Curriculum | Physics Major | Concordia University Irvine

Physics Major

Curriculum

School of Arts and Sciences

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Curriculum

  • Core
  • 53-57 Units
  • CHE 222: Chemistry II
  • 4

The major topics of this course will include solubility products, chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and qualitative analysis. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: C- or better in CHE 221.

  • MTH 271: Calculus 1
  • 5

This course will study differential and integral calculus with applications including an emphasis on using calculus to solve problems. Lab time is included in the schedule. A graphing calculator is expected.  Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry (or equivalent)

  • MTH 272: Calculus II
  • 4

A continuation of MTH 271, this course will include a study of integral calculus with and emphasis on the definite integral, transcendental, parametric, and polar-functions along with their derivatives and integrals, series, and sequences, and an introduction to differential equations. A graphing calculator is expected along with the ability to use appropriate computer software. Lab time is included in the schedule. Prerequisite: MTH 271 (C or higher) or acceptable AP examination credit

  • MTH 373: Calculus 3
  • 4

As a continuation of MTH 272, this course will include the study of vector calculus, three-dimensional calculus, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, differential calculus, and other selected topics in vector calculus. Prerequisite: MTH 272 or appropriate advanced placement (AP) examination grade.

  • PHY 221: Calculus-based Physics I
  • 4

This course will study Newtonian mechanics: vectors and scalars, kinematics and dynamics of translational and rotational motion, Newton's laws, speed, velocity, acceleration, force, torque, work, energy, linear and angular momentum, wave and harmonic motion, gravitation, friction, conservation of energy and momentum, thermodynamics. A lab fee is required. Pre-requisite: MTH 271(concurrent enrollment allowed) or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 222: Calculus-based Physics II
  • 4

As a continuation of PHY 221, this course will cover thermodynamics, Maxwell's equations of electricity and magnetism, current, voltage, resistance, inductance, reactance, power, optics and optical systems, interference, diffraction, polarization, dispersion, and coherence. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisites: PHY 221; MTH 272 (concurrent enrollment allowed) or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 231: Astronomy I
  • 4

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to planetary astronomy with a brief exposure to stellar astronomy including the solar system, sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, meteors, meteorites, stars, galaxies, origins of the universe, telescopes, spectra, and space exploration.

OR

  • PHY 232: Astronomy II
  • 4

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to stellar astronomy and cosmology including star and galaxy formation, origins of the universe, black holes, dark matter, and dark energy. Lab time is included in the schedule.

  • PHY 311: Modern Physics
  • 4

This course will provide a rigorous introduction to the relationship between relativity, quantum mechanics, molecular, atomic, and nuclear physics, and cosmology. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: PHY 221 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 315: Electronics I: Analog Electronics
  • 3

This hands-on course will focus on the design, fabrication, and testing of analog electronic circuits, circuit components, and devices with special emphasis on the use of electronic test equipment. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: PHY 221 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 316: Electronics II: Digital Electronics
  • 3

This hands-on course will focus on the design, fabrication, and testing of digital electronic circuits, circuit components, and devices with special emphasis on programming and computer control of digital circuits and devices. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisites: PHY 221 and PHY 315 or consent of instructor.

 

  • PHY 325: Scientific Equipment Design and Fabrication
  • 3

This hands-on course will focus on the design of scientific equipment, the use of scientific glassblowing, and machine shop tools, particularly the lathe and the knee-type mill, to fabricate, repair, and modify scientific equipment; also included will be a comprehensive introduction to vacuum technology. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: C- or better in PHY 221 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 340: Optics
  • 3

This course will cover classical and quantum descriptions of electromagnetic radiation, lenses, mirrors, polarizers, dispersion, refraction, diffraction, scattering, image formation, optical systems, aberrations, optical sources and detectors, spectroscopy, and matrix and Fourier transform methods in optics. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: C- or better in PHY 221or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 350: Mechanics and Lab
  • 4

This course will cover advanced formulations of Newton's laws of motion, conservation laws, Hamilton's and Lagrange's equations, least action principle, conservative and dissipative systems, domain of applicability, and limitations of classical mechanics. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: PHY 221 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 405: Math and Computational Physics
  • 3

This course will provide a rigorous introduction to the mathematical and computational methods that underlie physics including multivariable calculus, differential equations, matrix methods, expansions in complete sets of orthonormal functions, complex variables, eigenvalue/eigenvector problems, and variational methods. Prerequisites: PHY 221 and MTH 373 or consent of the instructor.

  • PHY 410: Electrodynamics
  • 3

This course will focus on electrical charge, Coulomb's law, electric fields associated with stationary charge distributions, moving charges, currents, magnetic fields, Lorentz force law, Faraday's law of induction, Maxwell's equations, generation, propagation, polarization, and detection of electromagnetic radiation, and basic antenna theory. Prerequisites: PHY 405 and MTH 373 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 420: Quantum Mechanics
  • 3

This course will address key concepts and methods in quantum physics with special emphasis on setting up, solving, and approximating solutions of the Schrodinger equation by perturbational or variational methods, and describing spectroscopy in terms of transitions between quantum states. Prerequisites: PHY 405 and MTH 373 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 425: Thermodynamics
  • 3

This course will address key concepts in thermodynamics including the 0th, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd laws, Maxwell’s equations of thermodynamics, heat capacities, state functions, heat, work, heat engines, thermodynamic cycles, and an introduction to statistical thermodynamics. Prerequisite: PHY 221 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 496: Research in Physics
  • 3

As a hands-on introduction to physics research, this course will emphasize research process, skills, and methods including laboratory and library research, peer-reviewed physics abstracts and journals, electronic chemical databases, professional journal manuscript style guides, and statistical analysis used in writing research manuscripts and making research presentations. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: SCI 495.

  • PHY 499: Senior Thesis
  • 1

This course will be a culmination of original student-conducted scientific research resulting in a paper and presentation. Prerequisites: C- or better in PHY 496, SCI 495; restricted to seniors.

  • SCI 495: Research Methods
  • 1

This course will introduce basic techniques in laboratory research, experimental design, library databases, review of peer-reviewed literature, and quantitative and qualitative analyses. Students will compose a research proposal intended to guide future original student-conducted research. Interdisciplinary topics are included. Prerequisite: Sixteen (16) units of major courses or consent of instructor. Typically offered each semester.

  • Electives
  • 6-8 Units
  • Choose two courses from the following:
  • PHY 231: Astronomy I
  • 4

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to planetary astronomy with a brief exposure to stellar astronomy including the solar system, sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, meteors, meteorites, stars, galaxies, origins of the universe, telescopes, spectra, and space exploration.

OR

  • PHY 232: Astronomy II
  • 4

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to stellar astronomy and cosmology including star and galaxy formation, origins of the universe, black holes, dark matter, and dark energy. Lab time is included in the schedule.

  • PHY 435: Solid State Physics and Chemistry
  • 3

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the fundamental concepts of the structure, bonding, and chemical/physical properties of solid systems: metals, semiconductors, superconductors, insulators, and glasses. Prerequisites: PHY 221 and CHE 222 or consent of the instructor.

  • PHY 445: Advanced Topics in Physics
  • 3

This course will provide an in-depth exposure to an advanced physics topic or set of related physics topics in an upper-division class setting in areas not covered by the regular curricular offerings in physics. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing in physics and consent of instructor.

  • PHY 455: Relativity and Cosmology
  • 3

This course will provide a rigorous introduction to special and general relativity and the applications of relativity in both its special and general forms to problems in cosmology. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing in physics and consent of instructor.

  • PHY 465: Advanced Astronomy
  • 4

This course will focus on cutting-edge problems in stellar, galactic, and extra-galactic astronomy with an emphasis on techniques for experimental measurements in astronomical photometry and spectroscopy. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisites: PHY 221 and either PHY 231 or PHY 232 or consent of instructor.

  • PHY 475: Medical Imaging Physics
  • 4

This course will provide an in-depth theoretical and experimental elucidation of the physics of various modern medical imaging technologies including X-rays, ultrasound, CAT scans, and MRI. Lab time is included in the schedule. A lab fee is required. Prerequisites: PHY 221 and CHE 222 or consent of instructor.

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this major and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your major. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.

Get in Touch

For more information about the Physics major at Concordia University Irvine, we invite you to contact us directly.

John Kenney
Physics Chair, Professor of Physics
john.kenney@cui.edu


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