Courses

The department of Physics and Astronomy offers a wide range of courses for Majors, non-majors and to fulfill the Scientific Literacy requirement of the Drake Curriculum.

Astronomy

Physics

Physical Sciences


Astronomy

ASTR 001: DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY, 3 credit hrs.
A one-semester course, primarily for nonmajors, focusing on the highlights of results obtained from a study of the universe, including the solar system, stellar evolution, galaxies, black holes and cosmology. Emphasis on physical principles, the deductive process and the impact of the developing knowledge on society. Three hours lecture per week. No prereq.

ASTR 001: INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY LABORATORY, 1 credit hr.
Optional laboratory program that complements ASTR 001. Rooftop night observations, laboratory bench experiments and observations at the Drake Municipal Observatory. Formal reports including numerical computations required. Three hours one evening per week. Coreq.: ASTR 001.

ASTR 051: GENERAL ASTRONOMY, 3 credit hrs.
A survey of the solar system, planetary motions, the sun as a star, evolution of stars, galaxies and modern cosmology. Emphasis on mathematical descriptions and model development. Three hours lecture per week. Prereq.: ASTR 001, PHY 001, and MATH 050 or consent of instructor.

ASTR 071: PROBLEMS IN POSITIONAL ASTRONOMY, 2 credit hrs.
The celestial sphere in relation to the earth. Latitude, longitude, time, positions and motions of celestial bodies. Occasional observations at the Drake Municipal Observatory. Prereq. or coreq.: Plane trigonometry and consent of instructor.

ASTR 150-151: SELECTED TOPICS, 1-3 credit hrs.
Study of a selected field in astronomy, according to student's interests, such as practical astronomy, astrophysics, binary stars, celestial mechanics, etc. Prereq.: Consent of instructor.

PHY 159: ADVANCED LAB III: CCD ASTRONOMY LAB, 2 credit hrs
A hands-on laboratory which illustrates the use electronic imaging devices (CCDs) in modern astronomical photometry. Work is performed at the Drake Municipal Observatory and the 24" telescope at Fick Observatory (Iowa State University). Experiments include basic image processing techniques, differential photometry, color-magnitude diagrams, extinction coefficients, surface photometry and narrow-band imaging of nebulae and galaxies. Six hours of laboratory per week. Prereq. ASTR 001L.

ASTR 180-183: DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY, 1-3 credit hrs.
Directed individual study or projects in special topics, according to student's interests. A maximum of six hours may be taken by any one student in these courses. Prereq.: Consent of instructor.

ASTR 185/PHY 185: INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS I: STARS, 3 credit hrs.
A survey of stellar astrophysics, including stellar structure, stellar evolution, variable stars, stellar populations, interstellar material. Three hours lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

ASTR 195/PHY 195: INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS II: GALAXIES AND COSMOLOGY, 3 credit hrs.
A survey of extragalactic astrophysics, including the structure of the Milky Way, large scale structure and kinematics of galaxies, galactic dynamics, active galaxies, quasars, galaxy clusters and Big Bang cosmologies. Three hours lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 and MATH 120 or consent of instructor.

PHY 001 and PHY 002: INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS I AND II, 4 credit hrs.
An introduction to the fundamental concepts in physics from classical mechanics through electrodynamics. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.  Prereq.: High school algebra and trigonometry. PHY 001 or equivalent is prerequisite for PHY 002. Pre/Coreq.: MATH 50 (Calculus I).

PHY 005: INTRO TO TOPICS IN PHYSICS, 4 credit hrs.
An introductory course taken in the fall semester of the freshman year mainly by Physics, Astronomy and Pre-Engineering majors. Topics covered include Optics, Inteference, Special Relativity, Introductory Cosmology and/or Introduction to Particle Physics. Calculus is not required for this course but students should take MATH 50 (Calculus I) simultaneously. Prereq.: High school algebra and trigonometry.

PHY 011 and PHY 012: GENERAL PHYSICS I AND II, 4 credit hrs.
Mechanics, properties of matter, heat and sound, light magnetism, electricity and modern physics. Emphasis is placed on applications to the medical sciences. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. PHY 11 is a prerequisite for PHY 12. This course is designed primarily for biology majors, premedical majors and other pre-professional biology. Prereq.: High school algebra and trigonometry.

PHY 021: ELEMENTS OF PHYSICS, 4 credit hrs.
A one-semester course on the principles and applications of physics. Selected topics in mechanics, sound, light, electricity and modern physics. Two hours of lecture, one hour discussion and three hours of laboratory per week. Prereq.: High school algebra and trigonometry.

PHY 050: MODERN PHYSICS, 4 credit hrs.
Historical development of modern physics; wave and particle theories of matter; discussion of origin of quantum theory and development of Schroedinger equation; atomic and nuclear structure. Four hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 002 and MATH 100.

PHY 059: ADVANCED LABORATORY I, 2 credit hrs.
Experiments in modern physics. Six hours of laboratory per week. Coreq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 121: THEORETICAL MECHANICS, 4 credit hrs.
Conservation laws and conservative systems; the harmonic oscillator, central forces, rotating coordinates, angular momentum, rigid body dynamics and relativity; methods of Lagrange. Four hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 001 or equivalent.

PHY 122: INTRODUCTION TO ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY, 4 credit hrs.
Theory of the electric potential, fields and currents; magnetic effects of currents, electromagnetic induction, electric and magnetic fields in matter; Maxwell's equations, applications and solutions. Four hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 002 or equivalent.

PHY 133: ELECTRONICS, 4 credit hrs.
Intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students who desire a comprehensive course in electronic circuits and instrumentation. Two hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week. Prereq.: PHY 002 or equivalent.

PHY 149: ADVANCED LABORATORY II, 2 credit hrs.
Advanced experiments in physics. Six hours of laboratory per week. Prereq.: PHY 059 or equivalent.

PHY 159/ASTR 159: ADVANCED LABORATORY III: CCD ASTRONOMY LAB, 2 credit hrs.
A hands-on laboratory which illustrates the use electronic imaging devices (CCDs) in modern astronomical photometry. Work is performed at the Drake Municipal Observatory and the 24" telescope at Fick Observatory (Iowa State University). Experiments include basic image processing techniques, differential photometry, color-magnitude diagrams, extinction coefficients, surface photometry and narrow-band imaging of nebulae and galaxies. Six hours of laboratory per week. Prereq.: ASTR 001L

PHY 180: ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS, 3 credit hrs.
Atomic spectra, spectra of one and two electron systems, structure of diatomic molecules, atomic and molecular processes. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 181: QUANTUM THEORY, 4 credit hrs.
The solution of Schrodinger's equation for harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atoms; eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, potential well problems; scattering theory and matrix formulation. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent and MATH 120 or consent of instructor.

PHY 182: THERMODYNAMICS AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS, 4 credit hrs.
Thermodynamics properties of matter; kinetic theory of gases; introduction to classical and quantum statistical mechanics. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 183: NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE PHYSICS, 3 credit hrs.
Properties of nuclei, the nuclear force, the two nucleon problem, complex nuclei, nuclear models, radioactive decay and selection rules, elementary particle production and decay, symmetries and conservation laws. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 184: MODERN OPTICS, 3 credit hrs.
Wave theory; interference and diffraction; polarization; interaction of radiation and matter; coherent radiation. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 185/ASTR 185: INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS I, 3 credit hrs.
A survey of astrophysics, including stellar structure, stellar evolution, variable stars, stellar populations, interstellar material, large scale structure and kinematics of galaxies, and galactic rotation. Three hours lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 186: INTRODUCTION TO PLASMA PHYSICS, 3 credit hrs.
Atomic collisions and kinetic theory; motion of charged particles; continuum magnetohydrodynamics and elementary stability theory; transport processes; waves, oscillations and radiation in plasma. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 or equivalent.

PHY 187: INTRODUCTION TO SOLID STATE PHYSICS, 3 credit hrs.
Lattice dynamics and thermodynamics of solids; free electron theory of metals and band structure of solids; electronic structure of conductors, insulators and semiconductors. Three hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 50 or equivalent.

PHY 188: ADVANCED CLASSICAL PHYSICS, 4 credit hrs.
Calculus of variations, Langrangian and Hamiltonian methods; Hamilton-Jacobi theory, continuum mechanics; Laplace's equation, relativistic electrodynamics, radiation fields and applications. Four hours of lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 121 and 122; MATH 120 or consent of instructor.

PHY 189-190: SELECTED TOPICS IN PHYSICS, 1-4 credit hrs.
In-depth study of a special topic or topics in physics. Prereq.: Consent of the department.

PHY 191, PHY 192, PHY 193: PHYSICS SEMINAR I, II AND III, 1 credit hr. Students make presentations on current topics of interest in Physics or Astronomy. Critiques are also made of presentations as students learn how to make a "good" presentation. Required in each of sophomore, junior and senior years.

PHY 195/ASTR 195: INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS II, 3 credit hrs.
A survey of extragalactic astrophysics, including the structure of the Milky Way, large scale structure and kinematics of galaxies, galactic dynamics, active galaxies, quasars, galaxy clusters and Big Bang cosmologies. Three hours lecture per week. Prereq.: PHY 050 and MATH 120 or consent of instructor.

PHY 197, PHY 198: RESEARCH PARTICIPATION I AND II, 1-4 credit hrs.
Students enrolled in these courses work with members of the staff in research projects. Prereq.: Consent of the department.

PHSC 001: PHYSICAL SCIENCE I, 3 credit hrs.
An introduction to basic concepts of physical science and the scientific method, with discussions of their applications to technology. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHSC 051: ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, 3 credit hrs.
A study of present and future energy resources, technologies and their environmental consequences. Topics include the automobile, solar energy and electricity produced by conventional and nuclear power plants. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHSC 052: TECHNOLOGY OF COMMUNICATIONS, 3 credit hrs.
The evolution of communication technology. The basic principles, development and operation of modern communications. Trends in communication for the future. Three hours of lecture per week.

PHSC 071: SOLAR ENERGY I, 2 credit hrs.
Introduction to the direct use of solar radiation as an alternative energy source for the future. Topics include the energy concept; solar heating; photovoltaics; and energy from the wind. Three hours of lecture per week for 10 weeks or equivalent.

PHSC 072: SOLAR ENERGY II, 1 credit hr.
Introduction to the means by which useful energy can be obtained from solar radiation. Topics will include heat transfer mechanisms; quantity of solar radiation; solar collectors, active and passive techniques; photovoltaics; and wind energy. Three hours of lecture per week for five weeks or equivalent. Prereq.: PHSC 071 or consent of instructor.

PHSC 101: LIGHT FOR THE ARTIST, 3 credit hrs.
The macroscopic and microscopic properties of light are described and illustrated through lecture demonstrations and laboratory investigations. The laboratory includes studies of lenses, mirrors and prisms, the color quality of light sources, and the unique properties of laser light with applications in the field of 3-D photography. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

PHSC 189 and PHSC 190: SELECTED TOPICS IN PHYSICAL SCIENCE, 1-4 credit hrs.
In-depth study of a special topic or topics in physical science. Enrollment by department consent.

Art Sci Events
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ArtSci News
April 15, 2014
On Wednesday, April 16, Drake University will host a special program for language immersion students from Merrill Middle School to celebrate Pan American Day. The students will participate in Drake Spanish courses in the morning and have the opportunity to celebrate Pan American dance and music at a performance by Drake students in Olmsted Center in the afternoon.
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