# Physics Minor

20 credits

**Why Physics?**

The fundamental ideas of physics underlie all basic science, making it a great addition to any of Saint Mary's science majors.

**Goes great with:**

- Biochemistry
- Biology
- Biology Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology
- Biology Cytogenetic Technology
- Biology Cytotechnology
- Biology Nuclear Medicine Technology
- Biology Pre-Physical Therapy
- Chemistry
- Environmental Biology
- Mathematics

(From the 2013-15 Catalog)

A. All of the following:

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 2-space and 3-space.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in either M149 or M151 or departmental placement.

P201 - Introductory Physics I (3 credits)

This course is the first half of a two-semester introductory, calculus-based, 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 three-hour 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 two-semester introductory, calculus-based, 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 three-hour 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 three-hour lab per week.

Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: M152 and P211/212.

B. Two additional upper-division physics courses

P250 - Introduction to Radiation Physics (3 credits)

The course includes the study of radioactive decay (the interactions of ionizing radiation with matter), characteristics of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, nuclear instrumentation, dose calculations and dosimetry, production and use of x-rays, nuclear statistics, and radiation safety.

Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisites: P211/212 (may be concurrent).

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 three-hour laboratory per week.

Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: P211/212.

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.

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.

P356 - Introduction to Scientific Computing (3 credits)

A course designed to provide undergraduates students with the basic computational tools and techniques needed for their study in science and mathematics. Students learn by doing projects that solve problems in physical sciences and mathematics using symbolic and compiled languages with visualization. By use of the Sage problem-solving environment and the Python programming language, the students learn programming and numerical analysis in parallel with scientific problem solving.

Also offered as CS356 and M356. Prerequisites: CS106, M251, M252, and ST232.

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.

P370 - Microcontroller Organization and Architecture with Laboratory (4 credits)

The course covers the PIC18F4520 and Arduino microcontrollers as a paradigmatic microprocessor; other devices may be used as well. A brief survey of number systems, logic gates and Boolean algebra are followed by a study of the structure of microprocessors and the architecture of microprocessor systems. Programming microprocessors and the use of an assembler and a higher-level language (C) is covered. Peripheral interface devices are studied along with some wired logic circuits. Students gain experience through the use of microprocessor simulators and hardware implementations.

Offered in alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: CS106 and P314.

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 time-dependent forms, an introduction to operators, square-well and harmonic oscillator potentials, scattering, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum, and perturbation theory.

Offered in alternate fall semesters. Prerequisites: M252 and P304.

P390/391 - Advanced Laboratory I, II (1 credit each)

Up to four credits may be earned in Advanced Laboratory (P390, P391, P490, P491), one hour each semester. This course is generally taken during junior year. Selected experiments from the following areas are included: mechanics, thermodynamics, radiation physics, optics, electronics, electricity and magnetism, and solid state physics. For each credit received the student selects a minimum of eight experiments spread over these areas. Typical experiments performed would be the Franck-Hertz experiment, photoelectric effect, X-ray diffraction, thermoluminescent dosimetry, positron-electron annihilation, neutron activation analysis, thermionic emission, the Hall effect, nuclear magnetic resource. Michelson interferometer, forced harmonic oscillator, air gyroscope, velocity of light, Rutherford scattering.

This course is offered in alternative spring semesters or as needed for majors.

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 project-based experience in experimental design, record- keeping, and scientific writing.

Prerequisites: minimum junior standing and P304.

P422-425 - Topics in Physics (1-3 credits)

Selected topics in physics offered when faculty and student interest warrant.

P456 - Scientific Computing Project (1 credit)

This course is required for all Scientific Computing minors. Its purpose is to provide students the opportunity to develop a research project or participate in an ongoing research project under direction of a faculty advisor. The project must combine scientific computing tools and techniques with a substantive scientific or engineering problem. It is also intended to give students experience in experimental design, recordkeeping, and scientific writing.

Also offered as CS456 and M456. Prerequisites: consent of both the faculty advisor and the minor supervisor, and CS/M/P 356.

For more information contact:

Paul J. Nienaber, SJ, Ph.D.

Chair, Physics Department

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

700 Terrace Heights #32

Winona, MN 55987-1399

(800) 635-5987, Ext. 1532

pnienabe@smumn.edu