UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN OSHKOSH

PHYSICS AND
ASTRONOMY



Roy Knispel, Chairperson
Department Office: Halsey Science 337
Department Telephone: 920-424-4433

Code 80 or PHYS SCI, 82 or PHY/AST, 85 or PRAC ART

I. FACULTY

Briley, Jambunathan, Knispel, Lattery, Rioux, Umlor

II. DEGREES

Undergraduate: A major in Physics can lead to the degree(s): Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Science in Education.

Graduate: Students who complete a major in our Department may want to continue in our graduate program, leading to the degree(s): Master of Science.

For specifics, please see the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Graduate Bulletin.

III. SUMMARY OF FIELDS OF STUDY

1. GOAL(S)
Upon completion of a Physics major, students will be able to determine specified information about a physical system by using basic physics principles, a mathematical representation, laboratory methods and instruments, and computer and graphical techniques; find and retrieve published or computer archived information; communicate physics concepts and results of scientific work in written and oral forms.

In addition to the above goals, Professional Emphasis majors will be able to use integrated principles of physics and advanced analytic and computational methods.

Computer and Instrumentation Emphasis majors will be able to use the concepts and laboratory techniques of digital and analog electronics, digital signal processing techniques to improve and analyze digitized data, high level programming languages and assembler languages and assemble and use computer interfaced equipment.

Secondary Education Emphasis majors will be able to use appropriate apparatus and computers to teach physics concepts to high school students.

2. THE MAJOR(S)
The Department offers a choice of 3 emphases within the Physics Major. These are: 1) Professional Emphasis in Physics, 2) Computing and Instrumentation Emphasis, 3) Secondary Education Emphasis.

3. THE MINOR(S)
The Department offers 2 minor(s): 1) Physics - Liberal Arts, 2) Physics - Secondary Education.

IV. ADMISSION/GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for graduation, students must meet all requirements for the degree being sought in addition to earning a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all courses required for the Physics and Astronomy major or minor. Refer to the following for complete major/minor course requirements.

Those students seeking Wisconsin teacher certification must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in all courses required for their majors and minors in order to meet requirements of the College of Education and Human Services.

V. REQUIRED CORE COURSES

Physics
  • Physics/Astronomy 109 General Physics 5 cr.
  • Physics/Astronomy 110 General Physics 5 cr.
  • Physics/Astronomy 206 Introductory Modern Physics 4 cr.
  • Physics/Astronomy 305 Electronic Circuits and Devices 3 cr.
  • Physics/Astronomy 308 Experimental Physics Laboratory 3 cr.
Mathematics
  • Mathematics 171 Calculus I 4 cr.
  • Mathematics 172 Calculus II 4 cr.
  • Mathematics 273 Calculus III 4 cr.

Comment:
The mathematics courses listed in the core are not counted as part of the required units (crs.) in the major emphases.

Course Offerings:
  • Group 1 Introductory Courses: Physics/Astronomy 103, 104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 113, 114, 123, 124.
  • Group 2 Upper Division Courses: Physics/Astronomy 206, 304, 307, 319, 320, 333, 335, 408, 417, 418, 419, 446, 449, 456, 470, 474.
  • Group 3 Instrumentation and Laboratory Courses: Physics/Astronomy 211, 305, 308, 309, 311, 405, 415, 491.
  • Group 4 Service Courses: Physics/Astronomy 105, 201, 202.
  • Group 5 Physical Science Course: Physical Science 101.
  • Group 6 Practical Arts Courses: Practical Arts 101, 102, 251.

VI. THE MAJOR(S), WITH EMPHASES AND/OR OPTIONS

1. PHYSICS MAJOR

A. Professional Physics Emphasis
Recommended for students who seek employment in the field of Physics or who are preparing for graduate studies in Physics, Astronomy or related fields.

Required Units (crs.): 46 minimum

Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:
  • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 320, 417, 419, 449, 491.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics 371, 375, 376.

Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings in Groups 2 and 3 to meet the Minimum Requirement.

Comment:
37 units (crs.) of Physics and 9 units (crs.) of Mathematics required for this emphasis

B. Computing and Instrumentation Emphasis
Recommended for students who seek employment in the application of Physics and Computing to scientific and technical areas.

Required Units (crs.): 49 minimum

Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:
  • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 309, 311, 319, 405, 491.
  • Computer Science: Computer Science 221, 251, 310.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics 355.

Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings in Groups 2 and 3 to meet the Minimum Requirement.

Comment:
37 units (crs.) Physics, 9 units (crs.) Computer Science and 3 units (crs.) Mathematics for this emphasis.

C. Secondary Education Emphasis
Recommended for students who plan to teach Physics at the secondary school level.

Required Units (crs.): 35 minimum

Required Courses: In addition to the Physics Core Courses:
  • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 320, 333, 335.

Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings in Groups 2 and 3 to meet the Minimum Requirement.

VII. MINOR(S)


1.PHYSICS (LIBERAL ARTS) MINOR

Required Units (crs.): 23 minimum

Required Courses:
  • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 109, 110, 206, 308, plus 6 units (crs.) from groups 2 and 3.

Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings in Groups 2 and 3 to meet the Minimum Requirement.

Prerequisites:
  • Mathematics: Mathematics 171

2. PHYSICS (SECONDARY EDUCATION) MINOR
Recommended for students who plan to complete a broadfield science major in Secondary Education.

Required Units (crs.): 23 minimum

Required Courses:
  • Physics: Physics/Astronomy 109, 110, 206, 308, 335.

Electives: Sufficient courses from the Department's offerings in Groups 2 and 3 to meet the Minimum Requirement.

Prerequisites:
  • Mathematics: Mathematics 171

Comment:
Secondary Education students completing this minor must also complete a licensable major.

VIII. COURSE OFFERINGS

Physical Science 101 1-4 units (crs.)
Workshop Physical Science (NS)
A hands-on course covering basic concepts in physical science through active engagement with guided computer-based laboratories, student-directed projects, interactive demonstrations, and class discussions. Emphasis on the nature and limits of science. For elementary education majors and non-science majors. (3+2)

Physics/Astronomy 103 4 units (crs.)
The Solar System (NS)
The astronomer's understanding of the earth, moon, and planets. Explores the basic nature of science and the scientific method. Prerequisite: Mathematics 103 with a grade of C or better or qualifying for Mathematics 104 or higher via the Mathematics Placement Exam. (3+2) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 104 4 units (crs.)
Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (NS)
Universe beyond the solar system. Methods of science applied to classification of stars, galaxies, nebulae, and exotic objects such as pulsars, quasars, and black holes. Intended for non-science majors and science majors having an interest in astronomy. May be taken to satisfy the general education lab science requirement. Prerequisites: Mathematics 103 with a minimum grade of C or qualifying for Mathematics 104 or higher via the Mathematics Placement Exam. (3+2) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 105 4 units (crs.)
Basic Acoustics of Music (NS)
A course designed in cooperation with the music department principally for music majors interested in the acoustical foundation of this subject. Emphasis throughout is on the needs and interests of the music student. May not be counted toward a Physics major or minor. (3+2)

Physics/Astronomy 106 3 units (crs.)
Introduction to Topics in Physics
A general introduction to selected topics in physics. Within an historical perspective the evolution of the fundamental ideas of motion in physics will be examined. Focus will be on the development of problem-solving skills in such areas as unit analysis; making approximations; and using trigonometry, exponential functions, logarithms, vectors, derivatives, integrals, and graphs. A blend of history, selected topics, direct experiences, problem-solving practice and applying math skills is used to enhance preparation for success in physics courses. Prerequisite: Consent of department.

Physics/Astronomy 107 1-5 units (crs.)
General Physics (NS)
A survey of mechanics and properties of matter. Recommended for liberal arts majors and pre-professionals. Not recommended for physics majors and minors and pre-engineers. Prerequisite: Mathematics 108 or equivalent. (4+2) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 108 5 units (crs.)
General Physics (NS)
A survey of waves, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear radiation. Recommended for liberal arts majors and pre-professionals. Not recommended for physics majors and minors. Prerequisite: Physics 107 and Mathematics 108 or equivalent. (4+2) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 109 5 units (crs.)
General Physics (NS)
A survey of mechanics, sound, and heat providing a background for advanced work in these fields. Recommended for students in pre-engineering and majors in physics, chemistry, or mathematics. Prerequisite: Mathematics 171 or consent of instructor. (4+2) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 110 5 units (crs.)
General Physics (NS)
A survey of electricity, magnetism, and light providing a background for advanced work in these fields. Recommended for students in pre-engineering and majors in physics, chemistry, or mathematics. Prerequisite: Physics 107 or 109 and Mathematics 171. (4+2) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 113 3 units (crs.)
The Solar System (no lab) (NS)
The astronomer's understanding of the earth, moon, and planets. Explores the basic nature of science and the scientific method. Prerequisite: Mathematics 103 with a grade of C or better or qualifying for Mathematics 104 or higher via the Mathematics Placement Exam. (3+0) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 114 3 units (crs.)
Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (no lab) (NS)
Identical to Physics 104 except no laboratory experience is included. May be used to satisfy laboratory science requirement only if Physics 124 is taken during a later term. Credit may not be earned for both Physics 114 and 104. Prerequisite: Mathematics 103 with a grade of C or better or qualifying for Mathematics 104 or higher via the Mathematics Placement Exam. (3+0) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 123 1 unit (cr.)
Solar System Laboratory (NS)
Laboratory component of the Solar System, Physics 103. Completes 4 units (crs.) applicable toward laboratory science requirement when taken following Physics 113. Prerequisite: Physics 113. (0+2) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 124 1 unit (cr.)
Stars, Galaxies and the Universe Laboratory (NS)
Laboratory component of Cosmic Evolution, Physics 104. Completes 4 units (crs.) applicable toward the laboratory science requirement when taken following Physics 114. Prerequisite: Physics 114. (0+2) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 201 3 units (crs.)
Statics for Engineering
The action of forces on bodies at rest or in equilibrium. For pre-engineering students and not ordinarily taken by physics majors and minors. Prerequisite: Physics 107 or 109 (may be taken concurrently) and Mathematics 171. (3+0) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 202 3 units (crs.)
Dynamics for Engineering
Motion and the action of forces in producing or modifying the motion of bodies. For pre-engineering students and not ordinarily taken by physics majors and minors. Prerequisite: Physics 201 and Mathematics 172 (may be taken concurrently). (3+0) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 206 4 units (crs.)
Introductory Modern Physics
Twentieth century physics; emphasis on atomic and sub-atomic phenomena. Normally acceptable for pre-engineering students. Prerequisite: Physics 108 or 110 and Mathematics 171. (3+2) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 211 3 units (crs.)
Digital Electronics
Fundamentals and applications of digital electronics emphasizing use in measurement and instrumentation. Included are logic types, gates, triggering circuits, timing, counters, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion and microprocessor applications. (2+2)

Physics/Astronomy 304 3 units (crs.)
Theoretical Methods of Astrophysics
The Boltzmann and Saha equations and their use to calculate the spectroscopic state of a gas, the flow of radiation through matter, interpretation of stellar spectra. Prerequisite: Mathematics 172 and Physics 108 or 110. (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 305 3 units (crs.)
Electronic Circuits and Devices
DC and AC circuit theory with emphasis placed on the external electrical properties of analog electronic devices and their practical applications. Prerequisite: Physics 108, 110 or consent of instructor. 305/505 (2+2)

Physics/Astronomy 307 3 units (crs.)
Physical Optics
Review of geometrical optics, interference, diffraction, polarization, double refraction, electromagnetic theory of light, introduction to quantum optics and lasers. Prerequisite: Physics 110 and Mathematics 172. 307/507 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 308 3 units (crs.)
Experimental Physics Laboratory
A laboratory course in basic and advanced measurements of physical quantities and analytical methods. Prerequisite: Physics 110. (1+5)

Physics/Astronomy 309 1 unit (cr.)
Construction Techniques
Development of basic skills in machining and bonding metals for construction of laboratory apparatus. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (0+3)

Physics/Astronomy 311 4 units (crs.)
Digital Instrumentation
Fundamentals and applications of combinational and sequential digital circuits, memory and storage, microprocessors, digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion, emphasizing use in measurement and instrumentation. Credit may not be earned for both Physics 211 and 311/511. Prerequisite: Previous physics or electronics course, Mathematics 122 or consent of instructor. 311/511 (3+2)

Physics/Astronomy 319 3 units (crs.)
Digital Signal Processing
The fundamentals of digital signal processing techniques with an emphasis on their computer implementation: linear shift-invariant systems, the Z-transform, the discrete and continuous Fourier transforms, digital filter design, and inverse filters. Familiarity with calculus, complex numbers, and BASIC or FORTRAN is assumed. 319/519 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 320 3 units (crs.)
Classical Physics
The physical and mathematical concepts associated with one-dimensional motion, two and three-dimensional motion including the use of different coordinate systems and accelerating reference frames. Analytical, numerical and graphical methods using modern computer technology will be used. Prerequisite: Physics 109 and Mathematics 172. (3+0) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 333 3 units (crs.)
Our Changing View of the Physical Universe
This course traces the evolution of man's conception of the physical universe from its prehistoric beginnings to the current cosmological theories. 333/533 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 335 3 units (crs.)
Demonstration and Laboratory Techniques in Physics
A laboratory course to provide the high school physics teacher with opportunities to handle the physical apparatus used in modern physics curricula. Prerequisite: A two-term sequence in General Physics. 335/535 (1+3)

Physics/Astronomy 405 3 units (crs.)
Modern Instrumentation and Interfacing
Use, calibration and interfacing of transducers. Integrated use of computers and transducers for data acquisition and experimental control. Prerequisite: Physics 211, 305, 311 or consent of instructor. 405/605 (2+2) (Fall)

Physics/Astronomy 408 3 units (crs.)
Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics
Temperature, entropy, and other thermal quantities introduced from microscopic considerations and related to macroscopic thermodynamic variables. Calculation of macroscopic properties of matter from microscopic models. Prerequisite: Physics 320. 408/608 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 415 3 units (crs.)
Microprocessor Applications
Hardware and software for input-output applications on microprocessors, use of polling and interrupts, and comparison of various microprocessors for I/O applications. Laboratory included. Prerequisite: Physics 211 or 311 and Computer Science 310. 415/615 (2+2) (Spring)

Physics/Astronomy 417 3 units (crs.)
Electricity and Magnetism
An advanced treatment of important topics in electricity and magnetism. Prerequisite: Physics 320. 417/617 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 418 3 units (crs.)
Analytical Mechanics
Advanced treatment of important topics in classical mechanics. Prerequisite: Physics 320. 418/618 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 419 3 units (crs.)
Introductory Quantum Mechanics
Development of quantum mechanics principles and application to important simple physical systems. Prerequisite: Physics 320. 419/619 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 446 1-3 units (crs.)
Independent Study
See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.

Physics/Astronomy 449 3 units (crs.)
Quantum Physics-Nuclei and Solids
Quantum physics applied to nuclei and elementary particles, special relativity, statistics of particles and physics of solids. Prerequisite: Physics 320. 449/649 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 456 1-3 units (crs.)
Related Readings
See Related Readings under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.

Physics/Astronomy 470 3 units (crs.)
Solid State Physics
Introduction to the structure of solids, lattice vibrations, heat capacity, electrical conductivity of metals and semiconductors, superconductivity, dielectric, magnetic, and mechanical properties of solids and a survey of non-crystalline condensed matter states. Prerequisite: Physics 109 and Physics 110. 470/670 (3+0)

Physics/Astronomy 474 1-6 units (crs.)
Honors: Thesis
Honors thesis projects include any advanced independent endeavor in the student's major field of study e.g., a written thesis, scientific experiment or research project, or creative arts exhibit or production. Proposals (attached to Independent Study contract) must show clear promise of honors level work and be approved by a faculty sponsor. Course title for transcript will be Honors Thesis. Completed projects will be announced and presented to interested students and faculty. Prerequisite: University Honors program and junior standing. Maximum of 6 units (crs.).

Physics/Astronomy 491 1-4 units (crs.)
Senior Research Project
Independent research arranged with a faculty supervisor. A contract must be arranged with the faculty member and approved by the department chairman prior to registration. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. Minimum of 15 units (crs.) of physics completed.

PRACTICAL ARTS COURSES

Practical Arts 101 3 units (crs.)
Elements of Descriptive Geometry
Principles of descriptive geometry with orthographic projection that are used in solving engineering problems involving lines, planes, piercing points, intersections. Hand and computer drafting (CADD) is used. (0+6) (Fall)

Practical Arts 102 3 units (crs.)
Engineering Drawing and Design
Mechanical drawings of mechanical engineering and civil engineering problems are completed. A design problem is identified and carried to completion with mechanical drawings and reports. Computer drawing/design software is used extensively. Prerequisite: Practical Arts 101. (0+6) (Spring)

Practical Arts 251 1-3 units (crs.)
Special Topics in Engineering Technologies
Topics arranged according to student and faculty interest on an individual basis. See Physics Department for arrangements.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Questions, Comments...
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Last Updated July 1, 2001