# Courses

## Current Courses

Using the field emission electron microscope

- Physics 116
**Acoustics**
(Matthew Deady)
This laboratory course provides an introduction to the phenomena of acoustics, particularly aspects that are important in the production and perception of music. The physics of sound is covered in depth, and characteristics of acoustic and electronic instruments are discussed. Mathematical and laboratory techniques are introduced as needed. No specific science or mathematics background beyond algebra is assumed.

- Physics 124
**Climate Change**
(Gidon Eshel)
This lab course explores the physical principles underlying climate and anthropogenic climate change. We will start with a survey of the most compelling lines of evidence for climate change, how they are obtained/derived and some of their limitations. We will then discuss in some depth idealized one-dimensional planetary radiative and thermal balance, first in the absence of an atmosphere, and then in the presence of a radiatively active one, with variable number of layers. In this context, it will become interesting to explore atmospheric opacity with respect to various radiative types, and what natural and anthropogenic effects affect this opacity. A related topic will be natural feedbacks, such as water vapor and could feedbacks. We will next place current (modern) observations of climate change in the broader context of past climates, emphasizing the last couple millennia, hundreds of millennia, and finally the ten million-year scale geological record. We will conclude the course with some discussion about the objective of a successful policy mitigation efforts, and their implementation obstacles. While not technical per se, participation in this course does require the ability to solve a couple of linear algebraic equations (like solving x + 4 = 2y and 2x - 3y = 6 for x and y) and to perform some very basic manipulation of data and plot the results (using, e.g., Microsoft's Excel).

- Physics 141
**Introduction to Physics I**
(Paul Cadden-Zimansky / Antonios Kontos)
A calculus-based survey of physics. The first semester covers topics in mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, and wave motion. The course stresses ideas—the unifying principles and characteristic models of physics. Labs develop the critical ability to elicit understanding of the physical world. *Corequisite*: Mathematics 141.

- Physics 145
**Astronomy**
(Antonios Kontos)
Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what you are seeing? Astronomy is one of the oldest of the natural sciences, dating back to prehistoric times. It studies planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole from its earliest time to the present day. This course is an introduction to astronomy including laboratory work where we will perform and interpret observations. Topics include: the solar system, telescopes, history of astronomy, the sun, galaxies, and cosmology. *Prerequisite*: passing score on Part I of the Mathematics Diagnostic.

- Physics 221
**Mathematical Methods I**
(Matthew Deady)
This course presents mathematical methods that are useful in the physical sciences. While some proofs and demonstrations are given, the emphasis is on the applications. Topics include: complex functions, vector spaces, matrices, coordinate transformations, power series, probability and statistics, and multi-variable differentiation and integration. *Prerequisites*: Mathematics 141-142, or equivalent, and strong preparation in physics comparable to Physics 141.

- Physics 241
**Modern Physics**
(Hal Haggard)
An extension of introductory physics concentrating on developments in physics that stem from the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics. A major focus will be understanding classical and quantum waves, but there will also be overviews of particle physics, nuclear physics, optical and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, astronomy, and cosmology. *Prerequisites*: Physics 141-142 and Mathematics 141-142.

- Physics 303
**Mechanics**
(Hal Haggard)
This course in particle kinematics and dynamics in one, two, and three dimensions covers -conservation laws, coordinate transformations, and problem-solving techniques in differential equations, vector calculus, and linear algebra. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations are also studied. *Prerequisites*: Physics 141-142 and Mathematics 141-142.