Scroll down to read descriptions of the physics courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

MTH 1120

Calculus I

4cr
This course is a study of coordinate systems, straight lines and conic sections, theory of limits, differentiations of algebraic functions, applications to slopes and curves, and maxima and minima. Prerequisite: MTH 1070 or high school preparation
Fall/Spring

MTH 1220

Calculus II 

4cr
A study of transcendental functions, infinite series, mean-value theorem, polar coordinates, integration, and application of integration. Students completing this course with a grade of C or better will be awarded credit for MTH 1120.
Prerequisite: MTH 1120 with C or better Fall/Spring

MTH 2020

Differential Equations

4cr
A study of common types of ordinary differential equations, their solutions and applications, singular solutions, and an introduction to mathematical modeling.
Prerequisite: MTH 1220
Fall

MTH 2120

Multivariate Calculus 

4cr
A study of curvilinear motions, solid analytic geometry, vectors, partial derivatives, and multiple integration. Students completing this course with a grade of C or better will be awarded credit for MTH 1120 and 1220 if not previously taken.
Prerequisite: MTH 1220
Spring

PHY 1000

Physics for Future Presidents (NLAB)

4cr
This course presents a topical introduction to the key principles and concepts of physics in the context of the world events and natural phenomena that confront world leaders and that require informed decisions and responses. Energy, health, counterterrorism, remote sensing, space programs, nuclear proliferation, and a host of other modern challenges have technological and scientific dimensions, the understanding of which is essential to avoiding disastrous policy decisions. This course considers the application of physics to these societal challenges. The material is covered at a level and pace that a future world leader should be able to handle; the emphasis is on the development of physical reasoning skills, and not on detailed, mathematical problem-solving.
Prerequisite: High school algebra
Fall/J-Term/Spring

PHY 1030

Astronomy (LAB SCI)

4cr
A study of astronomy beginning with its historical roots and leading to our current understanding of the sun and other components of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe. Students study the night sky and methods used by astronomers. Lecture and laboratory. Some evening laboratories may be required.
Prerequisite: High school algebra
Fall/Spring

PHY 1050

Cosmology (NLAB)

4cr
A study of the people and ideas that have shaped our current view and understanding of the cosmos. Topics will include astronomy of ancient civilizations, the development of the Copernican solar system, the size of the galaxy and the cosmological distance ladder, relativity and black holes, Hubble and the expanding universe, big-bang cosmology and the history of the early universe, exotic particles, dark energy, and the fate of the universe.
Prerequisite: High school algebra
Fall/Spring

PHY 1200

Fundamental Physics (LAB SCI)

4cr
This course covers fundamental physical principles including descriptions of mechanical, electrical, wave, and atomic phenomena. The course highlights ways in which physical principles are used to describe and understand the vast array of observable phenomena in the universe. Students will study applications of physics to a range of important historical and contemporary scientific and technological questions. This course is intended for potential physics majors or students planning further study in the physical sciences. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in MTH 1070, 1120, or 1220 or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 2100

Physics I (LAB SCI)

4cr
This non-calculus-based course provides an introduction to the essentials of mechanics, heat, and sound for students with no prior training in physics or chemistry. PHY 2100 in combination with 2110 is the preferred sequence for majors in health and life sciences. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: High school algebra
Fall

PHY 2110

Physics II (LAB SCI)

4cr
This non-calculus-based course provides an introduction to electricity and magnetism, light, and atomic physics, with many examples and applications drawn from biology and medicine. PHY 2110 is specifically targeted to majors in health and life sciences. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: PHY 2100
Spring

PHY 2200

General Physics I (LAB SCI)

4cr
This course provides a calculus-based introduction to 3D kinematics, Newton’s laws, simple harmonic motion, mechanical properties, rotational kinematics, and heat. PHY 2200 is required for physics majors, engineering students, and chemistry majors, and it can be counted as an elective toward a math major or minor. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: PHY 1200 or CHM 1020 with a grade of C- or better, MTH 1120 with a grade of C- or better, and concurrent enrollment in MTH 1220, or departmental approval
Fall/Spring

PHY 2210

General Physics II (LAB SCI)

4cr
This course is a continuation of PHY 2200 and provides a calculus-based introduction to electricity, magnetism, light, and wave phenomena. This course is required for physics majors, engineering students, and chemistry majors. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisites: PHY 2200 and MTH 1220 with a C- or better
Fall/Spring

PHY 2300

Modern Physics (LAB SCI)

4cr
This course introduces relativity, quanta, wave-particle duality, atomic physics, and spin. Quantum mechanics is introduced and applied to the hydrogen atom and periodic table. Properties of the atomic nucleus and radioactivity may also be discussed. Data analysis and technical writing tools and techniques will be introducted. Lecture and laboratory.
Prerequisite: PHY 2210 with a grade of C- or better, or departmental approval
Spring

PHY 2970

Physics Portfolio Seminar A

1cr
The first course in the Physics Portfolio Seminar concentrates on building student experience and expertise in using physics principles to solve problems and approach complex scenarios. Emphasis is on group work and the informal and formal presentations of solutions to open-ended questions. Students will also participate in a handful of career and professional development exercises and be introduced to the concept of a physics portfolio.
Prerequisite: PHY 2210 or departmental approval
Spring

PHY 3100

Optics and Waves (NLAB)

4cr
A detailed treatment of oscillations, waves, and optics. Topics include oscillatory behavior, traveling waves, reflection and refraction, geometric optics, interference, and mathematical techniques used to treat oscillations.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 with a grade of C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2020, or departmental approval
Fall/Spring

PHY 3120

Electronics (LAB SCI)

4cr
Introduction to analog and digital circuits. Topics include passive and active analog electronic components, DC and AC circuit analysis, amplifiers, filters, binary and digital systems, logic gates, and microcontroller programming.
Prerequisite: PHY 2110 or 2210, or departmental approval
Fall/Spring

PHY 3170

Introduction to Computational Physics

4cr
This course introduces computational physics: the set of techniques and algorithms necessary to represent physical systems on the computer, determine their properties, predict their behavior, and visualize the results. The course covers these topics as a series of projects, including studies of the stability of structures like bridges, the motion of objects like stars in galaxies, the behavior of continuous systems like sound waves or fluids, and understanding the limitations of such studies. These studies are carried out with tools commonly used in scientific programming and introduces software development best practices.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 and MTH 2020 OR PHY 2210 and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2020

PHY 3200

Mechanics (NLAB)

4cr
Study of particle dynamics in inertial and accelerated reference frames, gravitational potential, motion in a central force field and an introduction to Lagrangian methods.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 with a C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2020, or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 3300

Thermodynamics (NLAB)

4cr
A study of the thermodynamic concepts used to describe the macroscopic properties and behavior of systems, namely, temperature, internal energy, and entropy; and the relationship of these to microscopic behavior of systems as developed through statistical mechanics.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 with a grade of C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2020, or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 3450

Data Analysis for Scientists and Engineers

4cr
This course introduces students to computational data analysis tools and methods used most frequently in physics and engineering. Topics include data visualization, statistical methods and descriptions of measurement uncertainty, the method of least squares, chi-squared testing, multivariable regression, Fourier series and transforms, filtering, an introduction to image analysis, and others. Students learn relevant data skills through immersion in projects involving messy real-world data, beginning with the common challenge of wrangling data into computational analysis tools, proceeding through exploratory data analysis, consolidating results, and reporting the ‘story of the data’.
Prerequisites: MTH 1220 and PHY 2210. Or MTH 3090 or instructor permission.

PHY 3470

Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers (MTH)

4cr
An advanced study of differential equations, partial differential equations, multiple integrations, Laplace transforms, Fourier transforms, and vector analysis.
Prerequisite: MTH 2120 with a grade of a C- or better, or departmental permission
Spring

PHY 3500

Field Placement in Physics

2-8cr
Enables the student to explore a possible physics career and to work in an individual, academically-oriented position designed to supplement or complement the student’s academic experience. All field placements require faculty supervision and regular meetings between the student and the instructor.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

PHY 3550

Internship in Physics

1-12cr
An internship enables students to gain practical experience in physics. Such internships are longer in duration than field placements. All internships require faculty supervision and regular meetings between the student and the instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor PHY 3960 Physics Portfolio Seminar B 1cr The second course in the Physics Portfolio Seminar sequence is focused on the personal and professional development of third-year physics majors. This includes introducing students to possible career and post-baccalaureate opportunities, communicating physics ideas to nonspecialists, and encouraging them to reflect upon their own growth and accomplishments. Students in this seminar will begin in earnest the process of developing their own professional portfolio of work in physics.
Prerequisite: PHY 2970 or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 3960

Portfolio Seminar B

1cr
The second course in the Physics Portfolio Seminar sequence is focused on the personal and professional development of third year physics majors. This includes introducing students to possible career and postbaccalaureate opportunities, communicating physics ideas to nonspecialists, and encouraging them to reflect upon their own growth and accomplishments. Students in this seminar will begin in earnest the process of developing their own professional portfolio of work in physics.
Prerequisite: PHY 2970 or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 3970

Physics Portfolio Seminar C

1cr
The third course in the Physics Portfolio Seminar presents students with more opportunities to approach scenario-style problems using physics principles. Emphasis is on group work and the informal and formal presentations of solutions to increasingly complex open-ended questions. Students will also continue to build and reflect upon their physics portfolios. Prerequisite: PHY 3960 or departmental approval Spring PHY 4100 Astrophysics (NLAB) 4cr Covers key elements of the field of astrophysics. Topical areas may include stellar atmospheres, structure and evolution, galactic structure, interstellar matter, general relativity, and cosmology.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 with a grade of C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2020, or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 4100

Astrophysics (NLAB)

4cr
Covers key elements of the field of astrophysics. Topical areas may include stellar atmospheres, structure and evolution, galactic structure, interstellar matter, general relativity, and cosmology.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 with a grade of C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2020, or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 4110

Observational Astrophysics

4cr
An introduction to the observational equipment, professional databases, software, and data analysis methods used by research astrophysicists. The topics to be addressed in this class include quantitative imaging in various forms of electromagnetic radiation, methods for investigating time-dependent phenomena, and spectroscopic analysis methods. In each case, the emphasis will be on how the techniques are used to uncover physical properties of astronomical objects.
Prerequisite: PHY 2300 or departmental approval
J-Term

PHY 4120

Experimental Physics

4cr
An advanced laboratory course for senior physics majors. Students are expected to draw heavily upon their previous coursework in physics and mathematics, and to apply their acquired skills and knowledge in planning and carrying out significant experimental work in physics. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: PHY 2300 or departmental approval
J-Term

PHY 4150

Science of Global Climate Change (NLAB)

4cr
This course is designed to provide an understanding of the science of planetary climates for students with a background in physics and/or geography. Emphasis will be placed on the physical processes that control the state of Earth’s climate, which include the roles of energy and moisture, atmospheric circulation, and atmosphere-ocean interaction. Cross-listed in Geospatial Science.
Prerequisite: GEO 3700, PHY 2200 or consent of the instructor
Fall/J-Term/Spring

PHY 4200

Quantum Mechanics (NLAB)

4cr
A study of the principles of quantum mechanics. Schrodinger theory and operator algebra are applied to the study of such problems as potential wells and barriers, tunneling, the harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom.
Prerequisites: PHY 2210 and MTH 2020 with a grade of C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2120, or departmental approval
Spring

PHY 4300

Electricity and Magnetism (NLAB)

4cr
The study of the electric and magnetic effects of charges and currents leading to a presentation of Maxwell’s equations and including such topics as electrostatic fields, electrostatic and magnetic energy, and potential theory. Prerequisites: PHY 2210 and MTH 2020 with a grade of C- or better and concurrent enrollment in MTH 2120 or departmental approval
Spring

PHY 4500

Independent Study in Physics

2-4cr
A student can conduct an independent study on a topic of interest in physics. It is understood that this course will not duplicate other courses regularly offered in the curriculum and that the student will work in this course as independently as the instructor believes possible.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

PHY 4900

Independent Research

2-4cr
An opportunity for students to conduct original research in physics. Suitable topics are those that require substantial library and/or laboratory research, reading, and in-depth study.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

PHY 4960

Physics Portfolio Seminar D

1cr
This is the fourth and final course in the Physics Portfolio Seminar sequence. This seminar focuses on preparing students to present and defend their physics portfolios, a collection of work each student has produced while a physics major. Other elements of this seminar will include strategies for exploring postgraduate employment or further education, development of interview skills, and the production of effective resumes and CVs.
Prerequisite: PHY 3970 or departmental approval
Fall

PHY 4970

Physics Portfolio Approval

0cr
Department approval of portfolios for graduation occurs after the completion of PHY 4970 after they have completed their portfolios.