitation and two hours in lab per week. FILA general education: natural and physical sciences.
PHYS301: Mathematical Methods in Physics I
Complex exponential functions, vector and partial derivatives. Applications of integration in physics, including expectation values and line integrals. Vector and matrix operations, including dot and cross products, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Mathematical software (eg, Mathematica) is incorporated.
PHYS302: Mathematical Methods in Physics II
Boundary value problems in physics: Ordinary differential equations with initial conditions, and partial differential equations in Cartesian and curvilinear coordinates. Includes Fourier analysis, Laplace's equation, the wave equation, and Legendre polynomials. Mathematical software (eg, Mathematica) is incorporated.
PHYS304: Statics
Vector analysis includes couples, resultants, freebody diagrams, friction and rigid bodies. Equilibrium mechanics with trusses, frames, centers of mass, bending and shear forces in beams, moments of inertia and parallelaxis theorem. Use of software for vector/matrix algebra (eg, MATLAB).
PHYS305: Electronics
Analog electronics including diode and transistor operation, mathematical circuit analysis, operational amplifier applications. Two hours in class and six hours in lab per week. Offered alternate years.
PHYS306: Digital Electronics
Analysis and applications of digital circuits such as flipflops, registers, counters and analogtodigital converters leading to interfacing realtime data collection to computers. Offered alternate years.
PHYS331: Electricity and Magnetism
Electrostatics, scalar potential, electric fields and energy in conductors and dielectrics, electric currents, magnetic fields and energy, leading up to Maxwell's equations and from there to electromagnetic radiation. Offered alternate years.
PHYS341: Thermal & Statistical Physics
Thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and an introduction to statistical mechanics. Offered alternate years.
PHYS345W: Experimental Physics
Classical and modern experiments give the student a basic understanding of experimental methods. Involves several lectures and extensive lab work. FILA general education: writing intensive. Offered alternate years.
PHYS401X: Computational Physics
Computational and numerical techniques for problemsolving in physics. Methods for differential equations, Monte Carlo simulations, and modeling of physical systems (e.g., fluid flows, electrostatics, waves). Topics implemented in a programming language appropriate for computational physics (e.g., Python). Students will work with professors outside BC to test and help develop computational materials as part of PICUP, the Partnership for Integration of Computation into Undergraduate Physics. FILA general education: experiential learning. Offered alternate years.
PHYS410: Optics and Laser Physics
Topics include electromagnetic nature of light, geometrical optics, polarization, interference, diffraction, holography, and basics of lasers with applications. Three hours in class and three hours in laboratory per week. Offered alternate years.
PHYS411: Fluid Mechanics
Course in fluid mechanics covering fluid properties, statics, and dynamics. Topics covered include hydrodynamics, viscous flows, potential flows, turbulence, and boundary layer analysis. Use of Bernoulli, Euler, and NavierStokes equations. Additional topics may include airfoil theory, shock waves, instabilities, and plasmas. Offered alternate years.
PHYS450: Special Topics
PHYS480X: Internship
Provides an opportunity for a student to gain field experience in an area related to the student's program of study or career goals. The learning objectives for internships include connecting academic knowledge and problemsolving processes to experiences and problems in professional settings. Supervision of an intern is provided by an appropriate faculty member and by a site supervisor of the agency or business in which the student is an intern. A student who wishes to engage in an internship must consult with the appropriate faculty member at least eight weeks in advance of the start of the term in which the internship is to be completed. A description of the internship, signed by the student and the faculty sponsor, must be filed with the director of internships by the first day of the semester prior to the start of the internship. Approval of each application for an internship is made by the director of internships based upon approved policies and guidelines. Internships are graded on an S or U basis. Students must complete 120 hours of internshiprelated work as well as weekly journal entries and a final reflective paper completed in accordance with approved requirements. A student may enroll in an internship program for 3 credits per semester, and internship credit may be earned in subsequent semesters subject to the limitations that no more than two internships may be pursued in any one agency or business and a maximum of 9 credits in internships may be applied toward graduation. FILA general education: experiential learning.
PHYS490: Independent Study
PHYS491: Research
PHYS495: Senior Thesis
With prior permission of the Physics Department, a summer research experience in physics or a closelyrelated field may be used as the basis for a written thesis and oral defense. The thesis will demonstrate synthesis of previous coursework in the program and a professional level of writing and oral communication.
PHYS497: Senior Capstone Project I
Students design, develop, and present a project based on a theoretical, computational, and/or experimental problem in physics or applied physics.
PHYS498: Senior Capstone Project II
Students design, develop, and present a project based on a theoretical, computational, and/or experimental problem in physics or applied physics.