2021-2022 University Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHYS 131 - Atoms and Waves

An introduction to the process through which physics knowledge developed in the modern era. How did scientists determine whether the things they studied consisted of waves or particles; that is, what are the defining characteristics of each, and how can they be measured? To answer these questions, we introduce ideas from mechanics, electricity, and special relativity. Students are then confronted with one of physics’s great mysteries: how can the same object act as either a particle or a wave? While we may not completely resolve this mystery, we learn a little quantum mechanics that helps us predict the behavior of these systems. Some physics background is helpful, but none is assumed. Students must be very comfortable with algebra and trigonometry, but they will not need calculus until the next physics course. Two lectures, two problem-solving recitations, and one laboratory meeting per week.

Credits: 1.00
When Offered: Fall semester only

Corequisite: PHYS 131L , PHYS 131RE
Prerequisites: Students who plan to continue into PHYS 232  should co-register for MATH 161  
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Recommended: This course is required for students planning to major in physics, physics-astronomy, or physical science, and for students interested in pre-engineering.
Area of Inquiry: Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Liberal Arts CORE: None

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