DEPARTMENT of

CHEMISTRY | GEOSCIENCE | PHYSICS

Physics Courses


ELECTROMAGNETISM PHYS 320 PHYS (3.00 credits)
An advanced look at problems in electromagnetism including electrostatic fields, capacitance and dielectrics, magneto statics, electromagnetic induction, and Maxwell's equations. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F Prerequisite: PHYS 130 an MATH 232 with a C or better (MATH 233 recommended)
GENERAL PHYSICS I PHYS 130 S PHYS (4.00 credits)
This semester includes principles of classic mechanics, including kinematics, Newton's Laws, and energy. Emphasis is placed on applications in the real world (including biological and environmental applications). Students follow a guided inquiry approach to build on the concepts learned through hands-on activities involving exploration, modeling, and calculations. This course is an integrated lecture/laboratory that meets in three two-hour sessions per week. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F/S Prerequisite: Math placement level 3, placement into MATH 114A or placement into MATH 114B 
GENERAL PHYSICS II PHYS 131 S PHYS (4.00 credits)
This semester includes principles of electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics. Emphasis is placed on applications in the real world (including biological and environmental applications). Students follow a guided inquiry approach to build on concepts learned through hands-on activities involving exploration, modeling, and calculations. This course is an integrated lecture/laboratory that meets in three two-hour sessions per week. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F/S Prerequisite: Math placement level 3 or placement into MATH 114A, or placement into MATH 114B; completion of PHYS 130 
INDEPENDENT STUDY - PHYSICS PHYS 379 PHYS (1.00 - 4.00 credits)
Independent study of selected topics in physics conducted by the student with the approval and supervision of the instructor. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: consent of instructor
INDEPENDENT STUDY - PHYSICS PHYS 479 PHYS (1.00 - 4.00 credits)
Independent Study of selected topics in physics conducted by the student with the approval and supervision of the instructor. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
INTRO HUMAN BIOMECHANICS PHYS 220 V PHYS (3.00 credits)
Biomechanics is a field which uses mechanical analyses to investigate biological problems. Biomechanics involves combining what we know about the anatomy and physiology of the body, and physics to investigate problems. It is an increasingly popular field of study, as it has applications in health, prosthetic design, ergonomics, athletics, and computer gaming. Students who complete this course will study the methods that are currently used in investigating human biomechanical problems. Topics covered will include: mechanical and structural properties of living tissues, loads applied to joints, common sports injuries and treatments, linear and angular kinematics, linear and angular kinetics, equilibrium and torque. Cross-listed: BIO 220  Offered: F Prerequisite: Math placement level 3 or placement into MATH 114A or placement into MATH 114B 
INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING PHYS 160 PHYS (3.00 credits)
This course will provide the opportunity for students to explore various fields of engineering. This is a hands-on, project-based course that includes an introduction to computer tools and laboratory techniques used by engineers. Through active, collaborative work, students work on teams to apply the engineering problem-solving method to "real-world" problems.
MATHEMATICAL METHODS OF PHYSICS PHYS 300 PHYS (3.00 credits)
The physics content of the general physics sequence will be examined in greater detail using the tools of calculus to examine physical problems from classical mechanics, waves, electricity, and magnetism. Focus will be an interpretation of graphs, basic differential equations, and vector analysis of physical problems. Students will use the tools and language of mathematics to understand physics. Cross-listed: None. Offered: S Prerequisite: PHYS 131  and MATH 232 with a C or better (MATH 233 recommended)
PHYSICS SEMINAR PHYS 480 K PHYS (1.00 credits)
A seminar for upper-level physics majors to practice scientific communication skills and participate in discussion of topics in current research with fellow students and faculty. Students present a topic from the primary physics literature. One seminar-format meeting per week. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F Prerequisite: Four semesters of physics coursework (16 credits).
PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS PHYS 310 PHYS (3.00 credits)
Origin and development of classical mechanics; mathematical techniques, especially vector analysis; conservation laws and their relation to symmetry principles; brief introduction to orbit theory and harmonic oscillators. Cross-listed: None. Offered: S Prerequisite: C or better in MATH 232 - AND - C or better in PHYS 202 or PHYS 131.
PROBLEM SOLVING IN PHYSICS 1 PHYS 230 PHYS (1.00 credits)
The focus of this course is on mathematical modeling and problem solving in physics.  The first semester will explore topics in kinematics, force, energy, and momentum by using calculus to derive and interpret results.  This seminar is designed to be taken concurrently with PHYS 130.  The combination of PHYS 130 and PHYS 230 is the equivalent to the first semester of a calculus-based physics course. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent registration in MATH 231 
PROBLEM SOLVING IN PHYSICS 2 PHYS 231 PHYS (1.00 credits)
The focus of this course is on mathematical modeling and problem solving in physics.  The second semester will explore topics in electricity, magnetism, optics, and circuits by using calculus to derive and interpret results.  This seminar is designed to be taken concurrently with PHYS 131.  The combination of PHYS 131 and PHYS 231 is equivalent to the second semester of a calculus-based physics course. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent registration in MATH 232 
RELATIVITY & QUANTUM MECHANICS PHYS 360 X PHYS (4.00 credits)
An introduction to relativity and quantum mechanics, and applications to atomic, solid state, and nuclear physics and chemistry. The laboratory component will explore these applications in more detail and also emphasize various forms of writing in the sciences. Cross-listed: None. Offered: S Prerequisite: PHYS 131 and MATH 231 with a C or better
SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING PHYS 350 I PHYS (3.00 credits)
Introduces computing tools useful in solving scientific problems. Considers a variety of techniques of tackling scientific calculations such as spreadsheets, symbolic packages (or other suitable programming languages). Additional emphasis is placed on the acquisition of scientific information in an ethical and legal manner, including an exploration of the primary literature. Examples will be drawn from such diverse fields as astronomy, physics, chemistry, earth science, biology and mathematics. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F Prerequisite: PHYS 130  and MATH 231 
SOCIETY'S GRAND CHALLENGES PHYS 110 1V PHYS (3.00 credits)
This course will introduce engineering as a field concerned with solving the challenges facing modern society. These challenges include finding clean water resources, improving solar power, developing medical technology, and rebuilding aging infrastructure, among others. The focus will be on the intersection of science, technology, and society (STS), and explore how scientists and engineers can work to build a more just and compassionate world. Students will engage in the engineering design process, evaluate various solutions to society's challenges, and meet engineers who work in the Madison community. Cross-listed: None. Offered: F Prerequisite: First semester freshmen or freshmen transfer students and Math placement level 3, placement into MATH 114A, or placement into MATH 114B 
SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHYSICS PHYS 469 PHYS (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
Advanced study of topics of special current interest in physics and related fields. Seminar/discussion format. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: None.
SURVEY OF ASTRONOMY PHYS 150 S PHYS (4.00 credits)
Modern exploration of the physical universe. Topics include the sky and celestial motions, our solar system, nebulae, galaxies, and cosmology with emphasis on origin and evolution. Cross-listed: GEOS 150  Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: Math placement level 3, or placement into MATH 114A or placement into MATH 114B 
THERMODYNAMICS & KINETICS PHYS 361 PHYS (3.00 credits)
Investigates the law of thermodynamics, properties of the states of matter and dynamics. Three lectures per week. Cross-listed: CHEM 361 Offered: F Prerequisite: C or better in MATH 232 -AND- C or better in PHYS 202 or PHYS 131 -AND- CHEM 121.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PHYS 489 PHYS (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
Opportunities are available for students to engage in physics research, in conjunction with collaborative student-faculty research projects of with projects done with researchers from various governmental agencies. Cross-listed: None. Offered: No Information Provided. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
WORKSHOP IN PHYSICS PHYS 670 PHYS (1.00 - 3.00 credits)
Physics Teaching Resources Workshops, plus development of either a Physics Teaching Resource Conference or a course implementation plan for building a teaching unit. Prerequisites: None.