Warren Wilson College Catalog 07-08

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Courses in Physics (PHY)

PHY 111 Physical Science 4cr

A survey of natural phenomena in physics, chemistry, astronomy, and meteorology is provided. The process of experimentation and exposure to empirical methodology is introduced through the following topics: motion, sky viewing, telescopes, angles, distances, humidity, weather patterns, magnetism, electricity, electric circuits, power production, sound waves, nuclear power, and a variety of chemical processes.
Triad: Natural Science

PHY 118 Contemporary Astronomy 4cr

The concepts and instruments of astronomy are introduced by observing, locating, and identifying heavenly objects by using the naked eye, binoculars, cameras, telescopes, and computer imaging equipment. Topics discussed include the solar system, stars and measurements of stars, galaxies, black holes, and stellar composition. A principal component of the course is commitment to understanding the physics of light, color, gravity, Newton's laws, and Einstein's principles. The students will participate actively in the observations and measurements of astronomical phenomena. Ways of knowing about the universe will be studied, comparing the earth-centered archaic view with the Newtonian-Galilean view, and finally Einstein's view.
Triad: Natural Science

PHY 121 Earth, Light, and Sky 4cr

Conceptual physics, astronomy, and earth science will be provided. The topics include electromagnetism, modern physics, waves and optics, spectroscopy, astronomy and a review of forces and motion, and earth science including the origin and composition of the earth, rocks, minerals, fossils, and meteorites, and meteorology. This course is designed to complement Physics I for those students seeking certification to teach any science at the secondary level.
Triad: Natural Science

PHY 199 Independent Study 1-4cr

PHY 251 Physics I 4cr

An introduction to physics is provided through the study of Newtonian physics, energy, and electrical circuits (including transistors, photo detectors, and force transducers). Special emphasis is given to contemporary physics--physics developed during the 20th century. Skills learned that will be useful in other disciplines as well as physics include laboratory record-keeping, problem solving, and computer mathematical packages.
Triad: Natural Science Corequisite: MAT 150 Precalculus.

PHY 252 Physics II 4cr

A continuation of the study of the extensive phenomena of contemporary physics, including thermal phenomena, vibrations and rotations, waves and particles, modern optics and lasers, quantum phenomena, X-rays, and electromagnetics. Experiments include computerized data acquisition and computer simulation, as well as traditional experiments.
Triad: Natural Science
Prerequisite: PHY 251 Physics I. Corequisite: MAT 241 Calculus I.

PHY 290-298 Special Topics in Physics 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Physics. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

PHY 299 Independent Study 1-4cr

PHY 399 Independent Study 1-4cr

PHY 490-498 Special Topics in Physics 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Physics. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

PHY 499 Independent Study 1-4cr