- #1

Satonam

- 38

- 1

I'm a Mechanical Engineering major considering a minor in Applied Physics; however, there are so many choices and I like all of them. I was hoping someone could give me some feedback. Perhaps, what physics courses are most relevant for a Mechanical Engineer.

In my university, New Jersey Institute of Technology, the requirement for an Applied Physics Minor are two prescribed courses and three courses of my choice.

Here is the list of all those that interest me, along with the description provided in their website:

**Astronomy and Astrophysics I.**A quantitative introduction to the astronomy of the sun, earth, and solar system, with an emphasis on the physical principles involved. Includes celestial mechanics, planetary atmospheres and the physics of comets, asteroids and meteorites.**Astronomy and Astrophysics II.**A quantitative introduction to the astronomy of the stars, the galaxy, and cosmology, with an emphasis on the physical principles involved. Includes stellar interiors, stellar evolution, galactic dynamics, large-scale structure and early history of the universe.**Observational Astronomy.**Most class time is spent in an observatory performing observations of celestial objects such as the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, stellar clusters, and galaxies. Experimental projects include charting the skies, asterophotography (film and CCD), measuring masses of planets, rotational period of the Sun, topography of the Moon, H-R diagrams of stellar clusters, etc.**Fundamentals of Optical Imaging.**This is a course with both lectures and experiments and the emphasis is on the hands-on experiences. Upon completion of the course, students should not only grasp the basic concepts involved in imaging science, but also be able to work on simple real world imaging systems. The main content of the lecture part of this course can be summarized as the following: Optical sources, detectors and their working mechanism; Image formation and transmission; Optical imaging system and their characteristics; Imaging processing and algorithms. This course is developed in close collaboration with Edmund Optics Inc.**Special Relativity.**An introduction to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity at the advanced undergraduate level. Topics include invariance of the speed of light, relativity of time and space, the Lorentz transformations, space-time diagrams, the twin paradox and time travel, relativistic mechanics, rotating reference frames, laser gyroscopes, superluminal motion, phase and group velocities, and applications in high-energy physics, relativistic engineering, nuclear physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.**General Relativity.**An introduction to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity at the advanced undergraduate level. Topics include review of Newton's Theory of Gravitation, review of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, tensor calculus on both flat and curved manifolds, the covariant derivative, curvature, Einstein's Gravitational Field Equations, the weak-field limit, gravitational radiation, the black hole solution, Hawking radiation, the No-Hair Theorem, cosmology, and a history of the Universe.**Classical Mechanics I.**Newtonian mechanics of particles and systems. Lagrange's and Hamilton's approaches. Continuous systems.**Classical Mechanics II.**Theory of small oscillations and mechanical waves. Rigid bodies. Topics include stability, linearization methods, forced vibrators and perturbation theory, fluids and mechanics of continuous media.**Electromagnetism I.**Electrostatics and magnetostatics, Maxwell's equations with applications, and electrodynamics.**Electromagnetism II.**Maxwell's equations with applications and electrodynamics.**Modern Optics.**Electromagnetic theory of light, interference, diffraction, polarization, absorption, double refraction, scattering, dispersion, aberration, and an introduction to quantum optics. Other topics include holography, lasers, information retrieval, spatial filtering, and character recognition.**Fluid and Plasma Dynamics.**Introduces the basics of plasma physics. Covers the following plasma parameters, single particle motions, plasma as fluid, waves, diffusion and resistivity, equilibrium and instability, kinetic theory, nonlinear effects. Applications in three areas: controlled fusion, astrophysics, and interaction between light and plasma.**Solid State Physics.**An introduction to modern concepts of the solid state. Topics include crystal structure and diffraction, crystal binding and elastic properties, thermal properties, dielectric phenomena, band theory of solids and Fermi surfaces, electrical conductors, semiconductors, magnetism, and super-conductivity.

I went to an advisor before posting this. The first courses she suggested were Classical Mechanics I and II (#7 and #8), but lo-and-behold, she teaches those courses. I know Classical Mechanics makes sense for a Mechanical Engineering major, however I fear that it might just be more of the same thing I've been learning -but presented differently and with different methods. I don't want to feel like I'm repeating a course or relearning something I already know.

**From the courses I have mentioned above, I am considering Electromagnetism I and II (#9 and #10), and Solid State Physics (#13).**