Intended Learning OutcomesStudents will demonstrate:
- laboratory competence, including:
a. the ability to manipulate modern laboratory equipment and computers to acquire data;
b. the ability to process and manipulate data to calculate quantities that will test a hypothesis;
c. the ability to quantitatively assess error in an experiment and from it to calculate the uncertainty of a derived result so as to determine the degree of agreement with published values and
d. the ability to use computational and graphical techniques to carry out the above tasks.
- problem-solving competence, including:
a. mathematical modeling of real world systems through idealizations and estimation, starting from fundamental physical principles; and
b. using methods of checking solutions, including dimensional analysis, working symbolically, and checking limiting cases.
- understanding of the content of three main areas in physics: Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Quantum Mechanics.
a. For Classical Mechanics this includes competence in the analytical and computational use of Newtonian mechanics, involving topics such as the harmonic oscillator, central force motion, conservation of energy and momentum, and the Lagrangian formulation.
b. For Electricity and Magnetism this includes competence in the application of classical electromagnetic theory as described with Maxwell Equations. Students will be able to utilize the necessary integral and vector calculus to examine electric and magnetic fields and the macroscopic interaction of electromagnetism with matter.
c. For Quantum Mechanics this includes competence in the analytical and numerical treatment of non-relativistic theory. This includes topics such as the interpretation of the wavefunction, the solution of the Schrodinger Equation for systems such as the harmonic oscillator and the hydrogen atom, and approximation methods for treating more complex systems and the interaction of radiation with matter.
- computing skills, including:
a. the ability to program a computer in at least one language at the level necessary to numerically model physical systems; and
b. the ability to use software to perform theoretical work involving symbolic and/or numerical evaluation (MathCad, Maple, etc…).