Thiel College

Course Offerings


PHYS 123: Astronomy
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall   /  WIC

General introduction to astronomy, open to all students. The course focuses on observation of the night sky, history of astronomy, modern views of the universe, star composition and development, structure and fate of the universe, astronomical instruments, interaction between astronomy and physics, accomplishments and expectations of space exploration. Viewing the sky is weather dependent. The course can be taken at any time and there are no prerequisites. The course satisfies the natural/physical non-lab science requirements of Depth and Diversity of the IR for either the B.A. or B.S. degrees. It is an evening class.

PHYS 154: Introductory Physics I (non-calculus)
4 CH   /  Lab Fee   /  WIC

A non-calculus course for students enrolled in academic disciplines not requiring or recommending calculus-based physics as part of their respective programs. Topics to be covered include vectors, forces, motion, Newton's laws, work, energy, fluids, elasticity, oscillations, waves and theory of heat. Three lecture periods and one three-hour laboratory each week. This course may be held in conjunction with PHYS 174, but assignments and tests are different. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

PHYS 164: Introductory Physics II (non-calculus)
4 CH   /  Lab Fee   /  WIC

A continuation of PHYS 154, also non-calculus. Topics to be covered include electricity, magnetism, and optics. Three lecture periods and one three-hour laboratory each week. This course may be held in conjunction with PHYS 184, but assignments and tests are different. (P: PHYS 154 or permission of instructor) Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

PHYS 174: Introductory Physics I (calculus-based)
4 CH   /  Offered Every Fall   /  Lab Fee   /  WIC

Foundation course for students majoring in physics or binary engineering or enrolled in other academic disciplines requiring or recommending calculus-based physics as part of their respective programs. Topics to be covered are vectors, forces, motion, Newton s laws, work, energy, fluids, elasticity, oscillations, waves and theory of heat. Three lecture periods and one three-hour laboratory each week. (P or corequisite: Calculus I)

PHYS 184: Introductory Physics II (calculus-based)
4 CH   /  Offered Every Spring   /  Lab Fee   /  WIC

A continuation of PHYS 174. Topics to be covered include electricity, magnetism and optics. Three lecture periods and one three-hour laboratory each week. (P: PHYS 174 or permission of instructor and corequisite: Calculus II).

PHYS 194: Alternative Energies
4 CH   /  Lab Fee   /  WIC

This course examines the generation and use of energy in modern technological societies. Some basic principles of physics concerning the concept of energy and a variety of heat engines are introduced. Conventional energy sources like coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy are discussed. Alternative sources of energy examined are solar, wind, biomass, hydropower and geothermal energy. Strategies for energy conservation and the implications of alternative energies on transportation are discussed. Finally, the connection between energy uses and air pollution and other global effects is examined. Three hour lecture, three hour lab weekly. The course is accepted as a laboratory course for the IR. (P: MATH 107 or equivalent) Offered on an irregular basis.

PHYS 213: Analog Electronics
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring   /  Lab Fee

This course is laboratory based. It begins at a level suitable for those with no previous exposure to electronics, but with basic knowledge of electricity. The treatment is largely non-mathematical with an emphasis on hands-on experience. This course involves circuits with diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers and power supplies. This course is independent of PHYS 243 (Digital Electronics). It is suitable for students in the natural and computer sciences and binary engineering. Two three-hour laboratory afternoons per week. (P: PHYS 164 or PHYS 184)

PHYS 223: Thermophysics
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall

The course introduces the fundamental ideas of heat, work and internal energy, reversibility and entropy, enthalpy, Maxwell s relations and conversion of heat into work in an engine. Application of thermodynamics in physics, chemistry and engineering and an introduction to statistical physics are presented. (P: PHYS 174, P or corequisite: Calculus II) Offered fall semester, as needed.

PHYS 243: Digital Electronics
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall   /  Lab Fee

Digital Electronics is laboratory based. It begins at a level suitable for those with no previous exposure to electronics or the theory of electricity. The course is largely non-mathematical with an emphasis on hands-on experience. Basic elements of the course are digital logic, Boolean algebra, logic gates and networks, logic families, flip-flops, clocks, registers, counters and memories. The course can be taken independently of PHYS 213 (Analog Electronics), and is suitable for physics, binary engineering and computer science students. Two three-hour laboratory afternoons per week.

PHYS 253: Statics and Dynamics
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall

This course introduces the student to the concepts of internal and external forces, equilibrium, structures, friction, the moment of inertia and systems of forces. These concepts are applied to mechanical structures and devices which are typical components of engineering designs like bridges, joints, gears, etc. The dynamics section covers particle kinematics of a rigid body. (P: PHYS 174; P or corequisite Calculus II)

PHYS 263: Modern Physics
3 CH   /  Offered Every Fall

Basic concepts of classical physics: the electron, electromagnetic radiation, the classical theory vs. quantum effects, and the Rutherford-Bohr model of the atom. Multi-electron atoms. Basic concepts of quantum mechanics without rigorous mathematical formalism. Structure of nuclei, radioactivity, particle and high-energy physics, and special relativity. (P: PHYS 174, 184)

PHYS 343: Electromagnetic Fields and Waves
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

Properties of dielectric and magnetic materials. Solutions for static electric and magnetic fields under a wide variety of conditions. Time-dependent solutions of Maxwell's equations. Radiation and wave propagation. Oriented towards engineering applications. (P: PHYS 184, Calculus II) Offered spring semester, as needed.

PHYS 353: Intermediate Lab
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring   /  Lab Fee   /  WIC

This course is designed to expose junior and/or senior students to advanced methods of experimental physics. Students will perform a variety of experiments involving electrical measurements, cryogenics, vacuum systems, microwave measurements, plasma physics, thermodynamics, atomic physics, nuclear physics and optics. Two three-hour laboratory/lecture periods per week. (P: PHYS 263)

PHYS 363: Mathematical Physics
3 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

A course in mathematical methods in physics: Matrices and determinants; selected ordinary and partial differential equations; and Fourier series and integrals, complex numbers and special functions. This course is designed primarily for physics majors, mathematics majors, and binary engineering students. (P: PHYS 174, 184, P or corequisite: Differential Equations)

PHYS 414: Cooperative Education
1-4 CH   /  Offered Every Semester

PHYS 424: Seminar and Senior Research
2-4 CH   /  Offered Every Semester   /  WIC

An introduction to the literature, teaching and research methods in physics. Preparation and presentation of papers on selected topics from the current literature of physics. Education students majoring in physics may attend the seminar in their junior year concentrating on preparation and presentation of topics related to the teaching of physics. A technical report on a special problem based on library as well as laboratory and/or computational research. The student will be expected to report on his or her project findings as the senior comprehensive examination. May be taken as an extended course. (P: Consent of department chair)