Major
Minor
Courses 

Programs offered:
B.S. in Physics
Minor in Physics (TU)
The physics curriculum is designed to provide
wellrounded preparation in classical and modern physics. The
successful completion of this program will prepare the graduate to
gain admission to one of the better graduate programs in physics or
a related scientific field, or to secure employment in a technical,
scientific, or engineering setting.
All introductorylevel science (biology, chemistry, physics) lecture courses have mathematics prerequisites, and some also have mathematics corequisites. Some of these introductorylevel science courses are required for the Physics program. Further, several Physics courses beyond the introductory level have additional mathematics prerequisites. While the aforementioned mathematics prerequisites can be satisfied in a variety of ways, the most efficient way for most students is to start by taking the mathematics placement examination no later than the start of a student’s first semester at Oglethorpe. The mathematics placement exam will diagnose if a student has sufficient mathematical acuity to exempt any of the mathematics prerequisites and, if not, will also diagnose an action plan for preparing the student to satisfy prerequisites in the shortest possible time. Please consult the university bulletin Sec. 5.4.1. and Sec. 5.4.2. for additional information. Students who satisfy the relevant mathematics proficiency prerequisites their first semester at Oglethorpe are urged to register for the appropriate physics courses (and any affiliated mathematics corequisites) right away. Students needing additional math preparation must acquire the needed expertise in time to begin the required mathematics and physics courses in their sophomore year.
Students interested in pursuing careers in scientific illustration with a physical science emphasis should immediately familiarize themselves with Sec. 5.7.3.4. of this Bulletin, and should seek the specialized advising that is therein encouraged.
B. S. in Physics
1. Completion of all of the following courses:
PHY 201 College Physics I (and laboratory, PHY 101L)
PHY 202 College Physics II (and laboratory, PHY 102L)
PHY 211 Classical Mechanics I
PHY 212 Classical Mechanics II
PHY 331 Electricity and Magnetism I
PHY 332 Electricity and Magnetism II
PHY 333 Thermal and Statistical Physics (and laboratory, PHY 333L)
PHY 335 Modern Optics (and laboratory, PHY 335L)
PHY 421 Modern Physics I (and laboratory, PHY 421L)
PHY 422 Modern Physics II (and laboratory, PHY 422L)
PHY 423 Mathematical Physics
2. Completion of one of the following courses:
PHY 490 Advanced Special Topics in Theoretical Physics
PHY 491 Advanced Special Topics in Experimental Physics
3. Additional requirements and things to note:
a. A grade of “C” or better is required in all lower level Physics courses contributing to the major.
b. A cumulative gradepoint average of 2.0 or higher is required for all courses contributing to the major.
c. PHY 201 should be taken after or concurrently with Calculus I and preferably in the freshman year.
d. PHY 202 should be taken after or concurrently with Calculus II and preferably in the freshman year.
e. PHY 211 should be taken after or concurrently with Calculus III and is suggested for the sophomore year.
f. PHY 212 is suggested for the sophomore year.
g. Evaluation by, and consultation with, Physics faculty is generally required in order to permit transfer work to count for any of the courses required for the major.
Minor in Physics (TU)
1. Completion of three Physics lecture courses numbered PHY 202 or higher.
2. Completion of at least one Physics laboratory course at the upper level.
The following courses are offered in Physics:
PHY 101, PHY 102. General Physics I, II 
4 plus 4 hours 
An introductory course without
calculus. Fundamental aspects of mechanics, heat, light, sound,
and electricity are included. The text will be on the level of
Serway and Faughn, College Physics. Three lectures and three
hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: MAT 103; PHY 101
must precede PHY 102. Corequisites: PHY 101L and PHY 102L.

PHY 201, PHY 202. College Physics I, II 
5 plus 5 hours 
Introductory physics with calculus.
Subject matter is the same as in general physics but on a level
more suited to physics majors, engineering majors, etc. One year
of calculus as a prerequisite is preferred, otherwise calculus
must be taken concurrently. The text will be on the level of
Halliday, Resnick, and Walker, Fundamentals of Physics.
Prerequisite: PHY 201 with a grade of "C" or higher must
precede PHY 202. Corequisites: PHY 101L and PHY 102L.

PHY 101L, PHY 102L. Introductory Physics
Laboratory I, II 
1 plus 1 hour 
Introductory physics laboratories
to accompany PHY 101, 102, 201 and 202.

PHY 211, PHY 212. Classical Mechanics I, II 
4 plus 4 hours 
This is the student’s first
introduction to theoretical physics. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian
methods are developed with Newton’s laws of motion and applied
to a variety of contemporary problems. Emphasis is placed on
problem work, the object being to develop physical intuition and
facility for translating physical problems into mathematical
terms. The text will be on the level of Analytical Mechanics by
Fowles. Prerequisites: MAT 132 and PHY 202 with a grade of "C"
or higher in each course. A grade of "C" or higher must be
earned in PHY 211 before taking PHY 212.

PHY 232. Fundamentals of Electronics 
4 hours 
This course is designed primarily
for science majors and dual degree engineering students.
Coverage includes DC and AC circuits, semiconductor devices,
amplifiers, oscillators, and digital devices. The intent is to
provide a working understanding of common instrumentation in
science and technology. Prerequisite: PHY 102 or PHY 212 with a
grade of "C" or higher.

PHY 232L. Electronics Laboratory 
1 hour 
The laboratory component of PHY
232.

PHY 331, PHY 332. Electricity and Magnetism I,
II 
4 plus 4 hours 
A thorough introduction to one of
the two fundamental disciplines of classical physics, using
vector calculus methods. After a brief review of vector
analysis, the first semester will treat electrostatic and
magnetic fields and provide an introduction to the special
theory of relativity. The second semester will develop
electrodynamics, including Maxwell’s equations, the propagation
of electromagnetic waves, radiation, and the electromagnetic
theory of light. The treatment will be on the level of the text
of Reitz, Milford, and Christy. It is recommended that MAT 241
be taken concurrently. Prerequisites: MAT 233 and PHY 202 with a
grade of "C" or higher in each course; PHY 331 must precede PHY
332.

PHY 333. Thermal and Statistical Physics 
4 hours 
The purpose of this course is to
provide physics, engineering, and chemistry majors with a
fundamental understanding of heat and the equilibrium behavior
of complex systems. Topics will include the zeroth, first and
second laws of thermodynamics with applications to closed and
open systems; microcanonical and canonical ensembles for
classical and quantum systems, with applications to ideal gases,
specific heats, blackbody radiation, etc.; the kinetic
description of equilibrium properties. Text will be on the level
of Kestin and Dorfman or Zemansky. Prerequisites: MAT 132 and
PHY 202 with a grade of "C" or higher in each course.

PHY 333L. Thermal and Statistical Physics
Laboratory 
1 hour 
Laboratory work will emphasize
classic experiments such as the ballistic pendulum, hard sphere
scattering, the Millikan oil drop experiment, the Michelson
interferometer, etc. Emphasis also will be placed on measuring
fundamental constants such as the speed of light, h, G, e and
e/m. Corequisite: PHY 333.

PHY 335. Introduction to Modern Optics 
4 hours 
A standard intermediatelevel
optics course which will treat the basics of wave theory and the
electromagnetic origin of optical phenomena, geometrical optics,
physical optics including Fourier optics, Fraunhofer and Fresnel
diffraction, and dispersion. The course will conclude with some
consideration of current topics such as holography, quantum
optics, and nonlinear optics. Text will be on the level of
Jenkins and White or Hecht. Prerequisites: MAT 241 and PHY 202
with a grade of "C" or higher in each course.

PHY 335L. Modern Optics Laboratory 
1 hour 
This laboratory accompanies course
PHY 335.

PHY 421, PHY 422. Introduction to Modern
Physics I, II 
4 plus 4 hours 
For physics, engineering, and
chemistry majors, this is a oneyear sequence that discusses the
most important developments in 20thcentury physics. The first
semester will review special relativity and treat the
foundations of quantum physics from a historical perspective;
the quantum theory of oneelectron atoms will be developed. In
the second semester, there will be a treatment of manyelectron
atoms, molecules, and solids, with an introduction to nuclear
and elementary particle physics. The text will be on the level
of Eisberg and Resnick, Quantum Physics. Prerequisites: PHY 202
and PHY 332; PHY 421 must precede PHY 422.

PHY 421L, PHY 422L. Modern Physics Laboratory
I, II 
1 plus 1 hour 
Laboratory work will emphasize
modern physics in areas such as microwave optics,
superconductivity, measurements of magnetic fields, electron
spin resonance, the FranckHertz experiment, laser optics, etc.
Corequisites: PHY 421and PHY 422.

PHY 423. Mathematical Physics 
4 hours 
This course will examine a variety
of mathematical ideas and methods used in physical sciences.
Topics may include: vector calculus; solutions of partial
differential equations, including the wave and heat equations;
special functions; eigenvalue problems; Fourier analysis and
mathematical modeling, particularly numerical computer methods.
Text will be on the level of Arfken or Matthews and Walker.
Prerequisite: MAT 241 with a grade of "C" or higher.

PHY 431. Special Topics in Theoretical Physics 
15 hours 
Topics to be chosen in accordance
with the student’s interest include Laser Physics, Plasma
Physics, Theory of the Solid State, Nuclear and Particle
Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology.

PHY 441. Special Topics in Experimental Physics 
15 hours 
Topics to be chosen in accordance
with the student's interest in experimental physics.

PHY 499. Independent Study in Physics 
15 hours 
Supervised study of a topic of
interest to the student, which is not treated in the regularly
scheduled course offerings. Prerequisite: Submission of a
proposed outline of study that includes a schedule of meetings
and assignments approved by the instructor, the division chair,
and the Provost and Senior Vice President prior to registration.

