Houston Baptist University Catalog

Physics (PHYS) Course Descriptions


PHYS 1401 Physics for the Liberal Arts Mind
Prerequisite: MATH 1313 or a higher level mathematics course or permission of the instructor
A descriptive course designed for non-science majors with no previous knowledge of physics. Traces the development of our current understanding of physics with emphasis on conceptual understanding. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions. This course does not count towards a physics major.

PHYS 1403 Physics of Sound
Prerequisite: MATH 1313 or permission of the instructor. Basic knowledge of musical notation is recommended
This course is an introduction to the physical principles behind sound and music. Topics include the fundamental theory of vibration, sound waves and propagation, diffraction and interference, free, coupled and driven oscillations, resonance and oscillation modes. The anatomy and psychophysics of the ear are also covered as well as musical scales, and the nature of sound from the musical instruments. The course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory experiments. This course does not count towards a physics major.

PHYS 1411 Astronomy and the Universe
Prerequisite: MATH 1313 or permission of the instructor
Designed for non-science majors, this course is an overview of the solar system, astronomical instruments, the origin and evolution of stars, galaxies, black holes, quasars, cosmology, and the structure and origin of the universe. Concepts and critical thinking are strongly emphasized. The course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory investigations consisting of computer work and observation sessions. This course does not count towards a physics major.

PHYS 1416 General Physics I
Prerequisite: MATH 1434 or MATH 1451 or a satisfactory score on a departmental placement exam.
A precalculus-based introduction to Newton's laws of motion, gravitation, fluids, and sound. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions. This course may not be counted as part of the physics, chemistry, or biochemistry/molecular biology major.

PHYS 1417, General Physics II
Prerequisite PHYS 1416
A precalculus-based introduction to the general principles of thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and geometric wave optics. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions. This course may not be counted as part of the physics, chemistry, or biochemistry/molecular biology major.

PHYS 2181, 2281, 2381, 2481 Special Topics
Topics are selected based on students¿ needs and academic qualifications of the staff. A minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 2181, 2281, 2381, 2481 Special Topics
Topics are selected based on students¿ needs and academic qualifications of the staff. A minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 2343 Introductory Theoretical Physics
Prerequisite: PHYS 2423, concurrent enrollment in MATH 1452, or consent of the instructor
Designed as an introduction to mathematical methods used in classical mechanics, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. Topics include separation of variables and solving Laplace¿s equation, special functions, differential and integral vector calculus.

PHYS 2181, 2281, 2381, 2481 Special Topics
Topics are selected based on students¿ needs and academic qualifications of the staff. A minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 2413 Principles of Physics I
Prerequisite: MATH 2434
An introduction to Newton¿s laws of motion, gravitation, fluids, and sound. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions.

PHYS 2423 Principles of Physics II
Prerequisite: PHYS 2413
An introduction to the physical principles of thermodynamics, kinetic theory, electricity, magnetism, simple AC and DC circuits, and geometric wave optics. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions.

PHYS 2181, 2281, 2381, 2481 Special Topics
Topics are selected based on students¿ needs and academic qualifications of the staff. A minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 3313 Mechanics
Prerequisites: PHYS 2343 and MATH 3333
Topics include single-particle Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, gravitation, calculus of variations, Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, central-force motion and dynamics of system of particles.

PHYS 3323 Electricity and Magnetism
Prerequisites: PHYS 2343 and MATH 1452
Topics include solving Laplace¿s and Poisson¿s equations, the method of images, multi-pole expansion, electrostatics and magnetostatics in the presence of matter, Maxwell¿s equations, electromagnetic waves and radiation.

PHYS 3383 Mathematical Methods for Science and Engineering
Prerequisites: Credit for or concurrent enrollment in MATH 3333, 3414
Advanced techniques in applied mathematics for students of science and engineering, with topics chosen from partial differential equations, Laplace transforms, Fourier series, complex analysis and vector analysis. Fourier series. (Also offered as MATH 3383.)

PHYS 3413 Modern Physics I
Prerequisite: PHYS 2343 or consent of the instructor
An introduction to special relativity, pre-quantum physics and basic concepts of quantum mechanics and atomic structure. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions designed as investigations of optical phenomena and fundamental constants.

PHYS 3423 Modern Physics II
Prerequisite: PHYS 3413
A continuation of PHYS 3413. Topics include many-electron atoms, molecules, solid state, nuclear structure, and elementary particles. This course includes one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions.

PHYS 3433, The art of Electronics
Prerequisite: PHYS 2423, 3413, or consent of instructor
The Art of Electronics consists of basic electronics and solid state physics theories and experiments. Topics include the fundamentals of direct and alternating current circuits involving applications of Ohm's Law and Kirchhoff's Laws. Students learn semiconductor physics to understand the operation of diodes, transistors and op amps. In the laboratory section, students build and test circuits while developing skills in the operation of power supplies, function generators, oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers.

PHYS 3443, Computational Physics
Prerequisites: PHYS 3313, 3413, 3323 (or concurrent enrollment), or consent of instructor
Students learn computational techniques useful for solving problems in advanced dynamics, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. Advanced dynamics topics include the study of deterministic chaos solving systems of ordinary differential equations. Students apply finite element method electromagnetic modeling to calculate static electric and magnetic fields, solve time dependent magnetic problems, and calculate current flow. Quantum dynamics problems are analyzed by solving the time dependent Schrodinger equation. In the laboratory, students gain hands-on experience using mathematical software to solve problems in advanced dynamics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.

PHYS 3481 INDEPENDENT STUDY/SPECIAL TOP
For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

PHYS 4181, 4281, 4381, 4481 Special Topics
Topics are selected on the basis of students¿ need and academic qualifications of the staff. If regular lectures are not given, a minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 4221, Undergraduate Research Experience in Physics I
Prerequisite: At least 29 hours of Physics completed
Senior physics majors will investigate a topic of current research interest with physics faculty. The course will involve problem identification, literature search, and start of research (building the necessary background or setting up the necessary experiment(s) to solve the research problem, development of the solution of the problem). All students will meet with faculty twice a week for instruction, guidance and exploration of the topic.

PHYS 4222, Undergraduate Research Experience in Physics II
Prerequisite: PHYS 4221
This course is a continuation of PHYS 4221. The course will involve the further development of the solution of the research problem; finding applications; acquisition of new results; completion of research; writing of research paper; preparation and delivery of oral presentation; application, preparation and presentation at the annual HBU Celebration of Scholarship Symposium. All students will meet with faculty twice a week for instruction, guidance and exploration of the topic.

PHYS 4181, 4281, 4381, 4481 Special Topics
Topics are selected on the basis of students¿ need and academic qualifications of the staff. If regular lectures are not given, a minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 4323 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Prerequisite: PHYS 2343
Energy in Thermal Physics, The Second Law of Thermodynamics, Thermal Interactions.

PHYS 4343 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I
Prerequisites: PHYS 2343, 3413, and MATH 3333
Foundations of quantum mechanics, Schroedinger¿s equation with applications such as the square well, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atom, and electron spin.

PHYS 4344 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics II
Prerequisite: PHYS 4343
Continuation of PHYS 4343 covering quantum mechanics of identical particles, time-independent perturbation theory, the variational principle, WKB approximation, and time-dependent perturbation theory.

PHYS 4181, 4281, 4381, 4481 Special Topics
Topics are selected on the basis of students¿ need and academic qualifications of the staff. If regular lectures are not given, a minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.

PHYS 4181, 4281, 4381, 4481 Special Topics
Topics are selected on the basis of students¿ need and academic qualifications of the staff. If regular lectures are not given, a minimum of 30 hours of study is required for each semester hour of credit. Up to one semester hour credit for laboratory sessions may be included.