Physics (PHY)

Course meets Triad Education Program Requirement in specified area.



Physics Program of Study

Link to Physics Program of Study



PHY 118 – Contemporary Astronomy 4cr

This course introduces students to the science of astronomy through regular observations, hands-on telescope use, location and identification of celestial objects, and photography with cameras, telescopes, and computer imaging equipment. Topics include the solar system, stars and measurements of stars, galaxies, black holes, stellar composition, and stellar evolution. Students also learn the properties of light, color, gravity, Newton’s laws, and Einstein’s principles. The students participate actively in the observations and measurements of astronomical phenomena. Students are expected to complete evening observation sessions throughout the term.

Natural Science



PHY 121 – Earth, Light, and Sky 4cr

This course gives students ample hands-on opportunity to study conceptual physics, astronomy, earth science, and meteorology. The topics include astronomy, electricity, modern physics, waves and optics, spectroscopy, and a review of forces and motion. Earth science includes the origin and composition of the earth, rocks, minerals, fossils, and meteorites, and meteorology. This course is designed to complement PHY 251 Physics I for those students seeking certification to teach any science at the secondary level. Students are required to schedule two 2-hour observing sessions on Mondays or Wednesdays during the course.

Natural Science



PHY 251 – Physics I 4cr

This course offers an introduction to physics provided through the study of Newtonian physics, energy, thermodynamics, and statistical thermodynamics. Special emphasis is given to contemporary physics–physics developed during the 20th century. Students will learn skills useful in other disciplines as well as physics: laboratory record-keeping, problem solving, and computer simulation. This course is centered around laboratory experience and the importance of learning physics through the observations and measurements in the laboratory.

Natural Science

Prerequisite: MAT 151 Precalculus I and MAT 152 Precalculus II. MAT 241 Calculus I or permission of instructor.



PHY 252 – Physics II 4cr

This course continues PHY 251 Physics I. Topics include electricity and magnetism, electronics, optics, light, and special relativity. Calculus is used.

Natural Science

Prerequisites: PHY 251 Physics I with a C- or better or permission of the instructor. MAT 241 Calculus I and MAT 242 Calculus II. MAT Calculus II may be taken concurrently.

Course meets Triad Education Program Requirement in specified area.