Astronomy, B.S. Requirements

Department ChairpersonAlessandro Massarotti Office: Shields Science Center 309 Phone: 508-565-1430amassarotti@stonehill.edu

The B.S. in Astronomy requires the completion of twenty-two courses.

Complete the Following Required Courses

Code Course Credits

CHM 113

General Chemistry I

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

The fundamentals of chemistry are covered including: matter and measurement, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, and an introduction to chemical kinetics and equilibrium.

Fulfills the Natural Scientific Inquiry requirement.

4

MTH 125

Calculus I

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Calculus of a single variable: functions, limits, derivatives, differentiation rules, applications of derivatives, integrals, techniques of integration, applications of integration, infinite sequences and series, first and second order differential equations. May not receive credit for both MTH 125 and MTH 119.

4

MTH 126

Calculus II

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Calculus of a single variable: functions, limits, derivatives, differentiation rules, applications of derivatives, integrals, techniques of integration, applications of integration, infinite sequences and series, first and second order differential equations.

Prerequisite(s): Prerequisite for MTH 126: MTH 125.

4

PHY 105

Physics Problem Solving I

Offered: Spring Semester

This series of one-credit courses is meant to help students integrate the knowledge acquired in several physics topics from freshman to senior year. The topics covered range from engineering applications of physics concepts to advanced topics in physics and astrophysics. Students are given complex and multifaceted problems that they can study individually and in groups with the help of the Physics faculty.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121
Corequisite(s): PHY 122
Each spring semester there will be four separate sections of the course for, respectively, PHY 105 for freshmen, PHY 205 for sophomores, PHY 305 for juniors and PHY 405 for seniors. Seniors will read research papers and present them to the rest of the class.Completion of the four courses will satisfy the Capstone requirement for Physics and Astronomy majors.

1

PHY 121

Physics I

Offered: Fall Semester

Brief introduction to vectors and basic concepts of calculus; kinematics; Newton’s laws, force, work and power; conservative forces, potential energy; momentum, collisions; rotational motion, angular momentum, torque; oscillations, simple harmonic motion; gravitation and planetary motion; fluid dynamics; kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics; heat capacity and transport.

Corequisite(s): MTH 125.

4

PHY 122

Physics II

Offered: Spring Semester

Brief introduction to the basic concepts of vector calculus, such as line and surface integrals, integral version of Gauss’ theorem and Stokes’ theorem; Coulomb’s law, insulators and metals; electrostatic induction, potential energy; capacitance; currents, resistance, basic circuits, batteries; magnetism and currents; Ampere’s law; motion of free charges in magnetic fields, mass spectroscopy; magnetic induction, Faraday’s law; Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves; geometric and wave optics; light as photons, photoelectric effect.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 125
Corequisite(s): MTH 126.

4

MTH 251

Linear Algebra

Offered: Spring Semester

The development of the methods and underlying ideas for solving systems of linear equations. Topics include: vectors, matrices, linear transformations, determinants and eigenvectors. Use of mathematical software MAPLE, in applications.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 261.

4

MTH 261

Multivariable Calculus

Offered: Fall Semester

Continuation of the sequence begun in Calculus I and II. Functions of several variables, analytic geometry, vectors, partial derivatives, multiple integration.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 126.

4

LC 235

Learning Community: Quantum Waves (WID)

Offered: Year-long Learning Community

With the creation of quantum mechanics in the 1920s, physicists conceived of a new and unexpected kind of wave that is neither a Newtonian (c. 1700) mechanical wave nor a Maxwellian (c. 1860) electromagnetic wave. These mysterious DeBroglie - Schroedinger waves of probability are the essence of quantum mechanics. These waves determine the structure of atoms and molecules, i.e. they are the deepest foundation of both physics and chemistry. While the mathematics of these quantum waves is similar to the classical waves already studied in PHY 221 and MTH 261, the physical, chemical, and philosophical consequences are breathtakingly different.

Corequisite(s): Students must also take MTH 261 and PHY 221 as part of this Learning Community.
Fulfills the Writing-in-the-Disciplines requirement.

3

PHY 205

Physics Problem Solving II

Offered: Spring Semester

This series of one-credit courses is meant to help students integrate the knowledge acquired in several physics topics from freshman to senior year. The topics covered range from engineering applications of physics concepts to advanced topics in physics and astrophysics. Students are given complex and multifaceted problems that they can study individually and in groups with the help of the Physics faculty.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 221
Corequisite(s): LC 235 - Learning Community: Quantum Waves (WID)
Each spring semester there will be four separate sections of the course for, respectively, PHY 105 for freshmen, PHY 205 for sophomores, PHY 305 for juniors and PHY 405 for seniors. Seniors will read research papers and present them to the rest of the class.Completion of the four courses will satisfy the Capstone requirement for Physics and Astronomy majors.

1

PHY 221

Physics III

Offered: Fall Semester

Mechanical and electrical examples of damped, forced and resonant oscillations; the mechanical wave equation via Newton’s mechanics; the electromagnetic wave equation via Maxwell’s equations; traveling sound and electromagnetic waves; diffraction and interference, geometrical limit of wave optics.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 125, MTH 126, PHY 121 and PHY 122.

4

PHY 222

Classical Mechanics

Offered: Fall Semester

Lagrange's equations; central forces; kinematics and equations of motion for rigid bodies; Hamilton's equations; Hamilton-Jacobi equations; small oscillations; elements of fluid dynamics.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 125-MTH 126; and PHY 121-PHY 122.

3

PHY 223

Introduction to Physics Computing

Offered: Offered Periodically

This course teaches how to use software (MATLAB, Mathematica, other) to solve Physics problems. Students learn LaTex, the software used writing research articles. Topics range from the use of derivatives and integrals to complex variables, differential equations, systems of differential equations, partial differential equations and systems, with applications to mechanics, statistical mechanics, wave motion in one and two dimensions and others. We will explore solutions to the wave equations, diffusion equation and Schroedinger's equation.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 221.

3

PHY 305

Physics Problem Solving III

Offered: Spring Semester

This series of one-credit courses is meant to help students integrate the knowledge acquired in several physics topics from freshman to senior year. The topics covered range from engineering applications of physics concepts to advanced topics in physics and astrophysics. Students are given complex and multifaceted problems that they can study individually and in groups with the help of the Physics faculty.

Prerequisite(s): LC 235 - Learning Community: Quantum Waves (WID)
Each spring semester there will be four separate sections of the course for, respectively, PHY 105 for freshmen, PHY 205 for sophomores, PHY 305 for juniors and PHY 405 for seniors. Seniors will read research papers and present them to the rest of the class.Completion of the four courses will satisfy the Capstone requirement for Physics and Astronomy majors.

1

PHY 321

Statistical Physics

Offered: Spring Semester

An introduction to the macroscopic view of thermodynamics: temperature, heat, work, entropy, equations of state, engines and refrigerators. Introduction to the microscopic or statistical view: Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution; microcanonical, canonical, and grand canonical distributions; quantum statistics of bosons and fermions; black body radiation; electronic and thermal properties of quantum liquids and solids.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122, and PHY 221, LC 235 recommended.
Fulfills the Statistical Reasoning requirement.

3

PHY 322

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Offered: Spring Semester

Introduction to the structure of stars and hydrostatic equilibrium; stellar nuclear fusion; stellar evolution, the ultimate fate of stars, stellar super-winds and supernovae; stellar remnants: white dwarfs, neutron stars and degeneracy pressure; x-ray sources; black holes and accretion disks; how relativity predicts the expansion of the universe; quasars and gamma ray bursts; modern cosmology: microwave background radiation; dark matter; vacuum energy; the formation of galaxies from gravitational instability; primordial synthesis of the elements; the Big Bang as a test of our high energy physics theories.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122, and PHY 221.

3

PHY 323

Quantum Physics

Offered: Not Offered 2015-2016

Schroedinger wave equation and the statistical interpretation of the wave function; the time independent equation in one dimension - free particle, square wells, barriers, tunneling; the equation in three dimensions - hydrogen atom and angular momentum; identical particles and spin; multiparticle states and entanglement; introduction to solids and Block theorem.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122, and PHY 221 and MTH 251 (Linear Algebra), LC 235 is highly recommended.

3

PHY 324

Electromagnetism

Offered: Not Offered 2015-2016

The sources, the properties and the waves of electromagnetic fields and potentials; Boundary value problems in electrostatics; Magnetostatics and Faraday's law; Electromagnetic Properties of media: dielectrics, diamagnetic, paramagnetic and ferromagnetic materials; Maxwell's equations in differential form; Relativistic basis of electromagnetism; Electromagnetic basis of geometric and wave optics: lenses, mirrors, diffraction, polarization.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121, PHY 122 and PHY 221.

3

PHY 405

Physics Problem Solving IV

Offered: Spring Semester

This series of one-credit courses is meant to help students integrate the knowledge acquired in several physics topics from freshman to senior year. The topics covered range from engineering applications of physics concepts to advanced topics in physics and astrophysics. Students are given complex and multifaceted problems that they can study individually and in groups with the help of the Physics faculty.

Prerequisite(s): LC 235 - Learning Community: Quantum Waves (WID)
Each spring semester there will be four separate sections of the course for, respectively, PHY 105 for freshmen, PHY 205 for sophomores, PHY 305 for juniors and PHY 405 for seniors. Seniors will read research papers and present them to the rest of the class.Completion of the four courses will satisfy the Capstone requirement for Physics and Astronomy majors.

1

Complete Two of the Following Courses

Code Course Credits

PHY 326

Geophysics

Offered: Offered Periodically

Students will study creeping flow mantle; physical chemical evidence of plate tectonics; planetary tomography; ridges subduction zones; formation continental crust; plumes hot spot volcanism; seafloor depth versus age, lithosphere in time; model of heat diffusion; pressure, gravity, sound speed composition of lithosphere, mantle and core; viscous flow, stress, strain, strain rate; equations governing fluid flow; viscosity of the mantle; plate tectonics heat flow, Earth heat engine; convection plate motion; and past Earth origins of plate tectonics.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 221.

3

PHY 328

Planetary Astrophysics

Offered: Offered Periodically

Rocky planets, icy planets, giants; solar nebula and planets' formation by core accretion and planets' migration; present data frequency of planets around stars; dust to planetesimals to planets; comparative analysis of rocky planets in solar system; plate tectonics, stagnant lid describing Mars, Venus and Earth; whole planet heat structure models of planets in solar system; modeling of super-Earths other solar systems; outer moons tides; search for life on planets and moons; habitable zone around stars.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 221.

3

PHY 404

Topics in Astronomy

Offered: Not Offered 2015-2016

The mechanism for PHY 404 is the same as for PHY 403: examples are PHY 404 - Research in Extrasolar Planets, PHY 404 - Stellar Evolution or PHY 404 - Cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122, and PHY 221.

3

Complete One of the Following Electives

Code Course Credits

PHY 327

Introduction to Fluid Mechanics

Offered: Offered Periodically

Fluid dynamics is important in describing stellar, planetary dynamics (mantle, oceans and atmosphere), and multiple engineering applications. The course covers the following: Dissipationless fluids: conservation of mass, Euler's equation, equation of continuity, conservation of energy, entropy, Bernoulli's equation, adiabatic, isothermal fluids, thermal and mechanical equilibrium, vorticity, Helmholtz theorems, irrotational flow; Viscous fluids: viscosity, strain rate, stress, Navier-Stokes equation; waves, instability in fluids, turbulent flow, boundary layer flow, convection; compressible flow, sound waves; aerofoils, Kutta-Joukowski theorem.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 221.

3

PHY 401

Great Experiments in Modern Physics I

Offered: Not Offered 2015-2016

Available experiments include: Cavendish experiment for the gravitational constant, Young's two-slit interference experiment, Fizeau's rotating mirror experiment for the speed of light, Maxwell's speed of light via electrical measurements, Thomson's experiment for the electron charge/mass ratio, Millikan's experiment for the electron charge, Einstein-Perrin's for Boltzmann's constant, Planck's constant via photoelectric effect, Planck's constant via hydrogen spectrum, Rutherford's experiment for nuclear size, Frank-Hertz experiment on inelastic electron-atom collisions. PHY 401 may be elected without PHY 402; however, to complete all of the experiments students will need both semesters. See Program Director.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122, and PHY 221.

3

PHY 402

Great Experiments in Modern Physics II

Offered: Not Offered 2015-2016

Available experiments include: Cavendish experiment for the gravitational constant, Young's two-slit interference experiment, Fizeau's rotating mirror experiment for the speed of light, Maxwell's speed of light via electrical measurements, Thomson's experiment for the electron charge/mass ratio, Millikan's experiment for the electron charge, Einstein-Perrin's for Boltzmann's constant, Planck's constant via photoelectric effect, Planck's constant via hydrogen spectrum, Rutherford's experiment for nuclear size, Frank-Hertz experiment on inelastic electron-atom collisions. PHY 401 may be elected without PHY 402; however, to complete all of the experiments students will need both semesters. See Program Director.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122, and PHY 221.

3