Physics Science Education
The paradigm below is one example of how you can begin your studies in this major. Consult your advisor on plans of study to complete the major. Students may use their elective credits to explore other majors or to enroll in skillbuilding courses in mathematics, reading, writing and/or study skills. With planning, students may use these credits to complete a minor, enroll in a practicum or internship, or study abroad.
Calculusready Students






NonCalculusready Students (Begin major coursework in year 2)






The example laid out above is one of many ways to complete the first year in this program; there are a number of options that students may exercise to tailor this major to their strengths and interests. Students wishing to enter this program should strenuously attempt to prepare themselves to place into (at least) M 151 Calculus I in their first semester, and to place into E 220. Students should be aware that almost all upper division physics courses are offered in alternate years, and should plan accordingly and consult early and often with a physics department advisor. Students may use their elective credits to explore a second major, complete a minor, or enroll in a practicum, internship, or skillbuilding courses. It is the responsibility of the student to complete all major and university requirements. Students interested in this major should consult with the Physics Department chair as early as possible and refer to the university catalog for additional information regarding the program.
The major paradigm offered above is the optimal pathway to completion of the major. However, several factors affect a student's ability to follow this specific pathway, including timing of a student's decision to major, course availability, course demand, course scheduling conflicts, and faculty availability. Therefore, a student may not follow this optimal pathway to completion of the major. A student may use the paradigm as a resource and preparation guide, but a student's academic advisor is the best resource for planning course schedules.
▪Students enrolled in the Lasallian Honors Program should consult the program director for the appropriate sequence of courses.
(From the 201315 Catalog)
A. Physics Core
All of the following courses:
(Either M148 & M149 or M151)
C131  General Chemistry I (3 credits)
This course covers the fundamental principles upon which the study of chemistry is based. Stoichiometry, atomic structure, molecular structure, chemical bonding, behavior of gases, kinetic molecular theory, properties of solutions, chemical reactivity and thermochemistry are included. Three hours of lecture per week.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: M151 placement, or M149, or minimum grade of C in M148 with concurrent enrollment in M149; concurrent with C133. Students who complete C131/C133 may not enroll in C110.
C133  General Chemistry I Laboratory (1 credit)
This laboratory is an inquirybased approach to understanding the process of doing chemistry. Each week, as a team member with a specific role working for a consulting company, the student receives a letter from a ﾓchemical clientﾔ requesting the solution to a chemical problem. It is the responsibility of the team to design a solution, collect data, and report the results to the client in report form.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: concurrent with C131
C142  General Chemistry II (3 credits)
This course includes the study of the chemistry of redox reactions, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium theory, electrochemistry, chemical dynamics, organic chemistry, phase behavior and solution chemistry. Three hours of lecture per week.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: minimum grade of C in C131/133 and concurrent with C144.
C144  General Chemistry II Laboratory (1 credit)
This laboratory is an inquirybased approach to understanding the process of doing chemistry. Each week, as a team member with a specific role working for a consulting company, the student receives a letter from a ﾓchemical clientﾔ requesting the solution to a chemical problem. It is the responsibility of the team to design a solution, collect data, and report the results to the client in report form.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: minimum grade of C in C131/133 and concurrent with C142.
M148  Calculus with Precalculus I (4 credits)
This course, followed by M149, provides a twosemester sequence that covers the material of a traditional Calculus I course along with builtin coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M148 include: solving equations, functions, classes of functions (polynomial, rational, algebraic, exponential, logarithmic), right triangle trigonometry, angle measure, limits and continuity, derivatives, rules for derivatives. Credit is not granted for this course and M151 or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.
Prerequisite: mathematics competency satisfied.
M149  Calculus with Precalculus II (4 credits)
This course completes the twosemester sequence that begins with M148, and together with M148 provides a twosemester sequence that covers the material of a traditional Calculus I course along with builtin coverage of precalculus topics. Topics in M149 include: trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, rules for derivatives, applications of derivatives, and definite and indefinite integrals. Credit is not granted for this course and M151.
Prerequisite: M148.
This course provides an introduction to the differential and integral calculus. Topics include: the concepts of function, limit, continuity, derivative, definite and indefinite integrals, and an introduction to transcendental functions. Credit is not granted for this course and M148 and M149.
Prerequisites: departmental placement or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.
M152  Calculus II (4 credits)
This course is a continuation of M151. Some of the topics of M151 are revisited at a higher mathematical level. Topics include: applications of the definite integral, techniques of integration, improper integrals, introduction to differential equations, numerical methods for integration and approximation, curves in the plane given parametrically, polar coordinates, and vectors in 2space and 3space.
Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in either M149 or M151 or departmental placement.
M251  Calculus III (4 credits)
This course continues the development of Calculus from M151 and M152. Topics include: sequences and series, and differentiation and integration of vectorvalued functions and functions of several variables.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in M152.
P201  Introductory Physics I (3 credits)
This course is the first half of a twosemester introductory, calculusbased, physics course for all students planning to enter one of the scientific professions. It covers the fundamental principles of mechanics, oscillations, and fluid mechanics.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: M149 or M151 (M151 may be concurrent) and concurrent with P202.
P202  Introductory Physics I Laboratory (1 credit)
One threehour laboratory is held each week covering topics studied in the lectures.
Offered fall semester. Concurrent with P201.
P211  Introductory Physics II (3 credits)
This course is the second half of a twosemester introductory, calculusbased, physics course for all students planning to enter one of the scientific professions. It covers the fundamental principles of waves, physical and geometrical optics, and electricity and magnetism.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: P201/202; concurrent with P212.
P212  Introductory Physics II Laboratory (1 credit)
One threehour laboratory is held each week covering topics studied in the lectures.
Offered spring semester. Concurrent with P211.
P304  Introduction to Modern Physics with Laboratory (4 credits)
This course considers atomic and nuclear physics and studies the experimental evidence that led to the development of the theories of quantum mechanics. The special theory of relativity, wave particle duality, and atomic structure are also examined. Students meet for three lectures and one threehour lab per week.
Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: M152 and P211/212.
B. All of the following:
B110  Botany and Zoology I (3 credits)
Emphasis is placed upon photosynthesis and respiration, and physiological processes including nutrition, gas exchange, transportation and regulation of body fluids. It is an investigation of the structure and function of both plants and animals and intended as an introductory overview. Three lecture/discussion periods are held weekly.
Offered fall semester. Concurrent registration in B111 is required.
B111  Botany and Zoology I Laboratory (1 credit )
These laboratory studies complement the concepts presented in B110. Investigations including physiological and molecular relationships and interactions are the basis for the course. The lab meets for one threehour session each week.
Offered fall semester. Concurrent registration in B110 is required.
B120  Botany and Zoology II (3 credits)
Emphasis is placed on plant and animal phyla, organs and organ systems of both plants and animals. Three lecture/discussion periods are held weekly.
Offered spring semester. Concurrent registration in B121 is required.
B121  Botany and Zoology II Laboratory (1 credit)
Laboratory studies complementing B120 include plant and animal hormones and reproduction, bacterial techniques, and phylogenetic investigations. The lab meets for one threehour session each week.
Offered spring semester. Concurrent registration in B120 is required.
C331  Physical Chemistry I with Laboratory (4 credits)
This course involves chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and their applications. The following thermodynamic topics are considered: properties of gases, kinetic molecular theory, the laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry, and chemical equilibrium. The following kinetic topics are considered: chemical reaction rates, determination of rate laws, reaction mechanisms, and theories of reaction rates. Three lectures and three hours of lab per week are required.
Offered fall semester. Prerequisites: C142/144, M152, and P211/212.
P111  The Earth and the Solar System (3 credits)
This course examines physical, geological, and astronomical processes involved in shaping the Earth and other planets. The geological processes acting on the Earth and the natural history of the Earth are studied first, and then used to examine the other bodies of the solar system, studying how the physical characteristics of the planets influence and are influenced by the same basic processes operating in different ways. Topics include: the properties of Earth materials, the evolution of the Earth and geological structures, matter and energy in the Earth system, the Earth in the solar system and the universe, fundamental issues of planetary science, and fundamentals of observational astronomy and objects in the sky (moon phases, properties of orbits, etc.).
Offered every spring. Prerequisite: mathematics competency.
P340  Classical Mechanics (3 credits)
This course is an analytical study of Newtonian mechanics, including the harmonic oscillator, central force motion, non linear oscillators, and an introduction to the Lagrangian formulation.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: M152 and P201/202.
P410  Physics Directed Research (2 credits)
This course is intended for all physics majors; it is recommended for majors in physics science education. It may be taken in addition to or in place of P390 Advanced Laboratory. Its purpose is to provide students an opportunity to explore a topic in physics in depth over a period of at least one semester under the guidance of a member of the physics faculty, and thereby demonstrate understanding of a particular concept or focused set of concepts at the advanced undergraduate level. It is also intended to give students projectbased experience in experimental design, record keeping, and scientific writing.
Prerequisites: minimum junior standing and P304.
C. Three of the following:
(Either P314 or P315 & either C332 or P380)
C332  Physical Chemistry II with Laboratory (4 credits)
This course involves an introduction to quantum mechanics and statistical thermodynamics. The following quantum topics are considered: quantum theory and applications to simple systems of particles, approximation methods for complex systems of particles and spectroscopic verification of quantum results. The following statistical mechanics topics are considered: the Boltzmann distribution, statistics of large populations, the partition function and thermodynamic functions from statistical mechanics results. Three lectures and three hours of lab per week are required.
Offered spring semester. Prerequisites: C142/144, M152, and P211/P212.
P314  Digital Systems with Laboratory (4 credits)
This is a course on digital electronics and its applications in modern electronic instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on gaining experience with the use of individual digital integrated circuits and programmable arrays. The course covers Boolean algebra, simple gates, combinational and sequential logic circuits, counters, shift registers, state machines, astable multivibrators, encoding, decoding, multiplexing, and conversion between analog and digital representations. Coursework involves both circuit simulation and actual hardware implementations. The course targets applications in the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science. Three hours of lecture and one threehour laboratory per week.
Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: P211/212.
This course is taken at Winona State University. Please consult with the chair of SMU's Physics Department for more information.
P344  Mathematical Methods for Science (3 credits)
This course serves physics majors as well as those mathematics majors whose area of interest is analysis. Topics include: Fourier series, complex numbers, analytic functions, and derivatives and integrals of complex functions. Other topics may include Laurent series and residues, partial differential equations, and boundary value problems.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: M251 and M252.
P360  Electricity and Magnetism I (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the physics of electricity and magnetism at the intermediate undergraduate level. It examines the experimental evidence that led to the development of the theories of electromagnetism (electrostatics, polarization and dielectrics, magnetostatics and magnetization, electrodynamics, electromagnetic waves, potentials and fields, and radiation) and the development of Maxwellﾒs laws. The mathematical analysis of electromagnetic situations uses vector calculus to a great degree, so students also are exposed to working with a variety of vector operators.
Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: M251 and P211/212.
P380  Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
This course expands on the ideas of quantum mechanics introduced in P304, and develops the necessary formalisms and tools for further work. Topics include the Schr�dinger equation in its time independent and timedependent forms, an introduction to operators, squarewell and harmonic oscillator potentials, scattering, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, and perturbation theory.
Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: M252 and P304.
D. Required education course work