The Auburn University Physics Department offers introductory courses at three different levels of mathematical sophistication. PHYS1000, Foundations of Physics is a one semester survey course dealing with the basic concepts of physics discussed using only simple algebra. PHYS1150, Astronomy is a one semester course that allows students to explore the heavens with simple algebra. PHYS1500 & PHYS1510, General Physics I & II is a two semester sequence that covers the basic concepts of physics using algebra and trigonometry. It is the sequence taken by many of the pre-professional students to prepare for the tests like the MCAT and LSAT. PHYS1600 & PHYS1610, Engineering Physics I & II is a two semester sequence that gives a thorough treatment of classical physics using calculus. PHYS1607 & 1617, Honors Physics I & II covers the same material as Engineering Physics but with smaller class sizes, special laboratory sections and at a somewhat more advanced level. This sequence is reserved for physics majors and members of the Honors College.
All of the above courses yield 4 semester hours of credit each, have laboratories associated with them, and are accepted as core curriculum science courses.
For approximately the past 30 years, there has been extensive education research performed nationally in the physics community. The overwhelming conclusion is that students learn more when the process is interactive. We are enthusiastically implementing as much of the recommendations coming from this extensive body of research as possible. Students will use personal response systems in class. They will find laboratory activities to be exciting and informative. And, of course, they are encouraged to interact with their professors inside and outside of class.
You will find below the course descriptions that appear in the official catalog. Typical syllabi and when the courses are scheduled can be found by clicking on the links shown.
Catalog Course Descriptions:
PHYS 1000 FOUNDATIONS OF PHYSICS (4) LEC. 3, LAB 2. Coreq., PHYS 1001. Science Core. Newton's Laws, momentum and energy, solids, liquids, gases, plasma, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, light, atomic and nuclear physics. Students who have previous credit in any higher-numbered math course may not receive credit. Laboratory course for PHYS 1000. The 2-hour laboratory emphasizes hands-on experience.
PHYS 1150 ASTRONOMY (4) LEC. 3, LAB. 3 Coreq., PHYS 1151. Science Core. Open to non-science majors. Earth, the solar system, stars, neutron stars, black holes, supernova, galaxies, the expanding universe, and modern cosmological theories. The 3-hour laboratory includes studies with the telescope (real and simulated).
PHYS 1500 GENERAL PHYSICS I (4). LEC. 3, LAB. 4. Pr., MATH 1130. Science Core. Introduction to Newton's Laws, gravitation and cosmology, concept of conservation laws, solids and fluids, thermodynamics.
PHYS 1510 GENERAL PHYSICS II (4). LEC. 3, LAB. 4. Pr., PHYS 1500. Science Core. Electricity and magnetism, AC circuits, waves nuclear physics, radioactivity and particle physics.
PHYS 1600 ENGINEERING PHYSICS I (4). LEC. 3, LAB. 4. Coreq., MATH 1610 or MATH 1710. Science Core. Introduction to Newton's Laws, gravitation, cosmology, conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum, special relativity, and fluids using introductory calculus.
PHYS 1607 HONORS PHYSICS I (4). LEC. 3, LAB. 4. Pr., Coreq., membership in the Honors College and MATH 1610 or MATH 1710. Honors version of PHYS 1607 recommended for Physics majors.
PHYS 1610 ENGINEERING PHYSICS II (4). LEC. 3, LAB. 4 pR., PHYS 1600. Coreq., MATH 1620 or MATH 1720. Science Core. Thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, simple AC circuits, waves, and geometric optics.
PHYS 1617 HONORS PHYSICS II (4). LEC. 3, LAB. 4. Pr., PHYS 1600 or PHYS 1607 and MATH 1610 or MATH 1710. Coreq., membership in the Honors College and PHYS 1618, MATH 1620 or MATH 1720. Honors version of PHYS 1617 recommended for Physics majors.