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Physics and Astronomy

Physics Course Descriptions

Physics Course Descriptions

PHYS 310
Conceptual Physics
3 Units
Prerequisite: None.
Advisory: MATH 100 or 102; or equivalent skills demonstrated through the assessment process.
General Education: AA/AS Area IV; CSU Area B1; IGETC Area 5A
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC
This course provides a conceptual overview of Newtonian and modern physics for non-science and science students alike. The conceptual approach to physics is tied to the student's personal experience in the everyday world, so that the student learns to see physics not as just a classroom or laboratory activity, but as a part of his or her surroundings. The class is open to students with no previous physics background.
PHYS 350
General Physics
4 Units
Prerequisite: MATH 335 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent skills demonstrated through the assessment process.
General Education: AA/AS Area IV; CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
This course, the first semester of General Physics, is a transferable course required for many life science and other majors and may also be taken for general education credit. Materials covered will include classical mechanics (including kinematics, statics, dynamics, Newton's Laws, energy and momentum conservation, rigid body motion and oscillatory motion), fluid mechanics, mechanical waves (including sound), and thermodynamics. (C-ID PHYS 105; Part of C-ID PHYS 100S)
PHYS 360
General Physics
4 Units
Prerequisite: PHYS 350 with a grade of "C" or better
General Education: CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
This course, the second semester of General Physics, is a transferable course required for many life science and other students. Material covered will include classical electricity and magnetism (electrostatics, electric fields and potentials, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction and electromagnetic radiation), DC and AC circuits, light, geometric and wave optics, special relativity, atomic structure, quantum physics and nuclear physics. (C-ID PHYS 110; Part of C-ID PHYS 100S)
PHYS 370
Introductory Physics - Mechanics and Thermodynamics
5 Units
Prerequisite: MATH 350 with a grade of "C" or better
General Education: AA/AS Area IV; CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 72 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
This course, the first semester of the Introductory Physics sequence, is designed for students transferring to programs which require two semesters of calculus-based physics such as some life science and architecture programs. Material covered will include classical mechanics (kinematics, statics, dynamics, Newton's Laws, work, conservation of mechanical energy and momentum, rotations and oscillations), fluid mechanics, mechanical waves including sound, and thermodynamics. Basic calculus skills will be assumed in the derivation and application of physical principles. (C-ID PHYS 105; Part of C-ID PHYS 100S)
PHYS 380
Introductory Physics - Electricity and Magnetism, Light and Modern Physics
5 Units
Prerequisite: PHYS 370 with a grade of "C" or better
General Education: CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 72 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
This course, the second semester of the Introductory Physics sequence, is designed for students transferring to programs which require two semesters of calculus-based physics such as some life science and architecture programs. Material covered will include electrostatics, electrical circuits and devices, magnetism, light, and modern physics (including special relativity, quantum, atomic and nuclear physics). Basic calculus skills will be assumed in the derivation and application of physical principles. (C-ID PHYS 110; Part of C-ID PHYS 100S)
PHYS 411
Mechanics of Solids and Fluids
4 Units
Prerequisite: MATH 400 with a grade of "C" or better
General Education: AA/AS Area IV; CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
The course examines the fundamentals of mechanics: vectors, kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, work, energy, momentum, conservation principles, oscillations, fluids, and gravitation. This course is recommended for students studying the Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Computer Information Science, as well as some students studying Architecture or Mathematics. (C-ID PHYS 205; Part of C-ID PHYS 200S)
PHYS 421
Electricity and Magnetism
4 Units
Prerequisite: MATH 401 and PHYS 411 with grades of "C" or better
General Education: CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
This course examines the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism: electric and magnetic fields and forces, electric potentials, capacitors and dielectrics, DC and AC circuits, inductance, magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and the operation of general electrical circuit measuring devices including multimeters and oscilloscopes. This is the second course (although Physics 421 and 431 may be taken in either order) of the calculus-based physics sequence for physical science, engineering, computer science and other majors. (C-ID PHYS 210; Part of C-ID PHYS 200S)
PHYS 431
Heat, Waves, Light and Modern Physics
4 Units
Prerequisite: MATH 401 and PHYS 411 with grades of "C" or better
General Education: CSU Area B1; CSU Area B3; IGETC Area 5A; IGETC Area 5C
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB
This course examines the fundamentals of thermodynamics, waves and modern physics. Topics include temperature, heat, kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics, mechanical waves, sound, light reflection and refraction, interference and diffraction, optics, lasers, special relativity, quantum physics, atomic physics, nuclear physics, and particle physics. (C-ID PHYS 215; Part of C-ID PHYS 200S)
PHYS 495
Independent Studies in Physics
1-3 Units
Prerequisite: None.
Course Transferable to CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 54 hours LEC; 162 hours LAB
An independent studies project involves an individual student or small group of students in study, research, or activities beyond the scope of regularly offered courses. See the current catalog section of "Special Studies" for full details of Independent Studies.
PHYS 498
Work Experience in Physics
1-4 Units
Prerequisite: None.
General Education: AA/AS Area III(b)
Enrollment Limitation: Students must be in a paid or unpaid internship, volunteer position or job related to career goals in Physics.
Course Transferable to CSU
Hours: 300 hours LAB
This course provides students with opportunities to develop marketable skills in preparation for employment in their major field of study or advancement within their career. It is designed for students interested in work experience and/or internships in transfer level degree occupational programs. Course content includes understanding the application of education to the workforce; completion of required forms which document the student's progress and hours spent at the work site; and developing workplace skills and competencies. Appropriate level learning objectives are established by the student and the employer. During the semester, the student is required to participate in a weekly orientation and 75 hours of related paid work experience, or 60 hours of unpaid work experience for one unit. An additional 75 or 60 hours of related work experience is required for each additional unit. Work Experience may be taken for a total of 16 units when there are new or expanded learning objectives. Only one Work Experience course may be taken per semester.
PHYS 499
Experimental Offering in Physics
.5-4 Units
Prerequisite: None
Course Transferable to CSU
See UC Limitations & Counselor
Hours: 18 hours LEC; 54 hours LAB