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Physical Science (PS)

Courses

PS 101  Basic Chemistry  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a study of elementary chemical theory. It covers basic atomic theory, elements, compounds, and mixtures, calculation of weight and weight volume relationships, basic descriptive chemistry and one 1.5 hour lab session per week. Cannot be used for credit in chemistry toward degrees in Aerospace or Electrical Engineering. Passing grade required for Lab. NOTE: Students must register for lab section PS 101L.
Corequisites: MA 140 and PS 101L.

PS 101L  Basic Chemistry Laboratory  0 Credits

One 1.5 hour laboratory session per week, with experiments related to the material of PS 101.
Corequisites: PS 101.

PS 103  Technical Physics I  3 Credits (3,1)

A course in elementary physics. Stress will be placed on basic physics principles. Problem solving and problem-solving logic will be an important, integral part of this course. Topics will include Newton's Laws, projectile motion, circular motion, work, energy, conservation laws, and momentum. (Cannot be used for credit in physics toward degrees in Engineering Physics, Civil, Aerospace, or Electrical Engineering.)
Prerequisites: MA 111 or MA 140 Corequisites: MA 112 or MA 241.

PS 104  Technical Physics II  3 Credits (3,1)

Application of basic physics principles discussed in PS 103. Other areas will include fluids, properties of matter, thermodynamics, wave motion, sound, simple harmonic motion, kinetic theory, basic electromagnetic theory, and elementary circuits. Cannot be used for credit in physics toward degrees in Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Civil, Aerospace, or Electrical Engineering.
Prerequisites: PS 103 and MA 112 or MA 241 Corequisites: PS 115L.

PS 107  Elements of Biological Science  3 Credits (3,0)

An introductory science course in general biology. Emphasis is placed on human anatomy, and on the chemical and biological foundations of human physiology. Provides background material that supports life science applications courses.

PS 107L  Biological Science Laboratory  1 Credit (0,3)

Students will perform fundamental experiments related to selected topics in PS 107. Experiments will include use of the compound microscope to examine living and non-living cells and tissues, studies of DNA and chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis, and other types of biologically important compounds, and cell structure and transformation. Students will also measure their own pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiratory capacity.

PS 108  Contemporary Chemistry  3 Credits (3,0)

Elementary chemical theory. The origins and development of chemistry with an overview of the present applications of chemistry and its future potential in human affairs. Applications to scientific decision-making in the business and industrial environment. One one-hour laboratory session per week. Students who take PS 108 may not also take PS 101.

PS 115L  Technical Physics Laboratory  1 Credit

Techniques for data analysis and laboratory methods and scientific inquiry in the context of experiments dealing with Newton's laws, energy, rotational motion, oscillatory motion, sound, heat, fluids, optics and electricity & magnetism. This laboratory is designed to give students a science laboratory experience introducing them to concepts covered in PS 103 and PS 104.
Prerequisites: MA 111 or MA 112 or MA 120 or MA 140 or MA 241.

PS 116  The Joy of Science  3 Credits

A nonmathematical survey course intended for students majoring in the non-technical programs, highlighting the great ideas in the physical and biological sciences. Emphasis is on the process of science, the interrelationships of the sciences, and how core scientific principles relate to daily life.

PS 139  Principles of Chemistry  3 Credits (3,0)

Fundamental principles of chemistry. Nomenclature, stoichiometry, atomic structure, periodic relationships, chemical bonding, geometry of molecules, properties of gases, chemical thermodynamics, solutions and an introduction to organic chemistry.
Prerequisites: MA 111 or MA 120 or MA 140 Corequisites: PS 141.

PS 140  Chemistry for Engineers  4 Credits (4,0)

Chemical stoichiometry, states of matter, solutions, thermodynamics, rate of reaction, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction, corrosion, organic compounds, and polymers.
Prerequisites: PS 101 and MA 111 or MA 120 or MA 140 Corequisites: PS 141.

PS 141  Chemistry for Engineers Laboratory  1 Credit (0,3)

One three hour laboratory session per week, with experiments paralleling the material in PS 140. Topics include chemical stoichiometry; states of matter; solutions; thermodynamics; rate of reaction; equilibrium; oxidation-reduction; corrosion; organic compounds and polymers.
Corequisites: PS 140 or PS 139.

PS 142  Introduction to Environmental Science  3 Credits (3,0)

An introductory course that stresses the interrelations of all aspects of the living and the nonliving world. Introduces the student to key concepts and principles that govern how nature works and the application of these concepts and principles to possible solutions to environmental and resource problems.

PS 150  Physics for Engineers I  3 Credits (3,0)

This course explores vectors and scalar quantities; kinematics; Newton's Law of Motion; work; work-energy; conversion of energy; conversion of momentum; center of mass and its motion, torque, equilibrium; and orbital motion.
Corequisites: MA 241.

PS 160  Physics for Engineers II  3 Credits (3,0)

This is a calculus-based study of the fundamental principles of classical mechanics. Topics include rotational motion, simple harmonic motion, waves, fluid, heat, kinetic energy, and thermodynamics.
Prerequisites: PS 150 or PS 215 Corequisites: MA 242.

PS 199  Special Topics in Physical Science  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed study of topics in the fields of the physical sciences.

PS 210  Physics II Laboratory  1 Credit

One three-hour laboratory session per week with experiments chosen primarily from fluids, temperature, heat, first and second laws of thermodynamics, wave motion, and acoustics.
Prerequisites: PS 226 and PS 226L and MA 241 Corequisites: PS 227.

PS 224  Astronomy  3 Credits (3,0)

A descriptive course dealing with the structure and evolution of the physical universe. Topics include the solar system (Earth, Moon, Sun, and planets), stars, black holes, galaxies, quasars, cosmology, and exobiology. Planetarium trips and night-observing sessions optional.

PS 224L  Introductory General Astronomy Laboratory  1 Credit (0,3)

One three hour laboratory session per week to supplement the introductory Astronomy course, PS 224, in order to: (1) increase the options available for students to fulfill their general education science requirements; (2) provide an introductory astronomy laboratory early on as preparation for the existing senior level Observational Astronomy course (EP425) for those pursuing the Astronomy minor; (3) make available an observationally intensive astronomy experience for any student with a basic interest in astronomical observing without committing to either a degree program or degree minor.
Corequisites: PS 224.

PS 226  Physics I  3 Credits (3,0)

Estimations, order of magnitude analysis, Newton's Law, gravitation, kinematics, work and energy, momentum, rotation, and harmonic motion.
Prerequisites: MA 241 Corequisites: PS 226L.

PS 226L  Physics I Laboratory  1 Credit (0,3)

One three-hour laboratory session per week, with experiments chosen primarily from mechanics.
Corequisites: PS 226 or PS 150.

PS 227  Physics II  3 Credits (3,0)

Fluids, temperature, heat, first and second laws of thermodynamics, wave motion, and acoustics.
Prerequisites: PS 226 or PS 150 and PS 226L and MA 242.

PS 228  Physics III  3 Credits (3,0)

Static electricity, Gauss's law, potential, Ohm's law, direct current circuits, magnetic fields, induced electromotive force, induction, EM waves, the nature of light, alternating circuits.
Prerequisites: PS 227 or PS 160 and MA 243.

PS 228L  Physics III Laboratory  1 Credit (0,3)

One three-hour laboratory session per week with experiments chosen primarily from thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and geometric optics.
Prerequisites: MA 243 Corequisites: PS 228 or PS 250.

PS 250  Physics for Engineers III  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a calculus-based study of the fundamental principles of classical mechanics. It is the third course of a three-semester sequence, intended for students of science and engineering and is designed to provide the student with an appropriate background for more advanced physics and engineering course work. Topics of discussion include electric forces; electric field; Gauss's law; Ohm's law; Ampere's law; Faraday's law; Lenz's law; Kirchhoff's law and Maxwell's equations; electric potential and electrostatic potential energy; capacitance; simple DC circuit theory; magnetic force, magnetic field; inductance; electromagnetic oscillations and wave propagation; linear accelerators; and cyclotrons.
Prerequisites: PS 160 or PS 227 and MA 242.

PS 253  Physics Laboratory for Engineers  1 Credit (0,3)

One three-hour laboratory session per week, with experiments complementing the material of PS 250. Primarily lab report writing workshop, error analysis, damped harmonic oscillations, spectrometers, optics, atomic physics, thermodynamics and circuit theory.
Corequisites: PS 250.

PS 290  Physics Laboratory Practicum  0 Credits (3,0)

Required, noncredit course. Requires the student to direct the operation of a basic laboratory for one semester. Includes laboratory preparation, laboratory discussion, and grading of laboratory reports.
Prerequisites: COM 219.

PS 299  Special Topics in Physical Science  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed study of topics in the fields of the physical sciences.

PS 302  Evolution of Scientific Thought  3 Credits (3,0)

This course traces the development of science from the earliest times through the modern period, with particular emphasis given to our changing concepts of nature and of science itself. Students will receive either social science elective credit or physical science elective credit, but not both.
Prerequisites: HU 140 or HU 141 or HU 142 and PS 102 or PS 103.

PS 303  Modern Physics  3 Credits (3,0)

This is an introductory course in non-classical (modern) physics; it introduces students to the modern concepts in physics. Topics discussed include scattering of electromagnetic radiation; special relativity; wave-particle duality; the uncertainty principle and quantum theory of atomic structure; x-rays; lasers; and nuclear reactions.
Prerequisites: PS 228 or PS 250.

PS 305  Modern Physics Laboratory  1 Credit (0,3)

Experiments in atomic and nuclear physics, including spectroscopy, nuclear particle analysis, X-ray analysis, and laser applications.
Prerequisites: PS 228L Corequisites: PS 303.

PS 314  Environmental Chemistry  3 Credits (3,3)

This course is an introduction to the chemistry of natural systems, including cycling of elements, complex equilibria, oxidation and reduction, atmospheric chemistry, nuclear processes, energy use, and toxic substances. Laboratory work includes wet and instrumental analyses related to environmental analytical chemistry.
Prerequisites: PS 106.

PS 316  Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics I  3 Credits (3,0)

A physics-based course dealing with the structure and evolution of the physical universe. Topics include the Solar System (Earth, Moon, Sun, and planets), planets orbiting other stars, astrobiology, star formation, stellar evolution, stellar nucleosynthesis, and exotic objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes.

PS 317  Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics II  3 Credits (3,0)

A physics-based course dealing with the structure and evolution of the physical universe. Topics include the structure and history of our Milky Way galaxy, elliptical, spiral, and dwarf galaxies, galaxy clusters, active galactic nuclei, cosmology, the Big Bang, and primordial nucleosynthesis. Prerequisite PS 316.

PS 318  Introductory Astrophysics Laboratory  1 Credit (0,1)

One three hour laboratory session per week, to supplement the existing Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics I/II sequence (PS 316, PS 317) in order to: (1) provide an introductory astronomy laboratory as preparation for the existing senior level Observational Astronomy course (EP 425); (2) make available at an early stage an observationally intensive astronomy experience for technical students with a passion for astronomy and astrophysics. Co requisite PS 316.

PS 320  Classical Mechanics  3 Credits (3,0)

Fundamentals of mechanics, oscillatory motion, systems of particles, varying mass, motion under central forces, motion in three dimensions, gyroscopic motion, generalized coordinates, normal coordinates, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations. Students will write some simple computer programs.
Prerequisites: MA 345 and PS 228 or PS 250.

PS 399  Special Topic in Physical Science  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed study of topics in the fields of the physical sciences.

PS 400  Senior Physics Laboratory I  3 Credits (1,3)

This course is a study of advanced laboratory techniques involving selected topics from modern and quantum physics, optics, and electromagnetics. Students will conduct a series of experiments, utilize a technical logbook, and make written and oral presentations of their experimental work.
Prerequisites: PS 305.

PS 401  Astrophysics  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a study of the basic physical processes operating in the astronomical environment: stellar structure, stellar evolution, and the interstellar medium, galaxies. Astrophysical concepts are emphasized, thus underlining the common features appearing within many astronomical systems.
Prerequisites: MA 345 and PS 303.

PS 405  Atomic Nuclear Physics  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a study of multi-electron atoms, x-rays and gamma rays, and radiative transitions in the atom and the nucleus. Topics include time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, scattering and the Born approximation, basic properties of nuclei, systematics of nuclear stability, dynamics of nuclear reactions, nuclear models, and nuclear forces.
Prerequisites: EP 440.

PS 408  Astrophysics II  3 Credits (3,0)

Study of the basic physical processes operating in the Galaxy and extragalactic astronomical environments: galactic structure and evolution, the expanding universe, and cosmology. Astrophysical concepts are emphasized, thus underlining the common features appearing within many astronomical systems.
Prerequisites: MA 345 and PS 401.

PS 410  Senior Physics Laboratory II  3 Credits

Binary stars, spectroscopic binaries, proper motion, galaxy rotation curves, image processing.
Prerequisites: PS 400 and PS 401.

PS 425  General Relativity  3 Credits (3,0)

Topics include tensor analysis, perturbation theory, theory of field Lagrangians, special relativity at an advanced level, and Einstein's theory of general relativity. These tools are applied to problems in solar system dynamics, stellar structure, gravity waves, and cosmology. In addition, there is an introduction to the ideas of quantum mechanics, as they pertain to gravitation.
Prerequisites: MA 345 and PS 228 or PS 250.

PS 499  Special Topic in Physical Science  1-6 Credit

Individual independent or directed study of topics in the fields of the physical sciences.