Department of Physics
Department Chair: Brian Tonks
Department Secretary: Annette Hunter (208) 496-1913
Department Faculty: Rodney BainRichard HattStephen McNeilEllis MillerRyan NielsonDavid OliphantBrian PyperLynn ThomsonBrian TonksStephen TurcotteJack Weyland

 
INTRODUCTION
Physics is a fascinating field of study where active progress is taking place in areas that affect all our lives. Physics embodies a style of thinking and a discipline that can give new perspectives and approaches to a wide range of fields.

The Physics Department at BYU-Idaho offers an Applied Physics Bachelor of Science degree. This degree offers specializations that prepare students for a wide range of goals, including teaching high school and obtaining a solid foundation for medical professions, law, business administration, or technical writing. Students may specialize in secondary education (major code 870). Students who entered as freshmen in fall of 2002 may specialize in pre-medical preparation (medicine, pharmacy, veterinary, dentistry, optometry, etc. . .) pre-law, pre-MBA, and communications and writing (integrated major code 770). It is essential that you consult with your advisor regularly during the introduction and transition of BYU-Idaho to four-year programs to avoid delays or unnecessary courses. Upper division courses will be added to the curriculum to ensure that freshmen who entered the program Fall 2002 can graduate after Winter semester 2006.

The purpose of this integrated degree is to prepare students to think physically about their world, and to apply this thinking and problem solving skills to a wide range of problems and settings. We believe students will find the diversity of majors and interests in their physics courses invigorating, and a good preparation for their professional careers.

In addition to its majors in physics, the Physics Department teaches a wide variety of exciting general education courses to serve students in any major. Many physics courses also support requirements in a wide variety of other majors. The variety of these majors ranges from Pre-medical professions with biology emphasis, geology, construction management, to biology, chemistry, and mathematics.

Our students enjoy learning from experienced and skillful professors. These professors make use of lively demonstrations enhanced with teaching aids from a complete array of equipment and facilities. These facilities include recently remodeled, refurbished, and expanded classrooms and laboratories, a modern weather station, the ever-popular planetarium, and astronomical observatories housing an 11-inch Cassegrain telescope and a 24-inch Cassegrain telescope.

Physics courses at Brigham Young University-Idaho are offered on four general levels:

 
GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES
To fill General Education Physical Science requirements, most students take classes in Fundamentals of Physics (Ph 101), Physical Science (PhS 100), Physical Science for Teachers (PhS 110), Astronomy (Ph 127), Weather and Climate (Ph 137) or Descriptive Acoustics of Music and Speech (Ph 167). These courses include lab sessions each week. These courses require minimal preparation in mathematics and are each one semester in length. Students may enroll in GS.PS 230 Archeoastronomy for elective credit. This course does not qualify for general education credit. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE ENROLLED IN THE CORRECT COURSE.
 
TECHNICAL/INDUSTRIAL SCIENCE MAJORS
These majors take Introductory Applied Physics (Ph 105 and 106) and their associated labs. These courses require extensive use of Algebra and Trigonometry. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE ENROLLED IN THE CORRECT COURSE.
 
LIFE SCIENCE/PRE-MEDICINE, ARCHITECTURE MAJORS
These majors take a two-semester General Physics course (Ph 115, 116) which includes a lab component. This course utilizes elementary Calculus. CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE ENROLLED IN THE CORRECT COURSE.


 
PHYSICS/CHEMISTRY/ENGINEERING/MATHEMATICS/COMPUTER SCIENCE MAJORS
This level consists of three to four calculus-based Principles of Physics courses (Ph 121, 123, 220, 309), and two one-semester labs (Ph 150 & Ph 250). CHECK WITH YOUR ADVISOR TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE ENROLLED IN THE CORRECT COURSE. Students may enroll in GS.PS 230 Archeoastronomy for elective credit. This course does not qualify for general education credit.
 
Program Description


 
B.S.  in Applied Physics (770)   
This major prepares students for medical school, law school, business school, and professions in technical journalism, technical writing or public relations. A student's choice of minor determines the specialty area the student is focusing in. Discuss this choice with your advisor.
 
Minor or 2 Clusters Required

General Education Requirements

As you fill the General Education and University requirements, take the classes listed below and then go to the General Education section for a complete listing of the requirements.
 
Take these Courses    
ENG 316
PH 121, 150, 314
 
AND
Take 1 Course    
MATH 110, 112
 
Major Requirements
   
Take all of these Courses    Min Grade: C
MATH 111, 112, 215
PH 102, 123, 220, 227, 250, 309, 332, 333, 336, 398, 405, 410, 480, 488


 
B.S.  in Physics Education (870)   
This degree provides the background necessary to receive a Physics Major certification in Secondary Education. Upon completion of State Certification, you will be able to teach physics to high school students. In the description of courses below, "emphasis courses" refer to classes you will take from the education department.

For a listing of approved Secondary Education majors and minors see the Teacher Education section of this catalog.
 
Minor Required

General Education Requirements

As you fill the General Education and University requirements, take the classes listed below and then go to the General Education section for a complete listing of the requirements.
 
Requirement 1:

Take these Courses    
CS 100
ENG 316
MATH 110
PH 121, 150, 314

 
AND
Requirement 2:

Take this Course    
ED 270

 
Major Requirements
   
Requirement 1:

Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
MATH 111, 112, 113
PH 123, 220, 227, 250, 309, 332, 336, 403, 410

 
AND
Requirement 2:

Take all of these Courses    
ED 200
SECED 252, 280, 322, 410, 492



Minor in  Physics (104)   
No double counting of Minor courses

Choose Option A or Option B
Requirement 1:

Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
PH 314, 410

 
AND
Requirement 2:
If Math 112 is already taken, you may choose either option.
Option A
Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
MATH 215
PH 121, 123, 150, 220, 250, 309

        OR
           Option B
           If Math 110 is taken as GE, without taking Math 112, you must select this option.
           Take 1 Course    Min Grade: C
           MATH 111
           PH 115, 116

AND
Take 8 Credits    Min Grade: C
PH 127, 127L, 137, 137L, 167, 167L



Minor in  Physics Education (178)   
For a listing of approved Secondary Education majors and minors see the Teacher Education section of this catalog.

No double counting of minor courses.

Choose either Option A or Option B.
Requirement 1:

Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
PH 314, 410

 
AND
Requirement 2:
If Math 112 is already taken, you may choose either option.
Option A
Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
MATH 215
PH 121, 123, 150, 220, 250, 309

        OR
           Option B
           
           If Math 110 is taken as GE, without taking Math 112, you must select this option.
           Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
           MATH 111
           PH 115, 116

AND
Take 8 Credits    Min Grade: C
PH 127, 127L, 137, 137L, 167, 167L



Minor in  Physical Science Education (182)   
For a listing of approved Secondary Education majors and minors see the Teacher Education section of this catalog.
Requirement 1:

Take 1 Course    Min Grade: C
CHEM 150, 220, 351, 461

 
AND
Requirement 2:

Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
CHEM 105, 106

        AND
           Option A
           Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
           PH 105, 105L, 106, 106L

        OR
           Option B
           Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
           PH 115, 116

 
AND
Requirement 3:

Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
PH 127, 127L

        OR
           Take these Courses    Min Grade: C
           PH 137, 137L

OR
Take this Course    Min Grade: C
PH 227
 
Course Descriptions

GS.PS 230 Archaeoastronomy (3:3:0)
A study of the ancient cultures of Africa, Asia, Europe and America and how they used the sun, moon, planets, stars and constellations in the construction of their buildings, calendars, agricultural patterns and religion.
(Fall, Winter, )
 
PH 101 Fundamentals of Physics (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Principles of classical and modern physics as they relate to current concepts of the physical environment.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 101L Fundamentals of Physics Lab (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Fee:  $5.00
Prerequisite: Concurrent Registration: Ph 101 Competency with basic mathematical operations is assumed.
This laboratory is designed to provide students with experience in making and analyzing measurements of the physical environment at a fundamental-level. Must be taken concurrently with Fundamentals of Physics PH 101.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 102 Introduction to Physics (1:1:1)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Introduction to the methods, philosophy and career opportunities in physics. Includes lab exercises designed to give experience with measurements.
(Fall)
 
PH 105 Introductory Applied Physics I (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Math 108 or Math 110 and Math 111 or strong trigonometry skills.
This course is the first semester of the algebra and trigonometry-based Applied Physics sequence. While this course satifies the physics requirement for most medical schools it does not specifically address preparation for the MCAT exams.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 105L Applied Physics Lab I (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
A three-hour per week physics lab course. Must be taken concurrently with PH 105. GE course introduces students to the basic principles and laws that govern motion and waves. It is designed to help students learn to think analytically in terms of these laws and principles. Teaches good problem solving skills and prepares for other courses in a pre-professional discipline.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 106 Introductory Applied Physics II (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Physics 105
This course is the second sequence of algebra and trigonometry based Applied Physics. Concurrent registration of PH 106L is strongly recommended.
(Winter, Summer)
 
PH 106L Applied Physics Lab II (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Concurrent registration in PH 106
A three-hour per week physics lab course. Must be taken concurrently with PH 106.
( Winter, Summer)
 
PH 112 Elementary Physics Lab (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Fee:  $5.00
This lab will give experience at an elementary level in making measurements and analyzing data in several areas of Physics.
(On Demand)
 
PH 115 Pre-Medical Professional Physics I (4:3:4)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Math 110 and Math 111 or High School Trig Math Level: Extensive use of college algebra, trigonometry.
A general course particularly designed for pre-medical students, but also appropriate for architecture, biology and GE students. It is designed to address the concepts and topics needed to prepare student for the MCAT and entrance into professional schools. The style of MCAT physics questions are addressed directly.
(Fall)
 
PH 116 Pre-Medical Professional Physics II (4:3:4)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: PH 115 or equivalent experience and permission of the instructor.
Second sequence of the general physics course particularly designed for pre-medical students, but also appropriate for architecture, biology and GE students. It is designed to address the concepts and topics needed to prepare students for the MCAT and entrance into professional schools. The style of MCAT physics questions are addressed directly.
(Winter)
 
PH 121 Principles of Physics I (3:5:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Concurrent Registration or completion of Math 112. Math Level: Extensive use of College Algebra, Trigonometry, and Elementary Calculus.
Classical Mechanics with emphasis on combining intuition and past experience with mathematics to understand the fundamental laws of nature.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 123 Principles of Physics II (3:5:0)
Prerequisite: PH 121 or ME 204 Concurrent Registration or completion of Math 113 or Math 215 Math Level: Extensive use of college Algebra (Math 110 equivalent), Trigonometry and Calculus.
This course covers a variety of phenomenon, such as fluid mechanics, mechanical waves, sound waves, standing waves, thermodynamics, and optics.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 127 Descriptive Astronomy (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Astronomy is the study of the heavens and the Earth as a planet. Introduces students to the wonders of the heavens. Students learn the vocabulary and concepts of modern astronomy, understand its fundamental observations and theories, and appreciate how scientists discover this information. Occasional use is made of the planetarium and observatory.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 127L Astronomy Lab (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Must be taken concurrently with PH 127.
Laboratory is designed to give the student experience in observing and analyzing basic astronomical phenomena.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 137 Meteorology (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
An introductory study of the atmosphere including weather,climate, methods of weather forecasting and the environmental impact of man.
(Fall, Winter, )
 
PH 137L Meteorology Laboratory (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Fee:  $5.00
Laboratory is designed to give the student experience in observing and analyzing basic meteorological phenomena.
(Fall, Winter)
 
PH 150 Beginning Physics Lab (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Physics 121.
This General Education course introduces students to the basics of experimental physics. It is designed to help students learn to think analytically and to gain experience in doing common experiments in physics. It also teaches students how to analyze data and how to numerically model common physics problems.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 167 Descriptive Acoustics of Music and Speech (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Introductory acoustics course surveying the physical principles underlying the production and perception of sound, music and speech.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 167L Acoustics Lab (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
This lab addresses basic measurements, vibrations, wave properties, perception and measurement, room properties. Emphasis is placed on the experience, reasoning, and observations that support understanding in the course. Must be taken concurrently with PH 167.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 220 Principles of Physics III (3:5:0)
Prerequisite: Physics 121 or PH 123 Concurrent Registration or completion of Math 113 or Math 215. Math Level: Extensive use of College Algebra, Trigonometry, and single and multi-variable Calculus.
Principles of Electricity and Magnetism with emphasis on combining intuition and past experience with mathematics to understand the laws of electricity and magnetism.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH 227 Introduction to Astronomy (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: Physics 121 Math Level: Extensive use of college algebra, trigonometry, and elementary calculus.
Introduction to modern planetary and stellar astronomy. Frequent use is made of the planetarium and observatory. Intended for Physics and secondary education majors.
(Fall)
 
PH 250 Intermediate Physics Laboratory for Physics and Physical Science (1:0:3)
Prerequisite: Math 112, Physics 150. Concurrent Registration or completion of Physics 220. Math Level: Extensive use of college algebra, trigonometry, and elementary calculus.
Intermediate Physics Laboratory for Physics and Physical Science Teaching Majors. Experimental investigations into electricity and magnetism and optics.
(Fall, Winter)
 
PH 298 Cooperative Work Experience (1-3:0:0)
Prerequisite: Student already completed certain classes to be qualified depending upon the work performed.
Applied principles of physics, weather, or astronomy in a practical work setting under the direction of teachers on campus or in approved laboratories. Must be arranged with instructor.
(Fall, Winter)
 
PH 309 Modern Physics (3:5:0)
Prerequisite: Math 113, Physics 121, 123 Concurrent Registration:(or completion of) PH 220 Math Level: Extensive use of college algebra, trigonometry, and elementary calculus.
Introductory course dealing with the fundamental topics of modern physics, including special relativity, elementary quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, and some particle physics.
(Winter)
 
PH 314 History/Philosophy of Science (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Letters requirement.
Prerequisite: Completion of Physical Science GE class and its associated lab. Math Level: Some use of high school algebra I
Discusses the philosophical assumptions of modern science, criteria for theory selection and traces their historical development. Describes the historical development of basic ideas in science.
(Fall, Summer)
 
PH 332 Classical Physics I (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: Ph 121, 123, 220, Math 113 or Math 215
This course is a junior level course which covers Newtonian mechanics. In addition, properties of thermodynamics that can be derived from kinetic theory are also discussed.
(Fall)
 
PH 333 Classical Physics II (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: Physics 220, 332 Math 113 or Math 215
This is a junior level course which covers electromagnetic theory. In addition, properties of light that can be derived from electromagnetic theory are also discussed.
(Winter)
 
PH 336 Advanced Physics Lab (2:1:5)
Prerequisite: Physics 250 Completion of or current enrollment in PH 332
This course introduces students to the basics of computer interfacing. It is designed to teach students the limitations and advantages of using computers to collect and analyze experimental data. It will also teach the basic electronics and programing needed to interface an experiment to a computer.
(Winter)
 
PH 398 Physics Internship (2:0:0)
Prerequisite: Junior Standing and Instructor Permission
A professional internship providing the student with job experience in a physics-related field.
(Fall, Winter)
 
PH 403 Methods of Physics Teaching (2:2:0)
Prerequisite: PH 309 and PH 314
Methods and philosophy of teaching physics principles in a high school setting.
(Fall)
 
PH 405 Numerical Modeling in Physics (2:1:3)
Prerequisite: PH 220, PH 309, PH 336
A lab course that applies numerical modeling and methods to a variety of modern topics in physics.
(Fall)
 
PH 410 Physics By Inquiry (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: Junior level standing or permission of the instructor.
This hands-on course covers selected topics in physics with emphasis on depth-of-understanding and developing skills essential to the scientific process. These skills include observation, interpretation, reasoning, generalizing predicting, questioning and related communication skills. It provides an experience in education by inquiry. This experience provides a background for teaching as a process of inquiry.
(Winter)
 
PH 480 Origin of an Inhabited Planet (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: PH 309, PH 332, PH 333, PH 336
Describes the origin of the universe, the Solar System, and Earth as reconstructed by modern science as a review the physics curriculum.
(Fall)
 
PH 488 Problem Solving in the Workplace (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: PH 332, 333, 336, 398, 410.
To apply critical thinking skills, understanding of physics principles, mathematical and computer skills, and creativity to wrestle with technical challenges faced in the work place.
(Winter)
 
PH.S 100 Physical Science (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
This General Education course introduces students to the physical sciences. The study starts with physics then goes through chemistry, geology, meteorology and astronomy. The students learn the vocabulary and introduction to concepts of each of the physical sciences. They are taught the fundamentals of each with an introduction to scientific inquiry to observations, theories, and an appreciation of how scientists discover this information. The laboratory associated with the course is designed to give the student experience in observing and analyzing basic scientific phenomena.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH.S 100L Physical Science Laboratory (1:0:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Fee:  $5.00
Prerequisite: Competency with basic mathematical operations is assumed.
The laboratory associated with the course is designed to give the student experience in observing and analyzing basic scientific phenomena.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)
 
PH.S 110 Physical Science for Teachers (4:3:3)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Fee:  $10.00
Prerequisite: Elementary Education Major Math Level: Moderate use of high school algebra
For Elementary Education Majors Only. Includes a three-hour lab per week.This is an introductory course and lab dealing with the basic topics of Physics and Chemistry with applications to elementary education.
(Fall, Winter, Summer)