Physics Minor Requirements

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

A minor program in Physics is an excellent complement to programs in Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, or Life Sciences, especially for students planning on teaching at the secondary level, or for elementary education students with an interest in science. The minor is also useful for Business or Economics majors who will seek employment in science-related businesses.

The minor in Physics requires the completion of six courses.

Complete Four Required Courses

Code Course Credits

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

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

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

Complete Two Upper-Level Elective Courses

Code Course Credits

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 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 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 325

Electronics

Offered: Fall Semester

Analog electronic circuits, from RL, RC, RLC filters to transistors and operational amplifiers; introduction to digital circuits. The course includes both theory and a strong lab component.

Prerequisite(s): PHY 121-PHY 122.

4

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

Note

Students may have one of the following courses approved as a substitute for an upper-level course above with the approval of the program director.

Code Course Credits

ENV 350

Climate Science

Offered: Spring Semester

An overview of the Earth's climate system, including major physical and chemical components and interactions. Students will acquire the scientific perspective necessary to competently assess issues related to current climate change concerns.

Prerequisite(s): Junior or Senior standing and one course in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.

3

ENV 360

Introduction to Oceanography

Offered: Fall Semester

This course is designed to be a fundamental introduction to ocean sciences. Students will explore the physical and biological processes that govern the ocean's circulation and marine life. Topics include waves and currents, marine life and ecosystems, tides, beach erosion and the way the ocean is being affected by global climate change.

Prerequisite(s): One year of chemistry. Environmental Science or Studies, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or Physics majors only.
This course includes substantial field work off campus, and requires walking outdoors over uneven terrain, often in less than ideal weather. Students who may have difficulty navigating uneven terrain should contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 508-565-1306 or accessibility-resources@stonehill.edu at least two weeks in advance of the course to allow for planning around accommodation needs.

3

MTH 363

Modern Geometry

Offered: Fall Semester

The axiomatic approach of Hilbert to Euclid’s Elements. Geometry from the viewpoint of rigid transformations. Non-Euclidean Geometry. The roles of coordinates, both global and local. Geometrizations of low dimensional manifolds.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 251, MTH 261.

3

MTH 393

Numerical Analysis

Offered: Alternate Years: Spring 2016, 2018

Both theoretical and practical problems in the computational aspects of mathematics: approximation of functions, numerical differentiation, solutions to algebraic and differential equations; topics in linear algebra.

Prerequisite(s): MTH 251 and MTH 261.

3