PHYS111W Survey of Physical Science
This is a concept-based course designed primarily for students in non-science majors. The goal of the course is to help the student to understand physical phenomena in various fields of science without the mathematical requirements typically associated with a course in physics or chemistry. Questions such as “Why is the sky blue?” can be answered without a rigorous mathematical treatment. Examine the great achievements in the physical sciences and their impact upon our world.
PHYS112W Physics I
An introduction to the laws of classical physics designed to help students apply basic principles of physics to the world around them. Topics include kinematics and dynamics in one and two dimensions, momentum, Newton's laws of motion, work kinetic and potential energy, rotational motion and the conservation laws of energy and momentum. Additional topics include bodies in equilibrium, fluids, vibrations and waves, and sound. The course finishes with the study of temperature and kinetic theory, heat, and the laws of thermodynamics. These topics are introduced and explored through a series of microcomputer-based labs (MBL) using PASCO's DataStudio software and 750 Interface. Using modeling/simulation software, students learn to build models of physical systems and simulate the effect of various forces such as gravity, electricity, friction and air resistance on such systems. Microsoft's Excel is widely used to analyze data and produce charts and graphs of experimental results. (Prerequisite: MATH120W or POI)
PHYS113W Electricity and Electronics
This course serves as an introduction to the fundamental laws of electricity and electronics. Significant emphasis is placed on laws, units, components, basic circuit analysis and troubleshooting circuits with DMM’s. How these fundamentals are applied to fields such as mobile equipment, automotive, IT and welding is also covered. In the lab portion of the course, students perform hands-on experiments to master basic concepts and troubleshooting techniques introduced in the lectures.
PHYS115W Technical Physics
This course is similar to PHYS112 in content, but is more of a concept-based course designed primarily for students in non-science majors. The goal of the course is to provide the student with an integrated view of the basic concepts of physics and particularly how they are applied to mechanical, fluidal, electrical, and thermal systems. A major goal of this course is to help students understand how things work and the similarity and interplay between physical systems and energy conversion.
PHYS118W The Physics of Raspberry Pi
This course will explain the physics of Raspberry Pi…that’s Pi and not Pie. Raspberry Pie is a wonderful dessert and a Raspberry Pi is a device that you can use to connect or control just about anything. The course will start with an introduction to the physics of electricity and waves. It will then follow through to how we use those things to communicate with machines and ultimately with each other. It will finish by covering the Internet of Things. Topics will include basic electricity and ciruits, waves and signals, using sensors and other components to communicate and microcontrollers and/or single board computers. We may use actual Raspberry Pi’s or we might use its cousin the Arduino and if we are lucky, we might even find an actual Raspberry Pie.
This course is for the student who wants to understand some of the basic fundamentals of astronomy and is curious about the universe in which we live. It is a course that does not require a strong background in algebra or trigonometry. The course uses an activity-based approach in which students can learn basic laws of astronomy and explore the locations of the planets and stars during the day or night as seen from any location on earth at any time - past, present, or future. Students do not need a real telescope to do this. There are numerous demonstrations and hands-on student activities throughout the course.
This course serves as an introduction to the study of weather. Among the things students learn in this course are topics such as how weather is monitored; the origin, composition, and structure of our atmosphere; solar and terrestrial radiation; heat, temperature and atmospheric circulation; air pressure; humidity; saturation and stability; clouds, precipitation and weather radar; wind and weather; the atmosphere's planetary circulation; weather systems of middle latitudes; thunderstorms and tornadoes; tropical weather systems; weather analysis and forecasting; atmospheric optics; and climate and climate change. The course includes two online observations which must be completed each week by visiting the American Meteorological Society's Online Weather Studies website.
PHYS211W Materials Science
This course serves as an introduction to the physical properties of materials. While the main focus of this course is on solid materials, properties of liquids and gases will also be presented at various points in the course - in particular in studying the thermal properties of materials and the phase changes from the solid to liquid state (melting/freezing) and from the liquid to gas state (evaporation/condensation). Students will study the properties of metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and composite materials. Topics include the mechanical, electrical, thermal, acoustic, optical, and magnetic properties of materials. The course includes an overview of the atomic theory of matter, the periodic table, the crystal structures of solids and the metallurgy of steels and non-ferrous metals. There is a strong lab component which includes experiments to measure the tensile strength and modulus of elasticity of steel, the modulus of rigidity of a steel shaft, the flexure of a centrally loaded beam, the specific heat capacity and thermal coefficient of linear expansion of copper and aluminum, the electrical resistivity of metals and semiconductors, the photoelectric effect, the cooling curves of low melting point alloys, the index of refraction of optically transparent materials, and the heat treatment of steels. These topics are introduced and explored through a series of standard, as well as microcomputer-based (MBL), labs using PASCO's 750 Interface and DataStudio software.
PHYS215W Fluid Dynamics
Dynamics and thermodynamics of compressible and incompressible fluid flow; behavior of fluids as expressed by hydrostatic, continuity, momentum, and energy equations.