Physics Course Descriptions
PHYS 101. PHYSICAL SCIENCE SURVEY I (3 credit hours)
This course is designed to meet the WVSU general education requirements and is well suited to those going into elementary education. In the beginning of the 20th century, scientists came to accept the existence of atoms, even though they could not directly observe them. This acceptance was the result of a fruitful interaction of ideas in physics and chemistry. Students will come to understand this development through lecture and hands-on activities (labs). Class meets three times per week for one hour and 15 minutes. Prerequisite: Eligibility to take MATH 120 or 19 on Math ACT.
PHYS 102. PHYSICAL SCIENCE SURVEY II (4 credit hours)
This course is designed to meet the WVSU general education requirements and is well suited to those going into elementary education with plenty of hands- on activities. This is the second semester of a yearlong Physical Science class. Students are encouraged to take PHYS 101 before enrolling in this class. The second semester of Physical Science covers the earth/ space sciences. The earth science portion of this class focuses on the theory of plate tectonics and how it explains the planetary distribution of rocks, volcanos, earthquakes, etc. The space science portion examines our solar system using Earth as reference and the history of ideas about the solar system. Class meets twice a week for one hour and 15 minutes and once a week for lab for one hour and 50 minutes. Prerequisite: Eligibility to take MATH 120 or 19 on Math ACT.
PHYS 103. ELEMENTS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE (3 credit hours)
This General Education course in the Natural Sciences focuses on the question, “What is science?” It uses laboratory work in topics chosen from physics and chemistry to deal with science and scientific information; 4.5 class hours per week.
PHYS 106. INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOLOGY (4 credit hours)
A survey of the geological sciences with emphasis on the interrelationship between the Theory of Plate Tectonics and volcanos, earthquakes, natural resources, etc. This class meets the General Education Natural Science requirement. Three hours of lecture, one two-hour laboratory, plus short field trips. Prerequisite: score of 17 or above on Enhanced-ACT Math test, or by placement test when appropriate.
PHYS 107. HISTORICAL GEOLOGY (4 credit hours)
Historical Geology studies the history of the earth, which includes its lithosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The approach taken is to view the Earth as a system where these spheres interact. Studying the history of life (biosphere) means, we will examine the geological evidence for evolution. This class is part of the Bachelor of Business Administration in Energy Management curriculum and meets WVSU’s general education requirements. Lecture meets three hours a week and there is a 2-hour lab. Prerequisite: PHYS 106: Introduction to Physical Geology or BIOL 121: Biological Diversity
PHYS 110. WEATHER AND CLIMATE (3 credit hours)
This introductory course examines the physical properties of the atmosphere, radiation heating and cooling, precipitation, clouds, weather disturbance, climate controls, map reading, and aviation weather.
PHYS 111. ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (4 credit hours)
In the coming decades, one of the most important problems facing humankind is “How will we meet our energy needs?” In the immediate future fossil fuels will meet, most energy needs, but politics, pollution, and the finite size of these resources will force changes. The goal of this course is to give students the scientific background to make informed choices. Our starting point is the physics of energy resources. Amongst the topics covered are, residential and commercial heating and cooling, fossil fuels, biomass, electricity generation: solar, wind, hydro, nuclear and geothermal. This class is part of the curriculum for Bachelor of Business Administration in Energy Management and meets WVSU’s general education requirements. 3 hours of lecture 2 hours lab/recitation. Eligibility to take MATH 120
PHYS 120. ASTRONOMY (3 credit hours)
An overview of the development of astronomy. Material covers the earth, moon, planets, sun and other stars. Opportunities for celestial and solar observations are provided.
PHYS 121. ASTRONOMY LABORATORY (1 credit hour)
Observation, computer simulation and other activities that illustrate the concepts covered in Physics 120, Introduction to Astronomy. Students must have access to a computer, email, and FAX. Prerequisite: Must have completed or be enrolled in Physics 120, Astronomy.
PHYS 134. INTROSUCTION TO MODERN PHYSICS (3 credit hours)
An elementary introduction to concepts behind modern physics theories, including relativity, quantum mechanics, nuclear and particle physics. No prerequisites.
PHYS 170. PHYSICS THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY (3 credit hours)
Photography will be used as an entrance into various areas of science. Laboratory, darkroom, and field experiences will explore how practical use is made of scientific knowledge.
PHYS 191. TECHNICAL PHYSICS (3 credit hours)
Mechanics and properties of matter, heat, wave motion and sound. Topics are directly related to applied technology. Prerequisite: MATH 120 and 102 or 121 or permission of instructor
PHYS 192. TECHNICAL PHYSICS (3 credit hours)
Electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Topics are directly related to applied technology. Prerequisite: PHYS 191 or permission of instructor
PHYS 199. SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN PHYSICS (1-3 credit hours)
Independent work on a special problem with any member of the physics faculty. Prerequisite: PHYS 204 or permission of the instructor and the Dean of the College.
PHYS 201. GENERAL PHYSICS I (4 credit hours)
Mechanics and properties of matter, heat, wave motion, and sound. Prerequisites: MATH 120 and 102 OR 121 or permission of the instructor.
PHYS 202. GENERAL PHYSICS II (4 credit hours)
Electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 201 or permission of the instructor.
PHYS 203. GENERAL PHYSICS LABORATORY I (1 credit hour)
Quantitative work in the laboratory to accompany PHYS 201 and PHYS 231. Two class hours each week. Prerequisite: Students must have completed or be registered for PHYS 191 or PHYS 201 or PHYS 231.
PHYS 204. GENERAL PHYSICS LABORATORY II (1 credit hour)
Quantitative work in the laboratory to accompany PHYS 202 and PHYS 232. Two class hours each week. Prerequisite: Student must have completed or be registered for PHYS 192 or PHYS 202 or PHYS 232.
PHYS 209. ELEMENTARY RADIATION PHYSICS (3 credit hours)
A study of fundamental modern physics emphasizing radioactivity, ionizing radiation, and the interaction of radiation with matter. Prerequisite: PHYS 202 or permission of instructor.
PHYS 231. PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS I (4 credit hours)
A calculus-based study of mechanics, sound, heat and thermodynamics. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS 203. Prerequisite: MATH 206 or permission of instructor.
PHYS 232. PHYSICS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS II (4 credit hours)
A calculus-based study of electricity and magnetism, light, optics and modern physics. Must be taken concurently with PHYS 204. Prerequisite: PHYS 231 or permission of instructor.
PHYS 234. MODERN PHYSICS (4 credit hours)
A calculus-based introduction to relativity, quantum mechanics, nuclear and particle physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 231 and 232.
PHYS 299. SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN PHYSICS (1-3 credit hours)
Independent work on a special problem with any member of the physics faculty. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and Dean of the College.
PHYS 311. A.C. - D.C. MEASUREMENTS (3 credit hours)
Experience in measuring A.C. - D.C. voltages, current power, and capacitance. Introduction to and use will be made of photomultipliers, electronic counting devices, flip-flops, single amplifiers, photosensitive cells, and oscilloscopes. Prerequisites: PHYS 201 and 202.
PHYS 332. BIOPHYSICS (3 credit hours)
A study of sensory systems, nerves, physical microbiology, molecular biology, and the thermodynamics of transport systems from the physical principles involved. Prerequisites: PHYS 201, 202, CHEM 331, and MATH 206.
PHYS 350. PETROLEUM GEOLOGY (3 credit hours)
This class provides a geological understanding of petroleum, including its origin, its migration, the reservoir rocks in which it is found, the mechanisms by which it is trapped in the subsurface, the techniques by which it is found and extracted, and its geochemical and physical properties. PHYS 107: Historical Geology.
PHYS 351. PIPELINE FOR BUSINESS MAJORS (3 credit hours)
This course is designed to facilitate communication between workers in finance and accounting with those in engineering. The course examines the processes, techniques, equipment, and facilities used to transport liquids such as refined products, crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids through cross-country pipelines. Topics include the importance of the pipeline infrastructure; planning, designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining pipelines; safety issues; regulatory requirements; and the challenges for the future. This class meets for two class hours. PHYS 111: Energy and the Environment.
PHYS 370. ADVANCED LABORATORY (2 credit hours)
Scientific concepts relevant to photographic processes including direct positive, color and high contrast are explored and formulated into usable information. Experience is then provided in micro photographic applications. Prerequisite: PHYS 170 or permission of the instructor.
PHYS 399. SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN PHYSICS (1–3 credit hours)
Independent work on a special problem with any member of the physics faculty. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and of Dean of the College
PHYS 410. ADVANCED LABORATORY (2 credit hours)
Basic experimental techniques are developed and expanded through the performance and evaluation of several laboratory experiments drawn from optics, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. Prerequisite: MATH 206 or the permission of the instructor.
PHYS 499. SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN PHYSICS (1–3 credit hours)
Independent work on a special problem with any member of the physics faculty. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and Dean of the College.
The Physics Department provides a minor in physics, pre-engineering program, support courses for various degree programs and provides general education courses. The department also provides students entering careers or going to professional schools requiring a background in physics, with a strong academic foundation.
In addition, the Physics Department provides the courses for the Associate in Applied Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology administered by the Community and Technical College. (Refer to the catalog section on Associate Degrees.).
Minor in Physics (20 hours)
PHYS 203, 204, 231, 232, 234
CHEM 301, 302