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Undergraduate Catalog 2014-2015


Approved Courses

The following list includes undergraduate courses that have been approved as of May 2014.  Courses added after that date do not appear in this list.  Courses eliminated after that date may still appear.  Not every course is offered regularly.  Students should consult the Schedule of Classes at www.testudo.umd.edu to ascertain which courses are actually offered during a given semester.

COURSE NUMBERING SYSTEM

Number   Eligibility
000-099   Non-credit course
100-199   Primarily freshman course
200-299   Primarily sophomore course
300-399   Junior, senior course not acceptable for credit toward graduate degrees
386-387   Campus-wide internship courses; refer to information describing Experiential Learning
400-499   Junior, senior course acceptable for credit toward some graduate degree
500-599   Professional School course (Dentistry, Architecture, Law, Medicine) or post-baccalaureate course
600-899   Course restricted to graduate students
799   Master Thesis credit
899   Doctoral Dissertation credit

 

Use the search box below to view the approved courses.

Courses in "PHYS-Physics"

PHYS - Physics

PHYS 101 Contemporary Physics - Revolutions in Physics (3) Prerequisite: Must have math eligibility of MATH220 or higher. Restriction: Must not have completed PHYS111. For non-science students who are interested in the evolution of scientific thought and its present day significance. Historical, philosophic, experimental and theoretical aspects of physics are presented. Topics in mechanics, relativity, electricity and magnetism, and nuclear physics are covered.

PHYS 102 Physics of Music (3) Prerequisite: Must have math eligibility of MATH110 or higher. Credit only granted for: PHYS102 and PHYS499C. Additional information: CORE Distributive Studies Physical Sciences Laboratory Course only when taken concurrently with PHYS103. A study of the physical basis of sound, acoustical properties of sound, the human ear and voice, reproduction of sound, electronic music, acoustical properties of auditoriums, and other selected topics.

PHYS 103 Physics of Music Laboratory (1) Optional laboratory to accompany PHYS 102. Laboratory experiments, including the velocity of sound, sound quality and wave shape, traveling and standing waves, fourier synthesis and analysis, musical synthesizer, psychoacoustics, and audio equipment.

PHYS 104 How Things Work: Science Foundations (3) Prerequisite: Must have math eligibility of MATH110 or higher. Restriction: Must not have completed PHYS121; and students who have completed PHYS121 or any higher PHYS course may contact the department for permission to take the course. This is a course with a non-mathematical emphasis designed to study the basics of mechanical, electrical, and optical devices that are commonly found in the world around us. The general approach would be to look inside things to observe how they work.

PHYS 105 Physics for Decision Makers: Global Energy Crisis (3) This marquee course will consider the global energy crisis from a scientific perspective. Topics include basic laws of energy and thermodynamics, their effects on energy production and distribution, greenhouse gas, global warming and policy options for decision makers. This course is aimed at the non-science major.

PHYS 106 Light, Perception, Photography, and Visual Phenomena (3) Intended for the general student, this course will cover topics in optics which require minimal use of mathematics. Principles of optics, lenses, cameras, lasers and holography, physics of the eye, color vision and various visual phenomena such as rainbows.

PHYS 107 Light, Perception, Photography and Visual Phenomena Laboratory (1) Optional laboratory to accompany PHYS106. Laboratory experiments include geometrical optics (lenses, cameras, eye), optical instruments (telescope, binoculars), photography, perception, color phenomena, and wave phenomena.

PHYS 111 Physics in the Modern World (3) A survey course in general physics emphasizing the role that physics plays in science, technology, and society today. The course is concept oriented and minimal use of mathematics is made. Intended for the general student; does not satisfy the requirements of the professional schools.

PHYS 115 Inquiry into Physics (4) Recommended: High School Physics. Restriction: Must not have completed PHYS117; and must be in one of the following programs (Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education). Credit only granted for: PHYS115 or PHYS117. Intended for students majoring in neither the physical nor the biological sciences. Use of laboratory-based and inquiry-based methods to study some of the basic ideas of physical sciences.

PHYS 121 Fundamentals of Physics I (4) Prerequisite: MATH112 or MATH115. Credit only granted for: PHYS121 or PHYS131. The first part of a two-semester course in general physics treating the fields of mechanics, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Together with PHYS122, this generally satisfies the minimum requirement of medical and dental schools.

PHYS 122 Fundamentals of Physics II (4) Prerequisite: PHYS121; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department. A continuation of PHYS121, which together with it, generally satisfies the minimum requirement of medical and dental schools.

PHYS 131 Fundamentals of Physics for Life Sciences I (4) Prerequisite: MATH130, MATH131, BSCI105, BSCI106, and CHEM131; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department. Credit only granted for: PHYS121 or PHYS131. The first part of a two-semester course in general physics specifically oriented towards applications relevant for students in biology and pre-medical programs. The course covers basic mechanics including forces and energy, properties of matter, and thermodynamics done in authentic biological contexts.

PHYS 132 Fundamentals of Physics for Life Sciences II (4) Prerequisite: PHYS131; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department. Credit only granted for: PHYS122 or PHYS132. The second part of a two-semester course in general physics specifically oriented towards applications relevant for students in biology and pre-medical programs. The course covers basic statistical physics, electricity and magnetism, and optics done in authentic biological contexts.

PHYS 141 Principles of Physics (4) Corequisite: MATH141 or MATH221. Credit only granted for: PHYS141, PHYS161, or PHYS171. The first of a two-semester series in general physics. The first semester covers the fields of mechanics, thermodynamics, and special relativity. This survey course will use calculus and is recommended for chemistry and zoology majors. It also satisfies the requirements of medical and dental schools.

PHYS 142 Principles of Physics (4) Prerequisite: PHYS141; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department. Credit only granted for: PHYS142, (PHYS260 and PHYS261), or PHYS272. A continuation of PHYS141 covering waves, electricity and magnetism, optics and modern physics.

PHYS 161 General Physics: Mechanics and Particle Dynamics (3) Prerequisite: Must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in MATH141. Credit only granted for: PHYS141, PHYS161, or PHYS171. First semester of a three-semester calculus-based general physics course. Laws of motion, force, and energy; principles of mechanics, collisions, linear momentum, rotation, and gravitation.

PHYS 165 Introduction to Programming in the Physical Sciences (3) Prerequisite: PHYS171, PHYS141, or PHYS161; or must have scored 3 or higher on AP PHYS exam. Introduction to programming using examples in the physical sciences. Provides instruction in the techniques of upper-level languages such as Fortran, C, and Pascal, as well as an introduction to the object oriented programming techniques used in Python, C++ and Java. Includes strong component of visualization and graphing.

PHYS 170 Professional Physics Seminar (1) Corequisite: MATH140. Provides a look at some of the major developments of current interest in physics research and discusses the activities physicists undertake in research, education, industry, government, and other areas of the economy.

PHYS 171 Introductory Physics: Mechanics and Relativity (3) Prerequisite: (MATH140; and a high school physics course); or permission of CMNS-Physics department. And must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in MATH141. Credit only granted for: PHYS141, PHYS161, or PHYS171. First semester of a three semester sequence for physics majors and those desiring a rigorous preparation in the physical sciences: kinematics, Newton's laws, energy and work, linear and angular momenta, temperature and pressure, ideal gas law, and special relativity.

PHYS 174 Physics Laboratory Introduction (1) Corequisite: MATH140. Recommended: High school physics. Introduces students to the techniques of data gathering and analysis. This course will lay a foundation for higher-level labs in physics and the physical sciences. Students will learn to use laboratory equipment such as calipers, meters, oscilloscopes, and computer interfaces. Techniques of measurement and error analysis will be presented. Students will be taught to use the computer for data analysis with an emphasis on using spreadsheets.

PHYS 260 General Physics: Vibration, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism (3) Prerequisite: PHYS161 and MATH141. Corequisite: PHYS261. Credit only granted for: PHYS142, (PHYS260 and PHYS261), or PHYS272. Second semester of a three-semester calculus-based general physics course. Vibrations, waves, fluids; heat, kinetic theory, and thermodynamics; electrostatics, circuits, and magnetism. PHYS260 and PHYS261 must be taken in the same semester and the grade for the courses will be combined into a single grade for both. To pass, students must complete passing work in both PHYS260 and PHYS261.

PHYS 261 General Physics: Vibrations, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism (Laboratory) (1) Corequisite: PHYS260. Lab includes experiments on mechanics, vibrations, waves, heat, electricity and magnetism. PHYS260 and PHYS261 (lab) must be taken in the same semester and the grade for the courses will be combined into a single grade for both. To pass, students must complete passing work in both PHYS260 and PHYS261.

PHYS 270 General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics (3) Prerequisite: PHYS261, MATH241, and PHYS260. Corequisite: PHYS271. Credit only granted for: (PHYS270 and PHYS271) or PHYS273. Third semester of a three-semester calculus-based general physics course. Electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves, geometrical optics, interference, diffraction, special theory of relativity, and modern physics. PHYS270 and PHYS271 (lab) must be taken in the same semester and the grade for the courses will be combined into a single grade for both. To pass, students must complete passing work in both PHYS270 and PHYS271.

PHYS 271 General Physics: Electrodynamics, Light, Relativity and Modern Physics (Laboratory) (1) Prerequisite: PHYS261. Corequisite: PHYS270. Lab includes experiments on ac circuits, magnetism, light and modern physics. PHYS270 and PHYS271 (lab) must be taken in the same semester and the grade for the courses will be combined into a single grade for both. To pass, students must complete passing work in both PHYS270 and PHYS271.

PHYS 272 Introductory Physics: Fields (3) Prerequisite: PHYS161 or PHYS171; and MATH141; and must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in MATH241. Credit only granted for: PHYS142, (PHYS260 and PHYS261) or PHYS272.. Additional information: CORE Distributive Studies Physical Sciences Laboratory Course only when taken concurrently with PHYS275. Second semester of a calculus based general physics course. Universal gravitation, electric and magnetic fields and potentials, simple circuits, Maxwell's equations in integral form. Continues the application of mathematics to conceptual models, now with more abstract components.

PHYS 273 Introductory Physics: Waves (3) Prerequisite: MATH241 and PHYS272. Corequisite: MATH246 or MATH414. Credit only granted for: (PHYS270 and PHYS271) or PHYS273. Oscillations and AC circuits using complex variables, Fourier series and integrals, waves on strings, sound; electromagnetic waves from Maxwell's equations in differential form; physical optics.

PHYS 275 Experimental Physics I: Mechanics and Heat (2) Prerequisite: PHYS161 or PHYS171; and PHYS174. Additional information: CORE Physical Science Lab (PL) Course only when taken concurrently with PHYS272. Methods and rationale of experimental physics. Intended for physics majors and science and engineering students who desire a more rigorous approach. Experiments chosen from the areas of mechanics (from PHYS171), gas laws, and heats. Theory and applications of error analysis.

PHYS 276 Experimental Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism (2) Prerequisite: PHYS272 and PHYS275. Second course in the three semester introductory sequence. Methods and rationale of experimental physics. Experiments chosen from the fields of electricity and magnetism including electrostatics, magnetostatics, magnetic induction, AC circuits.

PHYS 299 Special Problems in Physics (1-6) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Physics department. Research or special study to complement courses taken elsewhere which are not fully equivalent to those in departmental requirements. Credit according to work done.

PHYS 305 Physics Shop Techniques (1) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Physics department. Machine tools, design and construction of laboratory equipment.

PHYS 318 Topics in Contemporary Physics (3) Prerequisite: PHYS122 or PHYS111; or permission of CMNS-Physics department. A survey of topics of current research and public interest. Intended for the non-physics or non-science major. Topics covered will include lasers, quantum liquids, cosmology, elementary particles and geophysics.

PHYS 374 Intermediate Theoretical Methods (4) Prerequisite: MATH246 and PHYS273. Corequisite: MATH240. Introduces or reviews areas of mathematics that are regularly used in upper level and graduate courses in physics, including important areas from complex variables, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations and eigenvalue problems. These methods will be studied in the context of relevant physics applications. A current standard symbolic manipulation program will be introduced and its appropriate use in theoretical analyses will be taught.

PHYS 375 Experimental Physics III: Electromagnetic Waves, Optics and Modern Physics (3) Prerequisite: PHYS276 and PHYS273. Third course in the three-semester introductory sequence. Methods and rationale of experimental physics. Experiments chosen from the areas of electromagnetic waves, optics and modern physics.

PHYS 386 Experiential Learning (3-6)

PHYS 389 Undergraduate Thesis Research (1-6) Prerequisite: Permission of CMNS-Physics department. Restriction: Must be in a major within CMNS-Physics department. Repeatable to 6 credits. Independent directed research and study on a topic selected by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. Final written thesis and oral defense will be expected.

PHYS 398 Independent Studies Seminar (1-16) Credit according to work done. Enrollment is limited to students admitted to the independent studies program in physics.

PHYS 399 Special Problems in Physics (1-3) Prerequisite: PHYS405; and permission of CMNS-Physics department. Selected advanced experiments. (Will be given with sufficient demand.)

PHYS 401 Quantum Physics I (4) Prerequisite: PHYS273. Corequisite: PHYS374 and MATH240. Formerly: PHYS421. Introduces some quantum phenomena leading to wave-particle duality. Schroedinger theory for bound states and scattering in one dimension. One-particle Schroedinger equation and the hydrogen atom.

PHYS 402 Quantum Physics II (4) Prerequisite: PHYS401, PHYS374, and MATH240. Quantum states as vectors; spin and spectroscopy, multiparticle systems, the periodic table, perturbation theory, band structure, etc.

PHYS 404 Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics (3) Prerequisite: PHYS273; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department. Introduction to basic concepts in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

PHYS 405 Advanced Experiments (3) Prerequisite: PHYS375. Restriction: Must be in a major within CMNS-Physics department. Advanced laboratory techniques. Selected experiments from many fields of modern physics. Emphasis on self-study of the phenomena, data analysis, and presentation in report form.

PHYS 407 Undergraduate Experimental Research (3) Prerequisite: PHYS499 and PHYS375; and permission of CMNS-Physics department. Restriction: Must be in a major within CMNS-Physics department; and senior standing. Students develop and complete an independent, experimental research project with a professor in the Physics Department. The project should be a continuation of work done in PHYS499A. To obtain permission, students must submit a proposal describing the experimental work to be completed and this proposal must be approved by their faculty mentor, the associate chair for undergraduate education and the chair of the laboratory committee. Students must maintain a lab notebook, give an oral presentation and complete a written report on their research that includes data and error analysis.

PHYS 410 Classical Mechanics (4) Prerequisite: PHYS374. Theoretical foundations of mechanics with extensive application of the methods. Various mathematical tools of theoretical physics.

PHYS 411 Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism (4) Prerequisite: PHYS374. Foundations of electromagnetic theory, with extensive applications of the methods. Thorough treatment of wave properties of solutions of Maxwell's equations.

PHYS 420 Principles of Modern Physics (3) Prerequisite: MATH246. And PHYS271 and PHYS270; or PHYS273. A survey of atomic and nuclear phenomena and the main trends in modern physics. Appropriate for students in engineering and other physical sciences.

PHYS 428 Physics Capstone Research (2-4) Restriction: Must be in a major within CMNS-Physics department; and senior standing or higher; and permission of instructor. Repeatable to 4 credits. Individual, focused research under the guidance of a faculty member. Discussion, presentations and, if appropriate, research group projects involved. Student must submit final research paper for completion of course. Paper may also serve as thesis required for High Honors in Physics. Not intended as a general "reading course" (see PHYS499).

PHYS 429 Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory (3) Prerequisite: PHYS405. Classical experiments in atomic physics and more sophisticated experiments in current techniques in nuclear physics.

PHYS 431 Properties of Matter (3) Prerequisite: PHYS271, PHYS270, and MATH241; and (PHYS401 or PHYS420). Also offered as: ENMA460. Credit only granted for: ENMA460 or PHYS431. Introduction to solid state physics. Electromagnetic, thermal, and elastic properties of metals, semiconductors, insulators and superconductors.

PHYS 441 Topics in Nuclear and Particle Physics (3) Prerequisite: PHYS401 or PHYS402. Corequisite: PHYS402. A survey of concepts in particle and nuclear physics, with a topical emphasis on the impact of the Weak Interaction and the discovery of Parity Violation.

PHYS 485 Electronic Circuits (4) Prerequisite: PHYS405. Corequisite: PHYS374. Restriction: Must be in a major within CMNS-Physics department. Theory and application to experimental physics of modern semiconductor analog and digital circuits. Emphasis on understanding passive and active elements in practical circuits. Topics span the range from simple transistor circuits to microcomputers.

PHYS 499 Special Problems in Physics (1-16) Research or special study. Credit according to work done.

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