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Physics Courses


  • Numbers in parentheses (...) indicate credit hours earned for the course or each semester of the course.
  • Items in square brackets [...] after the course title indicate General Education requirements and/or IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) requirements fulfilled by the course.

100-Level Courses


PHYS 111 (3) Concepts of Physics [Intro NSM; IAI No. P1 900] — Introduction to our understanding of the universe and how it is achieved.  Includes selections from:  Motion, energy, heat, fluids, electricity, magnetism, sound, light, atoms.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or 23:00 10/03/28 or equivalent.

PHYS 112 (1) Conceptual Physics Laboratory [Dist NSM] — Weekly introductory laboratory dealing with mechanics, heat, electricity, sound and light.  Emphasis placed on measurements and data analysis.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 111.

PHYS 115 (3) Energy and the Environment [Dist NSM; IAI No. P1 901] — Problems and prospects of meeting national and worldwide energy demands.  Scientific background, role, and environmental impact of fossil fuel, nuclear, solar, geothermal, and other technologies.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent.

PHYS 116 (3) Music and Acoustics [Dist NSM; IAI No. P1 901] — Vibrations; nature and propagation of sound waves; musical pitch and intervals; tone quality, analysis, and synthesis; instruments; speech; ears and hearing; psychological aspects; other topics.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent.

PHYS 117 (3) Light and Color [Dist NSM; IAI No. P1 901] — Nature of light; ray and wave phenomena; optical devices; the eye; color theory; lasers and holography; applications to art, photography, and other visual media.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent.

PHYS 118 (3) Astronomy [Dist NSM; IAI No. P1 906] — Introduction to astronomical observation; seasons; light; telescopes; orbits; solar system; stellar structure, evolution and classification; galaxies and cosmology.  Includes in-class activities and supplemental night viewing sessions.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  One year of high school algebra or AD 095 or equivalent, and one year of high school geometry or AD 085 or equivalent.

PHYS 131 (4) College Physics I [INSM, BPS] — This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence designed to meet premedical and biological science requirements.  Topics include mechanics, fluids, energy, heat, and gravitation.
Prerequisites:  MATH 125, 150, 152, or 250 with D or better.
Co-requisite:  PHYS 131L.

PHYS 131L (1) College Physics I Laboratory: Mechanics and Heat [INSM, BPS, EL] — This course is a laboratory for College Physics I. Topics include physical measurements, data analysis, lab reporting and error analysis.
Co-requisite:  PHYS 131.

PHYS 132 (4) College Physics II [DNSM, BPS] — This course is the second semester of a two-semester sequence designed to meet premedical and biological science requirements.  Topics include waves and sound, electrostatics, circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic waves, optics, and modern physics theory.
Prerequisites:  MATH 125, 150, 152, or 250 with D or better.
Co-requisite:  PHYS 132L.

PHYS 132L (1) College Physics II Laboratory: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics [DNSM, BPS, EL] — A lab consisting of experiments designed to complement PHYS 132:  Physical measurements, data analysis, presentation, and error analysis.
Co-requisite:  PHYS 132.

PHYS 151 (4) University Physics I [Intro NSM; IAI No. P2 900] — Calculus-based course designed to meet needs of engineering and science students:  Kinematics; dynamics; planar motion; work and energy; momentum; rotational motion; gravitation; fluids.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  MATH 152 or concurrent enrollment; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 151L.

PHYS 151L (1) University Physics I Laboratory [IAI No. P2 900L] — Physics measurements; data analysis and presentation; error analysis:  Velocity; acceleration; force and moments; work and kinetic energy; fluids.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 151.

PHYS 152 (4) University Physics II [Intro NSM; IAI No. P2 900] — Calculus-based course designed to meet needs of engineering and science students:  Bulk properties of matter; oscillations and waves; electric charge; electric fields; Gauss' law; potentials; circuits; magnetic fields; electromagnetic waves.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better is required in all prerequisites.  PHYS 151; concurrent enrollment in PHYS 152L.

PHYS 152L (1) University Physics II Laboratory [IAI No. P2 900L] — Physics measurements; data analysis and presentation; error analysis:  Thermal and bulk properties of matter; simple harmonic motion and waves; electromagnetism; simple circuits; optics.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 152.

200-Level Courses


PHYS 201 (4) University Physics III [Dist NSM] — Electromagnetic waves.  Physical optics: interference, diffraction.  Introductory special relativity.  Laws of thermodynamics; Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution; equipartition theorem; black-body radiation.  Photon nature of light.  Bohr atom; matter waves.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 151 and PHYS 152.

PHYS 201L (1) University Physics III Laboratory [Dist NSM] — Laboratories covering select topics from Electromagnetic waves, physical optics, introductory special relativity, thermodynamic laws, and introductory quantum physics.
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in PHYS 201.

PHYS 208 (3) Space Physics [Dist NSM] — Mechanics of orbital and sub-orbital flight.  Physical, chemical and geological characteristics of solar system objects determined by exploration and remote sensing.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 131A and MATH 150.

PHYS 218 (3) Theory and Applications of Electronic Measurements [Dist NSM] — Principles of modern electronic measurements and computer interfacing techniques.  Transistor circuits; digital electronics; op-amps; sensors; digital/analog and analog/digital conversions; computer-aided data acquisition.  Includes weekly two-hour laboratory.  [More information]
Prerequisite:  A grade of C or better in either PHYS 131B or PHYS 152.

PHYS 251 (4) Waves [Dist NSM] — Oscillations; linear approximations.  Normal Modes; Fourier analysis.  Standing waves; traveling waves; reflection; transmission; sound; electromagnetic waves.  Wave packets; bandwidth theorem.  Introduction to Fourier Transforms  applications.
Prerequisite:  A grade of C or better in either PHYS 131B or PHYS 152; concurrent enrollment in MATH 250.

300-Level Courses


PHYS 304 (4) Modern Physics [Dist NSM] — History of Quantum Physics.  Matter waves; uncertainty principle; Schroedinger solutions for confined particles; hydrogen atom.  Atomic, nuclear and solid-state physics.  Applications include lasers and semiconductors.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 250.

PHYS 314 (2) Modern Data Acquisition and Analysis — Students will learn the state of the art methods of data acquisition and analysis using LabVIEW graphical programming.
Prerequisite:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251.

PHYS 320 (3) Special Relativity [Dist NSM] — Michaelson-Morley experiment; Lorentz transformation; relativistic notions of space and time; relativistic kinematics and dynamics; relativistic view of electricity and magnetism.
Prerequisite:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 250.

PHYS 321 (4) Introduction to Classical Mechanics [Dist NSM] — Newtonian mechanics in Cartesian and non-cartesian coordinate systems.  Conservative fields; conservation laws.  Forced oscillations; resonance.  Introduction to Lagrangian mechanics.  Noninertial reference frames.  Central Forces; orbital dynamics.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 250.

PHYS 323 (4) Statistical Mechanics [Dist NSM] — Laws of Thermodynamics; equipartition theorem; free energy; Maxwell relations; entropy; Boltzman statistics; Bose-Einstein statistics; Fermi-Dirac Statistics; Ising model; information theory.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251; MATH 305.

PHYS 375 (1) Seminar — Selected topics in theories and applications.  May be repeated to a maximum of 3 hours provided that no topic is repeated.  Pass / No Credit only.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 390 (3) Junior Physics Honors [Dist NSM] — Directed by student’s Physics Honors Program adviser in independent study format on topics chosen jointly by student and adviser.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 302, 308, admission to the Physics Honors Program.

PHYS 397 (2) Junior Experimental Project — Individual experimental investigation of a topic to be agreed upon with an instructor.  May be repeated for a maximum of 4 hours.
Prerequisite:  Consent of Instructor.

PHYS 398 (2) Junior Theoretical Project — Individual theoretical investigation of a topic to be agreed upon with an instructor.  May be repeated for a maximum of 4 hours.
Prerequisite:  Consent of Instructor.

400-Level Courses


PHYS 405A,B (3,3) Introduction to Electromagnetic Field Theory [Dist NSM] — Vector treatment of the theory.  (A) Electrostatics in vacuum and in matter; steady currents.  (B) Magnetism; magnetic materials; electromagnetic radiation.
Prerequisites:  (A) A grade of C or better in either PHYS 321 or PHYS 323.  (B) A grade of C or better in PHYS 405A.

PHYS 410 (3) Optics [Dist NSM] — Nature of light; photometric quantities; geometrical optics; interference and diffraction; polarization; introduction to lasers; optical properties of materials.  May include laboratory component.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251, and MATH 305.

PHYS 415A,B (3,3) Wave Mechanics and Atomic Physics [Dist NSM] — (A) Foundations of quantum mechanics:  Wave functions; expectation values; operators; Schroedinger equation; simple applications including step potentials and harmonic oscillator; perturbation theory.  (B) Topics pertinent to atomic and molecular systems:  Angular momentum; hydrogen atom; electron spin; atomic transitions and spectra; exclusion principle; multielectron atoms; molecular structure.
Prerequisites:  (A) PHYS 302; MATH 305.  (B) PHYS 415A.
Note:  PHYS 416 is currently being taught in lieu of this course.

PHYS 416 (4) Principles of Quantum Mechanics — Wave functions, packets, probabilities, operators, uncertainty relations.  Schroedinger equation, square wells, harmonic oscillator, barrier penetration, angular momentum, hydrogen atom, spin, exclusion principle, multielectron atoms, molecules.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in the following:  PHYS 304; PHYS 321 or PHYS 323; MATH 321 or MATH 355.

PHYS 419 (4) Introduction to Theoretical Physics [Dist NSM] — Mathematical techniques:  Vectors; tensors; matrices; differential equations; special functions; boundary value problems; other selected topics.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 302; MATH 305.

PHYS 430 (3) Introduction to Physics and Astronomy Education Research — An introduction to the questions, methodology, data analysis and results of physics and astronomy education research.  Will explore interdisciplanary topics as needed.
Prerequisites:  A grade of C or better in PHYS 201, PHYS 201L, and PHYS 251.

PHYS 431 (3) Instructional Strategies for Particle and Rigid Body Motion — Pedagogical innovations, assessments, and inquiry-based activities will be developed for particle and rigid-body motion.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Physics-Designation Standard #2.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 211A and CI 200 or certified K-12 teacher, or physics graduate status.

PHYS 432 (3) Instructional Strategies for Physical Waves and Thermodynamics — Pedagogical innovations, assessments and inquiry-based activities will be developed for physical waves and thermodynamics.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Physics-Designation Standard #3 and #4.
Prerequisities:  PHYS 303 and CI 200, or certified K-12 teacher, or physics graduate status.

PHYS 433 (3) Instructional Strategies for Electricity and Magnetism — Pedagogical innovations, assessments and inquiry-based activities will be developed for particle and rigid body motion.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Physics-Designation Standard #2.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 211B and CI 200, or certified K-12 teacher, or physics graduate status.

PHYS 434 (3) Instructional Strategies for Astronomy — Pedagogical innovations, assessments, and inquiry-based activities will be developed for astronomy.  Addresses Illinois Professional Teaching Earth and Space Science Standards #3 and #4.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 356 and CI 200 or certified K-12 teacher, or physics graduate status.

PHYS 438 (1) Physics and Astronomy Education Research Seminar — Seminar discussing current issues in physics and astronomy education research.  May be repeated for a maximum of 4 hours provided no topic is repeated.

PHYS 450 (3) Solid-State Physics [Dist NSM] — Crystal structures and binding; lattice vibrations; electronic states; band theory of solids; semiconductors; optical properties of solids; other selected topics.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 323 and concurrent enrollment in PHYS 415, with a grade of C or better in each.

PHYS 480 (2 to 3) Selected Topics in Physics — Classroom instruction in a topic of special interest not covered in other courses.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours provided that no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of the instructor.

PHYS 490 (3) Senior Physics Honors [Dist NSM] — Directed by student's Physics Honors Program adviser in independent study format on topics chosen jointly by student and adviser.  Not for graduate credit.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 390, PHYS 405A.

PHYS 494 (3) Methods of Teaching Physics in Secondary Schools — Current teaching and resource materials.  Ways to teach different topics in physics, problem-solving techniques, and societal issues.  Preparing for laboratory activities.  Safety concerns.  Not for Physics majors or graduate credit.

PHYS 495 (3) Physics Honors Thesis — Research project directed by student's adviser results to be written up in the thesis form and presented at a departmental seminar.  Not for graduate credit.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 390, PHYS 405A, PHYS 415A.

PHYS 497 (2 to 3) Senior Experimental Project — Individual experimental investigation of topic to be agreed upon with instructor.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 308.

PHYS 498 (2 to 3) Senior Theoretical Project — Individual investigation of topic to be agreed upon with instructor, using mathematical techniques and often involving systematic library research and computer use.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 308.

PHYS 499A,B (3,2) Senior Assignment — Directed study toward completing the senior assignment.  (A) Includes a written proposal, data acquisition, and an oral presentation.  (B) Includes data acquisition and analysis, written report, poster presentation, and oral presentation.  PHYS 499B may be repeated to a maximum total of 4 hours.
Prerequisite:  (A) 30 credit hours of physics courses and consent of instructor.  (B) Credit for PHYS 499A and consent of instructor.

500-Level Courses


PHYS 501 (3) Advanced Electronic Instrumentation — Operation principles for analog and digital oscilloscopes, lock-in amplifiers, gated integrators, spectrum analyzers.  Computer programming for data acquisition.  Advanced computer interfacing.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 502 (3) Vacuum Techniques and Materials Characterization Methods — Vacuum system behavior and components; microscopy; electron beam instruments; diffraction and scattering; electron emission spectroscopies; ion scattering techniques; mass spectroscopy.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 503 (3) Experimental Methods in Optical Spectroscopy — Maxwell’s equations at interfaces; optical properties; transition probabilities and selection rules in quantum systems; vibrational spectra; sources; detectors; spectrometers; interferometers; absorption; emission; excitation; reflectance spectra.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 504 (3) Applications of Fiber Optics — Optical fiber characteristics; fiber preparation; single and multimode fibers; sources; coupling; communication systems; multiplexing techniques; fiber-optic sensors.
Prerequisite:  Graduate status or consent of instructor.

PHYS 506 (3) Experimental Methods in Optics — Experimental techniques in optics and optical spectroscopy including absorption, fluorescence, and index of refraction spectroscopy; measurements of nonlinear optical properties of materials using several techniques.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 410 or PHYS 514.

PHYS 511 (3) Computational Methods in Classical Physics — Computational approach to problems in classical physics:  Linear and non-linear systems; many-particle systems; normal modes; waves; numerical methods; percolation; fractals; chaos.
Prerequisite:  Graduate standing in Physics or consent of instructor.

PHYS 512 (3) Computational Electrodynamics — Computational approach to problems in electrodynamics:  Fundamentals; multipoles; Laplace equation; time-varying fields; electromagnetic waves; reflection; refraction; waveguides; electromagnetic radiation, antennas, and electrons.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 405 or consent of instructor; PHYS 511.

PHYS 513 (3) Computational Quantum Mechanics — Computational approach to problems in quantum mechanics:  Orthogonality; superposition; expectation values; square wells; time evolution; spectroscopy; atomic properties; many-electron atoms; scattering; band structure; and lasers.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 415 or consent of instructor; PHYS 511.

PHYS 514 (3) Photonics I — Ray and wave optics; Gaussian beams; Fourier optics; diffraction; imaging; holography; electromagnetic waves in dielectric media; polarization; and crystal optics.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 410 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 515 (3) Photonics II — Concepts governing applications of current interest in photonics including waveguides and fiber optics, electro-optics and acousto-optics, photonic switching, and computing.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 514 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 516 (2 or 3) Independent Study — Supervised study in an area selected according to needs of the student.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 517 (3) Principles of Lasers — Population inversion; rate equations; laser resonators; Q-switching; mode locking; gas lasers; solid state lasers; semiconductor lasers; dye lasers; laser applications in communications, medicine, and holography.
Prerequisite:  PHYS 514 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 518 (3) Nonlinear Optics — Maxwell’s equations in nonlinear media; second-order nonlinearities; second-harmonic generation; parametric processes; third-order nonlinearities; Kerr-type nonlinearities; Raman amplification; two-photon absorption; nonlinear crystals.
Prerequisites:  PHYS 512 and PHYS 513 or consent of instructor.

PHYS 520 (2 to 4) Graduate Physics Project — Individual investigation of a topic to be agreed upon with the instructor.  May be experimental or theoretical.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 575 (1) Colloquium — Participation in departmental colloquia; student presentation on topic of current interest.  May be repeated to a maximum of 2 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 580 (2 to 4) Selected Topics in Physics — Classroom instruction in a topic of special interest not covered in other graduate courses.  May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours provided no topic is repeated.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 594 (3) Physics Teaching Methods for Secondary Schools — Current teaching and resource materials.  Ways to teach different topics in physics, problem-solving techniques, and societal issues.  Preparing for laboratory activities.  Safety concerns.

PHYS 598 (1 to 6) Advanced Research Project in Physics — Advanced research project in physics.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

PHYS 599 (1 to 6) Thesis — Thesis research in physics.  May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours.
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.

Courses Phased Out or Renumbered


PHYS 206A,B (5,5) College Physics [(A) Intro NSM; (B) Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 131, PHYS 131L, PHYS 132, and PHYS 132L.

PHYS 131A,B (5,5) College Physics [(A) Intro NSM; (B) Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 131, PHYS 131L, PHYS 132, and PHYS 132L.

PHYS 211A,B (4,4) University Physics [(A) Intro NSM; IAI No. P2 900; (B) Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 151, PHYS 152, and part of PHYS 201.

PHYS 212A,B (1,1) University Physics Laboratory [IAI No. P2 900L] — Replaced by PHYS 151L and PHYS 152L.

PHYS 301 (3) Waves [Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 251.

PHYS 302 (4) Modern Physics [Dist NSM] — Replaced by parts of PHYS 201 and PHYS 304.

PHYS 303 (3) Thermal Physics [Dist NSM] — Replaced by parts of PHYS 151 and PHYS 201.

PHYS 308 (4) Introduction to Classical Mechanics [Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 321.

PHYS 312 (3) Intermediate Physics Laboratory — Replaced by PHYS 201L and PHYS 314.

PHYS 318 (3) Theory and Applications of Electronic Measurements [Dist NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 218.

PHYS 350 (3) Energy and the Environment [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Replaced by PHYS 115.

PHYS 351 (3) Music and Acoustics [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Replaced by PHYS 116.

PHYS 352 (3) Physics of Modern Sound Reproduction [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901L] — Eliminated, but some topics may be covered in PHYS 116.

PHYS 355 (3) Light and Color [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 901] — Replaced by PHYS 117.

PHYS 356 (3) Astronomy [Dist NSM, IAI No. P1 906] — Replaced by PHYS 118.

PHYS 366 (3) Space Physics [Dist  NSM] — Replaced by PHYS 208.


This is:  http://www.siue.edu/PHYSICS/courses.html
Written by:  Roger Hill (rhill@siue.edu)
Revised:  2013 Jul 17
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