Physics - Courses

PHYS 1001 - Physics by Exploration

Course Description

A lecture/lab introduction to physics and the physical sciences using inquiry based learning strategies. The course is designed to give Liberal Arts students direct experience in the scientific process thus establishing a solid foundation for scientific literacy. Students work through a set of laboratory-based modules. Starting from their own observations, students develop basic physical concepts, use and interpret different forms of scientific representations and construct explanatory models with predictive capability. Students develop scientific reasoning skills and relate scientific concepts, representations, and models to real world phenomena.

The "user friendly" definition

This class is intended to be a fun, engaging way to learn how things work through a series of hands-on experiments and activities. This class fulfills the GE lab science graduation requirement.

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 1010 - Conceptual Physics

Course Description

A non-mathematical general education science lecture course. Topics include: Newtonian mechanics, heat, oscillations and waves, electricity, magnetism, properties of matter, and light. The emphasis of the class is to better understand the physics of everyday phenomena. Not intended for science majors or students who have completed high school physics.

The "user friendly" definition

This class covers the basic laws and principles on which our physical universe operates in an interactive, non-mathematical format. This is a lecture based, non-lab course which fulfills the GE physical science graduation requirement.

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 1020 - Weird Science: Science, Skepticism, and Critical Thinking

Course Description

This course will strive to teach critical scientific thinking in explaining various phenomena including the realm of the paranormal as well as everyday human behavior. Discussions focus on scientific versus pseudo-scientific explanations, and how to tell the difference. Course covers the use of language, thought, and logic in distinguishing science fact from science fiction. Inductive and deductive methods, judgment, opinion, belief, and knowledge. A critical examination of contemporary pseudoscientific issues (creation “science”, astrology, UFOs etc).

The "user friendly" definition

This is a class in critical thinking which examines the evidence and logic behind paranormal, supernatural, spiritual, and religious phenomena and beliefs. This class fulfills the GE Critical Thinking graduation requirement.

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 1105 - General Physics (Offered in the Fall)

Course Description

An introduction to the structure and language if physics through the study of mechanics, oscillarory motion, fluid mechanics, thermal phenomena, calorimetry, heat and thermodynamics. Emphasis is given to life science and medical applications of physics.

The "user friendly" definition

This class explains the scientific laws of the physical universe. It is a great class for anyone who is curious what causes rainbows, how electric motors work, etc. Fundamental understanding is emphasized rather than plugging numbers into equations.

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 1110 - General Physics (Offered in the Spring)

Course Description

This course is a continuation and completion of the study of General Physics. The subject matter includes electrostatics, AC and DC circuits, electromagnetic waves, classical optics, optical intruments, relativity, quantum physics, atomic physics, nuclear structure and nuclear physics applications, and modern physics. Emphasis is given to life science and medical applications of physics.

The "user friendly" definition

This class explains the scientific laws of the physical universe. This is a great class for anyone who is curious what causes rainbows, how electric motors work, etc. Fundamental understanding is emphasized rather that plugging numbers into equations. 

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 2105 - Mechanical Physics, Oscillations, and Waves (Offered in the Fall)

Course Description

The fundamental principles of mechanics are treated within the mathematical framework of elementary differential and integral calculus. Vectors, Newton's Laws of Motion, particle dynamics, work and energy, conservation laws, rotational motion, rotational dynamics, mechanical oscillations, gravitation, fluid statics and fluid dynamics, oscillations and wave motion are discussed.

The "user friendly" definition

This is the calculus-based physics sequence intended for Scientists and Engineers. Problem solving skills are emphasized along with understanding of fundamental principles. 

Prerequisites

MATH 1400 is a prerequisite for PHYS 2105.

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 2110 - Electrical Physics, Light (Offered in the Spring)

Course Description

Included in this class are: mathematical study of charge and matter, electric fields, Gauss' Law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, current and resistance, magnetic fields, Ampere's Law, Faraday's law of induction, magnetic properties of matter, electromagnetic oscillations and waves, alternating currents, Maxwell's equations, and wave properities of light and geometric optics. Parallels Physics 4B, University of California. This sequence starts every spring. PHYS 2105 is a prerequisite, and MATH 1500 is normally taken concurrently.

The "user friendly" definition

This is the calculus-based physics sequence intended for scientists and engineers. Problem solving skills are emphasized along with understanding of fundamental principles. 

Instructor

Mike Read

PHYS 2115 - Heat, Modern, and Quantum Physics (Offered in the Fall)

Course Description

The fundamental principles of heat, thermodynamics, atomic structure, relativity, quantum mechanics, superconductivity, particle physics and cosmology are covered in this course. The mathematical framework of differential and integral calculus are used in analysis of problems. This is the final course in the engineering physics sequence and thus brings the different areas of physics together. This sequence starts every spring. PHYS 2110 is a prerequisite, and MATH 2400 is normally taken concurrently.

The "user friendly" definition

This is the calculus-based physics sequence intended for scientists and engineers. Problem solving skills are emphasized along with understanding of fundamental principles. 

Instructor

Mike Read

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