Skip Sub Menu
# Courses

## Astronomy

## Physics

## Physical Sciences

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.

**ASTR 001: DESCRIPTIVE ASTRONOMY,**

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.

**ASTR 001L: INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY LABORATORY,**

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.

**ASTR 041: ATRONOMICAL TECHNIQUES,**

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.

**ASTR 071: PROBLEMS IN POSITIONAL ASTRONOMY,**

The celestial sphere in relation to the earth.Latitude, longitude, time, positions and motions of celestial bodies.Occasional observations at the Drake Municipal Observatory.

**ASTR 150-151: SPECIAL TOPICS IN ASTRONOMY,**

Study of a selected field in astronomy or astrophysis, according to student's interests, such as practical astronomy, astrophysics, binary stars, celestial mechanics, etc.

**PHY 159: ADVANCED LAB III: CCD ASTRONOMY LAB,**

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.

**ASTR 180: DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ASTRONOMY,**

Directed individual study or projects in special topics in Astronomy or Astrophysics, according to student's interests. A maximum of six hours may be taken by any one student in these courses.

**ASTR 185/PHY 185: INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS I: STARS,**

A survey of stellar astrophysics, including stellar structure, stellar evolution, variable stars, stellar populations, interstellar material. Three hours lecture per week.

**ASTR 195/PHY 195: INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS II: GALAXIES AND COSMOLOGY,**

**PHY 001 and PHY 002: INTRODUCTORY PHYSICS I AND II, **

An introduction to the fundamental concepts in physics from classical mechanics through electrodynamics.Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

**PHY 003: CONTEMPORARY TOPICS IN PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY SEMINAR,**

**PHY 005: INTRO TO TOPICS IN PHYSICS,**

An introductory course that can be taken by Physics, Astronomy and Pre-Engineering majors as well as Secondary Education 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.

**PHY 011**** and PHY 012: GENERAL PHYSICS I AND II,**

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.

**PHY 050: MODERN PHYSICS,**

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.

**PHY 059: ADVANCED LABORATORY I,**

Experiments in modern physics. Six hours of laboratory per week.

* PHY 061: ERROR THEORY, 1 credit hrs.*The theory of errors applied to physics and astronomy. Statistical and systematic errors, Error propagation and correlations, probability distributions, chi-square fitting, central limit theorem, non-gaussian errors, confidence levels. This course is taken together with PHY 002.

**PHY 121: THEORETICAL MECHANICS,**

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.

**PHY 122: ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY,**

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.

**PHY 132: MEDICAL BIOPHYSICS,**

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental concepts and methods in biophysics, a transdisciplinary field at the interface of physics, biology, chemistry and medicine. The course will explore the physical mechanisms underlying the behavior of biological systems. Characteristics of living cells and biological polymers essential for life (in particular proteins) are discussed. Concepts from mechanics, thermodynamics and other branches of physics are introduced in the context of living organisms. Finally, modern methods from molecular biophysics and medical physics (such as radiation biophysics, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging) are discussed. The emphasis is on the applications of physics in biology and medicine.

**PHY 133: ELECTRONICS,**

Intended for students who desire a comprehensive course in electronic circuits and instrumentation.Two hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week.

**PHY 149: ADVANCED LABORATORY II,**

Advanced experiments in physics. Six hours of laboratory per week.

**PHY 159/ASTR 159: ADVANCED LABORATORY III: CCD ASTRONOMY LAB,**

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.

**PHY 170: DIRECTED INDEPENDENT STUDY IN PHYSICS,**

Directed individual study or projects in special topics in Physics, according to student's interests. A maximum of six hours may be taken by any one student in these courses.

**PHY 180: ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS,**

Atomic spectra, spectra of one and two electron systems, structure of diatomic molecules, atomic and molecular processes. Four hours of lecture per week.

**PHY 181: QUANTUM THEORY,**

The solution of Schrodinger's equation for harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atoms; eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, potential well problems; scattering theory and matrix formulation. Four hours of lecture per week.

**PHY 182: THERMODYNAMICS AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS,**

Thermodynamics properties of matter; kinetic theory of gases; introduction to classical and quantum statistical mechanics. Four hours of lecture per week.

**PHY 183: NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE PHYSICS,**

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, the Standard Model, Quark-Gluon Plasma. Four hours of lecture per week.

**PHY 184: MODERN OPTICS,**

Wave theory; interference and diffraction; polarization; interaction of radiation and matter; coherent radiation. Three hours of lecture per week.

**PHY 185/ASTR 185: ASTROPHYSICS I,**

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.

**PHY 186: PLASMA PHYSICS,**

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.

**PHY 187: SOLID STATE PHYSICS,**

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.

**PHY 188: ADVANCED CLASSICAL PHYSICS,**

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.

**PHY 189-190: SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS,**

In-depth study of a special topic or topics in physics.

**PHY 191, PHY 192: PHYSICS SEMINAR I AND II,**

**PHY 195/ASTR 195: ASTROPHYSICS II,**

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.

**PHY 197, PHY 198: RESEARCH PARTICIPATION I AND II,**

Students enrolled in these courses work with members of the staff in research projects.

**PHSC 001: PHYSICAL SCIENCE,**

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,**

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,**

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,**

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.

**PHSC 101: LIGHT FOR THE ARTIST,**

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 -190: SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICAL SCIENCE,**

In-depth study of a special topic or topics in physical science.Enrollment by department consent.

April 4, 2019