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Physics Courses

  • Do you scoff at artists who put the colors in the wrong order when painting a rainbow?
  • Do you try to correct people who refer to the clouds above a boiling pot as steam instead of water vapor?
  • Have you ever wanted to know why it is that 'hot air rises' and 'cold air sinks', but the higher you go the colder the air gets?
  • Are you offended by the Physics Humor Page?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are a budding physicist (and you thought that only botanists were budding!). We strongly recommend that you drop whatever else you are doing (DROP/ADD forms are available at the Registrar's Office) and enroll as a physics major. If you need any further convincing, just have a look at all the wonderful courses we offer.

PHYS 100 Introduction to Physics
A required course for students in all subject areas which require the ability to think (e.g. engineering, physics, math ...)
Topics Include: energy, momentum, heat, electricity, magnetism, optics, gravity
Prerequisites: Grade 12 Math and Physics
PHYS 110 Non-Calculus Physics
The ideal course for students in non-scientific areas of science (biology, geology, psychology and other such stuff). If the only reason you would ever be dragged into a physics class is that your degree requirements call for it - this is the course for you.
Topics Include: user-friendly, watered-down versions of all the good stuff covered in PHYS 100
Prerequisites: Grade 3 Math, ability to distinguish between moving and parked cars
PHYS 123 Physics for Artsies
This is admittedly a blatent attempt to increase enrollment in physics and simultaneously offer paid early retirement to some of our department members. But hey, what about 'Rocks for Jocks', or 'Computers for Clutzes'? Why are we expected to be the one department in the University that only offers quality courses? So if you need a science credit, and want to do as little work as possible to get it - remember 1-2-3. (Those who have already taken MATH 3.14159 Numbers, Fingers, and Stuff will have an advantage in remembering this.)
Topics Include: which way is up? why tie your shoelaces? the difference between steam and ice (time and class intelligence permitting)
Prerequisites: pulse rate greater than 10 beats per minute
PHYS 150 Introduction to Astronomy
The ideal course for those who wish to study physics without having to actually study physics. This is traditionally the course of choice for those who think a physics minor would look good on their c.v., but who have no interest or ability in the subject.
Topics Include: which end of the telescope is for looking in?
Prerequisites: A pledge never to ask the professor his 'sign'
PHYS 200 Modern Physics
Learn about all the theories and critical experiments of the last century, without being burdened with the mathematics that would permit you to do something with this knowledge.
Topics Include: the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (perhaps)
Prerequisites: readiness to accept that everything we taught you in PHYS 100 is only a classical approximation
PHYS 201 E&M #1
We couldn't teach you Electromagnetism properly in PHYS 100 because you had not yet taken any vector calculus. Even though you still have not taken any class in vector calculus, we consider that anybody who has opted to major in physics should be able to absorb the entire content of MATH 201 in the first week of the term.
Topics Include: Maxwell's equations
Prerequisites: PHYS 205, MATH 100
PHYS 205 Optics
Using your knowledge of electromagnetic fields (which you will acquire next term in PHYS 201) we introduce the subject of light - what is it and how does it behave?
Topics Include: did you know that nearsighted people have eyes that are too strong, not too weak?
Prerequisites: PHYS 201
PHYS 207 Mechanics
No, this is not a course in car maintainance!
Topics Include: trajectories, oscillations, Hilbert space
Prerequisites: PHYS 100
PHYS 300 S&M (Sadistical Mechanics)
Have you ever wondered what the laws of statistics and quantum mechanics say would happen if you were to put 1,000,000,000,000,000 gas molecules into a container? Take this class and find out!
Topics Include: the Grand Ole Canonical Partition Function
Prerequisites: PHYS 100, MATH 523
PHYS 312 QM (Quantum Mechanics)
This is what we wanted to teach you in PHYS 200, but weren't able to because you had only had five calculus courses so far.
Topics Include: is your cat really alive?
Prerequisites: PHYS 200
PHYS 400 E&M #2
Having weeded out all but the most highly intelligent students with PHYS 201, we are now able to get into the real meat of the subject of Electromagnetic waves and fields.
Topics Include: optics, relativity, gauge transforms
Prerequisites: PHYS 201, every math course you can get
PHYS 456 Advanced Physics for Artsies
We are presently the only Physics Department in the world to offer an advanced physics course especially geared for humanities students. Our consistent offering of this course is evidence of our belief that Physics is indeed a subject for everyone. In fact, Dr. M.C. Skewaired (who has been teaching this class for the last 14 years) has often said in defense of the funding for the course 'if I ever get any students, they will love this class'.
Topics Include: which way is down?
Prerequisites: PHYS 123