CSUSM Astronomy & Physics Courses
From the Fall equinox to Winter solstice, the position of sunset on the western horizon migrates from due West towards the South, a phenomena captured in this series of images taken by Mr. Ryan Salenga. The total yearly motion of the Sun on the horizon is analogous to the swing of a pendulum. From Prof. M.J. Burin's Astronomy 342 class, Fall 2007.
ASTR 101 - Introduction to Astronomy (3)
Provides an introduction to solar system and stellar astronomy. The historical development of astronomy is presented as well as modern theories, observations, and ideas concerning the nature and evolution of planets, stars, and galaxies. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for ASTR 342 or PHYS 342. Satisfies the Liberal Studies requirement for Earth Science.
ASTR 342 - Elements of Astronomy (3)
Provides a practical and historical introduction to astronomy. The course includes solar system astronomy, stellar astronomy, galaxies, and cosmology, with an emphasis on comparative planetology and the historical and cultural development of our knowledge of the solar system. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for PHYS 342. Satisfies upper division GE requirement BB.
PHYS 101 Introduction to Physics I (4)
An overview of the principles of mechanics, thermodynamics and waves. The areas covered include: observation and measurement, kinematics, dynamics, work and energy, impulse, and momentum, fluids, heat and temperature, oscillations, and waves in mechanical media. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower-Division GeneralEducation requirement in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B4). Completion of a course in trigonometry at the high school or university level.
PHYS 102 Introduction to Physics II (4)
An overview of the principles of electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and modern physics. The areas covered include: electric charge, electric fields, electric potential, DC circuits, magnetism, magnetic fields, geometrical and physical optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 101.
PHYS 201 Physics of Mechanics and Sound (4)
A broad coverage of the principles of mechanics and wave motion. The areas covered include: Observation and measurement, kinematics, dynamics, work and energy, impulse and momentum, equilibrium of rigid bodies, rotational motion, oscillations, and waves in mechanical media. Required for students whose field of study is physics, chemistry, or computer science. Counts toward the fulfillment of the lower-division General Education requirement in Physical Universe and Its Life Forms. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Recommended: High school physics. Prerequisites: Completion of MATH 160 with a minimum grade of C (2.0).
PHYS 202 Physics of Electromagnetism and Optics (4)
A broad coverage of classical electromagnetism and optics. The areas covered include: electric charge, electric fields, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, DC circuits, magnetic fields, magnetic properties of matter, AC circuits, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, the nature and propagation of light, geometrical optics, and wave optics. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: Completion of PHYS 201 and MATH 162 with a minimum grade of C in each.
PHYS 203 Modern Physics (4)
An overview of the fundamental ideas of modern physics and coverage of the principles of fluids and thermodynamics. The areas covered include fluids, temperature, heat, the kinetic theory of gases, entropy, and the law of thermodynamics, along with the theory of special relativity, wave particle duality, an introduction to quantum mechanics, and atomic physics, the electronic properties of solids, nuclear physics, and a descriptive introduction to the standard model and cosmology. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 202 or 206.
PHYS 205 Physics for the Biological Sciences I (4)
A broad coverage of the principles of mechanics, properties of matter and wave motion. The subjects covered include: Observation and measurement, kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum, equilibrium, fluids and solids, thermodynamics, oscillations, and waves. Required for students whose field of study is biology. Recommended: High school physics or an introductory college level physics course. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisite or Corequisite: MATH 160.
PHYS 206 Physics for the Biological Sciences II (4)
A broad coverage of electromagnetism, optics, and nuclear physics. The areas covered include: Electrostatics, electric fields, magnetism, magnetic fields, electric circuits, geometrical optics, optical instruments, nuclear physics, radiation, and spectroscopy. Required for students whose field of study is biology. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: Completion of PHYS 201 or PHYS 205 with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in both courses.
PHYS 280 Introduction to Electronics (3)
Introduction to the design and measurement techniques of modern electronics. Includes AC circuit theory, passive filters, semiconductor diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, including active filters, and a general introduction to digital circuits. The activities provide students with an opportunity for hands-on experience with a wide range of electronic circuits. Two hours of lecture and two hours of activity. Recommended completion or concurrent enrollment: PHYS 203. Prerequisite: PHYS 202.
PHYS 301 Digital Electronics (4)
Introduction to digital computer hardware design including: gates, flip-flops, registers, and memory to perform logical and arithmetic operations on numeric and other data represented in binary form. The laboratory uses digital logic integrated circuitry for experiments with combinational and sequential networks, and simple digital systems. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: CS 231 or MATH 370, and PHYS 202 or 206.
PHYS 320 Classical Mechanics (3)
Classical mechanics and associated mathematical and numerical techniques: Principles of Newtonian mechanics, an introduction to Hamiltonian and Lagrangian Dynamics. Applications to central force problems and small vibrations, and other selected topics in mechanics, including applications in engineering and biological systems. Prerequisites: PHYS 203.
PHYS 321 Classical Electromagnetism (3)
An introduction to the applications of Maxwell's equations and the propagation of EM waves in relation to matter. Topics to be covered include: dielectrics, conductors, plasmas, and waveguides, and selected topics in EM wave radiation, propagation, absorption, transmission, and diffraction. Three hours of lecture. Recommended: MATH 346. Prerequisites: PHYS 202, PHYS 203, MATH 162 all with a grade of C or better.
PHYS 323 Quantum Physics (3)
A survey of quanta based physical theories, their experimental foundations and applications: quantum physics of atoms, molecules, nuclei and electrons; introduction to condensed matter physics. Recommended: MATH 346. Prerequisite: PHYS 203.
PHYS 324 Statistical Mechanics & Thermodynamics (3)
Covers the laws of thermodynamics with applications to ideal and non-ideal systems. Includes elementary kinetic theory of gases, entropy, classical and quantum statistical mechanics. Other topics covered may include magnetism and low-temperature physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 203.
PHYS 351 - How Things Work (3)
An examination of the everyday objects and technologies that surround us. Familiar objects areused as a context for exploring basic physical principles. Among other topics, the course will explore how microwave ovens, cameras, hard drives, and photocopiers work. No previous coursework in science or technology is assumed; intended for science and non-science majors.
Satisfies upper division GE requirement BB.
PHYS 356 - The Science of Sound and Music (3)
An introduction to the physics of sound. Various aspects of the science of sound are covered including the nature of sound waves, their production, recording, and reproduction. The physics of musical instruments, digital synthesis of sounds, and the basics of room and auditorium acoustics arealso studied. Prerequisite: Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) Requirement.
Satisfies upper division GE requirement BB.
PHYS 380 Applied Laboratory Techniques (2)
Experimental work including an introduction to the equipment and techniques used in mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, electronics, quantum physics, nuclear physics, biophysics, medical physics, and/or geophysics. An emphasis will be placed on experimental design and data analysis. Six hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 203.
PHYS 402 Computer Interfacing and Control (4)
Introduction to the design and use of sensors of various types with digital computer interfaces for data capture and experimental control. Various types of digital communication are studied including synchronous and asynchronous interfaces. The laboratory provides hands on experience in computer interfacing through integrated circuits, sensors, and microcontrollers. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for PHYS 302. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisites: PHYS 301.
PHYS 403 Signals and Systems (3)
Introduction to signals and digital signal processing including: fundamentals of signals, signal processing, filter synthesis, discrete-time systems, discrete Fourier transforms and FFT, Z-transforms, sampling, quantization, and image processing. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for PHYS 303. Prerequisites: PHYS 203 with a minimum grade of C (2.0).
PHYS 407/408 - Investigations in Physical Science for Teachers (2 or 3)
(See also Inquiry Oriented Physics (IOP).)
This is an interdisciplinary course in Chemistry and Physics designed to teach some of the basic principles in Physical Science. The content of this course will vary but will include one or more of the following: Properties of Matter, Heat and Temperature, Chemical Energy, Light and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism, Electric Circuits, Kinematics, Dynamics, Introductory Astronomy, Chemical Bonding, or Chemical Reactions. The course is taught in a guided inquiry/discovery format and has a significant hands-on experimental component, i.e. one or two hours of lecture and two hours of activity. This course can be repeated for credit with the consent of the instructor.
Also listed as CHEM 407/408.
PHYS 421 Applied Electromagnetic Waves and Optics (3)
Includes radiation and propagation of electromagnetic waves, ray optics, physical optics, optical devices, laser optics, holography, and optics of vision. Prerequisites: PHYS 321, MATH 162, MATH 346.
PHYS 422 Applied Solid State Physics (3)
Selected topics in solid-state physics. Includes crystal structure, thermal, electrical, and magnetic properties of solids, elementary band theory, semiconductors, and solid-state devices. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for PHYS 322. Prerequisites: PHYS 203, and an upper-division non-GE mathematics course.
PHYS 423 Quantum Mechanics (3)
A study of the concepts and theories of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Includes the Schroedinger equation, operators, angular momentum, the hydrogen atom, and applications to simple quantum mechanical systems. Prerequisites: PHYS 323, MATH 346.
PHYS 480 Advanced Applied Physics Laboratory (2)
Experimental work including in-depth experimentation in mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, electronics, quantum physics, computational physics, biophysics, medical physics, and/or geophysics. An emphasis will be placed on experimental design and data analysis. Six hours of laboratory. Prerequisite: PHYS 203, PHYS 280.
PHYS 499A (1 unit) 499B (2 units) 499C (3 units) Senior Laboratory Thesis
Experimental or computational physics research project. The student must consult with a physics faculty member to decide on the research problem and then work collaboratively under the guidance of the faculty member. The student will produce a 10-20 page paper summarizing the research and the results obtained. An appropriate bibliography must be included. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. The Independent Study/Research & Internship Contract form must be filled out by both student and instructor. For those students choosing to use internship experience for their 499, please consult with Professor Tsui and be prepared to have the Faculty Consent form filled out by your supervisor.