Courses

View courses in

  • CAS PY 138: The Physics of Chance and Necessity
    A conceptual survey of physics based on the role played by chance in nature. Topics include: Newtonian mechanics; heat and entropy; chaos theory; wave-particle duality; and the evolution of order out of randomness, as exemplified by galaxies, crystals, and life itself.
  • CAS PY 195: Freshman Seminar for Physicists
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: freshmen with declared majors in physics.
    Seminar where freshman physics majors learn successful strategies for studying physics and become familiar with BU's policies, procedures, resources, and extracurricular activities. Exploration of research and career opportunities through invited speakers, book discussions, and laboratory tours.
  • CAS PY 211: General Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 123; or consent of instructor for students concurrently taking MA 123.
    For premedical students who seek a more analytical course than CAS PY 105/106, and for science majors and engineers. Basic principles of physics emphasizing Newtonian mechanics, conservation laws, and thermal physics. Lectures, discussion, and laboratory. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 212: General Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 211; or consent of instructor for students concurrently taking MA 123.
    For premedical students who seek a more analytical course than CAS PY 105/106, and for science majors and engineers. Basic principles of physics emphasizing electricity, magnetism, and geometrical optics. Lectures, discussion, and laboratory. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 231: The Physics in Music
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: musical performance experience or consent of instructor (no physics prerequisite).
    An introduction to musical acoustics, which covers vibrations and waves in musical systems, intervals and the construction of musical scales, tuning and temperament, the percussion instruments, the piano, the string, woodwind and brass instruments, room acoustics, and the human ear and psychoacoustical phenomena important to musical performance. Some aspects of electronic music are also discussed. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 241: Principles of General Physics 1
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 123.
    Calculus-based introduction to principles and methods of physics. Mechanics, heat, light, electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics, and relativity are treated. Topics relevant to medical science are emphasized. Ideal for premedical students. Lectures, discussions, and laboratory. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 242: Principles of General Physics 2
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 241.
    Calculus-based introduction to principles and methods of physics. Mechanics, heat, light, electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics, and relativity are treated. Topics relevant to medical science are emphasized. Ideal for premedical students. Lectures, discussions, and laboratory. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 251: Principles of Physics 1
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 123; or equivalent.
    Introduction to mechanics, conservation laws, heat, and thermodynamics. Primarily for physics, mathematics, and astronomy majors, but open to other students with a strong background in mathematics. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 252: Principles of Physics 2
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 251; or equivalent.
    Introduction to electromagnetic radiation and geometrical optics. Primarily for physics, mathematics, and astronomy majors, but open to other students with a strong background in mathematics. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS.
  • CAS PY 313: Waves and Modern Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 211 ; CAS PY 212 ; CAS MA 124.
    Graduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 211 ; CAS PY 212 ; CAS MA 124.
    Waves and physical optics, relativistic mechanics, experimental foundations of quantum mechanics, atomic structure, physics of molecules and solids, atomic nuclei and elementary particles. Along with CAS PY 211, 212, PY 313 completes a three-semester introductory sequence primarily intended for students of engineering.
  • CAS PY 351: Modern Physics I
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 251 and CAS PY 252; (or CASPY211, CASPY212) and CASMA124.
    An introduction to modern physics including quantum mechanics, classical and quantum statistics, and special relativity. Topics include Schroedinger equation, temperature, entropy, black-body radiation, Lorentz transformations. Labs are a required course component.
  • CAS PY 352: Modern Physics II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 351.
    Continuation of CAS PY 351. An introduction to modern physics including quantum mechanics of atoms and molecules, condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, and elementary particle physics. Labs are a required course component.
  • CAS PY 355: Methods of Theoretical Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 251 ; CAS PY 252 ; CAS MA 225 or CAS PY 211 ; CAS PY 212 ; CAS MA 225; or consent of instructor.
    First and second order ordinary differential equations. Partial differential equations (waves, heat, Schrödinger) and series solutions of differential equations. Vectors and vector calculus. Matrices, matrix algebra, and matrix transformations. Rotations, similarity, unitarity, hermiticity, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors.
  • CAS PY 371: Electronics for Scientists
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 124 and CAS PY 212 or CAS PY 252; or consent of instructor.
    A survey of practical electronics for all College of Arts and Sciences science students wishing to gain a working knowledge of electronic instrumentation, and in particular, its construction. Two four-hour laboratory-lecture sessions per week.
  • CAS PY 392: Directed Study or Research in Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: enrollment in the Geneva Physics Program.
    Intensive study of one aspect of physics under the supervision of a faculty member.
  • CAS PY 401: Senior Independent Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: approval of CAS Honors Committee.
  • CAS PY 402: Senior Independent Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: approval of CAS Honors Committee.
  • CAS PY 405: Electromagnetic Fields and Waves I
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 355; or consent of instructor.
    Vector analysis; Gauss's law; electric field intensity; energy and potential; conductors, dielectrics, and capacitance; Poisson's and Laplace's equations; steady magnetic fields;
  • CAS PY 406: Electromagnetic Fields and Waves II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 405; or consent of instructor.
    Maxwell's equations; electromagnetic waves in vacuum and matter; reflection and refraction; diffraction and interference; coherence; special theory of relativity.
  • CAS PY 408: Intermediate Mechanics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PY 355.
    Dynamics of particles and rigid bodies. Newtonian mechanics. Oscillatory motion and motion under a central force. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics. Coupled oscillations, normal modes, and continuum mechanics. Longitudinal and transverse mechanical waves.