1: A student who completes the GE curriculum will have a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on American institutions, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and life sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and personal wellness. A primary purpose of this course is to give students a strong conceptual understanding of physics, and to show how physical scientists apply scientific methods to increase their knowledge about the natural world. Students will be able to display concept mastery through homework, quizzes, exams, or participation in class.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media. Students must be able to carefully examine a given problem then determine and execute a plan for solving the problem. Often the information given is presented in words, symbols and variables, or in a diagram. The student must be able to read and interpret the given problem then translate that problem into a mathematical statement which they can then solve. In addition to learning new concepts, Physics students are taught ways to express their new understanding using various mathematical symbols. This ability to read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information will be evaluated using homework, quizzes, or exams.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. To be able to solve a physics problem a student must first examine what information is given, determine what information is needed, decide what process will best fit the problem to arrive at a conclusion, and then finally decide if the answer reached is reasonable. Through this course students are taught to reason analytically, critically, and creatively about various physical phenomena and how they can be used to reach the desired solution. This ability is assessed through homework, quizzes, exams, or participation in class.

Apply scientific reasoning in a variety of contexts.

Students will be able to solve various problems using the laws of nature. For example they will learn Maxwell's equations of electricity and magnetism and be able to apply these laws to understand and calculate the motion of charged objects. A student's ability to apply scientific reasoning will be assessed using homework, quizzes, or exams.

Use the concepts of physical science to solve daily problems.

Topics learned, such as Maxwell's equations, Einstein's relativity etc., are the laws that govern the world around us. Students will be able to apply these topics to daily problems such as predicting how fast an object will fall, or the force exerted on an object. A student's ability to use these concepts to solve daily problems will be assessed using homework, quizzes, or exams.

Understand how physical scientists think and form judgments about the physical world.

Students will learn about the various laws physical scientists use to analyze and form judgments about the physical world. After learning about these laws, students will be able to think like scientists by approaching problem-solving in a scientific manner. For example, after learning about Maxwell's equations, students will be able to analyze a problem scientifically to determine the force exerted on an object after measuring the electric and magnetic fields the object experiences. Students will demonstrate their ability to think scientifically on homework, quizzes, exams, or through participation in class.

Assess the credibility of scientific information.

Students will be able to determine the credibility of scientific information as it relates to physical science. As a student's knowledge of physics grows, they will be able to better critique scientific information presented. Students will be assessed using participation in class, homework, or exams.

Recognize the manifestations of physical science in phenomena of the everyday world.

Students will be able to recognize physical science phenomena in their own lives. For example, students might see a rainbow in the sky and think of refraction and reflection of light. They might notice a magnet attached to a refrigerator and understand how it sticks there. Students will demonstrate their ability to recognize physical science phenomena on homework, exams, or participation in class.

Acquire the tools necessary for life-long learning in physical science.

Students will be able to engage in life-long learning in physical science by having a basic understanding of fundamental laws of nature, being able to think like a scientist, knowing where scientific information is available and how to assess its credibility, seeing the ubiquity of science in their daily lives, and having passion and curiosity to motivate them to continue learning. Students will demonstrate their ability to use these tools necessary for life-long learning on homework, quizzes, writing assignments, or exams.

Identify something acquired in the course about which he/she has become passionate.

Students will be able to identify a topic about which they have become passionate. Students will demonstrate that they have become passionate about a scientific topic by their choice of major, as well as in class participation.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will know the important scientific laws and principles, such as Maxwell's equations, and how to use them. They will also be able to solve paper-and-pencil physics problems and apply them to real life. Students will be assessed using homework, quizzes, or exams.

1. Electric Fields

a. Properties of electric charges

b. Coulomb's Law

c. Gauss' Law

2. Electric Potential and Capacitance

a. Potential difference

b. Capacitance and capacitors

c. Dielectrics

3. Current and Resistance

a. Ohm's Law

b. Resistance and temperature

c. Electrical energy and power

4. Direct Current Circuits

a. Electromotive force

b. Resistors in series and parallel

c. Kirchhoff's Rules

d. RC circuits

5. Magnetic Fields

a. Effect of magnetic fields on charges

b. Sources of magnetic fields; Biot-Savart Law

c. Ampere's Law

d. Magnetic flux

6. Faraday's Law and Inductance

a. Lenz's Law

b. RL circuits

c. Energy in a magnetic field

d. Oscillations in LC circuits

7. Alternating Current Circuits

a. Phasors

b. Power

c. Resonance

d. Oscillations in LC circuits

8. Electromagnetic Waves

a. Maxwell's Equations

b. Energy, momentum, and radiation pressure

c. The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation

9. Nature of Light and Geometric Optics

a. Speed of light

b. Reflection and refraction

c. Dispersion and total internal reflection

d. Images formed by lenses and mirrors

10. Interference, Diffraction, and Polarization of Light Waves

a. Young's Double Slit Experiment

b. Narrow slits and the diffraction grating

c. Polarization of light waves

11. Relativity

a. Michelson-Morely Experiment

b. Einstein's Special Relativity

c. Einstein's General Relativity

12. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

a. Blackbody radiation

b. Photoelectric effect and the Compton Effect

c. Bohr's model of the atom

d. Wave-particle duality

Participation 0%-5%

Homework problems: 15%-30%

Quizzes: 15%-30%

Tests: 20%-40%

Comprehensive final exam: 15%-35%

Physics for Scientists and Engineers, current edition. (There are various equivalent texts with the same name by different authors.)