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Physics Courses

 The Physics Department offers a variety of courses at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  For complete catalog information, refer to the most current course catalog.

PHYS 100 Physical Science (4 credits, GE-IIE, LS)
A conceptual study of physics using ideas of force and energy to understand motion, properties of matter, sound, light, and electricity and magnetism.
3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
No credit if taken after PHYS 110, 111, 211 or 231.

PHYS 115 Survey of Astronomy (3 credits, GE-IIE)
A one-semester presentation of our current understanding of the universe, including the solar system, birth and death of stars, unusual phenomena such as black holes and quasars, evolution of galaxies and the universe, and our link with the cosmos.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
No credit if taken after PHYS 226 or PHYS 229.

PHYS 186 Introductory Seminar (.5 credits, A-F grades only)
Students will explore avenues for obtaining an internship, discuss plans for participating in the required research project, attend the weekly Physics Seminar, develop academic plans, and participate in postgraduate planning.
1/2 hour of lecture each week.
Offered: Fall
Limited to physics liberal arts majors.

PHYS 205 Physics of Renewable Energy (4 credits, GE-IIE; LS, A-F grades only)
Explores the basic physics principles behind various types of renewable energy sources. Discusses impact renewable energy sources have on mitigating global warming and climate change.
3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall, Spring

PHYS 211 General Physics (5 credits, GE-IIE; LS)
Fundamental principles of mechanics, heat, wave motion, and sound. Designed for students who desire a one-year non-calculus course in physics. Proficiency with algebraic operations is expected.
4 hours of lecture, 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
No credit if taken after PHYS 231.

PHYS 212 General Physics (4 credits, GE-IIE; LS)
A continuation of Physics 211 including topics in optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics.
3 hours of lecture, 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall, Spring
Prerequisite: PHYS 211. No credit if taken after PHYS 232.

PHYS 226 Astronomy-Solar System (4 credits, GE-IIE; LS)
The physical nature of the solar system, including earth motions, celestial coordinates, time, telescopes, moon, planets, sun, and origin of solar system.
3 hours of lecture; 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall
Three years high school mathematics assumed prior to enrollment in this course.  Some night observing required.

PHYS 229 Astronomy-Stars and Galaxies (4 credits, GE-IIE; LS)
The physical nature of the universe, including stellar evolution, multiple and variable stars, the Milky Way galaxy, other galaxies, and origin of the universe.
3 hours of lecture; 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Spring
Three years of high school mathematics assumed prior to enrollment in this course.  PHYS 226 is not a prerequisite.  Some night observing required.

PHYS 231 University Physics I (5 credits, GE-IIE; LS)
Physics for science and engineering students, including the study of mechanics, simple harmonic motion, and wave motion.
4 hours of lecture; 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall, Spring
Prerequisite:  Math 114 or concurrent enrollment.

PHYS 232 University Physics II (5 credits, GE-IIE; LS)
A continuation of Physics 231, including the study of electricity, magnetism, and optics.
4 hours of lecture; 2 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall, Spring
Prerequisite:  PHYS 231; Math 215 or concurrent enrollment.

PHYS 255 Statics (3 credits)
Designed primarily for pre-engineering students. Includes static equilibrium of rigid bodies, centroids, analysis of structures, friction, and moments of inertia.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered: Fall
Prerequisite:  PHYS 231; Math 215 or concurrent registration.

PHYS 291 Special Topics (1-3 credits)
Content will be determined by the interests of students and faculty. May contain lecture or lab.
Offered: Varies

PHYS 308 Science of Musical Sound (3 credits, GE-IIE)
Physical concepts related to production of tones and speech. Application to musical instruments and auditorium acoustics, with experimental demonstrations of vibrational phenomena and electronic sound analysis and synthesis. No prior physics or university mathematics assumed.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered: Spring

PHYS 315 The Mysterious Universe (3 credits; GE-IIE)
A view of the world as revealed by contemporary physical thought. Topics include size and origin of universe, ultimate nature of matter; modern ideas of space, time and energy; possibilities of extraterrestrial life; and values and limitations of science.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered: Spring

PHYS 332 University Physics III (3 credits)
Physics for science and engineering students, including the study of fluids, heat, thermodynamics, relativity, and an introduction to modern physics.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered: Fall and Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 232 and MATH 215

PHYS 333 Quantum Physics (3 credits)
Introduction to the experimental and theoretical basis of quantum physics, including particle aspects of radiation, matter waves, Bohr model of the atom, Schrodinger wave mechanics and its application to the hydrogen atom and multi-electron atoms.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered:  Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 332 and Math 216

PHYS 338 Physics of Solids (4 credits)
Crystallography, diffraction, electron and phonon transport. Semiconductors and optical properties of crystalline materials, interaction of light with crystalline and non-crystalline matter, including photovoltaics, LEDS, nonlinear optics, solid-state lasing, and fiberoptic materials.  Credit may not be earned in both MSCI 338 and PHYS 338.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered: Spring
Prerequisites: PHYS 332 or MSCI 300

PHYS 340 Optics (4 credits)
Lecture and laboratory work cover geometrical and physical optics, image formation, optical instruments, interference, diffraction, polarization, and modern topics including lasers.
3 hours of lecture; 3 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Spring
Prerequisites: PHYS 232 and MATH 215

PHYS 350 Electric and Electronic Circuits (4 credits)
General introduction to electrical circuits and electronics including analysis of DC and AC circuits, simple passive filters, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, simple digital electronics, and circuit design and construction.
3 hours of lecture; 3 hours of lab each week.
Offered: Fall
Prerequisites: MATH 215 and grade C or above in PHYS 232.

PHYS 356 Dynamics (3 credits; A-F grades only)
A continuation of Physics 255. Dynamics of rigid bodies, moments of inertia, work, energy, impulse, and momentum.
3 hours of lecture each week.
Offered:  Spring
Prerequisites: MATH 215 and PHYS 255 (or MATH 255)

PHYS 360 Electronics (4 credits)
Description, analysis, and laboratory measurements of digital and analog devices including transistor amplifiers, operational amplifiers, oscillators, gates, flip-flops, analog-digital converters, and microprocessors.
3 hours of lecture; 3 hours of lab each week.
Offered:  Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 350 or consent of instructor

PHYS 361/561 LabVIEW Basics (2 credits; A-F Grades Only)
Lecture and laboratory work cover an introduction to the graphical programming language LabVIEW. LabVIEW has been widely adopted as the industry standard for computerized data acquisition, analysis and instrument control.
2 hours of lecture per week; field trip(s) optional.
Offered:  Fall
Prerequisites:  PHYS 350 or concurrent enrollment; Instructor consent required.

PHYS 362/562 LabVIEW Applications (2 credits)
Lecture and laboratory exercises cover applications using the graphical programming language LabVIEW. Topics include advanced programming structures, CompactDAQ hardware, digital signal processing, motor control, encoders, PID process control, RS-232 instrument control, component testing, sensor monitoring.
2 hours of lecture per week; field trip(s) optional.
Offered:  Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 361 LabVIEW Basics; Instructor consent required.

PHYS 363/563 LabVIEW cRIO (1 credit)
Lecture and laboratory exercises cover the theory and application of the cRIO automation controller using the graphical programming language LabVIEW. Topics include Real-Time operating system, field programmable gate array (FPGA) and network shared variables.
1 hour of lecture per week.
Offered:  Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 362 LabVIEW Applications; Instructor consent required.

PHYS 365 Theoretical Mechanics (4 credits)
Newton’s laws, accelerated frames, central-force orbits, angular momentum of systems, coupled oscillations, generalized coordinates, and Lagrange’s equations.
3 hours of lecture per week.
Offered: Fall
Prerequisites:  MATH 216, and a grade of C or above in PHYS 231.  Credit may not be earned in both PHYS 356 and PHYS 365.

PHYS 367 Astrophysics (3 credits)
Physics applied to astronomical objects. The birth, structure, and evolution of stars are studied in detail. Nebulae, the interstellar medium, and stellar remnants are also investigated.
3 hours of lecture per week.
Offered: Fall of odd years
Prerequisites:  PHYS 332

PHYS 375 Electromagnetic Fields (4 credits)

Electric and magnetic fields, dielectric and magnetic properties of materials, and electromagnetic phenomena. Field theory leading to the development of Maxwell’s equations and the plane electromagnetic wave.
4 hours of lecture per week.
Offered: Spring
Prerequisites: PHYS 332, MATH 216, and MATH 311 or MATH 312

PHYS 392 Current Topics in the Physics Literature (1 credit; A-F Grades Only)
Each student will choose a topic for investigation using articles in the physics literature. The class will discuss and critique each individual’s project during class meetings. All students will write final summary papers.
1 hour of lecture per week.
Offered: Fall, Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 332.  Limited to physics liberal arts majors.

PHYS 399 Independent Study - Juniors (1-3 credit(s)
Department Consent Required.  May be repeated.
Prerequisites:  Minimum junior standing

PHYS 430 Advanced Laboratory Techniques (2 credits)
Laboratory course for students with special interests in experimental physics. The emphasis is on widely applicable modern experimental methods.
4 hours of lab per week.
Offered: Fall
Prerequisites: Two courses from PHYS 340, 350, 360.

PHYS 440 Digital Image Processing (3 credits)
Applications of Fourier analysis and wavelets to optics and image processing. Topics include: diffraction, wave optical theory of lenses and imaging, wavelets, and image processing.
3 hours of lecture per week.
Offered: Spring even years
Prerequisites:  Math 215.  Credit may not be earned in both MATH 440 and PHYS 440.

PHYS 445 Thermal Physics (4 credits)
Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics including the laws of classical thermodynamics, equations of state, thermodynamical processes, and applications to classical and quantum mechanical systems.
4 hours of lecture per week.
Offered:  Fall even years
Prerequisites:  PHYS 332, PHYS 333, and MATH 216.  No credit if taken after PHYS 334 and PHYS 435.

PHYS 465 Quantum Mechanics (3 credits)
A continuation of Physics 333, including Dirac notation, operator methods, one dimensional potentials, spin and angular momentum, and the philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics.
3 hours of lecture per week.
Offered: Spring
Prerequisites:  PHYS 333, PHYS 365, and MATH 311 or MATH 312.

PHYS 475 Mathematical Methods in Physics (3 credits)
An introduction to the mathematical methods in physics with emphasis on applications in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and electrodynamics.
3 hours of lecture per week.
Offered:  Varies
Prerequisites:  PHYS 365 and MATH 311 or 312; or consent of instructor.

PHYS 486 Senior Seminar (.5 credits)
Students need to have completed an adviser-approved capstone project before entering this class. This can be accomplished through various means: PHYS 392, PHYS 399, PHYS 430, PHYS 495, PHYS 499, through an academic or industrial internship, or through another approved means.
Students will present a capstone project seminar, develop presentation skills (oral and poster), take a nationally normed test covering undergraduate physics, discuss their post-graduate plans, and assist the department in assessing the major.
.5 hours of lecture per week.
Offered: Fall
Prerequisites:  PHYS 386.  Limited to physics liberal arts majors, liberal arts emphasis; and physic liberal arts majors, applied physics emphasis.  Department consent is required.

PHYS 491 Special Topics (1-3 credit(s))
Content will be determined by the interests of students and faculty. Possible topics include astrophysics and solid state physics.
Offered:  Varies
Prerequisites:  PHYS 333 and 365.  May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

PHYS 495 Directed Study (1-3 credit(s))
Limited to physics majors and minors. • Department Consent Required
Special project or research activity, primarily on campus, and directed by a faculty member. Projects and topics available will be determined by the activities and interests of the faculty.

PHYS 499 Independent Study - Seniors
Department Consent Required

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