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Lower-Division Courses

Below are listed the various lower-division courses that are regularly offered by the Department. Please note that not all courses are offered during a given semester; check with the Registrar or with your advisor for scheduling and other information.

PHY 301 • Mechanics

PHY 301/315/316/319 is a calculus-based course sequence for Physics majors and students in other scientific disciplines. A background in physics at the high school level is strongly recommended.

Designed for students who intend to major in science or mathematics. Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 301, 302K, 303K, 309K, 317K.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement.

Prerequisites

High school physics or consent of the undergraduate adviser; credit or registration for Physics 101L; and one of the following: Mathematics 408C, Mathematics 408K and concurrent enrollment in 408L, or Mathematics 408N and concurrent enrollment in 408S.

PHY 101L • Laboratory for PHY 301

Lab experiments designed to illustrate the experimental basis of mechanics and to introduce students to the basic principles of experimental physics: Quantitative measurement in a framework of theoretical understanding, and the assessment of accuracy and uncertainty in measurements and experimental results.

Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 101L, 102M, 103M, 117M. May not be counted toward a degree unless prerequisite is observed.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 301.

PHY 302K • General Physics I—Technical Course—Mechanics, Heat, Sound

PHY 302K/302L is a non-calculus-based technical course sequence for students who need to fulfill a general physics requirement. It serves as an introduction to the mechanics of solids and fluids, heat, and waves. You will gain an understanding and appreciation of how the scientific method is used to reveal the fundamental principles by which the universe operates, and will observe how knowledge of these principles is applied to the invention of new technologies and has helped shape the modern world.

A mathematics proficiency at the level of M 305G is required.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 102M.

PHY 302L • General Physics I—Technical Course—Electricity and Magnetism, Light, Atomic and Nuclear Physics

PHY 302K/302L is a non-calculus-based technical course sequence for students who need to fulfill a general physics requirement. It serves as an introduction to the mechanics of solids and fluids, heat, and waves. You will gain an understanding and appreciation of how the scientific method is used to reveal the fundamental principles by which the universe operates, and will observe how knowledge of these principles is applied to the invention of new technologies and has helped shape the modern world.

A mathematics proficiency at the level of M 305G is required.

Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 302L, 303L, 309L, 316, 317L.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement.

Prerequisites

Physics 302K and 102M and credit or registration for Physics 102N.

PHY 102M • Laboratory for PHY 302K

Physics 102M is the laboratory class that accompanies Physics 302K, covering the major subjects that are covered in PHY 302K in a hands-on laboratory setting. The subjects covered include: Kinematics of Free Fall; Newtons Second Law (static and dynamic); Energy; Momentum; Torque (statics and dynamic); Buoyancy; Harmonic Motion; Standing Waves; and Heat.

Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 101L, 102M, 103M, 117M. May not be counted toward a degree unless prerequisite is observed.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 302K.

PHY 102N • Laboratory for PHY 302L

Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 102N, 103N, 116L, 117N. May not be counted toward a degree unless prerequisite is observed.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 302L.

PHY 303K • Engineering Physics I

A general survey of physics; primarily laws of motion, heat, and wave phenomena. Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the department: Physics 301, 302K, 303K, 309K, 317K.

PHY 303K/303L is a calculus-based introductory course sequence for engineering students. A background in physics at the high school level is strongly recommended. Four evening exams will be scheduled during the semester: Wednesday evenings for PHY 303K and Thursday evenings for PHY 303L. Students who register for either of these courses should not register for any other Wednesday or Thursday evening classes to avoid time conflicts. There are mandatory recitation sections with each course.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement.

Prerequisites

High school physics or consent of the undergraduate adviser; Mathematics 408C, Mathematics 408K, and concurrent enrollment in 408L, or Mathematics 408N and concurrent enrollment in 408S; and credit or registration for Physics 103M.

PHY 303L • Engineering Physics II

Electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic phenomena. Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the department: Physics 302L, 303L, 309L, 316, 317L.

PHY 303K/303L is a calculus-based introductory course sequence for engineering students. A background in physics at the high school level is strongly recommended. Four evening exams will be scheduled during the semester: Wednesday evenings for PHY 303K and Thursday evenings for PHY 303L. Students who register for either of these courses should not register for any other Wednesday or Thursday evening classes to avoid time conflicts. There are mandatory recitation sections with each course.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement.

Prerequisites

Physics 303K and 103M; Mathematics 408C, Mathematics 408K, and concurrent enrollment in 408L, or Mathematics 408N and concurrent enrollment in 408S; and credit or registration for Physics 103N.

PHY 103M • Laboratory for PHY 303K

Only one of the following may be counted: Physics 102M, 103M, 115L, 117M.

May not be counted toward a degree unless prerequisite is observed.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 303K.

PHY 103N • Laboratory for PHY 303L

Only one of the following may be counted: Physics 102N, 103N, 116L, 117N.

May not be counted toward a degree unless prerequisite is observed.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 303L.

PHY 104 • Introductory Physics Seminar

Suggested for beginning Physics majors. Discussion of the development of important ideas in physics, with emphasis on their relevance to contemporary research. One lecture hour a week for one semester.

Offered on the pass/fail basis only.

PHY 108 • Introduction to Research

Introductory laboratory experience; use of tools and test equipment; beginning apprenticeship in active physics research. Hour(s) to be arranged.

Offered on the pass/fail basis only. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites

Consent of instructor and approval of an undergraduate advisor.

PHY 309K • Elementary Physics for Non-technical Students

PHY 309K/309L is an introduction to physics for students with a high school-level algebra proficiency who do not intend to do further work in natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, or medicine. It covers topics such as Newton’s Laws; Momentum and Energy; Rotational Motion; Gravity; Atomic Nature of Matter; Solids, Liquids, Gases, and Plasma; Temperature and Heat; Heat Transfer; Phase Changes; and Waves and Sound.

Prerequisites

High school trigonometry or Mathematics 305G.

PHY 309L • Elementary Physics for Non-technical Students

PHY 309K/309L is an introduction to physics for students with a high school-level algebra proficiency who do not intend to do further work in natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, or medicine.

PHY 110C • Conference Course—Science of the Times—Spec Relativity for Beginners—Freshman Majors—Sophomore Majors—Jr/Sr Majors

Supervised study of selected topics in physics, by individual arrangement with Department and instructor.

Some sections are offered on the pass/fail basis only; these are identified in the Course Schedule. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Prerequisites

Written consent of instructor.

PHY 315 • Wave Motion and Optics

PHY 301/315/316/319 is a calculus-based course sequence for Physics majors and students in other scientific disciplines. A background in physics at the high school level is strongly recommended.

PHY 115L • Laboratory for PHY 315

PHY 301/315/316/319 is a calculus-based course sequence for Physics majors and students in other scientific disciplines. A background in physics at the high school level is strongly recommended.

PHY 316 • Electricity and Magnetism

PHY 301/315/316/319 is a calculus-based course sequence for Physics majors and students in other scientific disciplines. A background in physics at the high school level is strongly recommended.

PHY 116L • Laboratory for PHY 316

The laboratory course is designed to acquaint you with the experimental basis of the laws of electricity and magnetism and to introduce you to the techniques of electrical measurement, which are universal in experimental physics.

PHY 317K • General Physics I

PHY 317K/317L is a calculus-based general introductory physics course sequence. It is especially recommended for premedical and chemistry students and others in the biomedical sciences.

PHY 117L • Laboratory for 317L

Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 102N, 103N, 116L, 117N.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 317L.

PHY 317L • General Physics II

PHY 317K/317L is a calculus-based general introductory physics course sequence. It is especially recommended for premedical and chemistry students and others in the biomedical sciences.

PHY 117M • Laboratory for 317K

Only one of the following may be counted without prior approval of the Department: Physics 101L, 102M, 103M, 117M.

Laboratories begin the second week of classes.

Prerequisites

Credit or registration for Physics 317K.

Contact Information
Undergraduate Coordinator
Lisa Gentry
RLM 5.216 • (512) 471-8856
Graduate Coordinator
Matt Ervin
RLM 5.224 • (512) 471-1664
Office of the Registrar
Main Bldg., Room 1 • (512) 475-7575