Physics Minor

Five courses in Physics (18 semester hours) are required of minors – three designated and two electives 300 level or above. The designated courses are:

  • SCIE 204 – 204L General Physics I & Lab
  • SCIE 205 – 205L General Physics II & Lab
  • SCIE 306 – 306L General Physics III & Lab

A mathematics major may complete the physics minor by taking a further 10 credits of physics beyond the requirements for the math major.  A course grade of at least C- is necessary for a course to fulfill the department’s requirements for a minor.

Foundational Curriculum

 SCIE 102 Introduction to Scientific Thought: This course focuses on our changing conception of the universe, the rise of the various physical sciences, and the development of the scientific method.

SCIE 104 Descriptive Astronomy: A study of astronomy beginning with its historical roots and leading to our current understanding of the universe. Major developments are placed in their historical and philosophic context by appropriate study of original works. Students also study the night sky and methods used by astronomers, by means of activities outside the classroom.

Advanced Courses

SCIE 204 General Physics I: Introduction to mechanics and thermodynamics. Topics in mechanics include Newton’s laws of motion; physical concepts of mass, velocity, acceleration, motion, energy, and work; conservation laws, oscillatory motion and application of mechanics to simple problems. Co-requisite: MATH 201 or permission of the instructor.

SCIE 205 General Physics II: Continuation of SCIE 204. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, geometric optics, electricity and magnetism.  Prerequisite:SCIE 204 or permission of the instructor.

 SCIE 306 General Physics III: Continuation of SCIE 205. Topics include wave motion, the nature of light and optical phenomena, special relativity, atomic and nuclear physics. Prerequisite:SCIE 205 or permission of the instructor.

 SCIE 204L-205L, 306 L Laboratory for General Physics I, II & III: Students conduct experiments illustrating the physics discussed in the classroom and learn and practice principles of data acquisition and data analysis. (Required with SCIE 204-205, 306) (1 credit hour per semester)

SCIE/PHIL 420 Philosophical Issues in Modern Science: The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the basic scientific discoveries of the 20th century regarding the origin of the universe, the existence of a creator, and the immaterial nature of man and how they relate to the Thomistic understanding of the same issues. Topics include “Big Bang” cosmology, anthropic coincidences, human mind and the computer, quantum mechanics and reality, and philosophical issues in contemporary evolutionary biology.

SCIE 490-99 Special Topics or Directed Studies in Physics: A topic chosen according to the interests of the students and the instructor, such as Mechanics, Continuum Mechanics Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism and Quantum Theory.