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Indiana University Bloomington

Courses

The Department of Physics (PHYS) offers programs leading to the B.A. degree and the B.S. degree and a wide variety of courses for non–physics majors. Courses offered by the department are listed in three categories: courses for non–science majors, courses for science majors, and courses for physics majors.

Non-Science Majors (course numbers 100-200 range) - Includes Q202

Course Title Description Offered
P101
(4 cr.)
Physics in the Modern World P101 covers selected topics in physics at a level aimed at the non-science major who desires a basic understanding of physics. The course emphasis is on physics concepts and their place in our modern technological society. The lecture demonstrations and laboratory sections provide simple examples and "hands-on" experiences to illustrate the basic principles. Topics covered in the course include the laws of motion and gravity, light and sound, electricity and magnetism, heat and thermodynamics.

No credit in this course for students who have already passed P201-P202 or P221-P222.
Spring
P105
(3 cr.)
Basic Physics of Sound The physical principles involved in the description, generation, and reproduction of sound. Topics discussed include physics of vibrations and waves, Fourier decomposition of complex wave forms, harmonic spectra, propagation of sound waves in air, standing waves and resonance, sound loudness and decibels, room acoustics, and sound recording and reproduction, including digital sound.

Fall and Spring

P108
(2 cr.)
Intermediate Acoustics Laboratory For audio technology, and telecommunications majors. Provides in-depth investigation of vibrating systems, wave phenomena, interference, complex wave synthesis, analysis, resonance, transducers. Study of analogue, digital electronic circuits, amplifiers, oscillators, band pass filters, and digital sound. Provides instrumentation experience, oscilloscopes, function generators, spectrum analyses.

P or C: P105 or MUS T593 or consent of instructor. Credit not given for both P106 and P108.
Fall
P109
(2 cr.)
Introductory Acoustics Laboratory Laboratory experiments investigating: properties of vibrating systems and waves, standing waves and resonances, filtering, analysis and synthesis of complex sounds, formants and speech recognition, transducers for sound.

P or C: P105 or S302.

Fall and Spring

P110
(2 cr.)
Energy A scientific approach is used to examine various aspects of energy consumption, including demand, fuel supplies, environmental impact, and alternative fuel sources.

Credit given for only one of the following: P110 or P120.
Fall
P111
(3 cr.)
Physics of Extraterrestrial Life and Death Note: Cross-listed as a COAS Topics Course

Physical basis of search for extraterrestrial life. Origin of Universe, solar system, life and man. Comets, asteroids and impact of Shoemaker Levy 9 with Jupiter. Probable death of dinosaurs, exploration of Mars and Europa. Discovery of extrasolar planets. Radio searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.
 
P114
(3 cr.)
Physics for Poets: Understanding the Invisible Universe This course explores conceptually some of the biggest ideas in physics with an emphasis on their historical delevopment, experimental verification and impact on society as a whole. Fall (usually)
P120
(3 cr.)
Energy and Technology Provides physical basis for understanding interaction of technology and society, and for the solution of problems, such as energy use and the direction of technological change.

Credit given for only one of the following: P120 or P110.
Fall
P125
(3 cr.)
Energy in the 21st Century Examination of how physical science applies to our present sources and uses of energy, our alternatives to fossil fuels, and how to plan for long-term future energy needs.  
P150
(3 cr.)
How Things Work An exploration of the physics involved in our technology; the course introduces ideas from physics needed to understand the function of a selection of modern devices and systems.

Fall and Spring

P151
(3 cr.)
21st Century Physics A course intended for humanities and social science majors. Selected topics with emphasis on major concepts and the people who developed them. Lecture demonstrations used to illustrate ideas. Will not fulfill science requirement for education majors.  
P199 (formerly Q202)
(3 cr.)

Physical Science Through Inquiry

Fulfills the physical science requirement for elementary education majors. Introduction to topics such as motion, forces, energy, states of matter, electricity, magnetism, and light. Two lectures and one laboratory each week. Enrollment is limited to majors in the School of Education.

P: Q200.

Fall and Spring

P211
(3 cr.)
(SPEA E200) Global Energy Problems: Technological Options and Policy Choices The science of energy; energy resources and uses; conservation; the health and environmental effects of energy conversion. Existing energy policy and its consequences; a comparative look at energy policy; the principles and practice of sound energy management and policy.  
L330 ENERGY: Science, Policy, and the Pursuit of Sustainability Current patterns of energy use in the United States and other developed countries are without question unsustainable. The insatiable American appetite for fossil fuels creates numerous problems: it increases pollution, contributes to global warming, subjects us to major price fluctuations, and has major influence on U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, which is home to roughly two-thirds of the world’s proven oil reserves. In this interdisciplinary seminar course, we will study global energy and environmental problems from a wide range of perspectives, with emphasis on understanding how the different disciplinary approaches are interrelated. The course will be based on the recent book Energy: Science, Policy, and the Pursuit of Sustainability, edited by Robert Bent, Lloyd Orr, and Randall Baker of Indiana University. For a brief description of this book and an overview of what topics the seminar will cover, see www.islandpress.com (search on Robert Bent or the title of the book) and www.indiana.edu/~bentweb (Bent ’s personal web page). Offered through Collins Living-Learning Center.

Authorization required
 

Science Majors (course numbers 201-310 range)

Course Title Description Offered
P201
(5 cr.)
General Physics I Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, and waves. Bulk properties of matter and thermodynamics at the discretion of the instructor. Applications of physical principles to related scientific disciplines, including life sciences. Three lectures, one discussion, and one two-hour laboratory period each week.

P: MATH M026 or high school equivalent. Credit may be obtained only for either P201 or P221.

Fall, Spring, Summer 6w1

P202
(5 cr.)
General Physics II Electricity and magnetism, physical optics. Geometrical optics and modern physics at the discretion of the instructor. Applications of physical principles to related scientific disciplines, including the life sciences. Three lectures, one discussion section, and one two-hour laboratory period each week.

P: P201 or high school equivalent. Credit may be obtained only for either P202 or P222.

Fall, Spring, Summer 6w2

P221
(5 cr.)
Physics I First semester of a three-semester, calculus-based sequence intended for science majors. Newtonian mechanics, oscillations and waves, heat and thermodynamics. Three lectures, two discussion sections, and one two-hour lab each week. Physics majors are encouraged to take P221 in the fall semester of the freshman year.

C: MATH M211 or consent of instructor. Credit not given for both P201 and P221.

Fall and Spring

P222
(5 cr.)
Physics II Second semester of a three-semester, calculus-based sequence intended for science majors. Primarily electricity, magnetism, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures, two discussion sections, and one two-hour lab each week. Physics majors are encouraged to take P222 in the spring semester of the freshman year.

P: P221. C: MATH M212 or consent of instructor. Credit not given for both P202 and P222.

Fall and Spring

P300
(3 cr.)
General Physics III Special relativity; quantum physics; atomic, condensed matter, nuclear, and particle physics. Applications of modern physics to related scientific disciplines, including the life sciences. Three lectures each week.

P: P201-P202 or equivalent. Credit may be obtained only for either P300 or P301.
 
P301
(3 cr.)
Physics III Third semester of a three-semester, calculus-based sequence. Special theory of relativity; introduction to quantum physics; atomic, nuclear, condensed matter, and elementary particle physics. Intended for science and mathematics majors. Three lecture-discussion periods each week.

P: P222 (or P202 with consent of instructor). Credit may be obtained only for either P300 or P301.

Fall and Spring

P302
(2 cr.)
Elementary Electronics Integrated lecture and laboratory course. Characteristics of semiconductor circuit elements, amplifier circuits, power supplies, operational amplifiers, digital and switching circuits, oscilloscopes, and other laboratory test equipment.

P: one course in physics; or junior standing and consent of instructor.
 
P309
(2 cr.)
Modern Physics Laboratory Fundamental experiments in physics with emphasis on modern physics. The course aims to develop basic laboratory skills and data analysis techniques.

P or C: P301.

Fall and Spring

P310
(3 cr.)
Environmental Physics For biological and physical science majors. Relationship of physics to current environmental problems. Energy production, comparison of sources and byproducts; nature of and possible solutions to problems of noise, particulate matter in atmosphere.

P: P201 or P221 and MATH M211; or consent of instructor.
Fall
P314
(3 cr.)
Intro to Medical Physics For biological and physical science majors. Applications of physics to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease: diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, radiation protection, radiation detection, dosimetry, exposure, instrumentation, cavity theory, non-ionizing radiation imaging, radiation biology, radiation oncology techniques, cancer biology, medical imaging technologies.

P: P202 or equivalent or consent of instructor.
Spring

P317
(3 cr.)

Signals and Information Processing in Living Systems

Introduction to quantitative methods for life sciences, emphasizing how living systems process information. Topics include noise in sensory signals; consequences for sensory processing; uncertainty and decision making; neural networks, excitable waves in neurons and muscle; stability/instability; models of development and morphogenesis. Open to students in the physical or life sciences.

P: P201 and P202 or P221 and P222; MATH M119 and M120 or M211 or M215.

Biennial (next is Fall 2013)

Physics Majors (course numbers 221-470 range)

Course Title Description Offered
P221
(5 cr.)
Physics I First semester of a three-semester, calculus-based sequence intended for science majors. Newtonian mechanics, oscillations and waves, heat and thermodynamics. Three lectures, two discussion sections, and one two-hour lab each week. Physics majors are encouraged to take P221 in the fall semester of the freshman year.

C: MATH M211 or consent of instructor. Credit not given for both P201 and P221.

Fall and Spring; Honors in Fall

P222
(5 cr.)
Physics II Second semester of a three-semester, calculus-based sequence intended for science majors. Primarily electricity, magnetism, and geometrical and physical optics. Three lectures, two discussion sections, and one two-hour lab each week. Physics majors are encouraged to take P222 in the spring semester of the freshman year.

P: P221. C: MATH M212 or consent of instructor. Credit not given for both P202 and P222.

Fall and Spring; Honors section in Spring

P301
(3 cr.)
Physics III Third semester of a three-semester, calculus-based sequence. Special theory of relativity; introduction to quantum physics; atomic, nuclear, condensed matter, and elementary particle physics. Intended for science and mathematics majors. Three lecture-discussion periods each week.

P: P222 (or P202 with consent of instructor). Credit may be obtained only for either P300 or P301.

Fall and Spring

P309
(2 cr.)
Modern Physics Laboratory Fundamental experiments in physics with emphasis on modern physics. The course aims to develop basic laboratory skills and data analysis techniques.

P or C: P301.

Fall and Spring

P310
(3 cr.)
Environmental Physics For biological and physical science majors. Relationship of physics to current environmental problems. Energy production, comparison of sources and byproducts; nature of and possible solutions to problems of noise, particulate matter in atmosphere.

P: P201 or P221 and MATH M211; or consent of instructor.
Fall
P321
(3 cr.)
Techniques in Theoretical Physics Particle motion in 1, 2, and 3 dimensions in the presence of forces; construction of forces from fields, and relationships between fields and sources; energies and potentials; complex oscillations and circuit analysis; classical and quantum mechanical waves and probabilities.

P or C: P301.
Spring
P331
(3 cr.)
Theory of Electricity and Magnetism I Electrostatic fields and differential operators, Laplace and Poisson equations, dielectric materials, steady currents, power and energy, induction, magnetic fields, scalar and vector potentials, Maxwell’s equations.

P: P202 or P222 and MATH M312 (for scientists), or consent of instructor.
Fall
P332
(3 cr.)
Theory of Electricity and Magnetism II Magnetic materials, wave equations and radiation, energy transfer and conversion. Poynting vector and momentum, retarded potentials, dipole radiation, transmission lines and wave guides, relativity.

P: P331 or consent of instructor.
Spring
P340
(3 cr.)
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics This course will introduce you to the physical laws that govern the behavior of systems consisting of large numbers of particles (where "large" is on the order of Avagadro's number). Such systems are far too complicated to describe using the tools that you have seen in earlier courses (i.e. the laws of mechanics) since it is impossible, even in principle, to write down the initial conditions let alone solve the equations of motion. Nevertheless, such systems often follow remarkably simple laws (such as the ideal gas law, Curie's law for magnetic systems, and similar relations for superconductivity). In the course we will see that there are a number of general "Thermodynamic" laws that govern the behavior of "large" systems, irrespective of the details of the interaction between the constituent particles. These same laws hold for the workings of your automobile engine, the liquid crystal display in your watch, chemical reactions, or even the inner workings of the sun and the early behavior of the universe.

P: P202 or P222; MATH M311 concurrently.
Spring
P350
(3 cr.)
Applied Physics Instrumentation Lab Instrumentation, data acquisition, and control for research, development, and industrial increasingly depend on coordination of electrical sensors, instruments, personal computers, and software. This course covers the essentials of electronics signal measurements, transducers, computer control of instruments, design of automated measurement and control algorithms, real-time data analysis and instrument calibration. Fall
P360
(3 cr.)
Physical Optics This course has been discontinued/re-numbered on the Bloomington campus. It is now P460.

Physical optics and electromagnetic waves based on electromagnetic theory: wave equations; phase and group velocity; dispersion; coherence, interference, diffraction, and polarization of light and of electromagnetic radiation generally; wave guides; holography; masers and lasers; introduction to optical spectroscopy.

P: P331 or consent of instructor.
 
P371
(3 cr.)
Radiation Science Fundamentals Introduces principles and concepts related to radioactive decay, the interactions of ionizing radiation with matter, dosimetry and the human health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation. The course briefly reviews fundumental concepts related to atomic and sub-atomic physical processes as well as relevant aspects of modern physics, including selected aspects of the Special Theory of Relativity, wave/particle duality and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. May be taken by medical physics and applied physics students as well as an alternative to P301. Physics credit will not be awarded for both P371 and P301. Fall Semester
P400
(3 cr.)
Analog and Digital Electronics Amplifier and oscillator characteristics feedback systems, bipolar transistors, field-effect transistors, optoelectronic devices, amplifier design, power supplies, and the analysis of circuits using computer aided techniques.Digital logic, storage elements, timing elements, arithmetic devices, digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversion. Course has lectures and labs emphasizing design, construction, and analysis of circuits using discrete gates and programmable devices. Fall
S405
(1-3 cr.)
Readings in Physics Independent reading under supervision of faculty member. Study indepth of topic of interest to student, culminating in research paper.

P: consent of instructor.
All semesters
S406
(1-6 cr.)
Research Research participation in group or independent project under the supervision of a faculty member in departmental research areas; or topic agreed upon between the student and the supervisor.  May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

P: consent of instructor.
All semesters

S407
(1-6 cr.)

Applied Physics Internship

Internship in industry or national laboratory, arranged between the student, the student's faculty mentor, and an internship supervisor as part of the Applied Physics Track of the Physics B.S. program.  May be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours.  S/F grading.

P: consent of instructor or supervisor.

All semesters
P408
(1 cr.)
Current Research in Physics A series of introductory talks by 15 different faculty members on the current research activities of the Department of Physics. For senior-level students. Spring

S409

(1-6 cr.)

Applied Physics Thesis

Under the supervision of a faculty member, students prepare a written thesis that presents previous research work completed as part of the Applied Physics Track of the Physics B.S. program.  May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credit hours.

P: S407 and consent of instructor. 

All semesters
P410
(3 cr.)
Computing Applications in Physics Computing methods and techniques applied to a broad spectrum of physics problems. Emphasis on least-squares method and other curve-fitting techniques of non-linear functions; monte carlo methods; data manipulation, including sorting, retrieval, and display.

P: P332 or equivalent and CSCI A201 or equivalent; or consent of instructor.
Fall
P411
(3 cr.)
Computing Applications in Physics II P: P410 or equivalent or consent of instructor. Continuation of P410 including introduction to stochastic modeling, statistical mechanics and quantum systems, improving code performance. Spring
P441
(3 cr.)
Analytical Mechanics I Elementary mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, treated by methods of calculus and differential equations.

P: P201-P202 or P221-P222. C: MATH M343.
Fall
P442
(3 cr.)
Analytical Mechanics II Elementary mechanics of particles and rigid bodies, treated by methods of calculus and differential equations.

P: P201-P202 or P221-P222. C: MATH M343.
Spring
P451
(3 cr.)
Experiments in Modern Physics 1
(3 cr.)
Advanced laboratory for senior physics majors. Experimental investigations and selected topics in nuclear, atomic, and solid state physics.

P: P301 and P309, or equivalent. R: P453-P454 concurrently. Meets with P551.

Fall and Spring

P452
(3 cr.)
Experiments in Modern Physics 2 Advanced laboratory for senior physics majors. Experimental investigations and selected topics in nuclear, atomic, and solid state physics.

P: P301 and P309, or equivalent. R: P453-P454 concurrently. P452 can be taken independently of P451.
 
P453
(3 cr.)
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics The Schroedinger equation with applications to problems such as barrier transmission, harmonic oscillation, and the hydrogen atom. Discussion of orbital and spin angular momentum and identical particles. Introduction to perturbation theory.

P: P301 and P331. R: P332 concurrently.
Spring
P454
(4 cr.)
Modern Physics Structure of multielectron atoms. Experimental facts and theoretical models in solid state physics, nuclear physics, and elementary particle physics.

P: P453 or equivalent.
Fall
P460
(3 cr.)
Modern Optics Physical optics and electromagnetic waves based on electromagnetic theory: wave equations; phase and group velocity; dispersion; coherence, interference, diffraction, and polarization of light and of electromagnetic radiation generally; wave guides; holography; masers and lasers; introduction to optical spectroscopy.

P: P331 or consent of instructor.
Spring
P470
(3 cr.)
Introduction to Accelerator Physics Overview of accelerator development and accelerator technologies. Principles of linear and circular accelerators, storage rings, colliders. Transverse phase space motion of a particle in an accelerator. Radio frequency acceleration and synchrotron light sources. Basics of free electron lasers. Spin dynamics in cyclic accelerators and storage rings.

P: approval of instructor.
 
P472
(3 cr.)
Radiation Oncology Physics An introductory course to the physical principles, equipment, processes, imaging guidance and clinical techniques involved in the treatment of cancer patients with external radiation beams and radioative sources. Various external radiation beam types and their energy deposition characteristics are described. Treatment planning dose calculation algorithms and point dose calculations are discussed. The use of international dosimetry protocols for radiation beam calibrations are covered in detail. Spring Semester
P478
(3 cr.)
Radiation Biophysics This course emphasizes the effects of ionizing radiation at the cellular/molecular, tissue, and organismal level. The course is especially relevant for students training in cancer biology, radiation oncology, radiology, radiation protection, public health, and medical physics. Topics include radiation-induced acute and late effects in normal tissue and tumors, DNA repair, chemical modifiers of radioresponse, the radiobiological basis of radiotherapy, radioheritable effects, consequences of whole-body irradiation, and carcinogenesis. Fall Semester