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Kieran Holland
Department Chair
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211


(This list of courses may not be up to date. Please see the latest General Catalog for a complete list of current courses.)

PHYS 017. Concepts of Physics (4) This course is a descriptive, general education course for students who have not had high school physics. Topics include motion, heat, energy, light, sound and other wave phenomena, electricity and magnetism, and atomic structure. Practical applications are emphasized. The course includes laboratory work. Prerequisite: passing score on the Intermediate Algebra placement test or one of the following math courses: MATH 005, 033, 037, 039, 041, 051, or 053.

PHYS 023. General Physics I (5) The physics of mechanics and motion. Rotation Fluids. Thermodynamics. The course includes laboratory work. Prerequisite: a passing score on the pre-calculus placement test or one of the following math courses: MATH 039, 041, 045, 051, 053, or 055.

PHYS 025. General Physics II (5) Acoustics and waves. Electricity and Magnetism, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. The course includes laboratory work. Prerequisite: PHYS 023.

PHYS 027. Scientific Computing Tutorial (1) This course meets weekly and provides students with an introduction to the department’s computer facilities and their use. After an introduction to unix, students learn basic programming in C++. The course then covers scientific software and libraries for data analysis and visualization. Prerequisites: a passing score on the Intermediate Algebra placement test or one of the following math courses: MATH 005, 033, 037, 039, 041, 045, 051, 053, or 055.

PHYS 039. Physics of Music (4) A liberal arts lab-science course designed to enhance students’ enjoyment and appreciation of music by developing an understanding of the basic physics involved. Topics include: the physics of motion, vibration, waves and sound; some aspects of hearing, harmony and musical scales; the physical behavior of the various families of musical instruments; electronic sound systems; architectural acoustics. Prerequisite: High school level ability in algebra and geometry.

PHYS 041. Astronomy (4) A broad overview of modern astronomy, with emphasis on conceptual understanding. Topics include motions of stars and planets, the solar system, stellar evolution, pulsars, black holes, quasars, galaxies and cosmology. The course includes some outdoor observing activities and laboratory work. Prerequisite: a passing score on the Intermediate Algebra placement test or one of the following math courses: MATH 005, 033, 037, 039, 041, 045, 051, 053, or 055.

PHYS 053. Principles of Physics I (5) Kinematics, dynamics, oscillations, wave motion and fluids. Laboratory. Prerequisite: MATH 051 and 053 (or concurrent enrollment) or 055 or 057. High school physics or PHYS 023 are recommended.

PHYS 055. Principles of Physics II (5) Thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, light and optics, atomic and nuclear physics, particle physics and cosmology. Laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYS 053.

PHYS 057. Modern Physics (4) Special relativity; quantization; wave/particle duality and the uncertainty principle; solution and interpretation of simple Schroedinger equations; atomic structure; introduction to nuclear and elementary particle physics. Laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 055 and MATH 055 and 057 (or concurrent enrollment).

PHYS 101. Electricity and Magnetism (4) Theory of electrostatic and electromagnetic fields and their interaction with matter. Practical applications. Development of  Maxwell’s equations. Prerequisites: PHYS 055, MATH 055 and 057 (or concurrent enrollment).

PHYS 102. Electrodynamics (4) Maxwell’s equations. Propagation of electromagnetic radiation. Transmission lines, wave guides, antennas. Applications. Prerequisites: PHYS 057, 101 and MATH 057.

PHYS 105. Optics (4) A modern introduction to optics. Topics include geometrical optics, optical instrumentation, the wave nature of light, polarization, diffraction, lasers and fiber-optics. Includes laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 055 and MATH 055 Prerequisites that may be taken concurrently: MATH 057

PHYS 125. Molecular Nanotechnology (4) Molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is a rather young discipline, which came up in the nineties. Nevertheless, MNT has gained so much importance within the last years that universities at all rankings have introduced or are going to introduce MNT teaching programs. Predictions say that MNT will change our lives and society more than computer technology and electricity have done together. The course will provide an overview of MNT. It will show that the nano regime is so different from other regimes because both classical and quantum effects can be active thus leading to unique properties of nano devices. MNT is a highly interdisciplinary science, which will be reflected in the course by making reference to physics, chemistry, biology, pharmacy, and engineering. Applications of MNT as they are already in use today and as they are planned for the future will be discussed. Also, the implications of MNT for our society will be considered. Prerequisites: CHEM 025 or PHYS 055.

PHYS 127. Computational Physics (4) This course provides and introduction to the main computational and simulation techniques used in modern physics. Topics include numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations, matrix and linear algebra, Monte Carlo and random variable methods, and computer algebra. Prerequisites: PHYS 055, MATH 057 and COMP 051 (or permission of instructor for other programming experience).

PHYS 141. Astrophysics (4) Introduction to the physics of stars, galaxies and the universe. Topics include: observational properties of stars, stellar structure, star formation, stellar evolution, close binary stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, observational properties of galaxies, galactic dynamics, interstellar and intergalactic medium, expansion of the universe and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 055 Prerequisites that may be taken concurrently: MATH 057.

PHYS 151. Advanced Physics Laboratory (4) Experimental studies in modern physics, especially ones which require the design, construction and use of special apparatus. Experiments in atomic, nuclear, and particle, optics, solid state physics and astrophysics are possible. Prerequisite: PHYS 057.

PHYS 161. Thermal Physics (4) The general laws of thermodynamics with applications to heat engines and thermal properties of solids. Introductory statistical mechanics with applications to molecules, solids, thermoelectric phenomena and radiation. Prerequisites: PHYS 055, MATH 055.

PHYS 170. Solid State Physics (4) Crystal structure and the quantum-mechanical basis for the electronic structure of atoms, molecules and solids. A thorough study of the properties of semiconductors, including an extensive investigation of the physics of a number of crystalline and amorphous solid state devices, including junctions, transistors, charge-coupled devices, photovoltaic devices, microelectronic circuits, lasers and optical fibers. The course includes laboratory work. Prerequisites: PHYS 055 and MATH 055.

PHYS 181. Classical Mechanics (4) Newtonian mechanics, Hamilton’s principle, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics. Oscillations, central force motion, waves, nonlinear systems and chaos. Prerequisites: PHYS 055, MATH 057.

PHYS 183. Quantum Mechanics (4) An introduction to quantum mechanics as it contrasts with classical physics. Topics include the Wave Particle Duality, Dirac Formalism, Postulates of Quantum Mechanics, Two Level Systems in Spin 1/2, The Harmonic Oscillator, Angular Momentum, The Hydrogen Atom. Prerequisites: PHYS 057, MATH 057.

PHYS 191. Independent Study (2-4)

PHYS 193. Special Topics (4)

PHYS 197. Undergraduate Research (2-4)