- #1

stefan10

- 35

- 0

A more challenging alternative to 33-111, Physics I for Science Students. Students with particularly strong physics backgrounds may volunteer for this course. Modeling of physical systems, including 3D computer modeling, with emphasis on atomic-level description and analysis of matter and its interactions. Momentum, numerical integration of Newton's laws, ball-and-spring model of solids, harmonic oscillator, energy, energy quantization, mass-energy equivalence, multiparticle systems, collisions, angular momentum including quantized angular momentum, kinetic theory of gases, statistical mechanics (temperature, entropy, and specific heat of the Einstein solid, Boltzmann factor).

A more challenging alternative to 33-112, Physics for Science Students II. Emphasis on atomic-level description and analysis of matter and its electric and magnetic interactions. Coulomb's law, polarization, electric field, plasmas, field of charge distributions, microscopic analysis of resistor and capacitor circuits, potential, macroscopic analysis of circuits, Gauss' law, magnetic field, atomic model of magnetism, Ampere's law, magnetic force, relativistic issues, magnetic induction with emphasis on non-Coulomb electric field, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic radiation including its production and its effects on matter, re-radiation, interference. Computer modeling and visualization; desktop experiments.

I did worse in the second course than the first. This coming year I will be taking intermediate level courses for these topics. The difference is that I will have both Intermediate Mechanics I and Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I (parts II will be in the spring semester next year) in the same semester (also Thermal Physics I - which both parts I & II are comparable to a graduate level Thermodynamics course, according to the professor.)

Here are the course descriptions of these three courses:

Fundamental concepts of classical mechanics. Conservation laws, momentum, energy, angular momentum, Lagrange's and Hamilton's equations, motion under a central force, scattering, cross section, and systems of particles.

This course includes the basic concepts of electro- and magnetostatics. In electrostatics, topics include the electric field and potential for typical configurations, work and energy considerations, the method of images and solutions of Laplace's Equation, multipole expansions, and electrostatics in the presence of matter. In magnetostatics, the magnetic field and vector potential, magnetostatics in the presence of matter, properties of dia-, para- and ferromagnetic materials are developed.

The three laws of classical thermodynamics, which deal with the existence of state functions for energy and entropy and the entropy at the absolute zero of temperature, are developed along phenomenological lines. Elementary statistical mechanics is then introduced via the canonical ensemble to understand the interpretation of entropy in terms of probability and to calculate some thermodynamic quantities from simple models. These laws are applied to deduce relationships among heat capacities and other measurable quantities and then are generalized to open systems and their various auxiliary thermodynamic potentials; transformations between potentials are developed. Criteria for equilibrium of multicomponent systems are developed and applied to phase transformations and chemical reactions. Models of solutions are obtained by using statistical mechanics and are applied to deduce simple phase diagrams for ideal and regular solutions. The concept of thermodynamic stability is then introduced and illustrated in the context of phase transformations.

Right now we are taking Mathematical Methods for Physicists, getting used to other coordinate systems, vector calculus, Fourier series, etc.

From looking at the course content and so on, it seems as if we are applying all the math we learned in Math Methods to these topics, and extending our knowledge. Should these courses be pretty easy then, if my knowledge of introductory mechanics, electricity/magnetism, and math methods is pretty decent? Or should I expect something difficult. I'm just worried that it might be too much, but they're all required courses and I can only really take them this next semester.

Here are the math and physics courses I've taken so far: Intro Mechanics, Intro Electricity & Mag, Modern Physics, Intro Quantum Mechanics, Calc 1-3 (3 being multivariable calculus), Diff Eqs for Physicists, Intro Linear Algebra, Math Methods for Physics, and Electronics Lab(although I dropped it half way, and will take it later.)