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Undergraduate Physics at The Ohio State University

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Semester Information

A conversion table for physics courses under semsters can be found on the Physics Semester Courses webpage.

For complete information about the semester switch, including new requirements for both Arts & Sciences Physics and Engineering Physics majors can be found on the Physics Semester Transistion webpage.

Course-Related Links

Alternative Physics Courses - optional physics courses that can be used as physics substitutions

Webpages for all courses in the Physics Department

780 Courses for the 2010-2011 Academic Year

Private Physics Tutors for the 2010-2011 Academic Year

This page summarizes the individual physics courses required for both the Physics and Engineering Physics Majors.

Physics Major Course Descriptions

Physics H131: Mechanics and Conservation Laws U 5
Au Qtr. Major concepts of physics from a contemporary point of view; challenging, flexible format; includes honors lab; for students strong in physical sciences, mathematics, or engineering.
Physics H132: Electricty, Magnetism, and Special Relativity U 5
Wi Qtr. We will develop qualitative and quantitative understanding of forces that electrically charged particles exert on each other. Magnetic forces that moving charges exert on other moving charges will be seen as a consequence of electric forces through Einstein's special relativity.
Physics H133:Thermal Physics, Waves, and Quantum Physics U 5
Sp Qtr. Thermal Physics, Waves and Quantum Physics
Physics 261: Dynamics of Particles and Waves I U 4
Au Qtr. Vectors and Kinematics Foundations of Newtonian Mechanics Momentum, Work, and Energy Conservative and Nonconservative Forces Potentials Angular Momentum Rotation About a Fixed Axis Also ... introduction to Mathematica
Physics 262: Dynamics of Particles and Waves II U 4
Wi Qtr. Angular Momentum (ch 6) Rigid Body Motion (ch 7) Noninertial Systems and Fictious Forces (ch 8) Central Force Motion (ch 9) Special Theory of Relativity (ch 11) Relativistic Kinematics (ch 12) Relativistic Momentum and Energy (ch 13)
Physics 263: Dynamics of Particles and Waves III U 4
Sp Qtr. The focus is on ensuring a solid foundation in mathematics and computational methods upon which subsequent physics (or other science or engineering) courses can build. It is neither a substitute for the standard math prerequisites nor is it a remedial math course. The goals of the computational component are to introduce selected concepts of numerical analysis and visualization along with a gentle introduction to programming by example
Physics 295: Undergraduate Seminar U 1
Au Qtr. Introduction to departmental research programs and to selected topics of interest in contemporary physics.
Physics 367: Energy in a Modern Society
Au Qtr. This course stresses the use of science in a modern society. The course focuses on four topics: energy and fossil resources for energy; environmental problems of energy generation; nuclear energy; and energy alternatives. The first three topics mesh together seamlessly; the fourth topic grows out of their discussion. The textbook for the course is Energy by G. Aubrecht which is supplemented by readings from Scientific American. This course is designed as a second reading course in the Physics Department. As such it focuses on the following skills: scientific reasoning, problem solving, outlining, summarizing, and presentation (oral and written).
Physics 416: Methods in Experimental Physics U 4
Au Wi Sp Qtrs. This course stresses data analysis in a physics laboratory setting. We will start with some fundamental concepts from probability and statistics and build on them until we are doing very sophisticated things like non-linear least squares curve fitting and computer simulation of experiments.
Physics 517: U 4
Su Au Wi Sp Qtrs. Intermediate level introduction to electronic circuits, devices, and instrumentation with emphasis on laboratory experience.
Physics 616: Advanced Physics Laboratory U 4
Au Wi Sp Qtrs. The purpose of this course is to expose you to a wide variety of physics experiments and gain experience collecting and analyzing data. You are expected to complete 3 experiments in addition to 2 mandatory introductory experiments. The purpose of the course is threefold: This course emphasizes independent work and critical reasoning. In this course, a student normally completes three experiments in various areas of physics. In some of these areas you will have had no formal classroom training. This course allows you to explore such areas.
Physics 555: Fields and Waves U 4
Au Qtr. Introduction to the description of electrostatic fields; dielectrics; boundary-value problems.
Physics 656: Fields and Waves 2 U 4
Wi Qtr. magnetic fields of steady currents; induction; Maxwell's equations; plane waves; special relativity
Physics 657: Fields and Waves 3 U 4
Sp Qtr. plane waves in matter; physical optics; coherence, interference, diffraction, and dispersion.
Physics 596: Senior Seminar: Speaking and Writing for Physics and Astronomy U 3
Au Wi Sp Qtrs. Effective writing and speaking are essential skills for success in business, government or academe. A series of peer-reviewed writing and speaking projects emphasize tailoring to both technical and non-technical audiences, delivering a well-honed, take-home message and responding effectively to criticism.
Physics 621: Statistical Physics I U 4
Au Qtr. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; applications to noninteracting classical and quantum systems.
Physics 622: Statistical Physics II U 4
Wi Qtr. Interacting systems, special states of matter, critical phenomena and phase transitions.
Physics 631: Introductory Quantum Mechanics I U 4
Au Qtr. Topics to be covered: Origins of Quantum Mechanics, Complex Numbers & Linear Operators, The Schrodinger Equation, One-Dimensional Schrodinger Equation, One-Dimensional Quantum Physics.
Physics 632: Introductory Quantum Mechanics II U 4
Wi Qtr. Topics to be covered: Angular Momentum and Spin, Three-dimensional Quantum Mechanics, Matrix Mechanics, Hydrogen-like atoms, Time-independent perturbation theory, Variational Principle and Helium.
Physics 633: Introductory Quantum Mechanics III U 4
Sp Qtr. Topics to be covered: Variational Principle & Helium, Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory, Scattering Theory, Many-Body Quantum Mechanics, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Computing.
Physics 664: Theoretical Mechanics U 4
Sp Qtr. In this class, we will deepen our understanding of classical mechanics. We will first review Newtonian mechanics of single particles and specifically discuss oscillators. Then, we will develop the Lagrangian formulation of mechanics. We will close the quarter with the discussion of rigid body rotations and an introduction to the mechanics of continuous media.
Physics 670: The Power of Physics: Energy and Technology U5
Wi Qtr. A 5-hour course for graduate credit for inservice teachers and pre-education majors. This course is designed to address the Ohio Technology Academic Content Standards. Focuses on the physics of energy, energy efficiency and the impact of energy on technology and the environment. The course is a hands-on, inquiry-oriented, cooperative learning environment that effectively develops physical science literacy.
Physics 730: Methods of Theoretical Physics
Sp Qtr. Topics to be covered: Complex Variables, Differential Equations, Fourier Series and Transforms, Special Functions, Sturm-Liouville Theory.