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, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, French, Global Cultural Studies, History, Humanities, International Economics, Music History, Philosophy, Physics, Radiation Science, Socioloug, Spanish, and Undeclared. Instructor consent required for all other majors.

Credits:

1.00

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

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This is a rigorous introduction to computer science in Python 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:

4.00

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:

4.00

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:

4.00

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.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 or MATH-134 with a grade of C or better. MATH-165 can replace these prerequisites if taken concurrently with PHYS-151.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151 152 153) that comprise the calculus-based introductory physics sequence intended for students majoring in the physical sciences engineering and mathematics. This course covers 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 kinetic and potential energy momentum and collisions rigid body statics and dynamics fluid mechanics gravitation 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.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121, MATH-165, MATH-166 or MATH-134(with a minimum grade of C). PHYS-151 concurrently.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 151: 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:

3.00

Description:

This calculus-based course continues the topics in physics covered in Physics 151 and begins with temperature and heat the thermal properties of matter and the lasw of thermodynamics. It then switches to electromagnetism and 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 and electromagnetic waves.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-152 (concurrently) and PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 152: 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:

3.00

Description:

This calculus-based course is the third in the series of introductory physics courses. It begins with optics and includes the nature and propogation of light geometric optics interference and diffraction. The focus then changes to modern physics and begins with special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy addition of relativistic velocities early quantum theory blackbody radiation photoelectric effect the Compton Effect photon interactions pair production and Bohr's theory of the atom. Schrodinger's equation is introduced with use of wave functions solutions to a particle in a box barrier penetration quantum mechanical tunneling the Pauli Exclusion principle the development of the periodic table and the X-ray spectra. The final topics cover nuclear physics radioactivity half-life nuclear fission and fusion medical uses of radiation and elementary particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments to and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 153. Includes experiments and computations to illustrate the basic concepts of special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy addition of relativistic velocities 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:

3.00

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:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 253. 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 and MATH-265 (may be taken concurrently)

Credits:

4.00

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-153;

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course covers a selection of the major topics in modern physics. It begins with special relativity the Lorentz transformation the relativistic Doppler effect relativistic momentum and energy the concept of four vectors and relativistic invariants. Then quantization of light Planck's development of black body radiation the photoelectric effect and Compton scattering are discussed. Next the three dimensional Schrodinger equation is discussed for the H atom addition of angular momenta the basics of quantum mechanics with operators and expectation values the quantum oscillator and reflection and transmission of waves The course concludes with topics in nuclear physics and the standard model of particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-453

Credits:

2.00

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:

Take PHYS-361 & PHYS-362, OR PHYS-363

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course is designed for non-relativistic study of subatomic particle systems. Topics included are Schrdinger equation wave function probability density uncertainty relationship. Hilbert space development of the concepts of observables state vectors operators and matrix representation. Tunneling scattering and perturbation theory. Harmonic oscillator and Hydrogen atom. Eigenvalues principal angular momentum magnetic and spin quantum numbers.

Prerequisites:

Take PHYS-152 and PHYS-L152

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course covers fundamental electrostatic and field of moving charges with extensive mathematical treatment. Topics included are Gauss' Law Divergence theorem electrostatic field energy potential function methods for solution of boundary value problems. Ampere's Law Stokes' Theorem. The magnetic fields vector potential relativistic field transfers. Faraday's Law of induction displacement current. Maxwell's equations electromagnetic waves. Poynting vector. Interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields. Dipoles dielectrics and magnetic materials.

Prerequisites:

Senior Standing required

Credits:

4.00

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.

Concentration Requirement (5 courses, 20 credits)

Choose one of the following areas of concentration:

  1. General Physics
  2. 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.

Concentrations

General Physics Concentration: 5 courses, 20 credits

Core Requirements (4 courses, 16 credits)

Prerequisites:

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

Credits:

4.00

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); and (when time permits) introduction to confidence interval and hypothesis testing; regression analysis. Offered in each fall.

Prerequisites:

MATH-265 and PHYS-153

Credits:

4.00

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:

4.00

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 Python language. The course introduce another programming language - Java - 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 computer programs in Java.

Prerequisites:

Take MATH-185 with a grade of C or better

Credits:

4.00

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:

BIO-L111 concurrently

Credits:

3.00

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:

BIO-111 (concurrently)

Credits:

1.00

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:

3.00

Description:

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

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-111.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This course introduces the basic principles of chemistry through hands-on laboratory experiments. Students learn safe laboratory practices and fundamental technical skills. These include the determination of mass and volume making solutions and synthesizing a product. Emphasis is also placed on understanding and writing scientific literature.

Or one 200-level or higher Math elective.

Elective (1 course, 4 credits)

Choose one Physics elective.

Astrophysics Concentration: 5 courses, 20 credits

Prerequisites:

PHYS-151 and PHYS-152

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An introduction to the concepts and methods of astrophysics including observational techniques blackbody radiation and the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Some elements of stellar physics are covered: hydrostatic equilibrium and the Virial theorem mass continuity energy transport equations of stellar structure nuclear energy production and nuclear reaction rates. The features of stellar evolution are covered including white dwarfs supernovae neutron stars pulsars and black holes. Extrasolar planets habitable zones and the search for life beyond Earth are discussed. The final topics are the Milky Way and other galaxies Hubble's law and the expansion of the universe.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 AND PHYS 152 OR PHYS 153.

Credits:

2.00- 3.00

Description:

Topics include theoretical foundations of observational astronomy, designs of telescopes, instrumentation for telescopes, data acquisition management, and analysis as well as celestial coordinates systems, spherical triangle, star charts and catalogue, concept of time including sidereal time, light, instruments such as telescopes, detectors, spectroscopes, Also discussed are atmospheric and interstellar medium effects on star light, astrometry, variable stars, stellar evolution, Hertz sprung-Russell Diagrams. Accompanying lab course includes field trips to local observatories.

Prerequisites:

Permission of Dept. Chair Required. Take PHYS-381 concurrently.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

Field trips to local observatories subject to sky conditions. Use of Stellarium software for determination of latitude and longitude of a place planetary orbits and solar rotation using sunspots. Study of composite spectra and elemental composition focal ratios light gathering power image scale and resolving power of a telescope. Also included are exposure time calculations spectral classification using VIREO stellar surface temperatures using VIREO H R Diagram light curve of eclipsing binaries and exoplanets radial velocity curves of binary stars.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-152

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Topics include physics of stars stellar atmospheres stellar interiors stellar evolution star formation and interstellar medium. Also includes a review of concepts of basic physics including mechanics statistical physics thermodynamics and nuclear physics.

Prerequisites:

CMPSC-F131

Credits:

4.00

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 Python language. The course introduce another programming language - Java - 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 computer programs in Java.

Choose one of the following and the corresponding laboratory:

Prerequisites:

BIO-L111 concurrently

Credits:

3.00

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:

BIO-111 (concurrently)

Credits:

1.00

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:

3.00

Description:

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

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-111.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This course introduces the basic principles of chemistry through hands-on laboratory experiments. Students learn safe laboratory practices and fundamental technical skills. These include the determination of mass and volume making solutions and synthesizing a product. Emphasis is also placed on understanding and writing scientific literature.

Physics Major 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 instrumentation and its importance in classical and modern experiments in physics
  • Understand how to use computers and 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

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 MATH-134 with a grade of C or better. MATH-165 can replace these prerequisites if taken concurrently with PHYS-151.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151 152 153) that comprise the calculus-based introductory physics sequence intended for students majoring in the physical sciences engineering and mathematics. This course covers 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 kinetic and potential energy momentum and collisions rigid body statics and dynamics fluid mechanics gravitation 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.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121, MATH-165, MATH-166 or MATH-134(with a minimum grade of C). PHYS-151 concurrently.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 151: 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:

3.00

Description:

This calculus-based course continues the topics in physics covered in Physics 151 and begins with temperature and heat the thermal properties of matter and the lasw of thermodynamics. It then switches to electromagnetism and 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 and electromagnetic waves.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-152 (concurrently) and PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 152: 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:

3.00

Description:

This calculus-based course is the third in the series of introductory physics courses. It begins with optics and includes the nature and propogation of light geometric optics interference and diffraction. The focus then changes to modern physics and begins with special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy addition of relativistic velocities early quantum theory blackbody radiation photoelectric effect the Compton Effect photon interactions pair production and Bohr's theory of the atom. Schrodinger's equation is introduced with use of wave functions solutions to a particle in a box barrier penetration quantum mechanical tunneling the Pauli Exclusion principle the development of the periodic table and the X-ray spectra. The final topics cover nuclear physics radioactivity half-life nuclear fission and fusion medical uses of radiation and elementary particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments to and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 153. Includes experiments and computations to illustrate the basic concepts of special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy addition of relativistic velocities 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 at the 200-level or higher.

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-H555. The student must propose a research project for PHYS-H555 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:

3.00

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.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-111 concurrently

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 111. 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. Error propagation use of Excel laboratory notebooks and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-111 concurrently

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of virtual experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 111. Introduction to the fundamental principles of physics which includes Study of kinematics vectors Newton's laws rotations rigid body statics and dynamics energy and work momentum heat and thermodynamics and kinetic theory. Error propagation use of Excel and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

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

Credits:

3.00

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-112(concurrently) and PHYS-111 and PHYS-L111

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 112. 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. Error propagation use of Excel laboratory notebooks and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-112(concurrently) and PHYS-111 and PHYS-L111

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of virtual experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 112 and continuation of the fundamental principles of physics. This includes 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. Error propagation use of Excel and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 or MATH-134 with a grade of C or better. MATH-165 can replace these prerequisites if taken concurrently with PHYS-151.

Credits:

3.00

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151 152 153) that comprise the calculus-based introductory physics sequence intended for students majoring in the physical sciences engineering and mathematics. This course covers 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 kinetic and potential energy momentum and collisions rigid body statics and dynamics fluid mechanics gravitation 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.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121, MATH-165, MATH-166 or MATH-134(with a minimum grade of C). PHYS-151 concurrently.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 151: 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:

MATH-121, MATH-165, MATH-166 or MATH-134(with a minimum grade of C). PHYS-151 concurrently.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of virtual experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 151: measurements propagation of errors vectors Newton's laws work and energy momentum rotations oscillations simple harmonic motion and fluids. Knowledge of algebra trigonometry differentiation and integration required.

Prerequisites:

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

Credits:

3.00

Description:

This calculus-based course continues the topics in physics covered in Physics 151 and begins with temperature and heat the thermal properties of matter and the lasw of thermodynamics. It then switches to electromagnetism and 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 and electromagnetic waves.

Prerequisites:

CAS Honors students only. Take PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151 prior. 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-152 (concurrently) and PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 152: 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:

3.00

Description:

This calculus-based course is the third in the series of introductory physics courses. It begins with optics and includes the nature and propogation of light geometric optics interference and diffraction. The focus then changes to modern physics and begins with special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy addition of relativistic velocities early quantum theory blackbody radiation photoelectric effect the Compton Effect photon interactions pair production and Bohr's theory of the atom. Schrodinger's equation is introduced with use of wave functions solutions to a particle in a box barrier penetration quantum mechanical tunneling the Pauli Exclusion principle the development of the periodic table and the X-ray spectra. The final topics cover nuclear physics radioactivity half-life nuclear fission and fusion medical uses of radiation and elementary particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments to and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 153. Includes experiments and computations to illustrate the basic concepts of special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy addition of relativistic velocities early quantum theory blackbody radiation photoelectric effect the Compton Effect photon interactions pair production and the Bohr theory of the atom.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 concurrently

Credits:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of virtual experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 153. This includes virtual experiments and computations to illustrate geometric and wave optics the basic concepts of special relativity the Lorentz transformation relativistic momentum and energy. addition of relativistic velocities early quantum theory blackbody radiation photoelectric effect the Compton Effect photon interactions pair production the Bohr theory of the atom and radioactivity.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-151 and PHYS-152

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An introduction to the concepts and methods of astrophysics including observational techniques blackbody radiation and the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Some elements of stellar physics are covered: hydrostatic equilibrium and the Virial theorem mass continuity energy transport equations of stellar structure nuclear energy production and nuclear reaction rates. The features of stellar evolution are covered including white dwarfs supernovae neutron stars pulsars and black holes. Extrasolar planets habitable zones and the search for life beyond Earth are discussed. The final topics are the Milky Way and other galaxies Hubble's law and the expansion of the universe.

Prerequisites:

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

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course provides an overview of the chemical and physical properties of the material constituents of the Earth and other 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.

Prerequisites:

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

Credits:

4.00

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:

3.00

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:

1.00

Description:

This laboratory course consists of experiments and exercises to illustrate the basic concepts studied in PHYS 253. 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:

MATH-265 and PHYS-153

Credits:

4.00

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-152 and MATH-265 (may be taken concurrently)

Credits:

4.00

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:

Topics include theoretical foundations of observational astronomy, designs of telescopes, instrumentation for telescopes, data acquisition management, and analysis as well as celestial coordinates systems, spherical triangle, star charts and catalogue, concept of time including sidereal time, light, instruments such as telescopes, detectors, spectroscopes, Also discussed are atmospheric and interstellar medium effects on star light, astrometry, variable stars, stellar evolution, Hertz sprung-Russell Diagrams. Accompanying lab course includes field trips to local observatories.

Prerequisites:

Permission of Dept. Chair Required. Take PHYS-381 concurrently.

Credits:

1.00

Description:

Field trips to local observatories subject to sky conditions. Use of Stellarium software for determination of latitude and longitude of a place planetary orbits and solar rotation using sunspots. Study of composite spectra and elemental composition focal ratios light gathering power image scale and resolving power of a telescope. Also included are exposure time calculations spectral classification using VIREO stellar surface temperatures using VIREO H R Diagram light curve of eclipsing binaries and exoplanets radial velocity curves of binary stars.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153;

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course covers a selection of the major topics in modern physics. It begins with special relativity the Lorentz transformation the relativistic Doppler effect relativistic momentum and energy the concept of four vectors and relativistic invariants. Then quantization of light Planck's development of black body radiation the photoelectric effect and Compton scattering are discussed. Next the three dimensional Schrodinger equation is discussed for the H atom addition of angular momenta the basics of quantum mechanics with operators and expectation values the quantum oscillator and reflection and transmission of waves The course concludes with topics in nuclear physics and the standard model of particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-453

Credits:

2.00

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:

Take PHYS-361 & PHYS-362, OR PHYS-363

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course is designed for non-relativistic study of subatomic particle systems. Topics included are Schrdinger equation wave function probability density uncertainty relationship. Hilbert space development of the concepts of observables state vectors operators and matrix representation. Tunneling scattering and perturbation theory. Harmonic oscillator and Hydrogen atom. Eigenvalues principal angular momentum magnetic and spin quantum numbers.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-152

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Topics include physics of stars stellar atmospheres stellar interiors stellar evolution star formation and interstellar medium. Also includes a review of concepts of basic physics including mechanics statistical physics thermodynamics and nuclear physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-153 and PHYS-L153 and PHYS-362 or PHYS-363

Credits:

4.00

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:

4.00

Description:

This course covers fundamental electrostatic and field of moving charges with extensive mathematical treatment. Topics included are Gauss' Law Divergence theorem electrostatic field energy potential function methods for solution of boundary value problems. Ampere's Law Stokes' Theorem. The magnetic fields vector potential relativistic field transfers. Faraday's Law of induction displacement current. Maxwell's equations electromagnetic waves. Poynting vector. Interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields. Dipoles dielectrics and magnetic materials.

Credits:

0.00

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:

CAS only, Honors students only

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 quantum mechanics wave propagation nuclear physics and astrophysics to nanoscience depending on student interest.

Prerequisites:

Senior Standing required

Credits:

4.00

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:

Senior Standing required, CAS Honors students with 3.3 GPA or above.

Credits:

4.00

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.