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Physical Science (PS)

Courses

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 113  Introductory Physics I  3 Credits (3,0)

Survey 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 Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, space Physics Astronomy or Aircraft Engineering Technology.)
Prerequisites: MA 111 or MA 120 or MA 140.

PS 113L  Introductory Physics I Laboratory  1 Credit (0,1)

Introductory Physics I Lab is comprised of experiments to give students hands-on experience with topics in mechanics: force, energy, momentum, torques and angular momentum. This lab is not required for PS 113; however, it is designed to complement the PS 113 course.
Corequisites: PS 113.

PS 115L  Technical Physics Laboratory  1 Credit (0,1)

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  Foundations in the Sciences  3 Credits (3,0)

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 117  Introductory Physics II  3 Credits (3,0)

Application of basics physics principles discussed in PS 113. Other areas will include fluids, properties of matter, thermodynamics, wave motion, sound, simple harmonic motion, kinetic theory, basic electromagnetic theory and elementary circuits. Laboratory includes both descriptive and quantitative work. (Cannot be used for credit in physics toward degree in Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Space Physics Astronomy or Aircraft Engineering Technology.)
Prerequisites: PS 113.

PS 117L  Introductory Physics II Lab  1 Credit (0,1)

Introductory Physics II Lab
Prerequisites: PS 117.

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.
Prerequisites: 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 226 and 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 (0,1)

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 (0,1)

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) 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.
Prerequisites: PS 224.

PS 226  Physics I  3 Credits (3,0)

This is a calculus based introductory course in mechanics that explores units and order of magnitude analysis, vectors, kinematics, Newton's Law of Motion, momentum methods, work-energy principles, rotational kinematics, torque, gravitation and orbital motion.
Prerequisites: MA 241 Corequisites: PS 226L.

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

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)

This is a calculus-based introductory study of the principles of fluid dynamics, temperature, heat, laws of thermodynamics, simple harmonic motion, waves, acoustics and optics.
Prerequisites: PS 226 or PS 150 and PS 226L and MA 242.

PS 228  Physics III  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a calculus based introduction to the physics of electromagnetic phenomena. The topics include: static electricity, Gauss's law, potential, Ohm's law, direct current circuits, magnetic fields, induced electromotive force, induction, alternating circuits, EM waves and the nature of light.
Prerequisites: PS 227 or PS 160 and MA 243.

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

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 232  Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences  3 Credits (3,0)

******OFFERED ON PRESCOTT CAMPUS ONLY******This course is designed to teach students the computational methods use in physics and the physical sciences. Students will learn the techniques required to solve complex problems in physics and display their graphical representations using both structured and symbolic math programming languages. Students will also learn data reduction and error analysis techniques, fitting linear and non-linear functions, minimizing chi-square, and interpreting error matrices.
Corequisites: MA 243 and (PS 219 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 150 or PS 226 and MA 242.

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

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 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 (0,1)

This course is the study of experiments in atomic and nuclear physics, includingspectroscopy and interferometry, 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: CHM 111.

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.

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 Corequisites: PS 303.

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 (1,3)

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.