Physics Courses

Ray Von Wandruszka, Interim Dept. Chair, Dept. of Physics; (311 Engineering/Physics Bldg. 838440903; phone 208/8856380; physics@uidaho.edu)
Credit Limitations: Phys 100 carries no credit after Phys 111 or Phys 211; Phys 111 carries no credit after Phys 211; Phys 112 carries no credit after Phys 212.
Phys 100 Fundamentals of Physics (3 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
For students in nontechnical fields. Conceptual study of laws of nature and their application, including mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics. Three lec per wk. (Spring only)
Phys 100L Fundamentals of Physics Lab (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
For students in nontechnical fields. Conceptual study of laws of nature and their application, including mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics. One 2hr lab per wk. (Spring only)
Phys 103 General Astronomy (3 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Descriptive and physical astronomy; development of astronomical thought; properties and evolution of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe. (Fall only)
Phys 104 Astronomy Lab (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Naked eye, telescopic, and photographic observations of constellations, stars, and planets. One 2hr lab per wk. (Fall only)
Prereq or Coreq: Phys 103
Phys 111 General Physics I (3 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Kinematics, forces and dynamics, conservation laws, thermodynamics, waves. Three lec and one recitation per wk.
Prereq: Math 143
Phys 111L General Physics I Lab (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Kinematics, forces and dynamics, conservation laws, thermodynamics, waves. One 2hr lab per wk.
Prereq: Math 143
Coreq: Phys 111
Phys 112 General Physics II (3 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Three lec and one recitation per wk. (Spring only)
Prereq: Phys 111
Phys 112L General Physics II Lab (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Electricity, magnetism, optics, and modern physics. One 2hr lab per wk.
Coreq: Phys 112
Phys 200 (s) Physics Seminar (1 cr)
Introductorylevel discussion of topics in modern physics; introduction to physics research topics and scientific information search techniques; written and/or oral reports of a pertinent topic in current physics. (Fall only)
Phys 211 Engineering Physics I (3 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Kinematics and dynamics, Newton's laws, work and energy, rotational dynamics, linear and angular momentum, collisions, static equilibrium, oscillations, gravity and central forces. Three lec and one recitation per wk.
Prereq or Coreq: Math 170
Phys 211L Engineering Physics I Lab (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Kinematics and dynamics, Newton's laws, work and energy, rotational dynamics, linear and angular momentum, collisions, static equilibrium, oscillations, gravity and central forces. One 2hr lab a wk.
Coreq: Phys 211
Phys 212 Engineering Physics II (3 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Electric fields and potentials, magnetic fields, capacitance and inductance, DC and AC circuits, electromagnetic waves. Three lec and one recitation per wk.
Prereq: Phys 211
Prereq or Coreq: Math 175
Phys 212L Engineering Physics II Lab (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Natural and Applied Sciences
Electric fields and potentials, magnetic fields, capacitance and inductance, DC and AC circuits, electromagnetic waves. One 2hr lab a wk.
Coreq: Phys 212
Phys 213 Engineering Physics III (3 cr)
Fluid dynamics, waves in elastic media, sound waves, temperature, heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory, geometric and physical optics. Three lec and one recitation per wk. (Spring only)
Prereq: Phys 211
Prereq or Coreq: Math 175
Phys 213L Engineering Physics III Lab (1 cr)
Fluid dynamics, waves in elastic media, sound waves, temperature, heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory, geometric and physical optics. One 2hr lab a wk. (Spring only)
Coreq: Phys 213
Phys 305 Modern Physics (3 cr)
Quantum and relativity theories with applications to atomic, solid state, nuclear, and elementary particle physics. (Spring only)
Prereq: Phys 212/212L
Coreq: Math 275 and Phys 213/213L
Phys 321 Analytical Mechanics (3 cr)
Review of singleparticle kinematics and dynamics; linear oscillations; Lagrangian dynamics; orbital dynamics; motion in noninertial systems; space rotation of rigid bodies.
Prereq: Phys 212 and Phys 212L and Math 275
Phys 322 Analytical Mechanics (3 cr)
Advanced topics in theoretical mechanics which may include: coupled linear oscillators; transition to a continuous system (vibrating string); Hamiltonian dynamics; nonlinear dynamics.
Prereq: Phys 321
Phys 333 Statistical Thermodynamics (3 cr)
Same as Chem 495. Classical thermodynamics, entropy, thermodynamic potentials, kinetic theory, classical and quantum statistical mechanics, ensembles, partition functions, introduction to phase transitions.
Prereq: Chem 306 or Phys 305 or equivalent
Phys 341 Electromagnetic Fields I (3 cr)
This course is designed to provide undergraduate physics majors advanced instruction in electrostatics. The specific areas which will be covered are electric fields, electric potentials, work and energy in electrostatics, the technique of using the concept of image charges to solve for the electric field and electric potential of complex charge distributions, Laplace’s and Poisson’s equations, electric dipoles, polarization and polarizable materials, and the electric dipole approximation.
Phys 342 Electromagnetic Fields II (3 cr)
This course is designed to provide undergraduate physics majors advanced instruction in electrodynamics and magnetism. The specific areas that will be covered are magnetostatics, magnetic fields in matter, the vector potential, electrodynamics, the complete set of Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic waves, waveguides, electric and magnetic dipole radiation, retarded and advanced potentials, and radiation arising from accelerated charges and charge distributions.
Prereq: Phys 341
Phys 351 Introductory Quantum Mechanics I (3 cr)
Onedimensional theory; free particle, bound states, potential barriers, harmonic oscillator, matrix methods, and Dirac notation; interpretations of quantum theory.
Phys 371 Mathematical Physics (3 cr)
Same as Math 371. Mathematical techniques needed in upperdivision physics courses, including vector analysis, matrices, SturmLiouville problems, special functions, partial differential equations, complex variables.
Prereq: Phys 212/212L, Math 275
Phys 400 (s) Seminar (cr arr)
Phys 403 (s) Workshop (cr arr)
Phys 404 (s) Special Topics (cr arr)
Phys 407 Communicating Science (1 cr)
Gen Ed: Senior Experience
Writing scientific abstracts, manuscripts, and grant proposals; peer review; presenting concepts to scientists in oral and poster form; communicating to nonscientists.
Prereq: Junior or Senior Standing
Phys 411 Advanced Physics Lab (4 cr)
Research skills, group dynamics, scientific literature research/drafting, automation and design techniques to prepare students for postgraduate life in a physics laboratory setting. 1hr distributed lecture time and 3hr effective lab time per week. Some weeks require scheduling machine utilization time outside of standard class hours per student.
Prereq: Phys 305 or Permission
Phys J425/J525 Relativity (3 cr)
Introduction to the Special and General Theories of Relativity. Principle of relativity, Poincare and Lorentz transformations and their consequences. Fourdimensional formulation of relativistic mechanics and electromagnetism. Principle of equivalence and the geometric theory of gravitation. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit.
Prereq for 425: Phys 305 and Senior standing
Prereq for 525: Admission to physics graduate program or Permission
Phys J428/J528 Numerical Methods (3 cr)
Phys 428 same as Math 428 and Engr 428. Systems of equations, root finding, error analysis, numerical solution to differential equations, interpolation and data fitting, numerical integration, related topics and applications. Additional projects and/or assignments required for graduate credit in Phys 528.
Prereq: Math 310
Phys J438/J538 Biological Physics (3 cr)
Physics principles applied to biological systems including organisms, cells, and biomolecules. Techniques for studying biological systems and phenomena. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit.
Prereq for Phys 438: Phys 212 or Phys 213; and Junior or Senior Standing
Prereq for Phys 538: Graduate Standing or Permission
Phys J443/J543 Optics (3 cr)
Geometrical optics, wave optics and physical optics with emphasis on modern instrumentation and methods of measurement. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit.
Prereq for Phys 443: Phys 342
Prereq for Phys 543: Admission to Physics Graduate program or Permission
Phys J444/J544 Quantum Optics (3 cr)
Introduction to the physics of lasers, laser spectroscopy, nonlinear optical effects, and the interaction of radiation and matter. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit.
Prereq for Phys 444: Phys 212/212L or Phys 213/213L, Math 175, and Senior standing or Permission
Prereq for Phys 544: Admission to Physics Graduate program or Permission
Phys J464/J564 Materials Physics and Engineering (3 cr)
See MSE J464/J564.
Phys J465/J565 Particle and Nuclear Physics (3 cr)
Particle production and detection, properties and classification of particles, the quark model of hadrons, symmetries and conservation laws, interactions, grand unification, the strong interaction and nuclear forces, models for nuclear structure and reactions. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq for 465: Phys 305
Prereq for 565: Admission to physics graduate program or Permission
Phys J484/J584 Astrophysics (3 cr)
Celestial mechanics; planets and planetary systems; structure and evolution of stars and star systems; special and general relativity; cosmology. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit. Phys 484 is a cooperative course available to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq for Phys 484: Phys 305 or Math 275; or Permission
Prereq for Phys 584: Admission to physics graduate program or Permission
Phys 490 Research (16 cr, max 6)
Undergraduate research or thesis.
Prereq: Permission of Instructor
Phys 492 Senior Research (1 cr)
Undergraduate research in one of the department focus areas. Scientific communication through one presentation to the scientific community and one written report.
Prereq: Junior or Senior Standing; or Permission of Instructor
Phys 499 (s) Directed Study (cr arr)
Phys 500 Master's Research and Thesis (cr arr)
Phys 501 (s) Seminar (cr arr)
Graded Pass/Fail.
Prereq: Permission
Phys 502 (s) Directed Study (cr arr)
Phys 503 (s) Workshop (cr arr)
Phys 504 (s) Special Topics (cr arr)
Phys 521 Advanced Mechanics (3 cr)
Classical mechanics; Lagrange's and Hamilton's principles, twobody problem, rigid body motion, special relativity, canonical transformation, HamiltonJacobi theory, small oscillations, and Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations for continuous systems and fields. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 322
Phys 525 Relativity (3 cr)
Phys 528 Numerical Methods (3 cr)
See Phys J428/J528.
Phys 533 Statistical Mechanics (3 cr)
Ensembles, partition functions, classical and quantum statistics renormalization group, criticality, scaling, interacting systems, simulation. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 333
Phys 538 Biological Physics (3 cr)
See Phys J438/J538.
Phys 541 Electromagnetic Theory I (3 cr)
Analytical tools and techniques describing electromagnetic phenomena, particularly Maxwell's equations, electrostatic and magnetostatic systems, including currents and their interactions and boundary value problems. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 342
Phys 542 Electromagnetic Theory II (3 cr)
Further examinations of the analytical tools and techniques that describe electromagnetic phenomena, particularly electrodynamics, the general theory of emission, propagation and absorption of electromagnetic waves, and the relativistic formulation of electrodynamics. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 541
Phys 543 Optics (3 cr)
See Phys J443/J543.
Phys 544 Quantum Optics (3 cr)
See Phys J444/J544.
Phys 550 Quantum Mechanics I (3 cr)
Fundamental concepts, base kets and matrix representation, position and momentum space; Schroedinger and Heisenberg picture, Schroedinger’s wave equation and solutions; theory of angular momentum. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 351
Phys 551 Quantum Mechanics II (3 cr)
Theory of angular momentum continued; symmetries in quantum mechanics; approximation methods, timedependent and timeindependent perturbation theory, applications to atomic systems; radiation theory, theory of scattering. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 550
Phys 564 Materials Physics and Engineering (3 cr)
See Phys J464/J564.
Phys 565 Particle and Nuclear Physics (3 cr)
See Phys J465/J565.
Phys 571 Mathematical Methods of Physics (3 cr)
Methods and problems. Cooperative: open to WSU degreeseeking students.
Prereq: Phys 322 or Permission
Phys 584 Astrophysics (3 cr)
See Phys J484/J584.
Phys 600 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (cr arr)