Associate Professor Jeffrey E. Chamberlain
Assistant Professor Josiah Kunz

The Department of Physics provides courses dealing with the basic principles of behavior of matter and energy and their relationship to human society. They enhance critical thinking ability and train students in the techniques of quantitative reasoning and laboratory measurement in physical science. The complete physics major program provides the student with a high level of competence in all these skills, which are valued by employers in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, business, law, management, and a large variety of interdisciplinary fields, and for admission to and success in graduate school.

Prerequisites must be completed with a grade of ā€˜Cā€™ or above.

Majors & Programs


PY 124: Introduction to AutoCAD

This course is intended to be an overview of computer-aided design (CAD) for students with NO prior 2D or 3D experience. In this introductory AutoCAD class, students learn basic drawing and modifying techniques for drafting and technical drawing, using AutoCAD to create drawings that can be used to build objects in real life. This course will provide an emphasis on translating real objects into computer space and vice versa. Through this, students will learn how to create usable designs and will be able to evaluate the different uses of a design. Not only is this a good introduction to computer-aided design for students pursuing engineering, but it is also a good way for other students to add 3D experience to their computer-aided design skills.

PY 225: College Physics I

This course covers measurements; kinematics in one and two dimensions; Newton's Laws of motion and applications; circular and rotational motion; fundamentals of work, energy, and momentum are presented along with the applications; elasticity; fluids - continuity equation & Bernoulli's Principles; and oscillations. Techniques from calculus are introduced in the first few classes and as needed. Four one-hour lectures (three classes and supplemental instruction per week). One two-hour laboratory session per week.

PY 226: College Physics II

A continuation of PY 225 covering electricity, magnetism, and light with the use of calculus. Students with little or no calculus background enrolling for this course will be trained with limited but necessary math skills in the first few classes or as needed. Four class hours and one two-hour laboratory period per week.

PY 301: Circuits

Electric circuits, node voltage and mesh current techniques, time domain and frequency domain. Laboratory determinations of potential, resistance, capacitance, inductance, transistor characteristics, and other electrical quantities. Includes one three-hour laboratory period per week.

PY 302: Electricity and Magnetism

Electrostatics, magnetism, Maxwell's Equations, and introduction to the electromagnetic theory of light. Includes one three-hour laboratory period per week.

PY 303: Light

Geometrical and physical optics: reflection, refraction, dispersion, lasers, interference, diffraction, polarization, and spectroscopy. Includes one three-hour laboratory period per week.

PY 304: Materials Science for Engineers

This course in Materials Sciences and Engineering is ideal for 3-2 engineering and physics students interested to pursue mechanical, civil, industrial, materials science and general engineering. This course provides balanced, current treatment of the full spectrum of engineering materials, covering all the physical properties, applications and relevant properties associated with engineering materials. It explores all the major categories of materials while also offering detailed examinations of new materials with high-tech applications. The course involves investigating the relationships that exist between the structures and properties of materials.

PY 323: Thermodynamics

This course covers the fundamental concepts of temperature, work, and heat. Specific topics include the Laws of Thermodynamics, gas laws, entropy, conditions of equilibrium, gas cycles, the Maxwell relations, chemical potential and equilibrium, Gibbs' phase rule, Clapeyron-Clausius equation, kinetic-molecular theory, and the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. This course does not include a lab period.

PY 411: Senior Seminar I

The first half of the Physics senior seminar experience. Students develop lab-based or expository projects which include literature review and interdisciplinary aspects.

PY 412: Senior Seminar II

The second of a two-semester sequence of 2-credit hour courses which together make up the senior seminar. Students continue to work independently on research projects (lab-based or expository) under the supervision of a faculty member. The projects will include an interdisciplinary component developed with the aid of the instructor.

PY 463: Internship in Physics

Students spend an entire summer or academic semester as interns in physics/engineering research projects at Argonne N ational Laboratory, other government agencies or in the private sector.

PY 464: Internship in Physics

Students spend an entire summer or academic semester as interns in physics/engineering research projects at Argonne N ational Laboratory, other government agencies or in the private sector.