Physics Course Offerings
The following list represents the range of courses that offered during a typical student's four years at Bucknell. To see which specific courses are being offered during the current and next semester, follow the link to the right. (Follow this link to see Astronomy courses.)
141. Secrets of the Universe (I; 3, 3)
The great ideas of 20th-century physics (symmetry principles, relativity, and quantum mechanics) and their application to cosmology and the evolution of the universe. Also, historical development and philosophical implications of these ideas. Designed for nonscience majors. No prerequisite. Not open to students who have passed a 200-level physics course.
142. Light and Vision (AII; 3, 3)
Particle and wave theories of light, cameras and optical instruments, the visual process, lasers, and optical communications. Designed for non-science majors. No prerequisite. Not open to students who have passed a 200-level physics course.
144. How Things Work (II; 3, 3)
This course introduces the ideas of physics in the context of everyday phenomena, including common inventions and topics in medicine, sports, and music. Designed for non-science majors. No prerequisite. Not open to students who have passed a 200-level physics course.
145. Contemporary Issues in Energy (AII; 3, 3)
This course will examine the physics of energy use, energy generation, and energy transformations. Each offering of the course will have a unifying theme such as the environment, weaponry, or alternative energy sources. Designed for non-science majors. No prerequisite. Not open to students who have successfully completed a 200-level physics course.
147. Energy and Sustainability (AI; 3, 3)
Examination of energy, its transformations, its effects on resource depletion, and environmental degradation. Models of sustainability for transportation, architecture, waste management, and personal lifestyle choices. Designed for non-science majors. No prerequisite. Not open to students who have successfully completed a 200-level physics course.
211. 212. Classical and Modern Physics (I and II; 4, 3)
Newtonian mechanics, relativity, waves, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and special topics in modern physics. PHYS 211 or permission of the instructor is prerequisite to PHYS 212. Corequisites: MATH 201 for PHYS 211; MATH 202 or another mathematics course numbered above 202 for PHYS 212.
211. 212. (E) Classical and Modern Physics (I and II; 4, 3)
Same topics as PHYS 211-212 with more emphasis on mathematical modeling, computer applications, and extensions of the theory. Fourth hour to be used for guest speakers, computer lab time, testing, and other problem solving. This course is intended for students with a strong background in mathematics and physics. Prequisite for PHYS 211E is permission of the instructor. Prequisites for PHYS 212E are PHYS 211 or 211E and permission of the instructor. Corequisite: MATH 201 for PHYS 211E; MATH 202 for PHYS 212E.
221. Classical Mechanics (I; 3, 3)
Newtonian mechanics including conservation laws, rotational dynamics, forced damped harmonic motion, and coupled oscillations. Prerequisites: PHYS 211 (or PHYS 211E) and MATH 202.
222. Wave Mechanics and Quantum Physics (II; 4, 0)
Physics of coupled oscillations and waves, including classical wave equation. Wave-particle duality; origin and elementary applications of quantum mechanics; the Schrödinger wave equation; atomic and nuclear physics. Prerequisites: PHYS 212 (or PHYS 212E) and MATH 211.
235. Applied Electronics (II; 2, 4)
Circuit fundamentals, linear and digital integrated circuits, transducers, analog to digital conversion, filtering, Fourier methods, microcomputers, and computer interfacing. Designed for science and computer science majors. Prerequisite: PHYS 212 (or PHYS 212E). Open to electrical engineering students by permission only.
301. Astrophysics (AII; 3, 0)
An introduction to general astrophysics covering mechanics of orbiting bodies, radiation laws, stellar spectra, stellar atmospheres, the internal constitution of stars, stellar energy, galaxies, and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 222 and MATH 212. Crosslisted as ASTR 301.
303. Modern Optics (AII; 3, 0)
Geometrical optics, interference and diffraction, quantum optics, optical properties of matter, lasers and holography. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 or permission of the instructor.
309. Condensed Matter Physics (AII; 3, 0)
Crystal structure, phonons, free electron theory of metals, band theory, semi-conductors, magnetism, superconductivity and superfluidity, liquid crystals, and other special topics. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 or permission of the instructor.
310. Experimental Physics (II; 2, 4)
Methods and techniques used in experimental and computational physics, including data analysis and numerical methods, use of standard research equipment, and documentation of laboratory work emphasizing written and oral communication of scientific results. Experiments include topics in astrophysics, atomic and nuclear physics, nonlinear dynamics, optics, and phase transitions. Prerequisite: PHYS 222 or permission of the instructor.
317. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (I; 3, 0)
The laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic functions, kinetic theory of gases, statistical mechanics. Prerequisites: PHYS 212 (or PHYS 212E) and either PHYS 221 or PHYS 222, or permission of the instructor.
331. Advanced Classical Mechanics (I; 3, 0)
Kinematics and dynamics of particles, systems, and rigid bodies. Hamilton's principles, Lagrange's equations, theory of small vibrations, orbital mechanics, accelerated frames, and nonlinear dynamics. Prerequisites: PHYS 221 and MATH 212, or permission of the instructor.
332. Quantum Mechanics (I; 3, 0)
Basic postulates and applications, perturbation theory, angular momentum, scattering theory, relativistic effects. Prerequisites: PHYS 221, PHYS 222 and MATH 211, or permission of the instructor.
333. Electromagnetic Theory I (I; 3, 0)
Classical electromagnetic theory, including scalar and vector potentials, electrostatics, magnetostatics, time dependent fields, and culminating with Maxwell's equations. Prerequisites: PHYS 212 (or PHYS 212E) and MATH 211.
334. Electromagnetic Theory II (AII; 3, 0)
Continuation of PHYS 333. Electromagnetic waves, radiation theory, theory of relativity, and elements of plasma physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 333.
336. Mathematical Methods in Physics (AII; 3, 0)
Topics will include two or three of the following: complex variables, special functions, tensor analysis, group theory, partial differential equations. Prerequisites: PHYS 221 and PHYS 222, MATH 212 and MATH 245, or permission of the instructor.
337. Contemporary Problems in Physics (I and II; R) Half or full course.
Seminar or independent study in areas of current interest in the physics community. Prerequisite: permission of the department.
339. Advanced Quantum Mechanics and Particle Physics (AII; 3, 0)
Advanced topics in quantum mechanics including applications to elementary particle physics. Prerequisite: PHYS 332.
350. Undergraduate Research (I or II; R) Half or full course.
Prerequisite: permission of the department.