This course will consist of a detailed investigation of a topic or set of topics important to contemporary physics but that is covered at the introductory level. The topic will be chosen by the department for its relevance to current research in physics, its accessibility to students, and/or a demonstrated need.
An introduction to the current understanding of the universe combined with an observational component which involves familiarization with the night sky and telescopic observation of the moon, planets, stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
An introduction to the physical principles that are used to understand the mechanisms that control the Earth's atmosphere. Topics covered will include: the Earth's Heat Budget, the Hydrologic Cycle, Atmospheric Stability, Cloud Formation, Global Circulation Patterns, Wave Cyclone Theory, and climate Change Theories. The class will also provide insight into understanding the fundamental science behind issues such as global climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, and air pollution.
This is a one-semester course that looks at the application of physics to forensics. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, ballistics, blood spatter analysis, vehicular accidents, radiation monitoring and exposure, acoustic forensics, and combustion. This is an optional course for the Forensic Science program.
An introduction to the fundamental understanding of energy and the implications associated with the different sources of energy used to power our society. Topics covered will include thermal, electrical, and nuclear energies, renewable energies, such as solar, wind, and geothermal and energy from fossil fuels. In addition, climate change, radioactivity, and acid rain will be discussed as consequences of the different sources of energy.
A modern introduction to basic physics that requires a strong background in algebra, plane geometry, and elementary trigonometry. Calculus is not required. This course fulfills the physics requirement of students majoring in Biology and Natural Science. This course fulfills the physics requirement of students majoring in Biology and Natural Science.
A modern introduction to basic physics that uses calculus as a tool. This course also addresses the nature of science and some life science topics to show how physics fits into the broader domain of science.
PS 131 Meets the Scientific Reasoning Learning Outcome (SCI)
Time is one of the most enigmatic aspects of our existence. What is it? How do we perceive it? How do we measure it? Does it even exist? This course examines these and many other profound questions surrounding the nature of time beginning with the basic operational view of time. This will then be used to explore specific topics including the nature of clocks, various paradoxes of time, human and animal perception of time, causality & determinism, gravity's effect on time, and the various "arrows" of time.
An introduction to physical geology including, but not necessarily limited to, topics such as the origin, classification, and identification of minerals, rocks, and related structures; plate tectonics; and processes that shape the earth's surface. The laboratory portion of the class consists largely of field work in various locations around New Hampshire and parts of Maine including in the White Mountains.
This course will use basic concepts of astronomy, geology, and physics to do a comparative analysis of the worlds of the Solar System. Topics may include: observation of the planets, history of planetary exploration, terrestrial landforms and processes, atmospheric processes, small bodies in the Solar System, and formation of the Solar System.
The goal of this team-taught course is to introduce students to the field of remote sensing and to give them experience analyzing remote sensing data. This engaged-learning course will use GIS technology to explore spatial relationships across multiple disciplines. The class will use a scenario-based problem approach where students will examine real data and learn how to make and support spatial decisions. Learning will occur in a laboratory setting through exploration, discussion and hands-on interactive laboratory activities.
This course will discuss the probability and possibility of extraterrestrial life and details the science behind the search for life. The course will also explore the possibilities for human exploration beyond Earth. Topics may include: star formation, stellar evolution, planetary formation, mass extinctions, evolution and natural selection, radio astronomical techniques to search for signs of intelligent signals, and human spaceflight.
A one-semester course that naturally follows the two-semester Calculus-Based Physics sequence and introduces students to the basic areas of modern physics including atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics, condensed matter physics, high energy and nuclear physics, and more as time allows.
This course introduces students to computational methods frequently employed in physics and engineering. Emphasis will be placed on applying numerical methods to physical problems using an appropriate programming language. Topics may include speed and accuracy of computations; graphics and visualization; solutions of linear and nonlinear equations; methods of integration, differentiation, and interpolation; solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations; and Monte Carlo methods.
Prior programming experience is recommended but not necessary.
A study of rigid-body mechanics that provides a foundation for the design and analysis of structural and mechanical systems. Topics covered include force vectors, structural analysis, internal forces, and moments of inertia.
This standard course in the engineering area is referred to alternately as mechanics of solids, mechanics of materials, or strength of materials. Topics covered include stress analysis, strain, the Mohr circle, yield and failure criteria, torsion, and bending of beams.
This is an intermediate level course in the analysis of electrical circuits, devices, and systems. The course utilizes differential equations and other techniques to analyze circuits, including those with operational amplifiers and other active and passive elements. The course includes a laboratory and providing the basis for continued study in physics and electrical engineering.
This is an intermediate level course in Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics. The course studies the laws and fundamental assumptions of thermodynamics and statistical physics, providing the framework for studies of entropy, thermodynamic cycles, and other such processes.
This is an intermediate level course in Fluid Dynamics. The laws of mechanics and those for conservative quantities are used to analyze fluids at rest and in motion. Concepts such as; Bernoulli's law; the continuity equation; dimensional analysis; viscous flow; and boundary-layer theory; will be discussed.
This is an intermediate level course in Electromagnetism. The course is focused on the application of mathematics at a level of differential equation to the investigation of electromagnetic phenomena. Topics such as electroand magneto-statics, Maxwell's equations, waveguides, radiation patterns, and antenna design will be discussed.
A study of classical mechanics applied to the motion of particles, systems, and rigid bodies. Topics covered include analysis in several coordinate systems, conservation laws, rigid-body analysis, and an introduction to Hamiltonian and Lagrangian methods of analysis.
A study of both the theoretical and experimental foundations of quantum mechanics. Topics covered include quantum formalism, two-level quantum systems, angular momentum, the Schrödinger equation, and quantum fields. Includes a laboratory component.
This course surveys the most important topics in modern astrophysics and will explore concepts of physics as they apply to astronomical phenomena, such as: mechanics of orbiting bodies, atomic structure as it relates to spectra, radiative transfer in stellar atmospheres, general relativity and black holes, and more.
This course is a discussion of mathematical methods with emphasis on their applications to physics. The topics covered include: complex numbers, complex algebra, Fourier series, integral transforms, and group theory.
This course will consist of a detailed investigation of a topic important to contemporary physics. The topic will be chosen by the department for its relevance to current research in physics and its accessibility to students.
Students learn the basic methods of research and design analysis. Students read and discuss published papers and review notable designs as a means of preparing students for further research or design work.
The student conducts research under the direction of a faculty advisor. The student presents an oral report to students and faculty, writes a thesis describing his/her research, and may be required to present the results in poster presentations. Open to qualified students in other majors with the permission of both department chairpersons.
Qualified students may be offered the opportunity to develop an internship experience relevant to their academic goals. PS 475 and PS476 are each typically the equivalent of one academic course. Students may not register for PS476 alone; it is be taken in conjunction with PS 475. Students will earn a letter grade for PS 475 and PS476 will be graded on a pass/fail basis.