A two-semester sequence in general physics (not intended for pre-engineering students, or students planning to become chemists or physicists). Topics include a survey of: vector methods, conservation laws, classical mechanics, gravitation, optics, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism and elementary quantum physics. Three hours lecture, two and a half hours lab. Prerequisite: Skill in algebraic manipulation. Offered annually.
A two-semester sequence in general physics (not intended for pre-engineering students, or students planning to become chemists or physicists). Topics include a survey of: vector methods, conservation laws, classical mechanics, gravitation, optics, sound, heat, electricity, magnetism and elementary quantum physics. Three hours lecture, two and a half hours lab. Prerequisite: Skill in algebraic manipulation; PHYS 101.Offered annually.
An introductory course designed for physical science and pre-engineering majors. Uncovers the foundation of non-relativistic Newtonian mechanics of a system of particles. Topics include translational, rotational, vibrational and wave-like motions in simple physical and engineering systems. Three hours lecture, two and a half hours lab. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in the calculus sequence, or consent. Offered annually.
A course for physical science and pre-engineering majors. Topics include electric and magnetic fields, a.c. and d.c. circuits, geometrical optics, wave motion and physical optics. Three hours lecture, two and a half hours lab. Prerequisites: PHYS 105, concurrent enrollment in calculus II or consent. Offered annually.
A course dealing in a limited mathematical way with the nature of light, astronomical instruments, the universe and relativity, galactic structure, the properties and evolution of stars and the solar system, and cosmology. This course is primarily, but not exclusively, for non-science majors. May not count for the major. Offered annually.
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental scientific principles governing the production, interconversion and transmission of various forms of energy, and the manner in which they interact with the environment, both on a local as well as on a global scale. Students will also apply this fundamental knowledge to specific and competing choices that can be made at the individual level and as a society, regarding energy options and energy policy. Offered annually
Sound, Music, and Hearing connects physics, aesthetics, physiology and psychology through the study of sound. In the classroom and in the laboratory, students will learn about the physical basis of sound production, human hearing, the creation of musical sound, and noise pollution. Outside of class, students will study specific sounds in their environment and explore additional topics of their choosing, such as acoustics, holographic analysis, or noise reduction in buildings. The course has minimal mathematical prerequisites, consisting of high school algebra, plane geometry, and some trigonometry. Offered annually.
A sophomore level introduction to thermodynamics and to the classic experiments of the 20th century. Basic ideas of atomic and nuclear structure. An introduction to the mathematics of quantum theory and relativity. Three hours lecture and two and a half hours lab per week. Prerequisites: PHYS 102 or PHYS 106, concurrent enrollment in MATH 177. Offered annually.
This course traces the history of how thinkers in different eras have addressed the questions: "What is our place in the Universe? How do we know?" Students will read and analyze works of Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Herschel, Goodriche, Einstein, Hubble and more modern investigators. Offered occasionally.
An examination of reasons for the continual existence of nuclear weapons. Elementary atomic and nuclear physics, the physics of nuclear weapons and the results of their use. Consideration of possible approaches to nuclear disarmament and the responsibility of scientists with respect to disarmament. Literature and film, exploring the effect of nuclear warfare on life and culture in Japan. May not count for the major. Offered annually.
Intermediate Experimental Methods is a methods course intended to prepare students for the many other experimental opportunities offered at IWU. Experience has shown that such methods courses greatly ease subsequent efforts. This course offers a broad survey of experimental methods in physics built around several labs. P. Prerequisites: PHYS 207 or CHEM 332 or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.
Mathematical methods in complex algebra, linear algebra, linear differential equations, vector analysis, and analysis of variations. Prerequisites: MATH 176. Offered annually.
Elementary circuit theory; fundamentals of diodes and transistors; amplifiers. Integrated circuitry; operational amplifiers and their versatility; introduction to digital logic and electronics. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYS 102 or PHYS 106 or PHYS 131. Offered in alternate years.
Microscopic principles behind macroscopic collections of atoms in gases, liquids, and solids. For each "state of matter" we will consider: mechanical properties, thermal properties, sound propagation, electrical transport, optical properties, and magnetic properties. Prerequisite: PHYS 207 or CHEM 332 Offered in alternate years.
Geometrical theory of optical systems; interference, diffraction, Fourier theory, spatial filtering; coherent light, holography; electromagnetic theory of light, polarization, crystal optics; spectroscopy. Lectures and laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYS 106, PHYS 304. Offered in alternate years.
Scientific imaging is an interdisciplinary course that teaches concepts from physics and computer science, and applies them to problems in biology, astronomy, physics and engineering. Topics include the format, characterization, and manipulation of digital images, geometric optics, and biomedical imaging. Prerequisites One year of physics or chemistry or consent of instructor. Offered in alternate years.
Quantum theory of light, radiation and spectra, astronomical instruments and coordinate systems, the Milky Way and other galaxies, properties of gases and stellar evolution, gravitation, relativity, cosmology. Prerequisite: MATH 176. Offered in alternate years.
Offered occasionally.
Internships in various scientific research centers, industrial laboratories, or engineering firms. Prerequisites: junior standing and consent of the department chair. May not count toward the major. Offered annually.
Experiments and experimental techniques in contemporary physics. Electrical and electronic circuits, optics, atomic and nuclear physics. An intensive course offered usually during May Term. Prerequisites: general physics, MATH 176 and consent. May be repeated for a maximum of two course units. Offered each May term.
Vector analysis and matrices, Newtonian mechanics, gravitation, oscillatory motion, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, central forces, non-inertial systems, wave mechanics. Four hours lecture per week. Prerequisite: PHYS 304. Offered in alternate years.
Potential theory in statics and Maxwell's equations in dynamics. Coulomb's law, Gauss' law, vector calculus, Ampere's law, Faraday's law, interaction of matter with fields, and radiation theory. Four hours lecture per week. Prerequisite: PHYS 304. Offered in alternate years.
Wave mechanics, the Schroedinger equation, operator formalism, the harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, spin, scattering theory, chemical bonding, electromagnetic interaction. Four hours lecture per week. Prerequisite: PHYS 304. Offered in alternate years.
Introduces central principles underlying thermodynamic properties found in large collections of atoms and molecules (i.e. systems with many degrees ofd freedom) A core pillar of the major, Statistical Physics is recommended for any student considering graduate school in Physics, and for Chemistry majors, reinforcing key elements of Physical Chemistry. Prerequisite: PHYS 207 or CHEM 332 Offered in alternate years.
Individualized directed readings on a topic of interest to the student which is not normally a part of the curriculum. The work may include a laboratory component. It may also include the requirement for the preparation of a significant paper which brings together the results of the study. Offered annually.
Experimental or theoretical examination of an unsolved problem on a topic of interest to the student and cooperating faculty member. A significant paper detailing the findings of the investigation is expected at the conclusion of the work. Prerequisite: consent of the department head. (1/2 or 1 unit) Offered annually.