Course Descriptions

The quarters in which particular courses are offered are indicated by the F, W, Sp, Su notations. If a course is not given each year, then the year in which it will next be offered is also given.

PHY 102 Fundamentals of Physics (4) FWSp

Various theories of matter and energy and the principles and laws that describe their behavior and applications. Some special knowledge of modern science that will function in a socially desirable manner in the lives of students. Fulfills GE requirement for Area B2. 4 lectures. PHY 102 is not open to students who have credit for PHY 121 or 131. May be graded on CR/NC basis.
 
Prerequisite: A college math course.

PHY 105/105L Physics of Musical Sound (4) Sp (Even years)

The fundamentals of acoustics and its application to musicvibrations, wave, hearing, pure tones, complex tones, resonance, scales, consonance, and the physics of musical instruments. 3 lectures/problem solving, 1 three-hour laboratory.

PHY 121 College Physics (3) FWSpSu

A study of vectors, motion, forces, gravity, work and energy, momentum, angular motion and mechanical properties of matter. Fulfills GE requirement for Area B2 in combination with laboratory course. 3 lectures/problem-solving. Not for students majoring in physics or engineering.

Prerequisite: MAT 106 or equivalent.
Corequisite: PHY 121L.

PHY 122 College Physics (3) FWSpSu

Heat, wave motion, sound, light and optical devices. 3 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 121 and PHY 121L.
Corequisite: PHY 122L.

PHY 123 College Physics (3) FWSpSu

Electricity and magnetism, DC and AC circuits, electronics, atomic and nuclear physics. 3 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 122 and PHY 122L.
Corequisite: PHY 123L.

PHY 121L, 122L, 123L College Physics Laboratory (1) (1) (1) FWSpSu

Laboratory to accompany College Physics lecture series. Experiments in mechanics, hydrostatics, wave motion, thermodynamics, optics, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. 1 three-hour laboratory. To be taken in sequence concurrently with PHY 121, 122, 123, respectively.

PHY 131 General Physics (3) FWSpSu

Fundamental principles of mechanics, vectors, statics, uniform motion, accelerated motion, work and energy, momentum, and rotational motion. Fulfills GE requirement for Area B2 in combination with laboratory course. 3 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: MAT 114 or MAT 130
Corequisite: MAT 115 or MAT 131, and PHY131L.

PHY 132 General Physics (3) FWSpSu

Fundamental principles of fluid mechanics, harmonic motion, waves, thermodynamics, and kinetic theory. 3 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: MAT 115 or MAT 131, C- or better in PHY 131
Corequisite: MAT 116 or MAT 132, and PHY132L.

PHY 133 General Physics (3) FWSpSu

Fundamental principles of electricity and magnetism, Coulomb's law, electric fields, potential, properties of dielectrics, capacitance, Ohm's law, magnetism and magnetic fields, measuring instruments, and induced emf. 3 lectures/ problem-solving.

Prerequisite: MAT 115 or MAT 131, C- or better in PHY 131
Corequisite: MAT 116 or MAT 132, and PHY132L.

PHY 131L, 132L, 133L General Physics Laboratory (1) (1) (1) FWSpSu

Laboratory to accompany General Physics lecture series. Experiments in mechanics, hydrostatics, wave, thermodynamics, optics, and electricity and magnetism. 1 three-hour laboratory. To be taken concurrently with PHY 131, 132, 133, respectively.

PHY 200 Special Problems for Lower Division Student (1-2) FWSpSu

Individual or group investigation, research, study or survey of selected problems. Approval of problem must be obtained in the Physics Department office prior to enrollment. Total credit limited to 4 units with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

PHY 234 Intro to Electromagnetic Radiation and Special Relativity (3) W

AC circuits, electromagnetic oscillations, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves, geometric optics, physical optics, and special theory of relativity. 3 lectures/prosolving. 3 lecture/problems.

Prerequisite: PHY 132 (or 122) and 133 (or 123) with C- or better in both courses, MAT 116 or MAT 132
Corequisite for physics majors: PHY 234L.

PHY 234L Intro to Electromagnetic Radiation and Special Relativity Lab (1) W

Experiments on optics and electromagnetism. 1 three-hour laboratory.

Physics majors must take concurrently with PHY 234.

PHY 235 Introduction to Quantum Physics (3) Sp

Origin of the quantum theory; Bohr theory; wave mechanics and atomic structure; introduction to nuclear physics. 3 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 234.
Corequisite for Physics majors: PHY 235L.

PHY 235L Introduction to Quantum Physics Laboratory (1) Sp

Experiments illustrative of modern physics. 1 three-hour laboratory.

Physics majors must take concurrently with PHY 235.

PHY 299, 299A, 299L Special Topics for Lower Division Students (1-4) FWSpSu

Group study of a selected topic, the title to be specified in advance. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter. Instruction is by lecture, laboratory, or a combination of both.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

PHY 301 Energy and Society (4) F

Study of how petroleum, solar, nuclear, and other energy sources generate electricity, power vehicles, and the like. Emphasis is on elementary physics principles. Coverage includes historical patterns of societal energy use, renewable and nonrenewable resources, fuel conservation methods, and environmental impacts. Open to all majors. Fulfills GE Synthesis requirement for Area B5. 4 lecture/problems.

Prerequisites: One course from each of Sub-areas A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 (Physics), B3, and B4

PHY 302 Physics of Everyday Experience (4) W

Investigation into the physics associated with experiences in everyday life.  Areas of physics covered include energy, waves, electromagnetism and optics.  Applications of principles to common phenomena - weather, sound, aurorae, rainbows,  halos, glories and the like.  Applications of the principles to relevant social issues - thermodynamics of global warming; propagation of earthquake waves and effects on building vibrations; principles involved in electromagnetic transportation, such as electric cars and magnetic levitation vehicles, optical principles associated with optical communication. Fulfills GE Synthesis requirement for Area B5. 4 one-hour lecture/discussions.

Prerequisites: One course from each of Sub-areas A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 (Physics), B3, and B4

PHY 303 The Universe in Ten Weeks (4) FSp

This course investigates answers to such questions as: What is the nature of the cosmos? How did the universe begin? What are the smallest constituents of the universe and what are their properties?, etc., through a historical-philosophical-sociological-scientific overview of our present understanding of the universe, its constitution, and its evolution, as discovered and interpreted by astronomers, chemists, mathematicians and physicists. Fulfills GE Synthesis requirement for Area B5. 4 lectures.

Prerequisites: One course from each of Sub-areas A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, and B4.

PHY 304, 304L Electronics for Scientists (3/1) F

For students majoring in biological sciences, chemistry, geology and other scientific areas, as well as for physics majors. Basic concepts of electrical circuits and solid state devices. Circuit analysis and operation of instruments commonly encountered in science laboratory. 3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory.

Prerequisite: PHY 123 or 133.

PHY 306 History of Physics (4) F

History of physics from Thales of Miletus to the present with special emphasis on 19th and 20th century developments. Fulfills GE Synthesis requirement for Area B5. 4 lecture/discussions.

Prerequisites: One course from each of Sub-areas A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, and B4.

PHY 307, 307L Introduction to Global Geophysics (3/1) F

Crosslisted as: GSC 307/307L - The physics of the solid Earth and its applications. Plate tectonics; magnetics, seismology and gravity; radioactivity and heat; the deep interior of the Earth and physical processes of the mantle and core; applications to specific regions on Earth. Special attention given to new research results and the interpretation of data.  Field trip may be required.  3 lectures/problem-solving, 1 three-hour laboratory.

Prerequisites: MAT 112

PHY 308 Fundamentals of Mathematical Physics (4) F

Aplications of mathematical tools to problems in the study of electromagnetism, mechanics and quantum mechanics. Linear algebra, coordinate systems, vector analysis, ordinary differential equations, Fourier series. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisites: PHY 235, MAT 215, 216.

PHY 309 Fundamentals of Mathematical Physics (4) W

Continuation of PHY 308. Applications of gamma, beta and error functions; functions of a complex variable; partial differential equations and boundary value problems; series solutions of ordinary differential equations in physics problems.  4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 308.

PHY 310 Fundamentals of Mathematical Physics (4) Sp (even years)

Continuation of PHY 308 and 309. Applications of calculus of variations, tensor analysis, integral transforms, probabiliy and statistics to physics problems. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 309.

PHY 314, 315 Physics of Electric and Magnetic Phenomena (4) (4) WSp

Electrostatics, magnetostatics, circuit theory, time-varying fields, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. 4 lectures/problem-solving. Courses must be taken in sequence.

Prerequisite: PHY 308, PHY 309 (latter may be taken concurrently with PHY 314).

PHY 321, 322 Mechanics (4) (4) WSp

Vector algebra, principles of Newtonian mechanics, conservative forces, harmonic motion, central-force motion, the twobody problem, center of mass coordinates, statics and dynamics of rigid bodies, accelerated coordinate systems, normal coordinates and Lagrange's equations. 4 lectures/problemsolving. Courses must be taken in sequence.

Prerequisite: PHY 308, PHY 309 (latter may be taken concurrently with PHY 321).

PHY 333 Thermal Physics (4) F

Fundamental principles of thermodynamics and kinetic theory of gases. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 132 and MAT 215, 216.

PHY 344 Applied Optics (4) F

Geometrical optics and wave optics with an emphasis on technological applications. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 121 or 131.

PHY 400 Special Problems for Upper Division Students (1-2) FWSpSu

Individual or group investigation, research, study or survey of selected problems. Approval of problem must be obtained in the Physics Department office prior to enrollment.
Total credit limited to 4 units with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

PHY 401, 402 Quantum Mechanics (4) (4) FW

Introduction to quantum mechanics, including  Schroedinger equation, hydrogen atom, degeneracy, perturbation theory, multi-electron atoms, matrix mechanics. 4 lectures/problemsolving. Courses must be taken in sequence.

Prerequisites: PHY 235 or CHM 313, and PHY 309.

PHY 403 Advanced Quantum Mechanics (4) Sp

Advanced topics in quantum mechanics, including approximation methods, time-dependent perturbation theory, relativistic theory and frontiers.  4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 402.

PHY 404 Introduction to High Energy Physics (4) Sp (odd years)

History and concepts of high energy and elementary particle physics; fundamental interactions; quantum numbers, invariance principles and conservation laws; SU(3) quark model and QCD; particle detectors and accelerators.  4 lectures.

Prerequisites: PHY 401, 402.

PHY 406 Solid State Physics (4) W (Even years)

Crystallography, crystal imperfections, diffusion. Metals, ionic crystals, covalent crystals, molecular crystals. Transport properties and specific heat of metals. Electronic states in solids, physical properties of semiconductors, theory of semiconductor devices.  Behavior of dielectrics, magnetism and superconductors. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 309.

PHY 407 Statistical Physics (4) W (odd years)

Study of the statistical behavior of physical systems composed of large numbers of similar particles. Derivation and application of the distribution functions for the cases of Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics. Bose-Einstein statistics and Fermi-Dirac statistics. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 235 and PHY 333.

PHY 409 Computational Physics (4) F

Computational methods, which include numerical integration, the solution of differential and transcendental equations, and statistical analysis, are applied to problems in mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and non-linear dynamics. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisites: PHY 133 and MAT 208, 216, or 224. Programming knowledge equavalent to CS 128 or higher is expected.

PHY 410 Biophysics (4) W

Concepts and mechanisms involved in the interpretation of biological systems. A description of living processes in physical terms. (See also BIO 410) 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 123, or PHY 132 and 133.

PHY 417 Optics (3) Sp

Mirrors, lenses and optical instruments; interference, diffraction, polarization and elements of spectroscopy; lasers and  holography. 3 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 234. Corequisite for physics majors: PHY 417L.

PHY 417L Optics Laboratory (1) Sp

Laboratory to be taken concurrently with PHY 417. One 3-hour laboratory.

PHY 420 Acoustics (4) Sp (odd years)

The fundamentals of acoustical vibrations, baffle effects, resonance and filters, and transmission phenomena will be presented using differential equations and complex variables. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisites: PHY 132 and MAT 215, 216.

PHY 422 Plasma Physics (4) F (even years)

Fundamental concepts and ideas in the study of ionized gases, including orbit theory, the "two-fluid" equations, magnetohydrodynamics and the Vlasov theory. Plasma phenomena, such as waves, diffusion, equilibrium, stability and others. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 133.

PHY 424 Astrophysics (4) F

Basic astrophysical data, stellar atmospheres and spectra, stellar structure and evolution, galactic structure and interstellar matter, galaxies and cosmology. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 235.

PHY 425 Space Physics (4) W

Planetary motions, gravitation, celestial mechanics, interplanetary space missions, techniques of space borne planetary observation, planetary physics. 4 lectures/problem-solving.

Prerequisites: PHY 235.

PHY 426 Relativity, Gravity, and Black Holes (4) Sp

Review of special relativity, principle of equivalence, tensors, the metric tensor, general theory of relativity, cosmological models, gravitational waves, black holes, Hawking radiation, quantum gravity, connection with elementary particle theories.
4 lectures/problem solving.

Prerequisite: PHY 235.

PHY 430L Advanced Physics Laboratory (1) F

Topics in advanced experimental physics with emphasis on electromagnetism and mechanics. One 3-hour laboratory.

Prerequisites: PHY 235, PHY 235L.
(PHY 430L, 431L, and 432L may be taken in any order.)

PHY 431L Solid State Physics Laboratory (1) W

Topics in experimental solid state physics. One 3-hour laboratory.

Prerequisites: PHY 235, PHY 235L.
(PHY 430L, 431L, and 432L may be taken in any order.)

PHY 432L Nuclear Physics Laboratory (1) FS

Topics in experimental nuclear physics. One 3-hour laboratory.

Prerequisites: PHY 235, PHY 235L.
(PHY 430L, 431L, and 432L may be taken in any order.)

PHY 441 Internship in Physics (2) FWSpSu

Practical, on-the-job training and work experience in physics. Approval of Physics Department Chair required prior to enrollment. Course grade determined by internship coordinator and on-job supervisor. Total credit limited to 6 units.

PHY 461, 462 Senior Project (2) (2) FWSpSu

Selection and completion of a project under faculty supervision. Projects typical of problems which graduate must solve in their fields of employment.

Project results presented in a formal report. Approval of Physics Department Chair required prior to enrollment.

PHY 463 Undergraduate Seminar (2) Sp

Study of current developments in physics and discussion of periodicals of an appropriate level. 2 lecture/discussions.

PHY 499/499A/499L Special Topics for Upper Division Students (1-4) FWSpSu

Group study of a selected topic, the title to be specified in advance. Total credit limited to 8 units with a maximum of 4 units per quarter. Instruction is by lecture, laboratory or a combination.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

PHY 550 Seminar In Physics (1-3)

Special problems in selected areas of physics. Seminar, 1 to 3 hours. Maximum of 6 units may be earned.