Course Topics

Dr. Pedlar has taught the following courses in the physics catalog:

PHYS 112: Energy and the Physical World

The unifying theme of energy molds the study of the physical concepts of motion, gravitation, electromagnetism, heat, radiation, and nuclear physics. Solar, wind, nuclear, tidal, hydroelectric, and thermal electric energy conversion processes are also included. This course is intended for the general student with no special background in mathematics or science.

PHYS 152: General Physics II

An investigation of the important principles of physics, including recent developments. Designed for the arts major as well as students majoring in one of the sciences. This course meets the basic requirements in physics for preprofessional students in health related fields, including medicine. Topics include mechanics, energy, fluids, heat, wave motion, electricity and magnetism, light and optics, and nuclear physics. Although this is a non-calculus course, the foundation of physics is mathematical modeling of the physical world. Thus, a basic working knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is assumed and will be further developed as the course proceeds. Graphical and statistical analysis is employed throughout the laboratory component.

PHYS 181: Classical Physics I

An introduction to the ideas of physics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, energy, work, oscillations, and fluid dynamics. The laboratory work focuses on measurement and observation to enhance conceptual understanding of the material. The laboratory component is integral to the curriculum and is not offered as a separate course. Physics 181 is the first of a four-semester sequence of courses designed for physics and pre-engineering students. Physics 181 and 182 are also appropriate for students majoring in other physical sciences.

PHYS 311: Advanced Laboratory I

An introduction to linear circuits, including transistors and other solid state devices, techniques of electrical measurement, and application of electrical measurement techniques in experiments in modern physics.

PHYS 359: Thermal Physics

Concepts of entropy, temperature and thermodynamics. An emphasis on classical and quantum statistics with applications to a wide variety of physical systems.

PHYS 364: Electricity and Magnetism

A study of electric and magnetic fields leading up to Maxwell's equations and their applications. The topics include the electrostatic and magnetostatic fields in vacuum and in matter, scalar potentials, vector potentials, electrodynamics and electromagnetic waves.

PHYS 401: Particle and Nuclear Physics

This course is intended to introduce students to the properties and interactions of nuclei and elementary particles. Attention will be paid both to the historical experimental development of these related fields as well as their theoretical aspects. Students will be introduced to nuclear properties including stability, structure and reactions, radioactivity and applications of fission and fusion. Among topics in particle physics that will be addressed are the quark model of hadrons, charged-lepton and neutrino physics, the strong and weak interactions, symmetries and conservations laws and experimental methods in particle physics.

PHYS 411: Quantum Mechanics

This course provides an introduction to the theory of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. Both the conceptual and formal structure of the theory are discussed. A brief review of the experimental basis for quantization motivates the development of the Schrödinger wave equation. The principles of wave mechanics are then applied to various one dimensional problems, including the harmonic oscillator. The properties of angular momentum are developed and applied to central potentials in three dimensions. Matrix mechanics and spin angular momentum are also discussed, allowing for a complete treatment of the physics of hydrogen-like atoms.