Courses
Course Descriptions for 20132014

PHYS 120: Revolutions in Physics
The structure and development of key concepts in physics. In particular, we will examine the Newtonian synthesis, Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and chaotic dynamics. We will see how the various developments alter our perspective on our relationship with the material universe. We will also consider the role of social context, creativity, aesthetics, and tradition in scientific discovery. No mathematical background beyond highschool algebra will be assumed. Occasional laboratory work. Not open to students majoring in mathematics or the natural sciences or to students who have taken 131, 132, 141, 142, 151, 153, 162 or 165.
6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 123: What Physicists Do
A program of five lectures by invited speakers that is intended to give students some perspective on the kinds of work done by people with a physics background. Visitors from industry, government, business, and research and educational institutions will discuss their work and workrelated experiences. Prerequisites: Physics 131, 132, 141, 142, 151, 152, 153, 161, 162 or 165. 1 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2014 · K. MartinWellsExtended departmental description for PHYS 123
For a full list of the 2014 PHYS 123 speakers and a description of their talks click here.

PHYS 131: Introduction to Physics: Newtonian Mechanics
An introduction to classical mechanics using the Newtonian worldview. The kinematics and dynamics of some simple systems including objects in free fall, simple harmonic motion, planetary motion, and the motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields are investigated using Newton's laws, vector analysis, and the conservation laws of linear momentum, angular momentum, and energy. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed. Weekly laboratory work. Prerequisites: Mathematics 111. Not open to students who have completed Physics 132, 141, or 142 at Carleton. 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · J. Tasson, B. Titus 
PHYS 132: Introduction to Physics: Gravity and the Earth
An introduction to the basic principles of Newtonian mechanics and conservation laws using the earth and the gravitational force law as a conceptual framework. The many influences of gravity on the structure of the earth from its shape to the tides, and techniques for measuring gravity will be discussed. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed. Weekly laboratory. Prerequisites: Mathematics 111. Not open to students who have completed Physics 131, 141 or 142 at Carleton. 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 141: Introduction to Physics: Gravity and the Cosmos
An introduction of basic principles of physics in the realm of planetary systems, black holes and dark matter in the universe. Gravity, conservation of energy and momentum will be used to explore largescale phenomena in the cosmos. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed. Weekly laboratory or observational work. Not open to students who have completed Physics 131, 132, or 142 at Carleton. Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Mathematics 121 (completion or concurrent registration) and strong preparation in Newtonian Mechanics. 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2014 · K. MartinWells 
PHYS 142: Introductory Mechanics: Matter and Interactions
An introduction to Newtonian mechanics using calculus. The kinematics and dynamics of objects in motion are investigated using Newton's laws and related conservation laws. Examples of systems studied include tabletop objects, simple astronomical systems, or objects in harmonic motion. This section emphasizes a bottomup atomic perspective and introduces a computational approach to allow the consideration of atoms and molecules inside solids as well. Weekly laboratory or computational work. Prerequisites: Mathematics 121 (completion or concurrent registration) and strong preparation in physics. Not open to students who have completed Physics 131, 132, or 141 at Carleton. 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013 · J. Coats 
PHYS 151: Introduction to Physics: Relativity and Particles
An introduction to principles of physics in the domain of the very small and very fast. Topics include the special theory of relativity, and selected applications to atomic, nuclear, and particle physics. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed. Weekly laboratory work.
Prerequisites: Mathematics 121 (completion or concurrent registration) and Physics 131 (completion or concurrent registration) or 132 or 141 or 142 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · N. Christensen, J. Tasson, W. Titus 
PHYS 152: Introduction to Physics: Environmental Physics
An introduction to principles of physics and their application to the environment. Topics include energy and its flows, engines, energy efficiency, energy usage and conservation in vehicles and buildings, the atmosphere, and climate change. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed. Weekly laboratory work or field trips.
Prerequisites: Mathematics 111 (completion or concurrent registration) and Physics 131 or 132 or 141 or 142 (or their equivalents) 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2014 · J. Weisberg 
PHYS 153: Fluid and Waves
A study of the properties of fluids (both static and dynamic) and the principles of waves and wave motion (including both sound and light). Topics include simple harmonic motion, buoyancy and Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's equation, viscosity, Poiseuille's equation, standing waves, musical instruments, and the Doppler effect. One laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: Physics 131 or 132 or 141 or 142 and Mathematics 111 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013 · C. Blaha 
PHYS 165: Introduction to Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics
A study of the principles of electricity, magnetism, and optics with an emphasis on realworld applications including electronics, laser physics, astronomy, and medicine. Topics include electric and magnetic fields, electric potentials, DC and AC circuits, geometric and wave optics, and relevant properties of matter. Designed for science majors who want additional background in physics. Comfort with algebra and the integration and differentiation of elementary functions is assumed. One laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: Physics 131 or 132 or 141 or 142, Mathematics 121 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2014 · J. Coats 
PHYS 223: Presentation Skills in Physics
Designed to help students improve their skills in oral and visual presentation of scientific topics. The course will begin with readings and discussion of effective oral presentation skills. Students will report on physicsrelated topics of their choice (e.g., their previous summer's research, or a topic studied in another course).
Prerequisites: Physics 151, 152, 153, or 165 2 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 228: Atomic and Nuclear Physics
An elementary but analytical introduction to the physics of atoms and nuclei. Topics include the particle aspects of electromagnetic radiation, an introduction to quantum mechanics, the wave aspects of material particles, the structure of atoms, Xray and optical spectra, instruments of nuclear and particle physics, nuclear structure and elementary particles. One laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: Physics 151 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013 · N. Christensen 
PHYS 229: Analytical Mechanics
An analytical treatment of classical mechanics from a Lagrangian and Hamiltonian standpoint. Equations of motion and their solutions are studied with special emphasis on the harmonic oscillator and centralforce problems.
Prerequisites: Physics 131, 132, 141, or 142 and Mathematics 211; or permission of the instructor 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2014 · J. Tasson 
PHYS 230: Computational Mechanics
A numerical treatment of classical mechanics concentrating on examples which are difficult, if not impossible, to solve analytically. Topics may include examples from astrophysics and chaotic dynamics.
Prerequisites: Physics 229 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2014 · J. Tasson 
ASTR 232: Astrophysics I
Crosslisted with PHYS 232.A study of stellar structure and evolution with an emphasis on the physical principles underlying the observed phenomena. Topics include the birth, evolution, and death of stars, pulsars, black holes, and white dwarfs.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 and Physics 229/230 or permission of the instructor 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2014 · J. Weisberg 
ASTR 233: Astrophysics II
Crosslisted with PHYS 233.A study of galactic and extragalactic astronomy with an emphasis on the physical principles underlying the observed phenomena. Topics include the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way Galaxy and other galaxies, the interstellar medium, quasars and active galaxies, clusters and superclusters, and cosmology.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 and 229/230 or permission of the instructor 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 234: Computer Simulations in Complex Physical Systems
The development of techniques to study complex physical systems from a probabilistic and numerical standpoint using Mathematica. Subject material is applicable to all the sciences and mathematics. Some topics considered are random walks, percolation clusters, avalanches, traffic flow, the spread of forest fires and diseases, and a brief introduction to Bayesian statistics. No Mathematica skills are assumed.
Prerequisites: Physics 131,132,141 or 142 or permission of instructor. 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 235: Electricity and Magnetism
Electric and magnetic fields in free space, and their interactions with charges and currents. Topics include DC and AC circuits, Maxwells's equations, and electromagnetic waves. Weekly laboratory work.
Prerequisites: Physics 151, 161 or 165 and Mathematics 211; or permission of the instructor 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2014 · K. MartinWells 
PHYS 247: Digital Electronics
A study of the digital electronics involved in computers, ranging from basic logic circuits to microprocessors. Weekly lab. Each student will complete a term paper that will involve projections about future developments in computer electronics, and a lab project that will involve circuit design.
Prerequisites: Computer Science 208 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 260: Materials Science
From a simple "PostIt" note to a complex computer microprocessor, modern products derive much of their utility from the structures and properties of their constituent materials. This course will provide a survey of the science of materials including structure (bonding, crystal structure, defects), classes of materials (polymers, ceramics, metals, composites), physical properties (mechanical, electromagnetic, thermal, optical) and techniques for materials characterization. In addition, the technological and societal impacts of materials development will be explored.
Prerequisites: Physics 151, 152, 153, or 165 or Chemistry 123 or 128 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 261: Medical Physics
The course covers the basic concepts of medical physics. Particular attention is paid to electromagnetism, mechanics and nuclear physics when applied to medical and biological phenomena. Topics include medical imaging techniques, nuclear medicine radiation protection, dosimetry, and physics in biology. Students will visit medical imaging facilities. Note that this course is not appropriate for premedical, predental or preveterinary requirements.
Prerequisites: Physics 151, 152, 153, or 165 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 262: Biophysics
This course explores how physical principles apply to living systems and how developments in physics have impacted the biological sciences. Applications are made to the work that biophysicists do to understand human biology, to treat and cure diseases, and to develop alternative energy resources.
Prerequisites: Physics 151, 152, 153, or 165 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2014 · J. Coats 
PHYS 335: Quantum Mechanics
An examination of the structure of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and how this theory differs from those of classical physics. Topics include the mathematics of Hilbert space, the postulates of quantum mechanics, the motion of a particle in one dimension (including the free particle and the simple harmonic oscillator), the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and spin. Multidimensional applications will include the harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom. Approximation techniques and applications will be presented.
Prerequisites: Physics 228, 229/230 and Mathematics 232. Familiarity with matrix algebra is assumed. 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2014 · B. Titus 
PHYS 336: Quantum Mechanics I
An examination of the structure of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and how this theory differs from those of classical physics. Topics include the mathematics of Hilbert space, the postulates of quantum mechanics, the motion of a particle in one dimension (including the free particle and the simple harmonic oscillator), the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and spin.
Prerequisites: Physics 228, 229/230 and Mathematics 232. Familiarity with matrix algebra is assumed. 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 337: Quantum Mechanics II
A study of the principles and applications of nonrelativisitic quantum mechanics. Possible topics may include the harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, approximation techniques, and applications to atomic and nuclear physics.
Prerequisites: Physics 336 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 339: Thermal and Statistical Physics I
The fundamentals of classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Topics may include the kinetic theory of gases; energy, entropy, and the laws of thermodynamics; heat engines and refrigerators; the MaxwellBoltzmann distribution; the physics of efficient energy use as well as the statistical concepts of temperature and entropy.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 340: Thermal and Statistical Physics II
Applications of the principles of thermal and statistical physics. Topics may include the canonical ensemble and the Boltzmann factor; the Planck, FermiDirac, and BoseEinstein distributions and their applications to blackbody radiation, phonons, and electrons in solids.
Prerequisites: Physics 339 3 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 341: Waves
The analysis of wave phenomena, including normal mode expansions, the wave equation and boundary value problems, and interference, diffraction, and polarization. Applications are made to mechanical, sound, water and electromagnetic waves with particular emphasis on electromagnetism and optics. Prerequisites: Physics 229 and 235, and Mathematics 232. 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2014 · C. Blaha 
PHYS 342: Contemporary Experimental Physics
A study of experimental techniques and apparatus basic to the measurements which underlie and validate contemporary theories in physics. Topics include electrical measurements, data analysis and statistics, optical and laser techniques, particle detectors, and time coincidence techniques. Applications are made to experiments such as magnetic resonance, Mossbauer and nuclear spectroscopy and laser optics. Class time is devoted to studying the measurement techniques and considering phenomenological models of the effects observed in the laboratory. One laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 and Physics 235 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2014 · M. EblenZayas 
PHYS 343: Electronics
A study of the electrical circuits and electronics underlying modern physics instrumentation. Includes an introduction to microprocessor and microcomputer design. Approximately equal emphasis on analog and digital electronics. One laboratory per week.
Prerequisites: Physics 235 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013 · M. EblenZayas 
PHYS 344: Classical and Quantum Optics
A junior/senior level course in classical and quantum optics. Includes the phenomena of interference, diffraction and coherence and quantum optical applications, such as unique statistical states of light or the operation of a laser. Modern applications of these areas are studied through such topics as fiber optics telecommunication, optical data storage, or manipulation of atoms by light.
Prerequisites: Physics 235 and Mathematics 232 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 345: Advanced Optics
This is a laboratory course that will serve as a followup to Physics 344, Classical and Quantum Optics. Students will conduct a number of experiments pertaining to optical phenomena. The experiments will display effects pertaining to classical, quantum, and nonlinear optics. The lab will take place once a week for four hours each session.
Prerequisites: Physics 344 or permission of the instructor 2 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 346: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
The fundamentals of classical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Topics include the laws of thermodynamics; heat engines and refrigerators; the MaxwellBoltzmann distribution; the various canonical distributions; the statistical concepts of temperature and entropy; FermiDirac, and BoseEinstein distributions with applications to blackbody radiation, phonons, and electrons in solids; the Ising model; and an introduction to critical phenomena.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2013 · W. Titus 
PHYS 347: General Relativity
Einstein's theory of general relativity is developed from basic physical principles. Also presented is the mathematics of curved space time. Astrophysical applications of general relativity, including spherically symmetric objects, black holes, cosmology and the creation and detection of gravitational waves are given.
Prerequisites: Physics 230 and 235 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2014 · N. Christensen 
PHYS 348: Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
Building from the marriage of special relativity and quantum mechanics, the course will examine the structure of relativistic quantum field theory. Possible topics may include the Dirac field, Feynman diagrams and perturbation theory in quantum electrodynamics, renormalization, and select applications in particle physics and condensedmatter physics. The course may also consider current challenges in the field such as that presented by gravity.
Prerequisites: Physics 336/337 or Physics 335. 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 352: Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
The classical theory of fields and waves. Electromagnetic theory including Maxwell's equations, radiation and relativity.
Prerequisites: Physics 235 and Mathematics 341 strongly recommended 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2014 · J. Tasson 
PHYS 354: Solid State Physics
An introduction to the physics of solids. Particular attention is paid to the properties exhibited by atoms and molecules because of their association and regular periodic arrangement in crystals. Topics include crystal structure and diffraction, the reciprocal lattice, phonons and lattice vibrations, thermal properties, freeelectron theory and band structure.
Prerequisites: Physics 335, 336, 339 or 346 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 355: Topics in Advanced Classical Mechanics
Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods including central force motion, coupled harmonic oscillators, and the study of continuous systems. Additional subjects may include fluid dynamics, classical field theory or other specialized topics.
Prerequisites: Physics 229 and 230 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
PHYS 356: Special Project
Individual projects in experimental, theoretical, or computational physics. Available projects are often related to faculty research interests or to the development of coursesupport materials, such as new laboratory exercises. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
2 or 3 credit; S/CR/NC; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · StaffExtended departmental description for PHYS 356

PHYS 400: Integrative Exercise
An extensive study of a specific topic in physics, culminating in a 70minute presentation during winter or spring term. A short background paper and a longer summary paper are also required. Students may arrange to complete the bulk of their work during winter or spring term (Physics 400, 6 credits), or divide their effort between terms (Physics 400, winter, 3 credits; Physics 400, spring, 3 credits).
6 credit; S/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement; offered Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · StaffExtended departmental description for PHYS 400
Please go to https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/physics/assets/CompsDoc2013014.pdf for comps information

ASTR 100: Cosmology: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe
A discussion of the changing view of our place in space, from the cosmologies of ancient civilizations to the twentyfirst century picture of an accelerating universe. Topics will include basic principles of General Relativity, black holes and the curvature of space, and speculations about the ultimate fate of the universe. Designed to appeal to a wide audience of "cosmic thinkers," including both science and nonscience majors. Some evening observing sessions will provide opportunity for viewing with the telescopes.
Prerequisites: High school algebra and trigonometry. 6 credit; Writing Requirement, Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2013 · C. Blaha 
ASTR 110: Introduction to Astronomy
An introduction to current astronomy with an emphasis on how we know what we know. Topics include the solar system; the life cycles of stars; pulsars, quasars, and black holes; and the history and future fate of the universe. No mathematics background beyond high school algebra and trigonometry is assumed.
6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014 · K. MartinWells, J. Weisberg 
ASTR 113: Observational and Laboratory Astronomy
Theory and practice of basic techniques in observational and laboratory astronomy. Certain problems involve the use of the 16inch and 8inch telescopes.
Prerequisites: Astronomy 110, 232, or 233, or permission of the instructor. 3 credit; S/CR/NC; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2013, Spring 2014 · C. Blaha, J. Weisberg 
ASTR 127: Topics in Modern Astrophysics
Special topics in modern astrophysics will be explored in order to understand the physical processes at work in a variety of cosmic settings. Possible topics include the solar weather and its impact on Earth, extrasolar planets, black holes, dark matter, gravitational lensing, largescale structures and dark energy in an accelerating universe.
Prerequisites: Astronomy 100, 110 or Physics 131, 132, 141 or 142. 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Writing Requirement, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
ASTR 232: Astrophysics I
Crosslisted with PHYS 232.A study of stellar structure and evolution with an emphasis on the physical principles underlying the observed phenomena. Topics include the birth, evolution, and death of stars, pulsars, black holes, and white dwarfs.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 and Physics 229/230 or permission of the instructor 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Spring 2014 · J. Weisberg 
ASTR 233: Astrophysics II
Crosslisted with PHYS 233.A study of galactic and extragalactic astronomy with an emphasis on the physical principles underlying the observed phenomena. Topics include the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way Galaxy and other galaxies, the interstellar medium, quasars and active galaxies, clusters and superclusters, and cosmology.
Prerequisites: Physics 228 and 229/230 or permission of the instructor 6 credit; Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 20132014 
ASTR 356: Special Project
Individual projects in observational, theoretical, or computational astronomy. Available projects are often related to faculty research interests or to the development of coursesupport materials, such as new laboratory exercises.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor 2 or 3 credit; S/CR/NC; Mathematics and Natural Sciences; offered Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014 · StaffExtended departmental description for ASTR 356