Physics and Earth Science
Chair: Associate Professor Krieble
Professor: Powlette; Associate Professor: Roeder; Adjunct Faculty: Becker, Exton
The Physics and Earth Science Department provides an opportunity to investigate and study those areas of physics essential for graduate work in physics or for a physics-related career in industry, government, or secondary education. In the physics curriculum, the emphasis is on theoretical developments and problem-solving at the appropriate level of mathematical sophistication; and on experimental investigation that stresses physical principles and that makes use of modern laboratory techniques and equipment.
Throughout the curriculum, extensive use is made of the College's computer facilities for solution of physics problems and analysis of experimental data. Departmental facilities include research equipment for independent study and Honors work and a complete machine shop to supplement experimental projects.
A booklet prepared by the Society of Physics Students (SPS) describes the department and its facilities and is available from the department chair upon request.
The department offers introductory courses in geology, astronomy, and meteorology. A major in geology is offered through cross-registration in cooperation with Lehigh University. Because the study of geology is an effort to understand natural phenomena on and within the earth, a student of geology must have a broad understanding of the basic sciences and mathematics, as well as professional courses in the geological sciences.
Learning in Common Requirements for Physics Majors
Physics majors must select Mathematics 170 to fulfill their Quantitative Reasoning (F2) requirement and Physics 111 for their Laboratory Science (F4) requirement. In addition, they need complete only seven of the eight Multidisciplinary and Upper-Division requirements.
The Major in Physics
The Physics and Earth Science Department offers two degree options for students wishing to pursue the physics major: The bachelor of arts (B.A.) and the bachelor of science (B.S.). The requirements for each degree option are listed below.
The Bachelor of Arts with Major in Physics
The bachelor of arts with a major in physics consists of 7 course units in physics (Physics 111, 112, 222, 331, 345, and two additional 300-level courses) plus four course units in mathematics (Mathematics 170 or 106-166, plus 171, 211, and 221). It is suggested that the student schedule Physics 111-112 in the first year and begin mathematics at the calculus level by scheduling Mathematics 170 and 171 in the first year, if possible. In the sophomore year, the courses normally taken are Physics 222 and Mathematics 211 and 221.
The Bachelor of Science with Major in Physics
The bachelor of science with major in physics consists of 10 course units in physics (Physics 111, 112, 222, 331, 341, 345, 346, and three additional course units), plus five course units in mathematics (Mathematics 170 or 106-166, plus 171, 211, 221, and 327). If the student chooses Physics 343 as one of the three elective physics courses, he or she may omit Mathematics 327. It is strongly recommended that the student schedule Physics 111-112 in the first year, and begin mathematics at the calculus level by scheduling Mathematics 170 and 171 in the first year. In the sophomore year, the courses normally taken are Physics 221 and 222 and Mathematics 211 and 221.
The Minor in Physics
The minor in physics consists of five course units including either Physics 109-110 or Physics 111-112 but not both.
The Interdepartmental Major in Physics
The student interested in a career requiring an interdisciplinary science major is encouraged to design an interdepartmental major in physics and is urged to consult the department chair.
The six courses that satisfy Set I of an interdepartmental major in physics are Physics 111-112 and any four upper-level courses in physics. These courses and the six of Set II are selected by the student with the approval of the department chair. An interdepartmental major in physics and mathematics is strongly recommended for any student wishing to prepare for a teaching career in physics.
The Major in Geology
A major in geology consists of Mathematics 170 and 171, Computer Science 120, Chemistry 113-114, Physics 111-112, Earth Science 110, and seven additional geology courses to be taken at Lehigh University, one summer at a geology field camp (to be taken at an approved college or university field camp), and two courses in further science or mathematics selected with the approval of the major advisor. As with physics majors, geology majors take seven of the eight Multidisciplinary and Upper-Division courses in the Learning in Common curriculum.
The Minor in Earth Science
The minor in earth science consists of five course units: Earth Science 110, 120, and 130, plus two courses that may be taken through independent study or cross-registration.
The Interdepartmental Major in Earth Science
Set I requirements include Earth Science 110 at Moravian and five earth science courses, selected with the approval of the Set I advisor, at Moravian or Lehigh University. Students who plan an interdepartmental major should keep in mind that the earth sciences require a well-rounded background in mathematics and the basic sciences.
A student planning a major or an interdepartmental major in physics should discuss career plans with the department chair, because such plans influence the choice of the elective physics courses, the modern language courses (French, German, or Russian is recommended), elective mathematics courses, and any other elective courses (e.g., astronomy, geology, chemistry, or biology). These considerations are especially important for a student planning graduate work in physics or teaching at the secondary level.
Students seeking secondary school teacher certification in physics follow either the requirements for the physics major or those for the interdepartmental major, with physics constituting Set I and mathematics constituting Set II. Students also must take Chemistry 113. Those interested in combining physics and general science certification should consult the requirements for such certification under science education. All students seeking certification in secondary education should consult the Education Department.
Courses in Physics
109-110. Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences. Aspects of physics important in biological processes and health sciences. Major topics in the first term include elementary mechanics, biomechanics, fluids, thermodynamics, and metabolism. Second-term topics include electromagnetism, bioelectricity, membrane transport, waves, geometrical optics, and radiation. Prerequisite: Mathematics 106-166 or 170. Four 50-minute or three 70-minute lectures, one 3-hour laboratory. (F4)
111-112. Introductory Physics. First term treats mechanics, heat, and wave phenomena. Second term treats electricity, magnetism, optics, and selected topics in modern physics. Co-requisites: Mathematics 170 and 171. Three 50-minute lectures, one 50-minute problem session, one 3-hour laboratory. (F4)
217. Digital Electronics and Microprocessors. (Also Computer Science 217) Laboratory-oriented course in computer hardware for science, mathematics, and computer-science students. Topics include logic gates, Boolean algebra, combinational and sequential logic circuits, register-transfer logic, microprocessors, addressing modes, programming concepts, microcomputer system configuration, and interfacing. Three 50-minute periods, two 3-hour laboratories.
221. Linear Electronics. A laboratory-oriented course in electronics stressing applications of linear integrated circuits to laboratory measurement in physics, chemistry, and biology. Laboratory experiments and lecture-discussions include circuit analysis, system design using operational amplifiers, analog computer systems, transistors, power supplies, oscillators, Butterworth response filters, and phase-locked loops. Prerequisite: Physics 109-110 or 111-112 or permission of instructor. Fall. Three 50-minute lectures, two 3-hour laboratories.
222. Modern Physics. Concepts leading to breakdown of classical physics and emergence of quantum theory. Topics include atomic physics, relativity and four-vector space-time physics, solid-state physics, nuclear physics, and elementary particles. Independent laboratory experiments (e.g., Compton effect, electron spin resonance, electron diffraction, Mössbauer effect) complement student's interest and needs. Prerequisites: Physics 111-112 and Mathematics 171 or permission of instructor. Spring. Three 50-minute lectures, one 50-minute problem session, one 3-hour laboratory. Writing-intensive.
331-332. Mechanics. First term treats motion of a single particle with emphasis on conservative forces and their properties, central force fields, and oscillatory motions. Second term treats motion of the system of particles, rigid body mechanics, accelerated reference systems, and mechanics (Lagrange and Hamilton). Emphasis on computer solutions of problems. Prerequisites: Physics 111-112 and Mathematics 211 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. Four 50-minute lectures or three 70-minute lectures.
333. Physical Optics. Theoretical and experimental study of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation and matter. Topics include wave and photon representations of light, geometrical optics, polarization, interference, and diffraction phenomena. Selected topics in modern optics include gas and semiconductor lasers, electro-optics, nonlinear optics, and fiber optics. Standard laboratory experiments include interfero-metry and diffraction. Application-based experiments include laser construction, holography, photo-refractive nonlinear optics, dynamic diffractive optics, and fiber optics. Prerequisites: Physics 111-112 and Mathematics 211 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures, one 3-hour laboratory.
334. Thermal Physics. Unified treatment of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Topics include laws of thermodynamics, state functions and variables, application to physical and chemical systems, kinetic theory, distribution functions, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics, black-body radiation, and Debye theory of specific heats. Prerequisites: Physics 111-112 and Mathematics 211 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures, one 3-hour laboratory.
341. Quantum Mechanics. Fourier transforms, wave packets, Schrödinger's equation, square-well and barrier potentials, the harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, atomic spectra, multi-electron atoms, algebraic methods, matrix mechanics, perturbation theory. Prerequisites: Physics 222 and Mathematics 221 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures, one 50-minute problem session, one 3-hour laboratory.
342. Nuclear Physics. Properties of nuclei, the deuteron, partial-wave analysis; alpha, beta, and gamma decay; nuclear models, fission, fusion, nuclear reactions, properties of elementary particles, classification schemes, interactions. Prerequisites: Physics 341 and Mathematics 221 or consent of instructor. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures.
343. Introduction to Mathematical Physics. Mathematical techniques for solving ordinary and partial differential equations that arise in theoretical physics. Topics include series solutions, special functions, operational methods, boundary-value problems, orthogonal functions, product solutions, and/or selected topics determined by needs of students and interest of instructor. Prerequisites: At least one year of college physics and Mathematics 221. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures.
344. Solid-State Physics. Fundamental study of matter in the solid state, including periodic arrays of atoms, fundamental types of lattices, position and orientation of planes in crystals, simple crystal structures, reciprocal lattices, Brillouin zones, crystals of inert gases, ionic crystals, covalent crystals, hydrogen bonding, phonons and lattice vibrations, lattice heat capacities, diffusion, free-electron gas, energy bands, and point defects. Prerequisites: Mathematics 211 or equivalent. A course in modern atomic physics is recommended. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures, one 50-minute problem session.
345-346. Electric and Magnetic Fields. Field concepts, electromagnetic theory, and electromagnetic waves. First term treats electrostatics, steady fields and currents, and electromagnetism. Second term treats time-varying fields and currents, Maxwell's equations, and electromagnetic waves. Prerequisites: Physics 111-112 and Mathematics 211 or permission of instructor. Alternate years. Three 50-minute lectures, one 3-hour laboratory.
370. Physics Seminar. Selected topics in theoretical and/or experimental physics. Choice of topics determined by needs of students and interest of instructor. Alternate years. Lecture and/or laboratory hours depend on topics.
190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.
286, 381-384. Independent Study.
288, 386-388. Internship.
Courses in Earth Science
110. Introductory Geology. Earth processes and their effects on materials, structure, and morphology of Earth's crust. Laboratory includes fieldwork, computer simulations, study of minerals, rocks, photographs, and maps. Spring. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. (F4)
120. Meteorology. Physical processes and properties of the atmosphere, elements of weather analysis and forecasting, effects of atmosphere on people and activities. Laboratory includes weather instruments and observation, weather-map construction and analysis, experiments, scale models, and computer application. Fall. Three 50-minute periods, one 3-hour laboratory. (F4)
130. Astronomy. Methods and results of astronomical exploration of the solar system, our stellar system, galaxies, and universe. Laboratory includes telescope observation, optics, analysis of astronomical photographs, and computer simulations. Spring. Two 3-hour periods. (F4)
210. Introductory Geographic Information Systems. Geographic information systems are a primary tool for analysis of spatial data. ArcGIS desktop software is used to edit, query, and analyze spatial databases and display the results of analysis. Both vector and raster data are considered. Emphasis on applications of GIS to the lecture/laboratory sessions. Fall.
190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.
286, 381-384. Independent Study.
288, 386-388. Internship.