Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

PHY 100
Science, Engineering, and Design (1,0,1) Course designed for students who wish to pursue a course of study in a field of science or pre-engineering at NKU. Topics will include career information, career and college success skills, and an introduction to design.
 
PHY 110
Introduction to Physics with Laboratory (3,2,4) Conceptual physics for non-science majors. Using guided inquiry activities to teach basic principles and their applications. Topics chosen from among: nature of physics as a science, mechanics, wave motion, light, heat, electricity, and the atom. Assumes knowledge of elementary algebra. A general education course (natural sciences).
PREREQ: MAH 099 or equivalent.
 
PHY 211
General Physics with Laboratory I (4,2,5) Non-calculus introduction to classical physics using guided inquiry activities. Topics include kinematics, forces and Newton’s Laws of Motion, circular motion, work and energy, momentum, Rotational motion, static equilibrium, and fluids. Assumes knowledge of algebra and basic trigonometry. A general education course (natural sciences).  
PREREQ: MAT 119 or MAT 118 or a minimal math ACT score of 25 or equivalent placement.
PHY 213
General Physics with Laboratory II (4,2,5) Non-calculus introduction to classical physics using guided inquiry activities. Continuation of PHY 211. topics include oscillations, waves and sound, electric forces and fields, DC circuits, magnetic forces and fields, AC circuits, geometrical optics, and physical optics. A general education course (natural sciences). PREREQ: PHY 211.
PHY 220
University Physics with Laboratory I (3,3,4) Calculus based introduction to classical physics using guided inquiry activities. Topics include techniques for data analysis, kinematics, forces and Newton’s Laws of motion, circular motion, work and energy, momentum, rotational motion, static equilibrium. A general education course (natural sciences). PREREQ or COREQ: MAT 129 or MAT 227.
PHY 222
University Physics with Laboratory II (3,3,4) Calculus based introduction to classical electromagnetic theory using guided inquiry activities. Topics include electric forces and fields, DC circuits, magnetic forces and fields, AC circuits. A general education course (natural sciences). PREREQ: PHY 220. PREREQ or COREQ: MAT 229 or MAT 228.
PHY 224
University Physics with Lab III (3,3,4) Calculus based introduction to classical physics using guided inquiry activities. Topics include oscillations, waves, sound, geometrical optics, physical optics, fluids and thermodynamics. PREREQ: C or better in PHY 220.
PHY 294
Topics: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) Special topics in physics. Repeatable for a maximum of 12 semester hours. PREREQ: consent of department chair.
PHY 300
Intermediate Physics Laboratory (0,4,2) A selection of experiments in classical and modern physics. Topics include but are not limited to properties of light, quantization of charge, and atomic structure. COREQ: PHY 361.
PHY 301
Advanced Physics Laboratory (0,4,2) A selection of advanced experiments in classical and modern physics. Topics are selected from thermodynamical properties of matter, nuclear structure, particle physics and advanced optics. PREREQ: PHY 300.
PHY 305
Statics (3,0,3) Force on bodies at rest; vector algebra; force systems;
equivalent force systems; distributed forces; internal forces; principles of equilibrium;
application to trusses, frames, and beams; friction. PREREQ: PHY 211
or PHY 220 and MAT 228 or MAT 229.
PHY 310
Dynamics (3,0,3) Particle dynamics in one, two, and three dimensions; applications of mathematics to mechanical systems; theory of small oscillations; rigid body dynamics. PREREQ: PHY 220 and MAT 325.
PHY 315
Introduction to Astrophysics (3,0,3) Quantitative application of physical principles to subjects of astronomical interest, such as the interaction of radiation with matter, analysis of stellar atmospheres, origin and evolution of the elements, and cosmology. Same as AST 315. PREREQ: PHY 222 or PHY 213 and MAT 129 or MAT 227.
PHY 320
Physical Optics (3,0,3) Nature of light; interference; diffraction; polarization. PREREQ: PHY 222 and MAT 228 or MAT 229.
PHY 330
Mathematical Physics (3,0,3) Fourier series; orthogonal expansions; eigenvalue problems; boundary value problems in ordinary and partial differential equations. Same as MAT 330. PREREQ: MAT 225 and MAT 325.
PHY 360
Thermodynamics (3,0,3) The laws of thermodynamics applied to closed systems, open systems, power cycles and refrigeration cycles; extensive use of tables and graphs of thermodynamic properties. PREREQ: PHY 224 and MAT 329.
PHY 361
Modern Physics I (3,0,3) Introduction to concepts of modern physics; relativity, quantization of charge, black body radiation, photoelectric effect, xray and Compton scattering, atomic models of Rutherford and Bohr, wave properties of matter, the Schrodinger equation and atomic physics. PREREQ: PHY 220 and PHY 224 or PHY 213 and MAT 129 or MAT 227. COREQ: PHY 300.
PHY 392
Directed Research: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) Supervised research in an area of physics currently under investigation by one or more members of the physics faculty. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 semester hours. PREREQ: junior standing.
PHY 392
Directed Research: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) Supervised research in an area of physics currently under investigation by one or more members of the physics faculty. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 semester hours. PREREQ: junior standing.
PHY 394
Topics: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) In-depth study of specialized topics in physics. May be repeated for credit up to 9 sem. hours when topic varies. Offered on demand. PREREQ: consent of instructor.
PHY 397
Special Projects: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) Completion of an independent project involving either the development of an advanced laboratory experiment or the construction of a working prototype (or detailed conceptual design) of an operational device. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 semester hours.
PHY 399
Readings: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) Current literature. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 semester hours.
PHY 405
Classical Mechanics (3,03) Central Forces, planetary motions, calculus of variations, Lagrangian mechanics, Hamiltonian Mechanics, oscillations and normal modes (coupled harmonic oscillator, coupled pendulum, particles on a string), dynamics of rigid bodies, motion in a non-inertial reference frame, kinematics in two particle collisions. PRE-CO-REQ: PHY 220, MAT 325.
PHY 410
Electromagnetic Theory (4,0,4) Development of Maxwell's equations; their application to electrostatics, magnetostatics, and electromagnetic radiation. PREREQ: PHY 222, MAT 329 and MAT 330.
PHY 420
Modern Physics II (3,0,3) Applications and advanced topics in modern physics; statistical physics, molecular structure and spectra, solid state physics, nuclear physics, particle physics and cosmology. PREREQ: PHY 361.
PHY 460
Quantum Mechanics (3,0,3) Principles of quantum mechanics; operator methods and their application tot he hydrogen atom, spin, and angular momentum. Other topics selected from quantum statistics, variational techniques and perturbation theory, WKB approximation, and many electron atoms. Same as CHE 560. PREREQ: PHY 361 or CHE 361 and MAT 325.
PHY 492
Undergraduate Research: Physics (1-3 sem. hrs.) Supervised research in an area of physics currently under investigation by one or more members of the physics faculty. Repeatable for a maximum of 9 semester hours. PREREQ: 8 semester hours of 300-level physics courses or above.
PHY 494
Seminar: Physics (1,0,1) Techniques to search and report on research articles in physics. A written report and an oral presentation are required. PREREQ: 20 semester hours of physics courses.

For a detailed schedule of physics course offerings in the coming semesters, click here.