In this course, students will learn to use motors, relays, microcontrollers and electronic components to design and build computer-controlled devices, small robots and interactive gizmos increasingly employed in projects by artists, designers and scientists. The primary tool will be the Arduino open source microcontroller environment. Developed for use by designers, artists and hobbyists, the Arduino environment provides a wide array of options for implementing automation and interaction between a physical device and its environment. It is used in applications ranging from interactive installation art to smart home technologies and hardware control in scientific applications. The course will combine laboratory exercises, homework assignments, individual and group project work, and a culminating public presentation. No prerequisite.

This course surveys current knowledge of the physical nature of stars and galaxies. Topics include the sun and other stars, the evolution of stars, interstellar matter, the end products of stellar evolution (including pulsars and black holes), the organization of stellar systems such as clusters and galaxies, and the large-scale structure of the universe itself. Evening laboratory sessions will include telescopic observation, laboratory investigations of light and spectra, and computer modeling and simulation exercises. No prerequisite.

This course is the first course in a one-year introductory physics sequence. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, work and energy, fluids, and electric fields. When possible, examples will relate to life-science contexts. The course will be taught using a combination of lectures, in-class exercises, homework assignments and examinations. Knowledge of calculus is not required. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Corequisite: PHYS 131. Offered every fall semester.

This laboratory course meets one afternoon each week and is organized around weekly experiments that explore the phenomena of classical mechanics and electromagnetism, including motion, forces, fluid mechanics, and conservation of energy and momentum. Lectures cover the theory and instrumentation required to understand each experiment. Experimental techniques emphasize computerized acquisition and analysis of video images to study motion. Students are introduced to computer-assisted graphical and statistical analysis of data as well as the analysis of experimental uncertainty. Corequisite: PHYS 130 (or PHYS 140 for sophomores enrolled in PHYS 140). Offered every fall semester.

This laboratory course meets one afternoon each week and is organized around weekly experiments that explore the phenomena of classical mechanics and electromagnetism, including motion, forces, fluid mechanics, and conservation of energy and momentum. Lectures cover the theory and instrumentation required to understand each experiment. Experimental techniques emphasize computerized acquisition and analysis of video images to study motion. Students are introduced to computer-assisted graphical and statistical analysis of data as well as the analysis of experimental uncertainty. Corequisite: PHYS 130 (or PHYS 140 for sophomores enrolled in PHYS 140). Offered every fall semester.

This lecture course is the first in a three-semester, calculus-based introduction to physics. Topics include the kinematics and dynamics of particles and solid objects; work and energy; linear and angular momentum; and gravitational, electrostatic and magnetic forces. PHYS 140, 145, and 240 are recommended for students who might major in physics, and they also are appropriate for students majoring in other sciences and mathematics, particularly those who are considering careers in engineering. The course will be taught using a combination of lectures, in-class exercises, homework assignments and examinations. Corequisite: MATH 111, if not previously taken, and PHYS 141 (first-year students) or PHYS 131 (upperclass students). Open only to first-year and sophomore students. Offered every fall semester.

This seminar will explore a significant current topic in physics that will challenge first-year students. The topic varies from year to year; in the past, the seminar has explored such topics such nanoscience, astrophysics, particle physics, biological physics and gravitation. In addition to introducing the fundamental physics connected with these topics, the course will expose students to recent developments, as the topics are often closely related to the research area of faculty teaching the seminar. The seminar meets one evening a week for lectures, discussions, laboratory experiments and computer exercises. This course fulfills the concurrent laboratory requirement of PHYS 140 and serves as solid preparation for PHYS 146. Prerequisite: Open only to first-year students who are concurrently enrolled in or have placed out of PHYS 140, including those first-years who enroll in PHYS 240. Offered every fall semester.

This seminar will explore a significant current topic in physics that will challenge first-year students. The topic varies from year to year; in the past, the seminar has explored such topics such nanoscience, astrophysics, particle physics, biological physics and gravitation. In addition to introducing the fundamental physics connected with these topics, the course will expose students to recent developments, as the topics are often closely related to the research area of faculty teaching the seminar. The seminar meets one evening a week for lectures, discussions, laboratory experiments and computer exercises. This course fulfills the concurrent laboratory requirement of PHYS 140 and serves as solid preparation for PHYS 146. Prerequisite: Open only to first-year students who are concurrently enrolled in or have placed out of PHYS 140, including those first-years who enroll in PHYS 240. Offered every fall semester.

This lecture course is the third semester of the calculus-based introductory sequence in physics, which begins with PHYS 140 and PHYS 145. Topics include electric charge, electric and magnetic fields, electrostatic potentials, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations in integral form, electromagnetic waves, the postulates of the special theory of relativity, relativistic kinematics and dynamics, and the connections between special relativity and electromagnetism. This course may be an appropriate first course for particularly strong students with advanced placement in physics; such students must be interviewed by and obtain permission from the chair of the Physics Department. Prerequisite: PHYS 140 or equivalent. Corequisite: PHYS 241 (upperclass students) or PHYS 141 (first-years) and MATH 213 or equivalent. Offered every fall semester.

This laboratory course is a corequisite for all upperclass students enrolled in PHYS 240. The course is organized around experiments demonstrating various phenomena associated with the special theory of relativity and electric and magnetic fields. Lectures cover the theory and instrumentation required to understand each experiment. Laboratory work emphasizes computerized acquisition and analysis of data, the use of a wide variety of modern instrumentation, and the analysis of experimental uncertainty. Prerequisite: PHYS 140 and 141 or equivalent. Corequisite: PHYS 240. Offered every fall semester.

This laboratory course is a corequisite for all upperclass students enrolled in PHYS 240. The course is organized around experiments demonstrating various phenomena associated with the special theory of relativity and electric and magnetic fields. Lectures cover the theory and instrumentation required to understand each experiment. Laboratory work emphasizes computerized acquisition and analysis of data, the use of a wide variety of modern instrumentation, and the analysis of experimental uncertainty. Prerequisite: PHYS 140 and 141 or equivalent. Corequisite: PHYS 240. Offered every fall semester.

In this course we develop further the basic concepts of electricity and magnetism previously discussed in PHYS 240 and introduce mathematical techniques for analyzing and calculating static fields from source distributions. These techniques include vector calculus, Laplace's equation, the method of images, separation of variables, and multipole expansions. We will revisit Maxwell's equations and consider the physics of time-dependent fields and the origin of electromagnetic radiation. Other topics to be discussed include the electric and magnetic properties of matter. This course provides a solid introduction to electrodynamics and is a must for students who plan to study physics in graduate school. Prerequisite: PHYS 245 and MATH 213. Offered every other year.

This introduction to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics focuses on how microscopic physical processes give rise to macroscopic phenomena; that is, how, when averaged, the dynamics of atoms and molecules can explain the large-scale behavior of solids, liquids and gases. We extend the concept of conservation of energy to include thermal energy, or heat, and develop the concept of entropy for use in determining equilibrium states. We then apply these concepts to a wide variety of physical systems, from steam engines to superfluids. Prerequisite: PHYS 245 and MATH 213. Offered every other year.

This course will build upon the foundation developed in PHYS 240 and 241 for measuring and analyzing electrical signals in DC and AC circuits, introducing students to many of the tools and techniques of modern electronics. Familiarity with this array of practical tools will prepare students for engaging in undergraduate research opportunities as well as laboratory work in graduate school or industry settings. Students will learn to use oscilloscopes, meters, LabVIEW and various other tools to design and characterize simple analog and digital electronic circuits. The project-based approach used in this and associated courses (PHYS 381 and 382) fosters independence and creativity, while the hands-on nature of the labs and projects will help students build practical experimental skills including schematic and data sheet reading, soldering, interfacing circuits with measurement or control instruments, and troubleshooting problems with components, wiring and measurement devices. In each electronics course, students will practice documenting work thoroughly, by tracking work in lab notebooks with written records, diagrams, schematics, data tables, graphs and program listings. Students will also engage in directed analysis of the theoretical operation of components and circuits through lab notebook explanations, worksheets, and occasional problem sets, and in each course students may be asked to research and present to the class a related application of the principles learned during investigations. This course is required as part of the 1 unit of upper-level experimental physics coursework to complete the major in physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 240. This course is offered once a year and runs the first half of the semester only.

In this course, students will explore applications of integrated circuits (ICs), the fundamental building blocks of electronic devices such as personal computers, smart phones and virtually every other electronic device in use today. Taking a two-pronged approach, the course will include experimentation with basic ICs such as logic gates and timers as well as with multipurpose ICs such as microcontrollers that can be programmed to mimic the function of many basic ICs. Prerequisite: PHYS 380 (may be taken in the same semester). This course is offered in alternate years and runs in the second half of the semester only.