Physics Courses at Hamline University
Goals: To investigate, for nonscience students, availability of energy in the world and environmental concerns and the supply-demand aspects of our nation’s economy.
Content: Conceptual understanding and measurement of relevant physical quantities; the impact of fossil fuels, nuclear power, solar and other “alternative” forms of energy on air and water quality; the economy and lifestyles; the fragile world energy balance; research in energy and various models for extrapolation into the future.
Prerequisite: High school algebra.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1110 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1130 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To introduce non-science students to the conceptual development and philosophical implications of some aspects of physics, allow students to gain insights into the practice of science, and give students experience with problem solving
Content: Topics will vary with instructor but may include motion, energy, solids, heat, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, atoms, the nucleus, particles, and astronomy. The laboratory will include a variety of experiences designed to allow students to practice investigative science and gain hands-on experience.
Prerequisite: High school algebra.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1140 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To introduce non-science majors to the physical description of the oscillations and resonances involved in the production and detection of sound and music.
Content: Wave phenomena including propagation and interference, frequency analysis of sounds including music, theory of instruments, biological generation, and detection of sound.
Prerequisite: High school algebra.
Credits: 4 credits
Goals: To introduce science and non-science majors to the basic concepts of physics to develop skills in formulating and solving both theoretical and experimental physics problems in the areas of kinematics, fluids, and thermodynamics.
Content: The topics of kinematics, Newton’s second law, energy, and momentum will be covered both in translation and rotation, simple harmonic motion and elasticity, fluids, and thermodynamics.
Taught: Fall term.
Prerequisites: High school algebra and elementary trigonometry.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1150 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To introduce students to the basic concepts of physics to develop skills in formulating and solving both theoretical and experimental physics problems in the areas of optics, circuits, sound, and electricity and magnetism.
Content: Topics include waves and sound, electricity and magnetism, DC and AC circuits, and optics.
Taught: Spring term.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1150.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1160 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To introduce students to the basic concept of physics, and to develop skill in formulating and problem solving both theoretical and experimental physics problems in the areas of kinematics using calculus.
Content: The topics of kinematics, Newton’s second law, energy, and momentum will be covered both in translation and rotation, fluids, and thermodynamics.
Taught: Spring term
Prerequisite: MATH 1170.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1230 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To introduce students to the basic concepts of physics to develop skills in formulating and solving both theoretical and experimental physics problems in the areas of optics, circuits, waves, sounds, and electricity and magnetism using calculus.
Content: Topics include sound, electricity and magnetism, DC and AC circuits, and optics.
Taught: Fall term.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1150 or PHYS 1230, and MATH 1180.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 1240 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To understand the static behavior of mechanical systems.
Content: Vector analysis, forces, free-body diagrams, equilibrium, rigid body constraints, stress and strain, friction, moments of inertia, and moments of forces.
Taught: Alternate years, Winter term.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1150 or PHYS 1230, and MATH 1180, or consent of instructor.
Credits: 4 credits
Goals: To understand the dynamic behavior of mechanical systems.
Content: Vector analysis, rectilinear and curvilinear kinematics, forces, free-body diagrams, friction, work and energy, impulse and momentum, general and relative motion, analysis of rigid bodies, moments of inertia, moments of forces, and vibrations.
Taught: Alternate years Winter term.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1150 or PHYS 1230, and MATH 1180, or consent of instructor.
Credits: 4 credits
Content: The lab includes measurements of wave propagation, dispersion, diffraction, interference, and polarization.
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 3520 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
PHYS 3520 - Physical Optics
Goals: To introduce students to the study of optical phenomena interpreted in terms of a wave theory of light.
Content: Mathematical description of waves and how these waves interact with matter. Theories are developed to explain interference, diffraction, and polarization and are used as a basis for measurements in the laboratory.
Taught: Alternate years, Spring.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1240 and MATH 3320.
Credits: 4 credits
Content: The lab will introduce the computer control of instrumentation, computer data acquisition, and computer modeling of data. Students will perform several famous Modern Physics experiments and will do a semester-long project to plan a modernized version of one of the seminal experiments in Modern Physics.
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 3540 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
Goals: To understand the developments of the late 19th and early 20th century in the field of physics.
Content: Relativity, the discovery of the electron, the quantum nature of light, the wave nature of particles, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and Schrodinger wave mechanics.
Taught: Spring.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1240 and MATH 3320 or co-registration.
Credits: 4 credits
PHYS 3750 - Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics
Goals: To develop a fundamental understanding of the principles of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics that allows a variety of applications to be surveyed in the latter part of the course.
Content: The laws of thermodynamics and other conventional thermodynamic concepts such as heat, work, entropy, enthalpy, heat capacity, and the equipartition theorem are introduced. Adiabatic, isothermal, isobaric, and nonequilibrium processes are studied. Topics include the equations of state for non-ideal gases, Maxwell’s relations, kinetic theory, the Maxwell distribution of molecular velocities, magnetic materials, blackbody radiation, phase transitions, phase diagrams, ensembles, and the partition function. Classical and quantum statistics are studied; the Maxwell-Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein, and Fermi-Dirac distributions are examined.
Taught: Alternate years, fall term.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1240 or PHYS 1160 and MATH 3720 or co-registration.
Credits: 4 credits
Goals: To explore the fundamentals of analog and digital electronics, to explore their applications in designs used in interfacing and controlling experiments, and to gain experience with common and advanced instrumentation.
Content: Design, predict behavior, and build analog and digital control circuits. Circuit elements will include passive and active components including transistors; op-amps; digital logic and interfacial components such as temperature, ADC, and DAC circuits. Emphasis will be placed on building practical circuits needed to control and measure experimental parameters.
Taught: Alternate years, Spring term.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1240 and MATH 3720 or co-registration.
Credits: 4 credits
This lab must be taken concurrently with the PHYS 3800 lecture.
The lab itself has zero credit value.
PHYS 5900 - Junior Seminar
Goals: To introduce current topics in physics and related fields. To develop communications skills including writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
Content: Reviews of current research by junior and senior physics majors, guest lecturers, and department staff. Research site visits.
Taught: As a full year sequence.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1240 or co-registration.
Credits: 0.5 credit per term
Goals: To introduce current topics in physics and related fields. To develop communications skills including writing, reading, listening, and speaking.
Content: Reviews of current research by junior and senior physics majors, guest lecturers, and department staff. Research site visits.
Taught: As a full year sequence.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1240 or co-registration.
Credits: 0.5 credit per term
Goals: To allow students to expand and build upon their current laboratory skill set and problem solving ability by planning and executing a year-long research project.
Content: This full year course is the culmination of all the laboratory experiences within the physics curriculum. Students will choose a project, based on the search of the research literature. These projects will require many skills including equipment interfacing, computer programming, basic and advanced circuits, optics, using the machine shop to build experimental apparatuses, planning, ordering, and scheduling tasks, preparing a professional report and presentation, and more. Successful completion of this course should fulfill the Individual Ability in Learning (Q) requirement of the Hamline Plan.
Taught: Annually.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3540
Credits: 2 credits fall term, 2 credits spring term
PHYS 5930 - Theoretical Mechanics
Goals: To develop an understanding of Newtonian mechanics with emphasis on conservation principles.
Content: Particle dynamics in one and three dimensions with special attention to the central force problem, simple harmonic oscillator, kinematics, dynamics of a system of particles, wave motion, generalized coordinates, and the Lagrangian formulation of mechanics. This course acts as an elective of the Computational Science minor because students model dynamical systems using computer software like Mathematica.
Taught: Annually.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1240 and MATH 3720.
Credits: 4 credits
Goals: To develop an understanding of the classical theory of electric and magnetic fields.
Content: Vector analysis, discrete and continuous charge distributions, Gauss’s law, boundary conditions, the equations of Laplace and Poisson, dielectric and magnetic materials, Maxwell’s equations.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1240 and MATH 3720.
Credits: 4 credits
PHYS 5950 - Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Goals: To introduce quantum mechanics as the language of modern physics with application to some typical problems.
Content: Schrodinger’s equation, probability and statistics, wave functions, operators, square well and other potentials, harmonic oscillator, scattering, function spaces, uncertainty principle, hydrogen atom, angular momentum, perturbation theory, and extensive use of advanced mathematical symbolism.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3540 and MATH 3720.
Credits: 4 credits
Goals: To explore advanced topics in physics that go beyond our other 5000-level courses and to expose students to new developments in physics.
Content: Topics may include solid-state physics, electromagnetic cavities including optical fibers, scattering theory (electromagnetic and quantum), analysis of modern instrumentation, vacuum technology, nuclear physics, high energy physics, elementary particles, astrophysics, general relativity.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3540 and at least one course higher than PHYS 5920 and MATH 3720.
Credits: 4 credits
Goals: To provide an opportunity to explore independent research and to develop the skills needed to complete a research program.
Content: Each student will develop an independent research project and timeline for completion, conduct a review of pertinent literature, construct needed equipment, write an extensive paper summarizing theory and results of the project, and present a formal presentation on the results as part of Senior Seminar.
Taught: Periodically, as interest and resources allow.
Prerequisites: PHYS 3540 and faculty consent.
Credits: 4 credits