Undergrad Catalog 2010


Physics Courses (PHY)

PHY 1010. Science: A Process of Inquiry* (4). This course is designed to help students understand and appreciate the inquiry nature of the physical sciences by having them “do science” rather than simply read about science or learn scientific facts.  The focus is on science as a way of knowing.  Students have both “hands-on” and “minds-on” opportunities to experience the nature of scientific inquiry in the physical sciences.  Laboratory work is central to the course.  ($65.00 course fee)

PHY 1050. Freshman Physics Seminar (1). Required of all freshman physics majors. This orientation course acquaints students with physics program, with the physics faculty and the university. Topics will include opportunities in teh field of physics, advising, scheduling, faculty expectations, career planning and networking. The academic component of this course will include current scientific literature, assignments and discussions.

PHY 1100. Acoustical Physics (4). This course explores the production, transmission and reception of sound. Topics in this course include: Physics of simple harmonic motion, production of sound from acoustical and electrical instruments, formation and analysis of harmonic structure of complex waves, perception of sound, and sound acoustics in structures. Laboratory investigations are included in the course. (Course was formerly titled Physics of Sound).

PHY 1110. Basic College Physics I* (4). Prerequisite: minimum of C- in MTH 1130, MTH 1210, or MTH 1220 or permission of the instructor. This course examines the principles of mechanics, force, energy, momentum, circular motion, and torque. Quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of the subject are developed utilizing pre-calculus. ($40.00 course fee). This course does not count toward a physics major.

PHY 1120. Basic College Physics II* (4). Prerequisite: minimum of C- in PHY 1110 or permission of instructor. This course explores the principles of simple harmonic motion, waves, Coulomb's Law, electric fields, circuits and magnetism. Quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of the subject are developed utilizing pre-calculus. ($40.00 course fee). This course does not count toward a physics major.

PHY 1140. Introduction to Physics (4). Prerequisite: minimum of C- in MTH 1130 or MTH 1210 or MTH 1220 or permission of the instructor. This course is designed to introduce students to the principles of simple harmonic motion, waves, properties of waves, electricity and magnitism. Quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of the topics are developed using precalculus. The course will consist of three (3) hours of lecture and two (2) hours of lab. This course will not count toward a physics major or minor. ($100.00 course fee)

PHY 1990, 2990, 3990, 4990. Special Studies in Physics (1-3). Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. This course provides an opportunity for the student to pursue independent study or research in an area of particular interest. ($65.00 course fee)

PHY 2010. Physics for Audio Engineering (4). Prerequisite: PHY 1140 or PHY 1120 o rPHY 2120. This course is designed to introduce the use of principles of physics to applications in acoustics, recording media, and equipment used in the production of sound. The course will consist of three (3) hours of lecture and two (2) hours of lab. ($100.00 course fee)

PHY 2110, 2120. General College Physics I, II (4, 4). Prerequisite or co requisite: MTH 1220. These courses provide a thorough introduction to the principles of mechanics, thermal physics, wave motion, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. Concepts are developed and applied utilizing the calculus. This sequence serves as a foundation for students enrolled in physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and/or computer science curricula. ($65.00 course fee)

PHY 2230. Introduction to Modern Physics (4). Prerequisites: PHY 1110, PHY 1120 or PHY 2110, PHY 2120; CEM 1610, CEM 1620; MTH 1110, MTH 1130. Topics include the dynamics-charged particles in electric and magnetic fields, elementary quantum theory, the interaction of radiation with matter, and basic atomic and nuclear physics. Laboratory investigations are an integral part of the course. ($40.00 course fee)

PHY 2240. Introductory Medical Physics (4). Prerequisites: PHY 1110, PHY 1120 or PHY 2110, PHY 2120; CEM 1610, CEM 1620; MTH 1110, MTH 1130. This course emphasizes the physical basis of radiology and nuclear medicine. Topics include interaction of radiation with matter, radiation detection and monitoring, dosimetry, range-energy relationships, and radiation safety. Laboratory investigations are an integral part of the course. ($40.00 course fee)

PHY 2250. Electronics and Circuit Theory (4). Prerequisite: MTH 1130, PHY 1140 or PHY 1120 o rPHY 2120. This course explores the design and function of DC and AC circuits, power supplies, amplifiers, oscillators, and semiconductor devices. Attention is given to digital electronics and micro-processors. Laboratory work is an integral part of the course. ($40.00 course fee)

PHY 3110. Analytical Mechanics (4). Prerequisites: PHY 2120, MTH 2210. This course includes studies from classical physics such as linear oscillations, non-linear oscillations, rigid body dynamics, and central force field motion.

PHY 3120. Electricity and Magnetism (4). Prerequisites: PHY 2120, MTH 2210. This course examines concepts from classical electricity and magnetism such as electrostatics, study of fields in dielectrics, magnetic forces, and electric and magnetic properties of matter. Maxwell's equations of electromagnetic theory are introduced.

PHY 3130. Optics (4). Prerequisites: PHY 2120, MTH 1220. This course focuses on geometrical and physical optics including wave propagation, reflection, refraction, dispersion, interference, diffraction, and polarization. ($40.00 course fee)

PHY 3230. Thermal Physics** (4). Prerequisites: PHY 2120, CEM 1620, and MTH 1220. Topics include temperature measurements, calorimetry, change of phase, heat transfer, kinetic theory, thermodynamics and introductory statistical mechanics. Laboratory work is an integral part of the course. ($40.00 course fee)

PHY 3240. Atomic Physics** (4). Prerequisites: PHY 1120 or PHY 2120; MTH 1210. Topics include atomic structure, quantization of energy, matter waves, introductory quantum theory, interaction of radiation with matter, nuclear structure and nuclear reactions. Laboratory work is an integral part of the course. ($40.00 course fee)

PHY 3350. Physics of Materials (3). Prerequisites: PHY 2102, CEM 1620. This course examines the formation and structure of crystalline, amorphous and polymeric materials. Topics include thermodynamics of formation and structure of materials, bonding, formation of defects, diffusion, nucleation and growth. (Cross listed with CEM 3350)

PHY 3700. Research in Physics I (1). Prerequisites: 20 hours in physics. A discussion of research in physics, including experimental design, data analysis, literature review methods, publications of physics research, and research presentations. Students will create a proposal for research to be executed in PHY 4700.

PHY 4010 Advanced Laboratory (2). Prerequisites: PHY 2120. Designed to acquaint students with the laboratory techniques of experimental physics. Experiments from optics, electricity and magnetism, mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics are performed. ($65.00 course fee)

PHY 4050. Physics Senior Capstone (1). The Physics Senior Capstone is designed to prepare students for employment or post-graduate education. Central to this course is the integration of physics concepts and application to practical, real-world issues. Students will select a topic to be approved by the instructor, prepare an abstract, conduct a search of the relevant literature, and present their findings both in oral and written form. This course will also be used in program assessment. 

PHY 4110. Interaction of Electromagnetic Radiation with Matter (3). Prerequisites: PHY 3120, PHY 3130, MTH 2240. This course examines the absorption, transmission, reflection, and generation of light in solids. Both linear and nonlinear behaviors are included. The fundamentals of lasers, optical switching and harmonic generation are emphasized.

PHY 4210. Quantum Mechanics I (4). Prerequisites: MTH 1151, MTH 2210. This course examines the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics including the wave properties of particles, superposition, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the Schrodinger equation, eigenfunctions and eigenvalues, identical particles, and operators. Applications are made to the harmonic oscillator and the hydrogen atom.

PHY 4220. Quantum Mechanics II (4). Prerequisites: PHY 4210, Corequisites: MTH 2240.  This course is a continuation of Quantum Mechanics I.  It includes the study of the hyperfine structure, energy bands in solids, approximation methods, magnetic properaties of matter, molecular binding, emission and absorption of light, lasers, and scattering.

PHY 4250. Instrumentation (4). Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Elective course for all physics majors, medical imaging majors and science and engineering majors. This course is designed to introduce the use of instrumentation for research. Students will be expected to learn instrument fundementals of optical spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Students will design experiments using instruments in making measurements. Topics will include physical principles, the construction and the limitations of instrumentation. The course will consist of 2 hours of lecture and 1 hour of lab. ($100.00 course fee)

PHY 4310. Theoretical Mechanics (3). Prerequisites: PHY 3110, MTH 2240. This course explores the physics of many particle systems. Advanced topics in mechanics such as Hamilton's Principle and Lagrange's equation are included.

PHY 4410. Survey of Advanced Physics (4). Prerequisities: MTH 1151, PHY 3110.  This course will offer an overview of advance physics topics such as Hamiltonian Dynamics, Relativity, Statistical Mechanics, and Computational Physics.  Students will demonstrate proficiency with the conceptual issues and mathematical tools which are applied to the analysis of such systems.  The goal of the course is to provide undergraduate physics majors with foundations in these areas for which some prior exposure is likely to be assumed when entering graduate school.

PHY 4610, 4620, 4630, 4640. Special Problems in Physics (1-4). Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. An independent library or laboratory problem decided upon in consultation with the instructor. A formal report of the work is required in addition to an oral presentation of the results. This course can be taken twice for credit, not to exceed five hours total with the third digit of the course number indicating the credit. ($60.00 course fee)

PHY 4700. Research in Physics II (1-3). Prerequisite: PHY 3700. Students will execute the research project proposed in PHY 3700 or another project agreed upon by the student and the instructor. This course can be taken twice for credit, not to exceed five hours total. ($75.00 course fee)
Gen. Ed. Designation: EL (R – Undergraduate Research).

PHY 4710. Senior Seminar (0). Pre/Co requisite: PHY 4700. Students will present a research paper prepared as part of PHY 4700 at the Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium.

PHY 4991, Vanderbilt Medical Imaging Course / Clinicals. (15 or 16 credit hours. Block credit hours taken as 15 hours in the fall semester and 16 credit hours in the spring semester). This course block represents ongoing clinical course work taken at Vanderbilt in the final year of the program. Course work will be graded as IP until completion. At any time the student fails to make ongoing satisfactory progress in course/clinical work,such students will be remediated or removed from the program immediately.

*Does not count toward a major in Physics.

**Will not count on both a chemistry major and a physics major or minor.