## Undergraduate Courses 2024-2025

### Physics

#### General Physics I (Classical Mechanics)

Open, Small Lecture—Fall

PHYS 2040

General physics is a standard course at most institutions; as such, this course will prepare you for more advanced work in physical science, engineering, or the health fields. Lectures will be accessible at all levels, and through group conference you will have the option of either taking an algebra-based or calculus-based course. This course will cover introductory classical mechanics, including kinematics, dynamics, momentum, energy, and gravity. Emphasis will be placed on scientific skills, including: problem solving, development of physical intuition, scientific communication, use of technology, and development and execution of experiments. The best way to develop scientific skills is to practice the scientific process. We will focus on learning physics through discovering, testing, analyzing, and applying fundamental physics concepts in an interactive classroom, through problem solving, as well as in weekly laboratory meetings. *Students enrolling in the calculus-based section are encouraged to have completed at least one semester of calculus as a prerequisite. It is strongly recommended that students who still need to complete a second semester of calculus enroll in Calculus II, as well. Calculus II, or equivalent, is highly recommended to take the calculus-based section of General Physics II (Electromagnetism and Light) in the spring.*

##### Faculty

#### General Physics II (Electromagnetism and Light)

Open, Small Lecture—Spring

PHYS 2041

General physics is a standard course at most institutions; as such, this course will prepare you for more advanced work in physical science, engineering, or the health fields. Lectures will be accessible at all levels, and through group conference you will have the option of either taking an algebra-based or calculus-based course. This course will cover waves, geometric and wave optics, electrostatics, magnetostatics, and electrodynamics. We will use the exploration of the particle and wave properties of light to bookend our discussions and ultimately finish our exploration of classical physics with the hints of its incompleteness. Emphasis will be placed on scientific skills, including: problem solving, development of physical intuition, scientific communication, use of technology, and development and execution of experiments. The best way to develop scientific skills is to practice the scientific process. We will focus on learning physics through discovering, testing, analyzing, and applying fundamental physics concepts in an interactive classroom, through problem solving, as well as in weekly laboratory meetings. *Students enrolling in the calculus-based section are encouraged to have completed Calculus II as a prerequisite. It is highly recommended to have taken the first semester of General Physics I in the fall prior to enrolling in this course.*

##### Faculty

#### Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information

Intermediate, Seminar—Spring

PHYS 3540

Prerequisite: calculus-based general physics sequence (both semesters)

This course will cover the fundamentals of the theory that governs the smallest scales of our universe: quantum mechanics. Throughout the semester, we’ll take a deep dive into the formalism behind, and physical predictions of, the theory. We’ll start by analyzing an experiment that can only be explained by a quantum theory and then dive into the mathematics that underlie quantum mechanics. We’ll then discuss matter waves along with the Schrödinger wave equation, as well as a variety of example problems, as we build intuition for the theory. We will conclude the course with a study of entanglement and quantum information. Familiarity with complex numbers, vector calculus, and matrices will be useful but not required.

##### Faculty

#### Relativity

Open, Seminar—Fall

PHYS 3123

What is the nature of space and time? Can my twin ever age faster than me? What happens if I jump inside of a black hole? Explore these questions and more through Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity. This course serves as an introduction to both of these theories. We will see how Einstein revolutionized physics in the 20th century through these two theories. We’ll begin the semester by discussing what we mean by relativity in physics and the mathematical language we will need to understand the physical predictions of the theories. After a brief discussion of pre-relativity physics, we will learn the postulates of special relativity and where the most famous equation in physics, E=mc^{2}, comes from. Next, we will study the best theory of gravity that we have, Einstein’s general relativity, where we will develop the tools needed to understand black holes. All relevant mathematical concepts will be introduced in the course.