T. Robertson, Chairperson
Physics Major Options and Minors in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers two options for majors in physics and several programs for minors in astronomy and/or physics. For majors, the general physics option is a course of study for those students who intend to pursue graduate work or industrial careers in physics, astronomy, or engineering. The applied physics option is for those students who are primarily interested in careers in industry. Minors are available in physics, applied physics in electronics, applied physics in nanoscience, astrophysics, and introductory astronomy, and are designed for those students who have an interest in those fields but have a major in another area.
Several options are available for those students who are planning careers as teachers in secondary education. A teaching major in physics will prepare students to teach high school physics and middle school science. It is generally a four and one-half year program which provides certification at both levels. A teaching major in physical science will prepare students to be certified in both high school physics and chemistry, and is generally a four and one-half year program which provides a certification in middle school/junior high science as well. (See Science under Interdepartmental Programs in the College of Sciences and Humanities.)
The pre-engineering major is generally a five-year program in which students attend Ball State for three years and then transfer to an engineering school to complete requirements for their engineering degree. Upon successful completion of the engineering program, a student is eligible to receive a bachelor’s degree from Ball State in addition to the engineering degree. Students in this program are responsible for knowing and meeting the graduation requirements of both Ball State and the school to which they transfer. Admission to Ball State as a pre-engineering major does not guarantee admission to an accredited school of engineering.
Three options in the pre-engineering major are available: chemical engineering, metallurgical engineering, and general engineering, which includes civil, electrical, mechanical, and nuclear engineering specializations.
MAJOR IN PHYSICS, 65-67 hours
Common core, 53 hours
CS MATH PHYC HONR PHYC
120 165 166 267 115 120 122 260 262 330 340 434 450 464 482 or 369 or 479 or 499 483 485
Computer Science 1 Calculus 1 Calculus 2 Calculus 3 Career Issues General Physics 1 General Physics 2 Introduction to Modern Physics Modern Physics Laboratory Mechanics Physical Optics Thermodynamics Electricity and Magnetism 1 Intro to Quant Mech Independent Studies in Physics (1-3) Professional Experience (1-3) Practical Experience (1-3) Senior Honors Project (3) Seminar in Physics (1-2) Meas of Lrnng in Physics
4 4 4 4 1 5 5 4 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 1
Electricity and Magnetism 2 Quantum Mechanics
Electives from departmental courses as approved by the student’s departmental advisor and the department chairperson
330 332 354 356
Astronomy and Astrophysics 1 (4) Astronomy and Astrophysics 2 (4) Electronics 1 (4) Electronics 2 (4)
MAJOR IN PRE-ENGINEERING PREPARATION, 67-77 hours
CHEM CS MATH PHYC TMFG
111 112 120 165 166 217 267 115 120 122 260 262 330 354 483 485 105
General Chemistry 1 General Chemistry 2 Computer Science 1 Calculus 1 Calculus 2 Linear Algebra Calculus 3 Career Issues General Physics 1 General Physics 2 Introduction to Modern Physics Modern Physics Laboratory Mechanics Electronics 1 Seminar in Physics (1-2) Meas of Lrnng in Physics Technical Design Graphics
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1 5 5 4 1 3 4 1 1 3
Complete one option as approved by the pre-engineering advisor.
Option 1: General (civil, electrical, mechanical, nuclear), 12 hours
8 hours from electives in APHY, CS, MATH, and PHYC as approved by the pre-engineering advisor.
225 344 345
Chemical Analysis Physical Chemistry 1 Physical Chemistry 2
3 4 4
225 234 235 344 345
Chemical Analysis Organic Chemistry 1 Organic Chemistry 2 Physical Chemistry 1 Physical Chemistry 2
3 5 5 4 4
MINOR IN APPLIED PHYSICS, 24-26 hours
161 162 120 122
Applied Calculus 1 Applied Calculus 2 General Physics 1 General Physics 2
3 3 5 5
Electronics 1 Electronics 2
310 260 466
Intro Nanosci & Tech Introduction to Modern Physics Condensed Matter Physics
3 4 3
MINOR IN ASTROPHYSICS, 24 hours
ASTR MATH PHYC
330 332 161 162 120 122
Astronomy and Astrophysics 1 Astronomy and Astrophysics 2 Applied Calculus 1 Applied Calculus 2 General Physics 1 General Physics 2
4 4 3 3 5 5
MINOR IN INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY, 15 hours
120 122 124 302
The Sun and Stars Stell Evol, Galaxies, & Cosmo The Solar System Observational Astronomy
3 3 3 3
200 380 469
Topics in Astronomy (1-3) Seminar in Modern Astronomy (3) Immersion Experiences (3)
MINOR IN PHYSICS, 27 hours
161 162 120 122 260 262 330 450
Applied Calculus 1 Applied Calculus 2 General Physics 1 General Physics 2 Introduction to Modern Physics Modern Physics Laboratory Mechanics Electricity and Magnetism 1
3 3 5 5 4 1 3 3
SCIENCE TEACHING MAJORS
(See Science, College of Sciences and Humanities, for the teaching majors in science.)
TEACHING MAJOR IN PHYSICS, 50 hours
This is a four-year program that will meet the high school physics certification standards of Indiana.
CHEM MATH PHYC
111 112 165 166 120 122 260 262
General Chemistry 1 General Chemistry 2 Calculus 1 Calculus 2 General Physics 1 General Physics 2 Introduction to Modern Physics Modern Physics Laboratory
4 4 4 4 5 5 4 1
Research (honors, thesis, internship, or department research)
Students must complete the high school physics concentration area or follow the guidelines outlined below.
High school physics concentration area, 16 hours
330 340 354 434 450
Mechanics Physical Optics Electronics 1 Thermodynamics Electricity and Magnetism 1
3 3 4 3 3
SENIOR HIGH, JUNIOR HIGH/MIDDLE SCHOOL EDUCATION PROGRAM
EDFO EDJH EDMU EDPS EDSE SCI
420 385 205 251 390 380 150 295 396
Soc, Hist, Phil Found of Ed Prin of Tchng in Mid Schl Intro to Multicul Ed Development Secondary Educational Psychology Princ of Tchng in Sec School Bsc Con in Science Education Intro to the Teaching of Sci Using Sci Methods & Mats
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
APPLIED PHYSICS (APHY)
310 Introduction to Nanoscience and Technology (3) Explores science and technology at the nanoscale. Studies the physical properties of nanomaterials, the tools and techniques for nanosystem fabrication and investigation; principles of mechanical, optical, electrical, and magnetic nanosystems; current state of technology in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and information systems; and future applications. Prerequisite: PHYC 260.
312 Fundamentals of Nano Materials Growth and Device Fabrication (4) Introduces basic experimental techniques in: nano materials growth, nano devices fabrication, and materials and devices characterization. Introductory laboratory in the field of nanoscience and technology. Intended for those interested in semiconductor technology or experimental work in general. Prerequisite: PHYC 260 or permission of the department chairperson.
315 Medical Physics 1 (3) Biomechanics, statistical physics, bioelectric fields, biomagnetic fields, electricity, and magnetism at the cellular level. Prerequisite: PHYC 112 or 122. Prerequisite recommended: BIO 111, 215; MATH 161, 162, or 165, 166.
316 Medical Physics 2 (3) Signal analysis, images, biomagnetism, x-rays, nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging. Prerequisite: PHYC 260; APHY 315 or permission of the department chairperson or instructor.
420 Solar Thermal Systems (3) Physics of the solar energy resource, solar collection, concentration, thermal conversion, energy storage, and the design and performance of solar thermal energy systems. Prerequisite: MATH 162 or 166; PHYC 122.
422 Photovoltaics (3) Physics of photovoltaic systems, including basic operating principles, design and technology, and performance of individual solar cells and solar cells systems. Prerequisite: APHY 420.
100 Introductory Astronomy: A Study of the Solar System and Beyond (3) Study of the physical nature of objects in the universe and methods used by astronomers to understand them. Topics selected from basic laws of nature, the solar system, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and cosmology. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1710)
101 Astronomy Materials for the Teacher (3) Fundamentals of astronomy including historical aspects and modern astronomy concepts. Emphasizes construction of models and experimentation appropriate to the classroom. Designed primarily for students in education programs.
120 The Sun and Stars (3) Introduction to the science underlying modern stellar astronomy. Topics include history of astronomy, practical astronomy, naked-eye cosmology, gravity and orbital motion, light and matter and properties of the sun and stars. Observational and experimental data are used to reveal natural physical laws which provide information about remote objects in space. Prerequisite: at least two years of high school algebra.
121 Honors Astronomy Laboratory (1) Introduction to observational stellar astronomy. The student will plan and execute sessions in the Ball State University Observatory and analyze and interpret astronomical data related to the determination of the properties of stars. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Prerequisite or parallel: ASTR 120.
122 Stellar Evolution, Galaxies, and Cosmology (3) Continuation of ASTR 120. Topics include stellar evolution, the Milky Way Galaxy, galaxies, quasars, active galactic nuclei, supermassive black holes, large scale structure of the universe and cosmology. Prerequisite: ASTR 120. Not open to students who have credit in ASTR 332.
124 The Solar System (3) Introduction to the scientific study of our Solar System and Earth as a planet. Topics include scientific methodologies, object classification, planetary environments and components, formation and evolution of the Solar System, space science, space exploration, and the search for life in the Solar System.
151 The Universe and You (3) Examines the nature of the universe in order to increase our appreciation of the scope and complexity of physical reality. The universe's origin and development and the conditions necessary to support life will be investigated for clues which illuminate the central question of the purpose of our existence. Not open to students who have credit in HONR 296.
200 Topics in Astronomy (1-3) Discussion of specific topics in astronomy, such as comets, eclipses, UFOs, and interstellar travel. Designed for students not majoring in physics, the course requires no math or science background. Students may consult their curricular advisors or the Department of Physics and Astronomy for specific topics being studied during a given semester. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
302 Observational Astronomy (3) Introduction to observational astronomy. Topics include night sky observing skills, celestial coordinate and time systems, planning astronomical observing sessions, astronomical telescopes and instruments, basic digital imaging, image processing and analysis. Designed for astronomy educators and amateur astronomers. Prerequisite: ASTR 120.
330 Astronomy and Astrophysics 1 (4) A review of mechanics, electromagnetic radiation, and atomic structure in the context of modern observational astrophysics. Solar system astrophysics—including an introduction to celestial mechanics and astronomical coordinate and time systems—are surveyed, and astronomical instruments are discussed. Prerequisite: PHYC 120, 122.
332 Astronomy and Astrophysics 2 (4) An examination of observational stellar astronomy with applications to the study of stellar structure and evolution, and a review of the physics of stellar systems such as star clusters, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies. Prerequisite: ASTR 330.
380 Seminar in Modern Astronomy (3) Seminar covering selected topics in contemporary astronomy. Extensive use of library facilities including current journals and periodicals in astronomy. Discussions of current astronomical research. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term.
382 Instruments and Techniques in Planetarium Operations (3) Use of planetarium instruments, console, and chamber. Creation and presentation of planetarium programs including slide-duplicating techniques, slide opaquing, and the production of sound tracks. Prerequisite: permission of the planetarium director.
386 Theories and Instruments of the Astronomer (3) Reviews of various atlases, catalogs, ephemerides, and charts. The development of methods used to compute and update stellar positions. Discusses astronomical instruments in the context of their use by research astronomers. Analyzes specific techniques employed in astronomical photometry, spectroscopy, and photography. Prerequisite: ASTR 332.
100 Conceptual Physics (3) Includes a survey of physics with conceptual emphasis on basic classical and modern concepts of matter, motion, energy, and forces with application to mechanics, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light, atomic, nuclear, and elementary particles. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1750)
101 Physical Science Concepts for Teachers (1-3) Principles and concepts of the laws of nature involving mechanical, heat, light, electrical, nuclear, and chemical energy and the conservation laws associated with these forms of energy. Emphasizes applications appropriate to the classroom. Designed primarily for students in elementary education programs. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
102 Preparation of Physical Science Teaching Materials (3) Selected topics in physical science stressing the construction of models and experimentation appropriate to the classroom. Designed primarily for students in elementary education programs. Prerequisite: PHYC 101 or permission of the department chairperson. Open only to students in the teacher-education curriculum.
110 General Physics 1 (4) Studies the laws of Newtonian mechanics. Introductory fluid statics and dynamics, heat and thermodynamics, and wave motion and sound. Recommended background: one year of college preparatory physics in high school. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1751) Prerequisite: MATH 112, trigonometry or appropriate trigonometry sub scores on mathematics placement exam or passing grade in high school physics. Parallel: PHYC 111 is recommended for students who have not attained the recommended background.
111 Problem Solving in General Physics 1 (1) Helps students master problem solving in physics. Work in small groups with the assistance of a professor who will guide their work and teach them to analyze and set up problems on mechanics and thermodynamics. Intended to help students succeed in physics.
112 General Physics 2 (4) Static and current electricity, magnetism, light and optics, and an introduction to modern physics including relativity and elements of atomic and nuclear physics. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1752) Prerequisite: PHYC 110.
115 Career Issues in Physics, Applied Physics, and Engineering (1) Introduction to departmental, university, and professional resources essential for the successful completion of undergraduate programs and entry into related career paths. Seminars and campus field trips will provide information about resources related to academic success, experiential activities outside the classroom, and resume/portfolio development.
120 General Physics 1 (5) First course in calculus-based physics for students in pre-engineering, the physical sciences, or mathematics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, work and energy, motion, impulse and momentum, elasticity and wave motion, sound, and hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1753) Prerequisite or parallel: MATH 161 or 165.
122 General Physics 2 (5) Continuation of PHYC 120. Topics include heat and laws of thermodynamics, Coulomb’s law and the electric field, Ampere’s law and the magnetic field, introduction to Maxwell’s equation, DC and AC circuits; the nature, propagation, and properties of light; and lens systems. Core Transfer Library: Physical Sciences (IPS 1754) Prerequisite: PHYC 120. Parallel: MATH 162 or 166.
140 General Physics 1 (Calculus-based) (4) First course in calculus-based general physics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, work and energy, impulse and momentum, elasticity, wave motion and sound, hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. Computer-based content delivery for self-paced learning. Prerequisite or parallel: MATH 161 or 165; permission of the department chairperson. Not open to students who have credit in PHYC 120.
141 General Physics 1 (Calculus-based) Lab (1) Laboratory component to accompany PHYC 140. Computer simulations and in-lab experiments are performed. Prerequisite or parallel: PHYC 140. Not open to students who have credit in PHYC 120.
142 General Physics 2 (Calculus-based) (4) Continuation of PHYC 140. Topics include heat and thermodynamics, Coulomb's Law, electric fields, magnetic fields, AC and DC circuits, geometric and physical optics. Computer-based content delivery for self-paced learning. Prerequisite: PHYC 120 or 140; permission of the department chairperson. Prerequisite or parallel: MATH 162 or 166. Not open to students who have credit in PHYC 122.
143 General Physics 2 (Calculus-based) Lab (1) The laboratory component to accompany PHYC 142. Computer simulations and in-lab experiments are performed. Prerequisite or parallel: PHYC 142. Not open to students who have credit in PHYC 122.
151 Energy: Technology and Society (3) An investigation of the sources, generation, transmission, storage, and uses of energy based on physical laws and processes, and an overview of the implications and consequences for society.
200 Topics in Physics (1-3) Discussion of specific topics in physics, such as lasers, holography, and solid-state electronics. Designed for students not majoring in physics, the course requires no math or science background. Students may consult their curricular advisors or the Department of Physics and Astronomy for the specific topics being studied during a given semester. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
260 Introduction to Modern Physics (4) Basic concepts, underlying principles, theories, and applications of modern physics. Some topics include special relativity, quantum physics, atomic structure and models, molecules, solids, nuclei, particles, statistical mechanics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Applications include lasers, scanning tunneling microscopes, semiconductor devices, and nanoelectronics. Prerequisite: PHYC 122.
262 Modern Physics Laboratory (1) Classic experiments such as the Cavendish measurement of G, determination of Planck’s Constant, Rutherford Scattering, Millikan Oil Drop Experiment, Franck-Hertz Experiment, and the Hall Effect will be performed. Use of computer software for report generation will be stressed. Prerequisite: PHYC 260.
330 Mechanics (3) Basic concepts of mechanics, general motion of particles in three dimensions. Simple and damped harmonic motion. Particle dynamics in noninertial frames of reference, central forces. Dynamics of systems of particles. Motion of rigid bodies in three dimensions. Dynamics of oscillation systems. Prerequisite: MATH 162; PHYC 120.
340 Physical Optics (3) The electromagnetic wave theory of light, spectra, interference, diffraction, polarization, and double refraction. Prerequisite: PHYC 122.
346 Acoustics (3) Elements of pure and applied acoustics. Topics include solutions to the wave equation, acoustic impedances, electro-mechanical-acoustic analogies, direct-radiator loudspeaker and enclosure theory, and a discussion of room acoustics. Prerequisite: PHYC 122.
354 Electronics 1 (4) Introductory DC and AC circuit theory, semiconductor components, power supplies, transistor amplification; integrated circuit operational amplifiers, active filters, oscillators, and function generators. Basic combinational logic circuits and Boolean algebra. Emphasizes applications of integrated circuits. Prerequisite: PHYC 122 or permission of the department chairperson.
356 Electronics 2 (4) Sequential logic circuits including scalars, displays, memories, shift registers, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion techniques. Microprocessor architecture and support electronics for microcomputer design. IC chips and circuits for experiment to microcomputer interfacing. Use of a microprocessor development system. Prerequisite: PHYC 354 or permission of the department chairperson.
360 Introductory Nuclear Techniques (3) Emphasizes experimental studies of radioactive disintegrations and decay products and their relation to nuclear structure. Instrumentation in radioisotope measurements. Two lectures and two two-hour laboratory periods a week. Prerequisite: PHYC 260.
369 Professional Experience (1-3) Paid work and learning experience in applied or theoretical physics or astronomy in an institutional, industrial, or university research or development setting. May occur during one or more semesters. Prerequisite: approval of proposed program by the department chairperson. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
370 Introductory Mathematical Physics 1 (3) Application of mathematical techniques to the formulation and solution of physical problems in classical mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetic theory, and in quantum mechanics. Topics include computer algebra systems and applications. Prerequisite: PHYC 122, 260; or permission of the department chairperson.
372 Introductory Mathematical Physics 2 (3) Techniques in the formulation and solution of physical problems. Computer algebra systems (e.g. Mathematica) may be introduced for the study of topics such as boundary value problems, transforms, special functions of mathematical physics, and applications of tensor analysis in physics. Prerequisite: PHYC 122, 260; or permission of the department chairperson.
380 Seminar in Modern Physics (3) Seminar covering selected topics in contemporary physics. Extensive use of library facilities including current journals and periodicals in physics. Discussions of current research in physics and related fields. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term.
390 Honors Colloquium in Physics (1-3) Exploration of selected topics in physics, with emphasis on individual projects, study, and discussion. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned. Open only to honors students or with permission of the department chairperson.
396 The Teaching of Physics in the Secondary School (1-3) Aims, nature of the subject matter, calculus concepts, and applications in the teaching of physics; amount and nature of laboratory work, standardized tests, and textbooks used in the teaching of physics. No regularly scheduled laboratory. Prerequisite: 16 hours of credit in physics or permission of the department chairperson. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
434 Thermodynamics (3) Classical and statistical thermodynamics. Basic concepts, principles, and theories of thermodynamics. Equations of state, laws of thermodynamics, introduction to the kinetic theory of gases, and classical and quantum statistics. Prerequisite: PHYC 330; MATH 267 or permission of the department chairperson.
450 Electricity and Magnetism 1 (3) Application of vector analysis to electrostatics, dielectric theory, magnetostatics, dipole and multipole fields, currents, and Maxwell's equations. Prerequisite: MATH 267; PHYC 122.
452 Electricity and Magnetism 2 (3) The study of electric and magnetic fields in electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations, EM waves, radiation of moving charges, and relativistic kinematics and dynamics. Prerequisite: PHYC 450.
461 Elementary Particles (3) Investigates the nature and behavior of elementary particles through the study of the symmetries and dynamics responsible for their production, reactions, and decays. Prerequisite: PHYC 464.
463 Nuclear Physics (3) Nucleus and nuclear interactions. Emphasizes experimental facts about nuclear processes in discussions of particle accelerators, detectors, radioactivity (alpha, beta, and gamma decay), interaction of radiation with matter, nuclear reactions, nuclear structure, nuclear models, and nuclear applications in science and technology. Prerequisite: PHYC 260.
464 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3) De Broglie’s postulate, the uncertainty principle, the Schroedinger equation, the free particle, square well potentials, harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, angular momentum and other selected wave mechanics problems. No regularly scheduled laboratory. Prerequisite: MATH 267; PHYC 260.
465 Quantum Mechanics (3) Review of barrier problems, the harmonic oscillator, and angular momentum using matrix methods. Problems involving perturbation theory, one-electron atoms, magnetic moments, spin, relativistic effects, symmetric and anti-symmetric wave functions, the helium atom, transition rates, and scattering theory. Prerequisite: PHYC 464.
466 Condensed Matter Physics (3) Structure and physical properties of matter in the solid state. Electrical and magnetic properties, and band theory of solids with special emphasis on semiconductors. Prerequisite: PHYC 260.
469 Immersion Experiences Related to Physics and Astronomy (3) Student teams will design and complete a project related to physics and/or astronomy which creates a tangible outcome. Team activities will be multifunctional and multidisciplinary. Students must form a project team and prepare a project outline prior to requesting permission from the department chairperson to enroll for the course. Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.
479 Practical Experience (1-3) Unpaid work and learning experience in applied or theoretical physics or astronomy in an institutional, industrial, or university research or development setting. May occur during one or more semesters. Prerequisite: approval of a proposed program by the department chairperson. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
482 Independent Studies in Physics (1-3) Scientific investigations in physics on an individual basis, consisting of experimental or theoretical/computational work, reading, and development of research techniques and skills. Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson. A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.
483 Seminar in Physics (1-2) Selected literature on current physics, astronomy, education, or other science research. Students will report on departmental seminar series presentations and make presentations on selected research topics. A total of 2 hours of credit may be earned.
485 Measures of Learning in Physics (1) Integration of the fundamental principles underlying undergraduate physics education and related measures of learning. Emphasis is on developing familiarity with the contents of local and national exams in physics which are often reflected in graduate level qualifying exams. Emphasis will be focused on basic concepts in the context of problem solving. Prerequisite: PHYC 260, 330.
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