Physics

Physics Major

Learn more about this major

Degree Requirements - 126 credits 

Students can earn a bachelor of science degree with this major.  See the requirements for the bachelor of science degree.

Major Requirements: 20 courses and corresponding laboratories, 75 credits

 

Core Requirements (15 courses and corresponding laboratories, 55 credits)

Prerequisites:

CAS 101. CAS students only. SBS students by special permission. Restricted to the following majors: Art History, Asian Studies, Biology, Economics, English, French, History, Humanities, International Economics, Music History, Philosophy, Physics, Radiation Science, Spanish, and Undeclared. Instructor consent required for all other majors.

Credits:

1

Description:

This course engages students in the early stages of career planning. Students will explore their interests, skills, values, and strengths, which will allow them to begin setting appropriate goals for professional development. Once students understand themselves in relation to the world of work, they will learn how to research careers and employment paths that fit with their goals.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 or higher (previously or concurrently) and PHYS L151 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151, 152, 153) that comprise the calculus based introductory physics sequence at Suffolk University intended for students majoring in the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. This course aims to teach basic techniques in physics that fall under the topic of classical mechanics and their application in understanding the natural world. Specific topics include the study of vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, fluid mechanics, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves, sound and hearing. The student will learn how to analyze physical situations by using simple models, and also how to solve those models and derive useful conclusions from them. This course will show students how experimental results and mathematical representations are combined to create testable scientific theories, and how the complexities of most real-life physical situations can be reduced to simple problems by identifying the essential physical features and ignoring the rest. The student will learn to distinguish the scientific approach to physical situations from other ways of looking at them, for example, artistic, humanistic, and business.

Prerequisites:

MATH 121 or higher (previously or concurrently) PHYS 151 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: measurements, propagation of errors, vectors, Newton's laws, work and energy, momentum, rotations, oscillations, simple harmonic motion, fluid. Knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, differentiation and integration required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS-L152.

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus based course begins with topics in kinetic theory and the laws of thermodynamics. It then covers electric charge and field, Gauss' law, electrical potential and capacitance, electric currents and DC circuits. Next magnetism, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law and AC circuits are discussed. This is followed by Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and properties of light.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 and L151 and PHYS 152 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: heat, gas laws, electric forces, field, and potential, DC and AC circuits, magnetic field, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law, optics. Calculus, algebra, trigonometry are required. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks, and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121, MATH-164, or MATH-165; PHYS-151; PHYS-L153 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus-based course is the introduction of the topics of modern physics. It begins with special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, addition of relativistic velocities, then covers early quantum theory, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, photon interactions, pair production, and the Bohr theory of the atom. Then Schrodinger's equation is introduced with use of wave functions, particle box, barrier penetration, quantum mechanical tunneling, the Pauli Exclusion principle, the development of the periodic table, and the X-ray spectra. Development of solid state physics with bonding in molecules, band theory of solids and semiconductor behavior. The final topics cover nuclear physics, radioactivity, half-life, nuclear fission and fusion, medical uses of radiation, elementary particle physics and introduction to astrophysics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts of special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, addition of relativistic velocities, then covers early quantum theory, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, photon interactions, pair production, and the Bohr theory of the atom.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152; Take PHYS-L253 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Materials and device structures for applications in analog and digital electronics. Topics include characteristics and basic circuits for diodes, field-effect transistors, bipolar junction transistors, operational amplifiers and programmable logic devices.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152; Take PHYS-253 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Materials and device structures for applications in analog and digital electronics. Topics include characteristics and basic circuits for diodes, field-effect transistors, bipolar junction transistors, operational amplifiers and programmable logic devices.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 152; MATH 265 which may be taken concurrently

Credits:

4

Description:

Newton's laws of motion, momentum, angular momentum, energy, conservation laws, oscillations, Lagrange equations, central forces, orbits, mechanics in non-inertial frames, rotational motion of rigid bodies, coupled oscillations, Hamiltonian mechanics.

Prerequisites:

Senior Standing

Credits:

4

Description:

The senior project is the capstone research experience of the undergraduate Physics Major. This one semester course requires students to work one on one with faculty in an area of mutually agreed upon research. In general, the effort will involve the use of mathematical and programming skills, laboratory techniques, and possibly field work. The end result will be both a paper and a formal presentation to both faculty and students.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153;

Credits:

4

Description:

Topics include atoms and elementary particles, atomic, molecular and nuclear systems. Quantum states and probability amplitude, wave mechanics and thermal properties of matter. Atomic spectra and structure, and molecular systems. Nuclear reactions, alpha and beta decay and high energy physics. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

PHYS-453

Credits:

2

Description:

Classical and modern experiments in physics; Experiments may include Frank Hertz experiment, Hall effect, nuclear magnetic resonance, quantum dots, detection of muons, x-ray spectroscopy, ellipsometry, physics of timbre of musical instruments, data acquisition.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-361

Credits:

4

Description:

Non-relativistic study of particle systems, wave mechanical treatment, development of the concepts of observables, state vectors, operators and matrix representations. Hilbert space, angular momenta, coupling, symmetries, scattering, and perturbation theory. Harmonic oscillator and Hydrogen atom. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once a week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152

Credits:

4

Description:

Electrostatic field energy, methods for solution of boundary value problems. The magnetostatic field and magnetic circuits. Electromagnetic field energy, plane waves, wave guides and cavity resonators. Interaction of charge particles with electromagnetic fields. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

MATH placement 3 or higher, MATH-121, MATH-164, or MATH-165 (previous or concurrent)

Credits:

4

Description:

This is a rigorous introduction to computer science in Java with an emphasis on problem solving, structured programming, object-oriented programming, and graphical user interfaces. Topics include expressions, input/output, control structures, intrinsic data types, classes and methods, iteration, top-down programming, arrays, graphical user interfaces, and elements of UML. Normally offered each semester.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 with a minimum grade of C, MATH-075, or MATH level 5

Credits:

4

Description:

Functions, limits and continuity, squeeze theorem, limits at infinity; instantaneous rate of change, tangent slopes, and the definition of the derivative of a function; power, product, and quotient rules, trig derivatives, chain rule, implicit differentiation; higher order derivatives; derivatives of other transcendental functions (inverse trig functions, exponential and log functions, hyperbolic trig functions); applications of the derivative (implicit differentiation, related rates, optimization, differentials, curve sketching, L'Hopital's rule); anti-derivatives; indefinite integrals; Fundamental Theorem; applications (net change). 4 lecture hours plus 1 recitation session each week. Normally offered each semester.

Prerequisites:

MATH-164 or MATH-165 with a minimum grade of C

Credits:

4

Description:

Riemann sums and definite integrals; Fundamental Theorem; applications (areas); integration of exponential functions, trig functions, and inverse trig functions; techniques of integration (substitution, by parts, trig integrals, trig substitution, partial fractions); area, volume, and average value applications; differential equations (separable, exponential growth, linear); improper integrals; infinite sequences and series; convergence tests; power series; Taylor and Maclaurin series (computation, convergence, error estimates, differentiation and integration of Taylor series). 4 lecture hours plus 1 recitation session each week. Normally offered each semester.

Prerequisites:

MATH 166 with grade of C or better

Credits:

4

Description:

Parametric equations and polar coordinates (curves, areas, conic sections); vectors and the geometry of space (the dot product, vector arithmetic, lines and planes in 3-space, the cross product, cylinders and quadratic surfaces); vector functions (limits, derivatives and integrals, motion in space); partial derivatives (functions of several variables, limits and continuity, tangent planes and differentials, chain rule, directional derivatives, gradient, extrema, Lagrange multipliers); multiple integrals (double integrals, applications); vector calculus (vector fields, line integrals, fundamental theorem for line integrals, Green's Theorem, curl and divergence, parametric surfaces, surface integrals). 4 lecture hours plus 1 recitation session each week. Normally offered each semester.

Students must choose one of three concentrations:

  1.  General Physics
  2.  Planetary Science
  3.  Astrophysics

Residency Requirement Policy: In the College of Arts and Sciences, a two-course (8 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for completion of a minor and a four-course (16 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for the completion of a major.

Physics Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning goals and objectives reflect the educational outcomes achieved by students through the completion of this program. These transferable skills prepare Suffolk students for success in the workplace, in graduate school, and in their local and global communities.

Learning Goals Learning Objectives
Students will...
Students will be able to...
Acquire knowledge of physical principles
  • Demonstrate mastery of core areas of physics (classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, electrodynamics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, and optics)
  • Understand electronic instrumentations and their importance in classical and modern experiments in physics
  • Understand how to use computers or advanced analytical techniques in solving fundamental equations in physics, data acquisition and processing, and how to use software as a tool in data analysis
Acquire scientific and professional skills
  • Understand and explain physics problems, and be able to solve them by applying correct techniques; be able to test correctness and interpret results; write these solutions in a professional manner using appropriate software
  • Understand the objectives of physics laboratory experiments; use modern instrumentation and classical techniques to carry out experiments and correctly record and analyze results; follow proper procedures and regulations for safely working in a laboratory
  • Design, construct and complete a science-based independent project
  • Use modern library search tools to locate and retrieve scientific information
Effectively pursue career objectives
  • Successfully pursue scientific careers in graduate or professional school, government or industry, or teaching physics at a high school
  • Demonstrate critical thinking of scientific problems and understand the role of science in society and professional ethics

Concentrations

General Physics Concentration

Concentration Requirements (5 courses with corresponding laboratories, 20 credits)

Prerequisites:

MATH-165 or MATH-164 with a grade of C or better

Credits:

4

Description:

Topics include: random variable and distribution; expectation and variance; special discrete/continuous distributions (uniform, binomial, negative binomial, geometric, hypergeometric, Poisson, normal, and exponential distributions); joint distribution, marginal distribution and conditional distribution; covariance; limit theorems (law of large numbers and central limit theorem); introduction to confidence interval and hypothesis testing; regression analysis. Offered as needed.

Prerequisites:

MATH-265 and PHYS-153

Credits:

4

Description:

Applications of specific mathematical methods to problems in physics. Topics include complex analysis, integral transforms, eigenvalue problems, partial differential equations and group theory. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Choose one of the following courses:

Prerequisites:

CMPSC F131

Credits:

4

Description:

Computer Science II (CSII) is the continuation of Computer Science I. The purpose of CSII is to expand students' understanding of Computer Science and computer programming, assuming that they have the basic knowledge of the Java language. The course introduce another programming language - C - and also focuses on the pure Object-Oriented features of Java, such as inheritance, polymorphism, and exceptions, as well as on simple data structures (lists, stacks, and queues) and algorithms (searching and sorting). By the end of the semester students will be able to develop sizable (several pages long) computer programs in the C and Java languages. Efficient C and Java program development requires an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) - a collection of tools that make it possible to edit, compile, and debug C and Java programs. Our IDE of choice is Eclipse. Eclipse is free and available for many operating systems, including Microsoft Windows (all flavors), Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X.

Prerequisites:

Take MATH-185 with a grade of C or better

Credits:

4

Description:

this course is intended to provide a firm foundation for and a taste of the study of advanced mathematics. While the course content varies somewhat, it is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the algebraic and analytical structure of the integers, the rational numbers and the real numbers and how they act as a building block to a variety of fields of mathematics. Students are introduced to the process of mathematical discovery and the language of mathematics. Exercises and projects are designed to illustrate the need for proof and to further refine the student's ability to analyze, conjecture and write mathematical proofs. This course is a prerequisite for most upper level mathematics courses and, after completing it a student will be in a position to determine realistically if he or she ought to major or minor in mathematics.

Choose one of the following and the corresponding laboratory:

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO L111 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Explanation of key biological structures and reactions of the cell. This is an introductory course required of all biology majors and minors, and some non-biology science majors. This course is not recommended for the non-science student.

Prerequisites:

Concurrently with BIO 111

Credits:

1

Description:

Sessions are designed to familiarize the student with biological molecules, and the techniques used in their study. The techniques covered include basic solution preparation, separation and quantification of molecules, enzyme catalysis,and cell isolation.

Prerequisites:

Placement at MATH 104 or better. Students who do not place at MATH 104 must take MATH 104 concurrently. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM-L111.

Credits:

3

Description:

Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, the nature of chemical bonds, and chemical reactions. This course is recommended for science majors or those considering careers in the health sciences.

Prerequisites:

MATH-104 MATH-108 MATH-121 MATH-128 MATH-130 MATH-134 MATH-164 MATH-165 MATHT-MPEL1 MATHT-MPEL2 or MATHT-MPEL3. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 111.

Credits:

1

Description:

"Introduces the basic principles of chemistry through ""discovery"" laboratory experiments. Learn safe laboratory practices and basic techniques such as determining mass and volume\"

Students may also choose one 200-level or higher Math elective.

Elective

Choose one Physics elective.

Planetary Science Concentration

Concentration Requirements (5 courses with corresponding laboratories, 20 credits)

Prerequisites:

CHEM-111 and CHEM-112 OR PHYS-111 and PHYS-112

Credits:

4

Description:

This course provides an overview of the chemical and physical properties of the material constituents of the Earth and terrestrial planets, including minerals, rocks, lavas, and supercritical water. Topics include mineral structure and composition, bonding, optical properties, x-ray diffraction, phase transformations, and surface properties. The physics and chemistry of energy materials, synthetic nanomaterials will be included with emphasis/focus on energy resources, environmental impact, and geopolitical implications. There are no mandatory prerequisites for this course, but students who have taken introductory chemistry and/or physics will be familiar with some concepts discussed, and will find the going easier. Some background in Earth science is assumed (at the level of PHYS-213), and competence in basic chemistry is expected (some review will be provided where appropriate). The course is not mathematically intensive, but an appreciation of the fundamentals of calculus is important.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-213

Credits:

4

Description:

This course provides an overview of the chemical and physical properties of the material constituents of the Earth and terrestrial planets, including minerals, rocks, lavas, and supercritical water. Topics include mineral structure and composition,bonding,optical properties, x-ray diffraction, phase transformations, and surface properties. The physics and chemistry of energy materials, synthetic nanomaterials will be included with emphasis/focus on energy resources, environmental impact, and geopolitical implications. There are no mandatory prerequisites for this course, but students who have taken introductory chemistry and/or physics will be familiar with some concepts discussed, and will find the going easier. Some background in Earth science is assumed (at the level of PHYS-213), and competence in basic chemistry is expected (some review will be provided where appropriate). The course is not mathematically intensive, but an appreciation of the fundamentals of calculus is important.

Prerequisites:

BIO-111 and PHYS-213

Credits:

4

Description:

The discovery of extreme environments and new insights into evolution, emergence and sustenance of life has expanded the view of life into a broader feasibility outside Earth. Discovery of exoplanets has opened up serious scientific exploration towards search for life in other planets. This upper-level course will introduce the scientific principles that underlie this newly evolving science of astrobiology. Discussion will include unique perspectives in life at extreme environments within Earth and their implication to the concepts of evolution and origins of life that form the basis for better understanding the habitability within our planet as well as any possibility of life in other planets.

Prerequisites:

CMPSC F131

Credits:

4

Description:

Computer Science II (CSII) is the continuation of Computer Science I. The purpose of CSII is to expand students' understanding of Computer Science and computer programming, assuming that they have the basic knowledge of the Java language. The course introduce another programming language - C - and also focuses on the pure Object-Oriented features of Java, such as inheritance, polymorphism, and exceptions, as well as on simple data structures (lists, stacks, and queues) and algorithms (searching and sorting). By the end of the semester students will be able to develop sizable (several pages long) computer programs in the C and Java languages. Efficient C and Java program development requires an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) - a collection of tools that make it possible to edit, compile, and debug C and Java programs. Our IDE of choice is Eclipse. Eclipse is free and available for many operating systems, including Microsoft Windows (all flavors), Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X.

Choose one of the following and the corresponding laboratory:

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO L111 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Explanation of key biological structures and reactions of the cell. This is an introductory course required of all biology majors and minors, and some non-biology science majors. This course is not recommended for the non-science student.

Prerequisites:

Concurrently with BIO 111

Credits:

1

Description:

Sessions are designed to familiarize the student with biological molecules, and the techniques used in their study. The techniques covered include basic solution preparation, separation and quantification of molecules, enzyme catalysis,and cell isolation.

Prerequisites:

Placement at MATH 104 or better. Students who do not place at MATH 104 must take MATH 104 concurrently. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM-L111.

Credits:

3

Description:

Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, the nature of chemical bonds, and chemical reactions. This course is recommended for science majors or those considering careers in the health sciences.

Prerequisites:

MATH-104 MATH-108 MATH-121 MATH-128 MATH-130 MATH-134 MATH-164 MATH-165 MATHT-MPEL1 MATHT-MPEL2 or MATHT-MPEL3. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 111.

Credits:

1

Description:

"Introduces the basic principles of chemistry through ""discovery"" laboratory experiments. Learn safe laboratory practices and basic techniques such as determining mass and volume\"

Astrophysics Concentration

Concentration Requirements (5 courses with corresponding laboratories, 20 credits)

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: PHYS 151-152

Credits:

4

Description:

An introduction to the concepts and methods of astrophysics; including a history of astronomy from the ancients to Newton; light; telescopes; sun, earth, moon planets, comets, asteroids, meteors, space programs, science and technology in society. Astronomy of the cosmos; sun, stars, interstellar materials, galaxies, pulsars, quasars, black holes; nature of time relativity, cosmology.

Prerequisites:

BIO-111 and PHYS-213

Credits:

4

Description:

The discovery of extreme environments and new insights into evolution, emergence and sustenance of life has expanded the view of life into a broader feasibility outside Earth. Discovery of exoplanets has opened up serious scientific exploration towards search for life in other planets. This upper-level course will introduce the scientific principles that underlie this newly evolving science of astrobiology. Discussion will include unique perspectives in life at extreme environments within Earth and their implication to the concepts of evolution and origins of life that form the basis for better understanding the habitability within our planet as well as any possibility of life in other planets.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 AND PHYS 152 OR PHYS 153.

Credits:

2.00- 3.00

Description:

The topics covered include theoretical foundations of observational astronomy, designs of telescopes, instrumentation for telescopes, data acquisition and management, as well as practical problems in observational astronomy. Offered together with the laboratory component PHYS L381.

Prerequisites:

Permission of Dept. Chair Required

Credits:

1.00- 2.00

Description:

The topics covered include theoretical foundations of observational astronomy, designs of telescopes, instrumentation for telescopes, data acquisition and management, as well as practical problems in observational astronomy.

Prerequisites:

CMPSC F131

Credits:

4

Description:

Computer Science II (CSII) is the continuation of Computer Science I. The purpose of CSII is to expand students' understanding of Computer Science and computer programming, assuming that they have the basic knowledge of the Java language. The course introduce another programming language - C - and also focuses on the pure Object-Oriented features of Java, such as inheritance, polymorphism, and exceptions, as well as on simple data structures (lists, stacks, and queues) and algorithms (searching and sorting). By the end of the semester students will be able to develop sizable (several pages long) computer programs in the C and Java languages. Efficient C and Java program development requires an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) - a collection of tools that make it possible to edit, compile, and debug C and Java programs. Our IDE of choice is Eclipse. Eclipse is free and available for many operating systems, including Microsoft Windows (all flavors), Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X.

Choose one of the following and the corresponding laboratory:

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO L111 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Explanation of key biological structures and reactions of the cell. This is an introductory course required of all biology majors and minors, and some non-biology science majors. This course is not recommended for the non-science student.

Prerequisites:

Concurrently with BIO 111

Credits:

1

Description:

Sessions are designed to familiarize the student with biological molecules, and the techniques used in their study. The techniques covered include basic solution preparation, separation and quantification of molecules, enzyme catalysis,and cell isolation.

Prerequisites:

Placement at MATH 104 or better. Students who do not place at MATH 104 must take MATH 104 concurrently. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM-L111.

Credits:

3

Description:

Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, the nature of chemical bonds, and chemical reactions. This course is recommended for science majors or those considering careers in the health sciences.

Prerequisites:

MATH-104 MATH-108 MATH-121 MATH-128 MATH-130 MATH-134 MATH-164 MATH-165 MATHT-MPEL1 MATHT-MPEL2 or MATHT-MPEL3. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 111.

Credits:

1

Description:

"Introduces the basic principles of chemistry through ""discovery"" laboratory experiments. Learn safe laboratory practices and basic techniques such as determining mass and volume\"

Physics Minor

Learn more about this minor

Minor Requirements: 5 courses and corresponding laboratories, 20 credits

Core Requirements (3 courses and corresponding laboratories, 12 credits)

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 or higher (previously or concurrently) and PHYS L151 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151, 152, 153) that comprise the calculus based introductory physics sequence at Suffolk University intended for students majoring in the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. This course aims to teach basic techniques in physics that fall under the topic of classical mechanics and their application in understanding the natural world. Specific topics include the study of vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, fluid mechanics, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves, sound and hearing. The student will learn how to analyze physical situations by using simple models, and also how to solve those models and derive useful conclusions from them. This course will show students how experimental results and mathematical representations are combined to create testable scientific theories, and how the complexities of most real-life physical situations can be reduced to simple problems by identifying the essential physical features and ignoring the rest. The student will learn to distinguish the scientific approach to physical situations from other ways of looking at them, for example, artistic, humanistic, and business.

Prerequisites:

MATH 121 or higher (previously or concurrently) PHYS 151 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: measurements, propagation of errors, vectors, Newton's laws, work and energy, momentum, rotations, oscillations, simple harmonic motion, fluid. Knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, differentiation and integration required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS-L152.

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus based course begins with topics in kinetic theory and the laws of thermodynamics. It then covers electric charge and field, Gauss' law, electrical potential and capacitance, electric currents and DC circuits. Next magnetism, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law and AC circuits are discussed. This is followed by Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and properties of light.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 and L151 and PHYS 152 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: heat, gas laws, electric forces, field, and potential, DC and AC circuits, magnetic field, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law, optics. Calculus, algebra, trigonometry are required. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks, and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121, MATH-164, or MATH-165; PHYS-151; PHYS-L153 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus-based course is the introduction of the topics of modern physics. It begins with special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, addition of relativistic velocities, then covers early quantum theory, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, photon interactions, pair production, and the Bohr theory of the atom. Then Schrodinger's equation is introduced with use of wave functions, particle box, barrier penetration, quantum mechanical tunneling, the Pauli Exclusion principle, the development of the periodic table, and the X-ray spectra. Development of solid state physics with bonding in molecules, band theory of solids and semiconductor behavior. The final topics cover nuclear physics, radioactivity, half-life, nuclear fission and fusion, medical uses of radiation, elementary particle physics and introduction to astrophysics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts of special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, addition of relativistic velocities, then covers early quantum theory, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, photon interactions, pair production, and the Bohr theory of the atom.

Electives (2 courses and corresponding laboratories, where applicable, 8 credits)

Choose any two PHYS courses above the 200-level.

Residency Requirement Policy: In the College of Arts and Sciences, a two-course (8 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for completion of a minor and a four-course (16 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for the completion of a major.

Minor Programs Policy: A student declaring a minor may use no more than two courses from a major or double major combination to fulfill the requirements for the minor. No more than one course from one minor may count toward the fulfillment of a second minor. Students may not minor in a subject in which they are also completing a major. For more information, see the Minor Programs section of the CAS Degree Requirements page.

Honors

To complete requirements for honors in the major, a candidate must:

  1. Graduate with a major GPA of 3.33 or higher
  2. Graduate with an overall GPA of 3.33 or higher  
  3. Have no grade less than B+ in the last two semesters of the program
  4. Complete PHYS-H411. The student must propose a research project for PHYS-411 and have it approved by the honors coordinator and the student's research advisor at the end of the spring semester of junior year
  5. Present a poster at an APS conference or the Suffolk STEAM reception
  6. CAS Honors Program students only: Also present work from the senior honors experience at the Honors Symposium or Pecha Kucha event

To become a candidate for honors in the major, a student must:

  1. Have a major GPA of 3.33 or higher
  2. Have an overall GPA of 3.33 or higher
  3. Have completed a minimum of 15 credits at Suffolk University
  4. Apply to the honors coordinator in the spring semester of junior year

Societies

Sigma Pi Sigma

The Suffolk University Chapter of the National Society of Physics Students was established in 1979. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma membership is conducted by the active Sigma Pi Sigma members. To be eligible, a student does not have to be a Physics major but must rank in the upper 20% of his/her class, have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, and a Physics grade point average of 3.3.

Society of Physics Students

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is the student wing of American Institute of Physics (AIP). As a professional student association, it is focused on helping students develop the well-rounded skillset needed to succeed beyond the classroom. The Suffolk University chapter is open to any Suffolk student interested in physics. This network connects students across 200 colleges nationwide, many of which are right here in Boston. SPS provides and supports opportunities for students to develop professionally by attending conferences and workshops, organizing conferences, and participating in internship programs. It recognizes the need for students to develop leadership skills and experience in science outreach activities while they are in an undergraduate program.

The SPS helps students become contributing members of the professional community. Course work develops only one range of skills. Other skills needed to flourish professionally include effective communication and personal interactions, leadership experience, establishing a personal network of contacts, presenting scholarly work in professional meetings and journals, and providing outreach services to the campus and local communities.

Physics Courses

Prerequisites:

Take MATH-121 or MATH-134 or MATH-165 or permission of Physics department chair; PHYS-L111 taken concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Introduction to the fundamental principles of physics. Study of kinematics, vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, energy and work, momentum,heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory. The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 111 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Introduction to the fundamental principles of physics. Study of kinematics, vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, energy and work, momentum,heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory. The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-111 and PHYS-L11. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS-L112.

Credits:

3

Description:

Continuation of the fundamental principles of physics. Study of simple harmonic motion, waves, fluids, electric forces and fields, electric potential, DC circuits, electromagnetic induction, magnetic fields, AC circuits, introduction to optics, introduction to atomic, nuclear and particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 111 and PHYS L111; PHYS 112 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Continuation of the fundamental principles of physics. Study of simple harmonic motion, waves, fluids, electric forces and fields, electric potential, DC circuits, electromagnetic induction, magnetic fields, AC circuits, introduction to optics, introduction to atomic, nuclear and particle physics. The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks, and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 or higher (previously or concurrently) and PHYS L151 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151, 152, 153) that comprise the calculus based introductory physics sequence at Suffolk University intended for students majoring in the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. This course aims to teach basic techniques in physics that fall under the topic of classical mechanics and their application in understanding the natural world. Specific topics include the study of vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, fluid mechanics, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves, sound and hearing. The student will learn how to analyze physical situations by using simple models, and also how to solve those models and derive useful conclusions from them. This course will show students how experimental results and mathematical representations are combined to create testable scientific theories, and how the complexities of most real-life physical situations can be reduced to simple problems by identifying the essential physical features and ignoring the rest. The student will learn to distinguish the scientific approach to physical situations from other ways of looking at them, for example, artistic, humanistic, and business.

Prerequisites:

MATH 121 or higher (previously or concurrently) PHYS 151 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: measurements, propagation of errors, vectors, Newton's laws, work and energy, momentum, rotations, oscillations, simple harmonic motion, fluid. Knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, differentiation and integration required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS-L152.

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus based course begins with topics in kinetic theory and the laws of thermodynamics. It then covers electric charge and field, Gauss' law, electrical potential and capacitance, electric currents and DC circuits. Next magnetism, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law and AC circuits are discussed. This is followed by Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and properties of light.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 and L151 and PHYS 152 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: heat, gas laws, electric forces, field, and potential, DC and AC circuits, magnetic field, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law, optics. Calculus, algebra, trigonometry are required. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks, and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121, MATH-164, or MATH-165; PHYS-151; PHYS-L153 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus-based course is the introduction of the topics of modern physics. It begins with special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, addition of relativistic velocities, then covers early quantum theory, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, photon interactions, pair production, and the Bohr theory of the atom. Then Schrodinger's equation is introduced with use of wave functions, particle box, barrier penetration, quantum mechanical tunneling, the Pauli Exclusion principle, the development of the periodic table, and the X-ray spectra. Development of solid state physics with bonding in molecules, band theory of solids and semiconductor behavior. The final topics cover nuclear physics, radioactivity, half-life, nuclear fission and fusion, medical uses of radiation, elementary particle physics and introduction to astrophysics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts of special relativity, the Lorentz transformation, relativistic momentum and energy, addition of relativistic velocities, then covers early quantum theory, blackbody radiation, photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, photon interactions, pair production, and the Bohr theory of the atom.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisite: PHYS 151-152

Credits:

4

Description:

An introduction to the concepts and methods of astrophysics; including a history of astronomy from the ancients to Newton; light; telescopes; sun, earth, moon planets, comets, asteroids, meteors, space programs, science and technology in society. Astronomy of the cosmos; sun, stars, interstellar materials, galaxies, pulsars, quasars, black holes; nature of time relativity, cosmology.

Prerequisites:

CHEM-111 and CHEM-112 OR PHYS-111 and PHYS-112

Credits:

4

Description:

This course provides an overview of the chemical and physical properties of the material constituents of the Earth and terrestrial planets, including minerals, rocks, lavas, and supercritical water. Topics include mineral structure and composition, bonding, optical properties, x-ray diffraction, phase transformations, and surface properties. The physics and chemistry of energy materials, synthetic nanomaterials will be included with emphasis/focus on energy resources, environmental impact, and geopolitical implications. There are no mandatory prerequisites for this course, but students who have taken introductory chemistry and/or physics will be familiar with some concepts discussed, and will find the going easier. Some background in Earth science is assumed (at the level of PHYS-213), and competence in basic chemistry is expected (some review will be provided where appropriate). The course is not mathematically intensive, but an appreciation of the fundamentals of calculus is important.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 111-112 or PHYS 111-112 Or Permission of Instructor

Credits:

4

Description:

This course is designed as an introduction to nanotechnology and some of its important uses. It is aimed at science majors who have taken basic courses in physics or chemistry. The course will cover the properties and uses of carbon-nanotubes, nanocomposites, and other nanomaterials that are being fabricated in labs and industries around the world. It will serve as an introduction to the important role of nanomaterials in solving modern-day energy problems.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152; Take PHYS-L253 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Materials and device structures for applications in analog and digital electronics. Topics include characteristics and basic circuits for diodes, field-effect transistors, bipolar junction transistors, operational amplifiers and programmable logic devices.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152; Take PHYS-253 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Materials and device structures for applications in analog and digital electronics. Topics include characteristics and basic circuits for diodes, field-effect transistors, bipolar junction transistors, operational amplifiers and programmable logic devices.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-301 PHYS-L301;*Course fulfills the following: Expanded Classroom Requirement.

Credits:

1

Description:

Student radiation therapists will spend 12 weeks (full-time, 40 hrs/wk) gaining hands on patient care experience in the department of radiation oncology at our clinical affiliates. Under constant supervision by licensed therapists, the student will be guided toward the application of theory in the real world of cancer treatment.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-301 and PHYS-L311; *Course fulfills the following: Expanded Classroom Requirement.

Credits:

1

Description:

Student dosimetrists will spend 12 weeks (full-time, 40 hrs/wk) gaining hands on treatment planning experience in the department of radiation oncology at our clinical affiliates. Under constant supervision of certified medical dosimetrists, the student will be guided toward the application of theory in the real world of cancer treatment planning.

Prerequisites:

MATH-265 and PHYS-153

Credits:

4

Description:

Applications of specific mathematical methods to problems in physics. Topics include complex analysis, integral transforms, eigenvalue problems, partial differential equations and group theory. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

PHYS-213

Credits:

4

Description:

This course provides an overview of the chemical and physical properties of the material constituents of the Earth and terrestrial planets, including minerals, rocks, lavas, and supercritical water. Topics include mineral structure and composition,bonding,optical properties, x-ray diffraction, phase transformations, and surface properties. The physics and chemistry of energy materials, synthetic nanomaterials will be included with emphasis/focus on energy resources, environmental impact, and geopolitical implications. There are no mandatory prerequisites for this course, but students who have taken introductory chemistry and/or physics will be familiar with some concepts discussed, and will find the going easier. Some background in Earth science is assumed (at the level of PHYS-213), and competence in basic chemistry is expected (some review will be provided where appropriate). The course is not mathematically intensive, but an appreciation of the fundamentals of calculus is important.

Prerequisites:

BIO-111 and PHYS-213

Credits:

4

Description:

The discovery of extreme environments and new insights into evolution, emergence and sustenance of life has expanded the view of life into a broader feasibility outside Earth. Discovery of exoplanets has opened up serious scientific exploration towards search for life in other planets. This upper-level course will introduce the scientific principles that underlie this newly evolving science of astrobiology. Discussion will include unique perspectives in life at extreme environments within Earth and their implication to the concepts of evolution and origins of life that form the basis for better understanding the habitability within our planet as well as any possibility of life in other planets.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 152 ; MATH 265 which may be taken concurrently

Credits:

4

Description:

Newton's laws of motion, projectiles, momentum, energy, conservation laws, oscillations, Lagrange equations, generalized momenta, central forces, orbits. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

PHYS 361

Credits:

4

Description:

Mechanics in non-inertial frames, rotational motion of rigid bodies, coupled oscillations, nonlinear mechanics and chaos, Hamiltonian mechanics, collision theory, continuum mechanics. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

PHYS 152; MATH 265 which may be taken concurrently

Credits:

4

Description:

Newton's laws of motion, momentum, angular momentum, energy, conservation laws, oscillations, Lagrange equations, central forces, orbits, mechanics in non-inertial frames, rotational motion of rigid bodies, coupled oscillations, Hamiltonian mechanics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 AND PHYS 152 OR PHYS 153.

Credits:

2.00- 3.00

Description:

The topics covered include theoretical foundations of observational astronomy, designs of telescopes, instrumentation for telescopes, data acquisition and management, as well as practical problems in observational astronomy. Offered together with the laboratory component PHYS L381.

Prerequisites:

Permission of Dept. Chair Required

Credits:

1.00- 2.00

Description:

The topics covered include theoretical foundations of observational astronomy, designs of telescopes, instrumentation for telescopes, data acquisition and management, as well as practical problems in observational astronomy.

Prerequisites:

Senior Standing

Credits:

4

Description:

The senior project is the capstone research experience of the undergraduate Physics Major. This one semester course requires students to work one on one with faculty in an area of mutually agreed upon research. In general, the effort will involve the use of mathematical and programming skills, laboratory techniques, and possibly field work. The end result will be both a paper and a formal presentation to both faculty and students.

Credits:

4

Description:

This course provides a mechanism for students to receive academic credit for engaging in research. A faculty member in the physics department will serve as the research advisor for each student. This faculty advisor will have the primary responsibility for overseeing each individual student's work and will decide the grade for the course. The research project may be initiated by the student or by a faculty member.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 152

Credits:

4

Description:

Atoms and elementary particles, atomic, molecular and nuclear systems. Quantum states and probability amplitude, wave mechanics, and thermal properties of matter. Atomic spectra and structure, and molecular systems. Nuclear reactions, alpha and beta decay, and high energy physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153;

Credits:

4

Description:

Topics include atoms and elementary particles, atomic, molecular and nuclear systems. Quantum states and probability amplitude, wave mechanics and thermal properties of matter. Atomic spectra and structure, and molecular systems. Nuclear reactions, alpha and beta decay and high energy physics. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

PHYS-453

Credits:

2

Description:

Classical and modern experiments in physics; Experiments may include Frank Hertz experiment, Hall effect, nuclear magnetic resonance, quantum dots, detection of muons, x-ray spectroscopy, ellipsometry, physics of timbre of musical instruments, data acquisition.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-361

Credits:

4

Description:

Non-relativistic study of particle systems, wave mechanical treatment, development of the concepts of observables, state vectors, operators and matrix representations. Hilbert space, angular momenta, coupling, symmetries, scattering, and perturbation theory. Harmonic oscillator and Hydrogen atom. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once a week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Prerequisites:

PHYS-152

Credits:

4

Description:

Physics of stars. Stellar atmospheres. Stellar interiors. Stellar evolution.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153/L153. PHYS-362 or 363.

Credits:

4

Description:

Macroscopic objects are made up of huge numbers of fundamental particles whose interactions are well understood. Physical properties that emerge from these interactions are, however, not simply related to these fundamental interactions. In this course we will develop the tools of statistical physics, which will allow us to predict emergent cooperative phenomena. We will apply those tools to a wide variety of physical questions, including the behavior of glasses, polymers, heat engines, magnets, and electrons in solids. Computer simulations will be extensively used to aid visualization and provide concrete realization of models in order to impart deeper understanding of statistical physics.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152

Credits:

4

Description:

Electrostatic field energy, methods for solution of boundary value problems. The magnetostatic field and magnetic circuits. Electromagnetic field energy, plane waves, wave guides and cavity resonators. Interaction of charge particles with electromagnetic fields. This course is available in a hybrid/online format where all lectures are online and meetings with the instructor are required once per week. These meetings are for the purpose of helping students with homework problems, points in the video lectures they did not understand, or quizzes to test students' currency with the online material. These meetings are typically scheduled in a classroom but it is possible for a small number of students abroad to make special arrangements with the instructor so that the weekly meetings are held using online technology which supports voice and equation writing (such as the virtual classroom in Blackboard collaboration).

Credits:

0

Description:

This course requires students to complete a minimum of 15 engagement hours per semester. Students gain exposure to a variety of activities related to research in a laboratory or field setting with faculty oversight. Permission of instructor required. May be taken more than once.

Credits:

1.00- 4.00

Description:

Directed reading, lectures, seminar and research in selected areas of special interest.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-153; Honors students only.

Credits:

2.00- 4.00

Description:

Special topics not covered in other 300/400-level physics courses. Topics can range from General Relativity to Relativistic quantum mechanics, depending on student interest.

Prerequisites:

At least 54 credits

Credits:

2.00- 4.00

Description:

Those students who intend to complete an internship must secure their own internship position prior to the start of the semester. The Career Development Center maintains a list of potential internship sites

Prerequisites:

MATH-128 or higher and SCI-L111 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

History of Astronomy from the ancients to Newton; light; telescopes; sun, earth, moon planets, comets, asteroids, meteors; space programs, science and technology in society. Course culminates with a visit to the Clay Center Observatory, where students will be able to make first hand observations. For non-science majors.

Prerequisites:

Take SCI-111 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory experiments and exercises to illustrate the principles discussed in Science 111. Observational exercises using the Celestron telescope, astrophotography exercises, and computer simulations. Course culminates with a visit to the Clay Center Observatory, where students will be able to make first hand observations.

Prerequisites:

MATH-128 or higher and SCI-L112 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Astronomy of the cosmos; sun, stars, interstellar materials, galaxies, pulsars, quasars, black holes; nature of time relativity, cosmology. Course culminates with a visit to the Clay Center Observatory, where students will be able to make first hand observations. For non-science majors.

Prerequisites:

Take SCI-112 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory experiments and exercises to illustrate the principles discussed in Science 112. Observational exercises using the Celestron telescope, astrophotography exercises, and computer simulations. Course culminates with a visit to the Clay Center Observatory, where students will be able to make first hand observations.

Credits:

4

Description:

This course introduces non-science majors to concepts that are central to making our planet habitable. It presents Earth in context of the solar system with a broad view of global climate change and energy resources in a quest to better understand the workings our planet. This course on Earth and Planetary Science is suitable for students who may have taken their last science and math course several years ago, or are just curious about knowing facts on major issues that pertain to the future of our planet. Together with a reading component, this course aims to give students a flavor of how researchers think, investigate and develop conclusions that directly affect our political and economic future. Topics covered in this course range from the solar system to the study of search for other habitable Earth-like planets, search for extraterrestrial life, and evolution of life on Earth. Other characteristics of this course are heavy use of audio-visual materials often including computer animations and simulations, in-class experiment demonstration, and intensive use of INTERNET-based resources.

Credits:

4

Description:

About 15 billion years ago, (data indicate) the big bang occurred and the universe was born. With it came physical laws and a spectacular array of consequences that lead to the universe as we know it. This non-lab , 4 credit course explores the inner workings of the physical universe in terms of the scientific inquiry which lead to Newton's laws, an understanding of energy, waves, light, electricity, atomic structure, chemical reactions, nuclear physics, particle physics, relativity, and the big bang theory. During the course, students will learn to make use of modern resources to access scientific and technical literature to research a scientific topic. They will learn to distinguish between science and technology (e.g. quantum mechanics and nanotechnology, the discovery of the Higgs boson and the large hadron collider that made it possible, etc.) and to understand how the science, technology, and engineering disciplines play a crucial role in recognizing and solving problems of society and the world that we share.

Prerequisites:

Honors students or at least a 3.3 GPA only

Credits:

4

Description:

The most basic needs of humans have not changed - water, food, and shelter - but the means of meeting these needs has. In this course, we will examine how technology-driven societies operate by studying how cities are built and how they function. Topics will include water supply and distribution systems; transportation systems (including road and bridge design and construction); building design, construction, and operation (including skyscraper and sustainable building design), and waste removal systems (municipal and industrial wastewater removal and treatment, solid waste removal and treatment). This is not a course about little gadgets and widgets; this is a course about big engineering marvels; and it emphasizes applications of science - how things work - rather than scientific theory.

Credits:

4

Description:

No longer offered on Boston campus This is a four credit, non-lab, science course that examines the central scientific problems confronting the 21st century. The course studies particular topics and teaches the necessary science around these topics to provide a good understanding of the issues. The topics currently are: Energy, Science and Economic Decisions, Sustainability of Life on Earth, Health and Science.

Credits:

4

Description:

This course presents a topical introduction to the key principles and concepts of physics in the context of the world events and natural phenomena that confront world leaders and that require informed decisions and responses. Energy, health, counter-terrorism, remote sensing, space programs, nuclear proliferation, and a host of other modern challenges have technological and scientific dimensions, the understanding of which is essential to avoiding disastrous policy decisions. This course considers the application of physics to these societal challenges. The material is covered at a level and pace that a future world leader should be able to handle; the emphasis is on the development of physical reasoning skills, and not on detailed, mathematical problem solving.

Prerequisites:

Take SCI-L210 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

This course will provide undergraduate students of various disciplines with an introduction to gems and crystals using interactive, evidence-based teaching approaches. Crystalline forms of matter are critical to our existence. Using innovative teaching strategies of in-class hands-on demonstration, supplemented with visuals of crystal details, the course provides students insights into the formation, alteration and unique properties that make crystals invaluable. Topics range from the study of proteins and nucleic acids to the interior of planets. The in-class lectures will provide a basic guide that will serve as a platform for individually catered in-depth study. Therefore, the course is open to advanced students as well, who can pick up higher level of information for discussion and class projects.

Prerequisites:

Take SCI-210 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

This course introduces concepts that are central to understanding crystals, gemstones and other natural materials abundant throughout the solar system. It includes an introduction to carbon-based crystals (diamonds, proteins, viruses and ices) in context with origins of life, geopolitical significance and their applications This laboratory-based course is an introduction to modern tools and techniques for crystal analysis with a historical context of some of the greatest discoveries in science (DNA, and other nanomaterials). It presents crystals and gems from their visually appealing point of view to their sometimes-dramatic physical characteristics, with a broad view of their formation, occurrence, physics, chemistry and resources perspective.

Prerequisites:

Take SCI-L360 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

This course introduces concepts that are central to understanding of life on Earth, feasibility and the search for life in the universe. The approach of this course is multidisciplinary focus on the life's origins, habitability, and the possibility of life elsewhere through space exploration of possible habitable (Earth-like) environments in our solar system and beyond. The main theme of the course is to understand the habitability of Earth in context with alien environments. We will explore the scientific understanding of life in extreme environments and detection of life itself. With Mt. Teide volcano (Tenerife) as our laboratory, we will explore the evolution and emergence of life in new environments in context with astrophysical observations and biochemical principles that sustain life processes. The core theme of this Interdisciplinary Science focused course is suitable for students who may have taken their last science and math course several years ago, or are just curious about knowing facts on Life on Earth and the science behind the search for life in other planetary bodies. Together with a reading component, this course aims to give students a flavor of how researchers think, work in the field, make observations and build hypothesis. Topics covered in this course range from origins to life, life in extreme environments, search for habitable exoplanets and defining the habitable zone in the universe.

Prerequisites:

Take SCI-360 concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

This is the laboratory component of the course on Planetary Science and Astrobiology. in which we develop the scientific understanding of life in extreme environments and detection of life itself. With Mt. Teide volcano (Tenerife) as our laboratory, we will explore the evolution and emergence of life in new environments in context with astrophysical observations and biochemical principles that sustain life processes.