Physics, BS

Program Description

Introduction

The Joint BS Physics degree is a Bachelor of Science degree with a Physics major, provided through the joint efforts of physics faculty both here at TAMUCC and at other schools in the Texas Physics Consortium (TPC). Interested students are encouraged to visit the TPC website at http://www.tarleton.edu/tpc/. Upper-level physics courses can originate at any of the TPC schools, and students at any of the other TPC schools can take them via distance education.

Physics courses are also offered in support of other major study areas in the sciences, mathematics, computer science, engineering and technology, and 7-12 level physical science teaching certification.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students obtaining the Joint BS in Physics will:

  • possess a broad understanding of physics.
  • understand scientific methods and be able use them to develop and conduct studies of physical systems.
  • communicate physical information effectively at the undergraduate level, whether the communication is in oral or written form, with or without the use of technology.

General Requirements

Requirements Credit Hours
First-Year Seminars (when applicable)1 0-2
Core Curriculum Program 42
Required non-TPC Courses 12
Required TPC Courses 32
Electives 34
Total Credit Hours 120-122

Students must complete 45 semester hours of upper division courses (3000 level or above).

Program Requirements

Full-time, First-year Students
UNIV 1101First-Year Seminar I *1
UNIV 1102First-Year Seminar II *1
Core Curriculum Program
University Core Curriculum42
Students majoring in Physics must take:
Calculus I
Calculus II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Required Non-TPC Courses 1
Calculus I (included in University Core) 2
Calculus II (included in University Core) 2
University Physics I (included in University Core) 2
PHYS 2426University Physics II (included in University Core, 1 hour laboratory component) 21
MATH 2415Calculus III4
MATH 3315Differential Equations3
COSC 1435INTRODUCTION TO PROBLEM SOLVING WITH COMPUTERS I4
Required TPC Courses 3
PHYS 3331Mechanics I ^3
PHYS 3334Modern Physics I ^3
PHYS 3332Electromagnetism ^3
PHYS 3333Thermodynamics ^3
PHYS 4330Mathematical Methods for Physicists ^3
PHYS 4335Quantum Physics ^3
PHYS 4337Nuclear Physics ^3
PHYS 4340Advanced Physics Lab ^3
PHYS 4161Physics Research Project ^1
PHYS 4162Physics Research Seminar ^1
PHYS 3490Selected Topics (repeat to total 6 hours) 4,^6
Electives
Students must choose their electives to make sure that they have 45 semester hours of upper-division courses (3000-level and above), as required by the College of Science & Engineering
Support Field Electives
Select 18 hours in consultation with physics faculty advisor. Courses that could be used could include (but are not limited to) the following: 518
Selected Topics (if taken beyond the required 6 hours)
Linear Algebra
INTRODUCTION TO PROBLEM SOLVING WITH COMPUTERS II
Fluid Mechanics
Oceanography
Climate and Climate Variability
Physical Oceanography
Heat Transfer
General Electives
Select 16 hours of General Electives not categorized above 616
Total Hours122

Courses

PHYS 1303  Introduction to Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies  
3 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours, 2 Lab Hours)  

THIS IS ONE OF TWO COURSES IN THE INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY SEQUENCE WHICH EMPHASIZES THE NATURE OF ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA OVER THE MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS OF THEM. THIS COURSE WILL FOCUS MOSTLY ON THE NATURE OF LIGHT, THE NATURE AND EVOLUTION OF STARS, THE MATERIAL BETWEEN THE STARS, THE MILKY WAY GALAXY, EXTERNAL GALAXIES, AND THE STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION OF THE UNIVERSE AS A WHOLE.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
TCCNS: PHYS 1303  
PHYS 1304  Introduction to Astronomy: Solar System  
3 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours, 2 Lab Hours)  

THIS IS ONE OF TWO COURSES IN THE INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY SEQUENCE WHICH EMPHASIZES THE NATURE OF ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA OVER THE MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS OF THEM. THIS COURSE INTRODUCES ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA RELATED TO THE SOLAR SYSTEM SUCH AS APPARENT MOTION OF THE SUN, PHASES OF THE MOON AND APPARENT AND TRUE MOTION OF THE PLANETS. MAIN FOCUS WILL BE ON THE OBJECTS COMPRISING THE SOLAR SYSTEM: PLANETS, THEIR MOONS, ASTEROIDS, COMETS AND TRANS-NEPTUNIAN BODIES. A PORTION OF THE COURSE WILL BE DEDICATED TO THE FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND OTHER, EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS. THE COURSE ALSO WILL TOUCH THE ASPECTS OF HUMAN EXPLORATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN OUR LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. THIS INCLUDES THE HISTORY AND THE BASICS OF ROBOTIC AND MANNED SPACEFLIGHTS.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
TCCNS: PHYS 1304  
PHYS 1401  General Physics I  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO NEWTONIAN PHYSICS. TOPICS INCLUDE ARISTOTELIAN PHYSICS AND ITS OVERTHROW, NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION AND GRAVITATION, AND THE MOTION OF PARTICLES, RIGID BODIES AND FLUIDS. THE IDEA OF THE UNIVERSE AS A LAW-GOVERNED SYSTEM WILL BE DEVELOPED. LABORATORY ACTIVITIES PROVIDE INTRODUCTION TO EMPIRICAL METHODS IN SCIENCE.

Prerequisite: (MATH 1314, 1316, 1324, 1325, 2312, 2413, 2414, 2415, minimum score of 21 in 'ACT1 Math', minimum score of 500 in 'SAT Math', minimum score of 21 in 'ACT Math', minimum score of 500 in 'SAT1 Mathematics' or minimum score of 615 in 'Local Placement Test').

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
TCCNS: PHYS 1401  
PHYS 1402  General Physics II  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO OSCILLATORY AND WAVE PHENOMENA, ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM. THE CLASSICAL THEORY OF FIELDS WILL BE USED TO STUDY ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC PHENOMENA, INCLUDING LIGHT, AND THEIR ROLE IN MODERN TECHNOLOGY. LABORATORY ACTIVITIES PROVIDE INTRODUCTION TO EMPIRICAL METHODS IN SCIENCE.

Prerequisite: (PHYS 1401* or 2425*).
* May be taken concurrently.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
TCCNS: PHYS 1402  
PHYS 2425  University Physics I  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

A CALCULUS BASED INTRODUCTION TO NEWTONIAN PHYSICS. TOPICS INCLUDE ARISTOTELIAN PHYSICS AND ITS OVERTHROW, NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION AND GRAVITATION, AND THE MOTION OF PARTICLES, RIGID BODIES, AND FLUIDS. THE IDEA OF THE UNIVERSE AS A LAW-GOVERNED SYSTEM WILL BE DEVELOPED. LABORATORY ACTIVITIES PROVIDE INTRODUCTION TO EMPIRICAL METHODS IN SCIENCE.

Prerequisite: MATH 2413.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
TCCNS: PHYS 2425  
PHYS 2426  University Physics II  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

CALCULUS BASED INTRODUCTION TO OSCILLATORY AND WAVE PHENOMENA, ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM. THE CLASSICAL THEORY OF FIELDS WILL BE USED TO STUDY ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC PHENOMENA, INCLUDING LIGHT, AND THEIR ROLE IN MODERN TECHNOLOGY.

Prerequisite: PHYS 2425 and MATH 2414.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
TCCNS: PHYS 2426  
PHYS 3331  Mechanics I  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

FUNDAMENTALS OF CLASSICAL MECHANICS. TOPICS INCLUDE PARTICLE DYNAMICS IN ONE, TWO AND THREE DIMENSIONS: CONSERVATION LAWS; DYNAMICS OF A SYSTEM OF PARTICLES; MOTION OF RIGID BODIES; CENTRAL FORCE PROBLEMS; ACCELERATING COORDINATE SYSTEMS; NEWTON'S THEORY OF GRAVITATION; LAGRANGE'S AND HAMILTON'S FORMULATIONS OF CLASSICAL MECHANICS. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 2426 and (MATH 3315 or 3315*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 3332  Electromagnetism  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

ELECTROSTATICS; LAPLACE'S EQUATION; THE THEORY OF DIELECTRICS; MAGNETOSTATIC FIELDS; ELECTROMAGENTIC INDUCTION; MAGNETIC FIELDS OF CURRENTS; MAXWELL'S EQUATIONS. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 2426 and (MATH 3315* or 2415*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 3333  Thermodynamics  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

CONCEPT OF TEMPERATURE, EQUATIONS OF STATE; THE FIRST AND THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS; ENTROPY; CHANGE OF PHASE; THE THERMODYNAMICS FUNCTIONS. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 2426 and (MATH 2415 or 2415*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 3334  Modern Physics I  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A COURSE IN SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND ELEMENTARY QUANTUM MECHANICS. TOPICS INCLUDE RELATIVISTIC DESCRIPTION OF SPACE-TIME, RELATIVISTIC ENERGY AND MOMENTUM, THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, SCHRÖDINGER'S EQUATION, OBSERVABLES AND OPERATORS, BOUND STATES, POTENTIAL BARRIERS, AND THE QUANTUM DESCRIPTION OF THE HYDROGEN ATOM. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 2426 and (MATH 3315 or 3315*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 3490  Selected Topics  
1-4 Semester Credit Hours (1-4 Lecture Hours)  

SUBJECT MATERIALS WILL BE CHOSEN FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD THEORY, THERMODYNAMICS, MATHEMATICAL METHODS OF PHYSICS, WAVES AND OPTICS, ADVANCED MODERN PHYSICS, QUANTUM THEORY, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS, GEOPHYSICS, ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSICS AND MEDICAL PHYSICS. MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT IF TOPICS SELECTED ARE DIFFERENT. THIS COURSE WILL BE USED FOR UPPER-LEVEL PHYSICS ELECTIVES OFFERED FROM OTHER TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC) SCHOOLS.  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

PHYS 4161  Physics Research Project  
1 Semester Credit Hour (1 Lecture Hour)  

THE FIRST HALF OF A TWO SEMESTER SEQUENCE. THE STUDENT WILL WORK WITH A FACULTY MEMBER TO DEVELOP AND CONDUCT A SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT INCLUDING A SEARCH OF THE RELEVANT LITERATURE AND PRESENTATION OF THE PROPOSED RESEARCH IDEA. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 3334.

PHYS 4162  Physics Research Seminar  
1 Semester Credit Hour (1 Lecture Hour)  

THE SECOND HALF OF A TWO SEMESTER SEQUENCE. THE STUDENT WILL WORK WITH A FACULTY MEMBER TO CONDUCT A SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT INCLUDING GIVING AN ORAL PRESENTATION OF THE FINAL RESULTS AND WRITING UP THE RESULTS IN A FORM SUITABLE FOR PUBLICATION. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 4161.

PHYS 4330  Mathematical Methods for Physicists  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

MATHEMATICAL TECHNIQUES FROM THE FOLLOWING AREAS: INFINITE SERIES; INTEGRAL TRANSFORMING; APPLICATIONS OF COMPLEX VARIABLES; VECTORS, MATRICES, AND TENSORS; SPECIAL FUNCTIONS; PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS; GREEN'S FUNCTIONS; PERTURBATION THEORY; INTEGRAL EQUATIONS; CALCULUS OF VARIATIONS; AND GROUPS AND GROUP REPRESENTATIVES. THIS COURSE OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: (MATH 3315 or 3315*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 4335  Quantum Physics  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

THE SCHROEDINGER EQUATION; ONE DIMENSIONAL SYSTEMS; THE HEISENBERG UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE; MAGNETIC MOMENTS AND ANGULAR MOMENTUM; TWO AND THREE DIMENSIONAL SYSTEMS; APPROXIMATION METHODS; SPIN. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 3334 and (MATH 3315* or 2415*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 4337  Nuclear Physics  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

THE STUDY OF NUCLEAR PHENOMENA AND PROPERTIES INCLUDING MASS, STABILITY, MAGNETIC MOMENT, RADIOACTIVE DECAY PROCESSES AND ANGULAR MOMENTUM. THE USE OF NUCLEAR TECHNIQUES AS APPLIED TO OTHER SCIENTIFIC FIELDS INCLUDING ELECTRONICS AND MEDICINE. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 3334 and (PHYS 4335* or 4335) and (MATH 3315* or 2415*).
* May be taken concurrently.

PHYS 4340  Advanced Physics Lab  
3 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours, 3 Lab Hours)  

A LABORATORY COURSE FOCUSING ON EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN, ADVANCED DATA ANALYSIS AND REDUCTION, AND EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY TECHNIQUES AND INSTRUMENTATION. EXPERIMENTS WILL BE DRAWN FROM A VARIETY OF PHYSICS AREAS. THIS COURSE IS OFFERED THROUGH THE TEXAS PHYSICS CONSORTIUM (TPC).  SEE THEIR WEBSITE (HTTP://WWW.TARLETON.EDU/TPC/ ) FOR DETAILS.

Prerequisite: (PHYS 3334 or 3334*).
* May be taken concurrently.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0095.  
PHYS 4496  Directed Independent Study  
1-4 Semester Credit Hours (1-4 Lecture Hours)  

REQUIRES A FORMAL PROPOSAL OF STUDY TO BE COMPLETED IN ADVANCE OF REGISTRATION AND TO BE APPROVED BY THE SUPERVISING FACULTY, THE CHAIRPERSON, AND THE DEAN OF THE COLLEGE.