Physics (PHYS)

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PHYS Courses

PHYS 104. Introductory Physics. 4 units

GE Area B3

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: Passing score on ELM examination, or an ELM exemption, or credit in MATH 104.

Elementary introduction to mechanics, gases, liquids and solids, heat, vibrations and waves, light, electricity and magnetism. Intended to provide non-science students with an understanding of basic physical concepts. Not open to students who have credit in a college physics course. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE B3.

PHYS 107. Introduction to Meteorology. 4 units

GE Area B3

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Passing score on ELM examination, or an ELM exemption, or credit in MATH 104.

Physics of Earth's atmosphere. Topics include the physical basis for temperature, wind generation, atmospheric circulation, humidity, adiabatic processes, cloud formation, cyclone development, precipitation, and storm growth. Other topics include the variety of storms and their effects, satellite imaging, and air pollution and its possible effect on global temperature change. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE B3.

PHYS 111. Contemporary Physics for Nonscientists. 4 units

GE Area B3

Term Typically Offered: W

Exploration of the key concepts of quantum mechanics and Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Particle-wave duality, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat, warped spacetime, black holes. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE B3.

PHYS 118. Introductory College Physics. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: MATH 118 and high school trigonometry, or MATH 119.

Introductory course in physics emphasizing motion, force, torque, momentum, and energy. Applications to human motion and metabolism. Primarily for students in kinesiology. Not open to students with credit in PHYS 121 or PHYS 131 or PHYS 141. 4 lectures.

PHYS 121. College Physics I. 4 units

GE Area B3

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: MATH 118 and high school trigonometry, or MATH 119.

Introductory course in mechanics emphasizing motion, force, and energy. Not open to students having a grade of C- or better in PHYS 131 or PHYS 141. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE B3.

PHYS 122. College Physics II. 4 units

GE Area B3; GE Area B4

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: PHYS 118, PHYS 121, PHYS 131, or PHYS 141.

Continuation of PHYS 121. Topics include properties of materials, fluids, waves and vibrations, sound, heat, light and optics. Not open for credit to students having a grade of C- or better in PHYS 132. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Fulfills GE B3 & B4.

PHYS 123. College Physics III. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 118, PHYS 121, PHYS 131, or PHYS 141. Recommended: PHYS 122.

Continuation of PHYS 121 and 122. Electrostatics, electric current, magnetic fields and induction. Elements of modern physics. Not open for credit to students having a grade of C- or better in PHYS 133. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

PHYS 131. General Physics I. 4 units

GE Area B4; GE Area B3

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: MATH 141 with grade C- or better and MATH 142 or MATH 182 (or concurrent enrollment); for ME and AERO students only. Recommended: High School Physics.

Fundamental principles of mechanics. Vectors, particle kinematics. Equilibrium of a rigid body. Work and energy, linear momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics. Primarily for engineering students, and for students majoring in the physical sciences. Not open to students with credit in PHYS 141. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Crosslisted as HNRS/PHYS 131. Fulfills GE B3 & B4.

PHYS 132. General Physics II. 4 units

GE Area B3; GE Area B4

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: PHYS 131 or HNRS 131 or PHYS 141.

Oscillations, waves in elastic media, sound waves. Temperature, heat and the first law of thermodynamics. Kinetic theory of matter, second law of thermodynamics. Geometrical and physical optics. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Crosslisted as HNRS/PHYS 132. Fulfills GE B3 & B4.

PHYS 133. General Physics III. 4 units

GE Area B3; GE Area B4

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: PHYS 131 or HNRS 131 or PHYS 141, and MATH 142. Recommended: MATH 241.

Charge and matter, electric field, electric potential, dielectrics, capacitance, current and resistance, electromotive force and circuits, magnetic fields, magnetic field of a moving charge, induced emf. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Fulfills GE B3 & B4.

PHYS 141. General Physics IA. 4 units

GE Area B3

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: MATH 141 with grade C- or better and MATH 142 or MATH 182 (or concurrent enrollment). Recommended: High School Physics.

Fundamental principles of mechanics. Vectors, particle kinematics. Equilibrium of a rigid body. Work and energy, linear momentum, rotational kinematics and dynamics. Primarily for engineering and science students. Not open to students with credit in PHYS 131. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as HNRS 134/PHYS 141. Fulfills GE B3.

PHYS 200. Special Problems for Undergraduates. 1-2 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Consent of department chair.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

PHYS 201. Learning Center Tutor. 1 unit

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 133 and consent of instructor.

Act as a tutor in the Physics Learning Center. Help students with problem solving techniques and introductory physics course material. Total credit limited to 3 units, with a maximum of 1 unit per quarter. Credit/No Credit grading only.

PHYS 202. Physics on the Computer. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 133; and MATH 241 or MATH 244.

Introduction to using computers for solving problems in physics: differential equations, matrix manipulations, simulations and numerical techniques, nonlinear dynamics. 4 lectures.

PHYS 206. Experimental Physics. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 133, MATH 143, and concurrent enrollment in PHYS 256.

L-R-C circuits and electronic circuit elements emphasizing the applications of analog and digital electronics to instrumentation in modern physics. 3 lectures.

PHYS 211. Modern Physics I. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 132 and PHYS 133 and MATH 241.

Special relativity, fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, emphasizing the modern description of atomic phenomena. Kinetic theory, wave particle duality, Bohr theory, Schroedinger equation, elementary atomic structure. 4 lectures.

PHYS 212. Modern Physics II. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 211.

Applications of quantum physics to atoms, molecules, solid state systems, nuclei, and elementary particles including angular momentum and spin. Topics may include applications of statistical mechanics, principles of the laser, cooling and trapping of atoms, Bose-Einstein condensates, semiconductors, superconductors, heavy ion physics, and other topics of current interest. 4 lectures.

PHYS 220. Introduction to Physics Research. 1 unit

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 132 or PHYS 133.

Introduction to the research programs of faculty in the department and opportunities for research. Survey of departmental facilities and procedures related to research. Overview of external research programs/internships. Credit/No Credit grading. 1 lecture.

PHYS 256. Electrical Measurements Laboratory. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 133, MATH 143. Concurrent: PHYS 206.

Experimental studies of circuit analysis and electronics; introduction to digital techniques; instrumentation. 1 laboratory.

PHYS 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Schedule of Classes will list title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

PHYS 301. Thermal Physics I. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 211.

Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Entropy, temperature, ensembles, partition functions, chemical potential, free energy. Selected applications including paramagnetism, ideal gas, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions. 4 lectures.

PHYS 302. Classical Mechanics I. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: PHYS 131 or PHYS 141; and MATH 241; and MATH 242 or MATH 244.

Laws of motion, kinematics and dynamics of a particle. Use of numerical methods for solving problems. Work and energy. Linear and angular momentum. Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations and the calculus of variations. Newton's Law of gravity, Kepler's laws of orbital motion, and central force problems. 4 lectures.

PHYS 303. Classical Mechanics II. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 302.

Mechanics in non-inertial reference frames. Dynamics of a rigid bodies. Coupled oscillators and normal modes. Use of numerical methods for solving problems. 3 lectures.

PHYS 310. Physics of Energy. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 132.

Physics and mathematics applied to broad energy topics. Efficient usage, transportation, solar energy, nuclear fission and fusion. Plasma, hydrogen economy, fuel cells, wind wave, tidal, and geothermal energy. Transmission, storage, fossils. National planning, and energy economics. 3 lectures.

PHYS 313. Introduction to Atmospheric Physics. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 132 or PHYS 122, and MATH 241. Recommended: MATH 304.

Properties of the atmosphere, atmospheric motions, solar and terrestrial radiation. Emphasis on conservation laws of momentum, energy and mass applied to understanding the Earth's atmospheric motions. 3 lectures.

PHYS 315. Introduction to Lasers and Laser Applications. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 211 and MATH 143.

Interaction of radiation with matter, theory of laser action, characteristics and modification of laser output, types of lasers. Holography and other applications. 3 lectures.

PHYS 317. Special Theory Relativity. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 211.

Fundamental experiments and basic postulates of special relativity. Simultaneity, length and time measurements. Lorentz transformations. Four-Vectors. Space-time diagrams. Relativistic mechanics and electromagnetism. 3 lectures.

PHYS 322. Vibrations and Waves. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: PHYS 132; and MATH 242 or MATH 244. Recommended: MATH 344.

Introduction to vibrations and waves and their applications. Harmonic oscillator, waves, complex notation, superposition, interference, coherence, Fourier analysis. Applications may include sound, optics, quantum mechanics, and electromagnetic radiation. 3 lectures.

PHYS 323. Optics. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: MATH 241; and PHYS 133; and PHYS 322, EE 228, EE 201, or ME 318.

Geometrical optics, lens systems, aberrations, physical optics and polarization. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

PHYS 330. Teaching Physics. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: one of the following: PHYS 122, PHYS 123, PHYS 132, PHYS 133, PSC 102, or PSC 103.

Inquiry approaches to teaching physics incorporating insights from physics education research and the use of computer technology. Emphasis on pedagogical approaches and assessment that engage learners in scientific discourse and the development of basic models of physics phenomena through experimentation. 2 activities.

PHYS 340. Quantum Physics Laboratory I. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: PHYS 212, PHYS 256, and one of the following: PHYS 202, CSC 101, CSC 231, or CSC 234.

Experimental studies of the quantum properties of atoms and nuclei. Measurements of fundamental constants. Statistics and data analysis. 1 lecture, 1 laboratory.

PHYS 341. Quantum Physics Laboratory II. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 340.

Experimental studies of quantum properties of atoms and nuclei. Interactions of radiation, particles and fields. 2 laboratories.

PHYS 342. Quantum Physics Laboratory III. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 341.

Advanced experimental studies of quantum properties of atoms and nuclei. Interactions of radiation, particles and fields emphasizing spectroscopic techniques. 1 laboratory.

PHYS 357. Advanced Instrumentation in Experimental Physics. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 206 and PHYS 256.

Advanced analog and digital electronics, computer interfacing to experiments, robotics. 2 lectures, 1 laboratory.

PHYS 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-2 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Consent of department chair.

Individual investigations, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

PHYS 401. Thermal Physics II. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 301.

Additional topics in thermodynamics and statistical physics, including chemical equilibrium, phase transitions, transport processes, and cryogenics. 3 lectures.

PHYS 403. Particle and Nuclear Physics. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 212 and PHYS 405.

Elementary particles and their interactions, fundamental forces, the Standard Model of particle physics. Symmetries and conservation laws including parity, charge conjugation, and time reversal invariance, as well as charge-parity violation. Dirac equation, quantum electrodynamics, and Feynman diagrams. Advanced nuclear physics. Topics may include decays, symmetries of the quark model, neutrinos, nucleosynthesis, and the quark-gluon plasma. 3 lectures.

PHYS 405. Quantum Mechanics I. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 212; PHYS 302; PHYS 322; MATH 241; and MATH 242 or MATH 244. Recommended: MATH 344.

Wave nature of matter and the basic postulates of quantum mechanics. The wave function, operators, and their interpretation. Schroedinger's equation and its solutions in one and more dimensions. The hydrogen atom and the periodic table. 4 lectures.

PHYS 406. Quantum Mechanics II. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: PHYS 405.

Angular momentum operators and problems in three dimensions including the hydrogen atom. Elements of matrix mechanics and properties of spin state vectors. Time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory. Topics may include variational principle, WKB approximation. 3 lectures.

PHYS 408. Electromagnetic Fields and Waves I. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: PHYS 133 and MATH 304.

Electric and magnetic field theory using vector analysis. Electric fields, dielectric materials, magnetic fields, induced emf, magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations, wave equation. 4 lectures.

PHYS 409. Electromagnetic Fields and Waves II. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 408. Recommended: PHYS 322.

Wave equation, plane electromagnetic waves, guided waves. Dipole radiation, radiation from an accelerated charge. Special relativity. 3 lectures.

PHYS 410. Physics of Solid Earth. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: W

Prerequisite: PHYS 133, MATH 241 and MATH 244.

Gravity and the figure of the Earth. Body wave seismology, structure and composition of the Earth, heat flow and heat sources, Earth tides, rotational dynamics, the geomagnetic field and its source, paleomagnetism. 3 lectures.

PHYS 412. Solid State Physics. 3 units

GE Area B6

Term Typically Offered: F

Prerequisite: PHYS 211 or MATE 340, MATH 244.

Properties of solids including the structural, mechanical, thermal, and electronic properties, energy band theory and the properties of metals and semiconductors. 3 lectures. Fulfills GE B6 with PHYS 452.

PHYS 413. Advanced Topics in Solid State Physics. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 412.

Semiconducting devices, including junction and field-effect transistors, LED's, and diode lasers. Magnetic properties of solids. Superconductivity, including discussion of high-temperature superconductors. Other topics of current interest in solid state physics. 3 lectures.

PHYS 417. Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. 4 units

GE Area B6

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 132 or PHYS 122; and PHYS 133 or PHYS 123; and MATH 241; and MATH 242 or MATH 244. Recommended: Junior standing.

Analysis of linear and nonlinear dynamical systems with emphasis on geometrical methods and visualization techniques. Fixed points, phase plane analysis, bifurcations and limit cycles. Laboratory component includes data acquisition and analysis using computers, numerical simulations of dynamical systems, and analysis of discrete systems. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Fulfills GE B6.

PHYS 422. Polymer Electronics Laboratory. 1 unit

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: EE 347 or MATE 340 or CHEM 319 or PHYS 340.

Experimental procedures in polymer electronics. Investigation of the characteristics of a polymer electronic device. 1 laboratory. Crosslisted as EE/PHYS 422.

PHYS 423. Advanced Optics. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: PHYS 323.

Advanced topics of modern optics. May include: fiber optics, Fourier optics, quantum optics, lasers, holography, non-linear optics. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

PHYS 424. Theoretical Physics. 3 units

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite: MATH 304, MATH 344, and PHYS 133.

Contour integration in the complex plane, properties of common special functions and delta functions used in physics, partial differential equations, Green's function techniques for solving differential equations. 3 lectures.

PHYS 452. Solid State Physics Laboratory. 1 unit

GE Area B6

Term Typically Offered: SP

Prerequisite or concurrent: PHYS 412.

Selected experiments on X-ray diffraction, Hall effect, optical absorption, thermo-electric effect, photovoltaic cells, diode characteristics, and superconductivity. 1 laboratory. Fulfills GE B6 with PHYS 412.

PHYS 461. Senior Project I. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Selection and completion of a project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduates must solve in their fields of employment. Project results are presented in a formal report. Minimum 60 hours total time.

PHYS 462. Senior Project II. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Selection and completion of a project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduates must solve in their fields of employment. Project results are presented in a formal report. Minimum 60 hours total time.

PHYS 463. Senior Project - Laboratory Research I. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Selection and completion of a laboratory research project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduates will encounter in industry or graduate school. Project results are presented in a formal report. Minimum 60 hours total time. 2 laboratories.

PHYS 464. Senior Project - Laboratory Research II. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F,W,SP,SU

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Selection and completion of a laboratory research project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduates will encounter in industry or graduate school. Project results are presented in a formal report. Minimum 60 hours total time. 2 laboratories.

PHYS 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

PHYS 471. Selected Advanced Laboratory. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.

PHYS 485. Cooperative Education Experience. 6 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and consent of instructor.

Part-time work experience in business, industry, government, and other areas of student career interest. Positions are paid and usually require relocation and registration in course for two consecutive quarters. Formal report and evaluation by work supervisor required. Total credit limited to 12 units; major credit limited to 2 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

PHYS 495. Cooperative Education Experience. 12 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing and consent of instructor.

Full-time work experience in business, industry, government, and other areas of student career interest. Positions are paid and usually require relocation and registration in course for two consecutive quarters. Formal report and evaluation by work supervisor required. Total credit limited to 12 units; major credit limited to 2 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.