Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Physics Courses

Below is a list and description of courses offered by the Physics Department. Information and schedules of courses offered by other departments can be found at TRU Calendar.

1000 Level 2000 Level 3000 Level 4000 Level

PHYS 1100/PHYS 1200

PHYS 1130

PHYS 1150/PHYS 1250

EPHY 1150/EPHY 1250

PHYS 1510

PHYS 1610

ASTR 1140/ASTR 1150

PHYS 2000

PHYS 2150

PHYS 2200

PHYS 2250

PHYS 3080

PHYS 3090/PHYS 3100

PHYS 3120

PHYS 3140/PHYS 3150

PHYS 3160

PHYS 3200

PHYS 3250

PHYS 3300

PHYS 3400

PHYS 3500

PHYS 4140

PHYS 4400

PHYS 4480

PHYS 4500

Physics upper level note

To enter third-year Physics at TRU, the student should complete the following courses with grades of C- or better and meet with the B.Sc. Program Advisor, Dr. Eric Littley:

(a) PHYS 1100/1200 or PHYS 1150/1250

(b) PHYS 2000, PHYS 2150, PHYS 2200 and PHYS 2250

and complete COMP 1130 (or COMP 1000) in the first two years.

Most upper level Physics courses are offered in alternating years. Check with the B.Sc. Program Advisor, Dr. Eric Littley, for availability in any particular year. It is the student's responsibility to check transfer requirements at any university to which they intend to transfer.

PHYS 1100
PHYS 1100
Fundamentals of Physics 1 (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
An algebra-based introduction to physics intended for students with some secondary school physics background. Students develop a basic understanding of several fields of physics through conceptualization, problem-solving and laboratory exercises. Topics include mechanics, fluid mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics.
Prerequisite: Math Pre-Calculus 12 or equivalent with a C+ minimum and Physics 11 or equivalent with a C+ minimum
Corequisite: MATH 1130 or 1140 or 1150 Required Lab: PHYS 1100L
PHYS 1130
PHYS 1130
Introductory Physics 1 (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is an introductory-level survey for students with little or no background in Physics. Topics covered are mechanics, vibration, heat, optics, and fluids.
Prerequisite: Principles of Mathematics 11 or MATH 0510 or equivalent or PHYS 0500
Note: PHYS 1130 can be taken to partially fulfill the science requirements in the Bachelor of Arts Program Required Lab: PHYS 1130L
PHYS 1150
PHYS 1150
Mechanics and Waves (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is intended for students with a good secondary school background in physics. Calculus will be introduced and used in the course. Topics covered include a short review of mechanics, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves, sound, wave optics and geometric optics.
Prerequisite: Pre-calculus 12 (minimum C+) and Physics 12 (minimum C+) or equivalent
Corequisite: MATH 1130, MATH 1140, MATH 1150 or recommended - PHYS 1150/1250 recommended for students planning to major in physics or chemistry, and is strongly recommended for students planning to transfer into Engineering after a year of Science
Note: Students may only receive credit for one of PHYS 1150 or EPHY 1150
PHYS 1200
PHYS 1200
Fundamentals of Physics 2 (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is a continuation of PHYS 1100: Fundamentals of Physics 1. Topics include electricity and magnetism, optics, and selected topics from nuclear and modern physics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100; MATH 1130 or MATH 1140 or MATH 1150
Corequisite: MATH 1230 or 1240 or 1250 Required Lab: PHYS 1200L
PHYS 1250
PHYS 1250
Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is a continuation of PHYS 1150: Mechanics and Waves. Topics include thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, electricity and magnetism.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1150 and MATH 1130, MATH 1140 or MATH 1150
Corequisite: MATH 1230, MATH 1240 or MATH 1250
Note: Students may only receive credit for one of EPHY 1250 or PHYS 1250 Required Lab: PHYS 1250L
PHYS 1510
PHYS 1510
Applied Physics 1 (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students are given a basic introduction to the following concepts: linear and circular motion, force, friction, equilibrium, energy, momentum, simple machines, pin-jointed structures, and DC circuit analysis. Students develop an understanding of how these ideas are used in the design of structures.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Architectural and Engineering Technology Program Required Lab: PHYS 1510L
PHYS 1580
PHYS 1580
Physics for Respiratory Therapists (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students explore the basic physical concepts of fluid mechanics, the properties of fluids, and applied electricity. An emphasis is placed on laboratory work, particularly in the use of electrical and electronic measuring devices.
Prerequisite: Admission to year one of the Respiratory Therapy Diploma Program Required Lab: PHYS 1580L
PHYS 1610
PHYS 1610
Applied Physics 2 (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Continuing from PHYS 1510: Applied Physics 1, the following topics are discussed: strength of materials, fluid statics and dynamics, thermal energy and heat transfer, vibrations and wave motion, and optics. This course furthers the understanding of physical properties and their influence on design.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Architectural and Engineering Technology Program Required Lab: PHYS 1610L
PHYS 2000
PHYS 2000
Relativity and Quanta (3,1,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students are introduced to special relativity and quantum physics. Topics include Lorentz transformations, dynamics and conservation laws, the experimental evidence for quantization, and a qualitative discussion of the concepts of quantum mechanics and their application to simple systems of atoms and nuclei. This course is equivalent to CHEM 2000.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100/1200 or PHYS 1150/1250; MATH 1130/1230 or MATH 1140/1240 or MATH 1150/1250
Note: Credit will not be given for both CHEM 2000 and PHYS 2000 Required Seminar: PHYS 2000S
PHYS 2150
PHYS 2150
Circuit Analysis (3,1,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is an analysis of linear electrical circuits, network theorems, first and second order circuits, and transfer functions.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100/1200 (with written permission of the Instructor) or PHYS 1150/1250, MATH 1130/1230 or MATH 1140/1240 or MATH 1150/1250 (with permission of the instructor) Required Lab: PHYS 2150L
PHYS 2200
PHYS 2200
Mechanics (4,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This is an intermediate-level course on Newtonian mechanics. Topics include the statics of particles and rigid bodies, friction, moments of inertia and distributed forces, dynamics of particles in inertial and non-inertial frames of reference, systems of particles, kinetics and dynamics of rigid bodies, rotational motion, and simple harmonic motion.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100/1200 or PHYS 1150/1250; MATH 2110
PHYS 2250
PHYS 2250
Intermediate Electromagnetism (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course provides an extension to the topics covered in PHYS 1200/1250 and examines the basic principles of electromagnetism using a sophisticated mathematical approach. Topics include vector algebra, electrostatics, magnetostatics, electric and magnetic fields in matter, as well as an introduction to electrodynamics. Topics are presented and examined using lectures and laboratory experiments.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100/1200 or PHYS 1150/1250; MATH 1130/1230 or MATH 1140/1240 of MATH 1150/1250 (with permission of the instructor) Required Lab: PHYS 2250L
PHYS 3080
PHYS 3080
Optics (3,0,3)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students are presented with the basic principles of optics. Topics include geometric optics and wave optics (interference, diffraction, and Fourier optics) as well as polarization and modern applications. Laboratory work involves selected experiments in optics.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2250 Required Lab: PHYS 3080L
PHYS 3090
PHYS 3090
Analog Electronics (0,2,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
In this laboratory course students are introduced to the theory of operation of diodes, bipolar transistors, field-effect transistors, and operational amplifiers. The topics of feedback, gain, input and output impedances, as well as frequency response are also covered. Students learn to design, assemble, and test analog circuits including power supplies, amplifiers, filters, and mixers. The software LabView is used to acquire and analyze experimental data.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2150 Required Lab: PHYS 3090L
PHYS 3100
PHYS 3100
Digital Electronics (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is an introduction to Boolean algebra and logic gates; the analysis and the design of combinational and sequential digital circuits; and the architecture and programming of microcontrollers. Students design, assemble, and test digital logic circuits using discrete gates, FPGAs, and microcontrollers.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2150 Required Lab: PHYS 3100L
PHYS 3120
PHYS 3120
Introduction to Mathematical Physics (3,1,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is divided into three parts. Students begin by examining methods for solving ordinary differential equations. Power series methods are applied to obtain solutions near ordinary points and regular singular points, and the real Laplace transform is discussed. Next, students discuss Sturm-Liouville boundary-value problems, Fourier series, and other series of eigenfunctions, including Fourier-Bessel series. Students are then introduced to boundary-value problems involving partial differential equations. Emphasis is placed on the heat equation, the wave equation and Laplace's equation, with applications in Physics. The method of separation of variables is used.
Prerequisite: MATH 2240
Note: This course is the same as MATH 3160. Credit will be only given for one of PHYS 3120 and MATH 3160 Required Seminar: PHYS 3120S
PHYS 3140
PHYS 3140
Fluids (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students are introduced to the key concepts and equations used to describe fluids. Starting with a description of rarefied fluids using kinetic theory, simple gas transport properties are derived. Euler's and Bernoulli's equations are examined under static and steady flow conditions. Students derive and examine the Navier-Stokes equation and the equation of continuity under conditions of, steady flow and one-dimensional approximation. Equations to describe the flow of viscous fluids, flow in pipes, flow over immersed bodies, and open channel flow are also introduced. Finally, students explore properties of water waves such as the dispersion relation, capillary and gravity waves.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2200
Corequisite: MATH 2240
PHYS 3150
PHYS 3150
Physics of Materials (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students explore introductory concepts in the description of solids. Topics include bonding, crystal structure, defects, strength of materials, heat capacity, lattice vibrations and phonons, electrical properties, band theory, and semiconductors.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2000 or CHEM 2000
Corequisite: MATH 2110
PHYS 3160
PHYS 3160
Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students are introduced to the principles of elementary classical thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and statistical mechanics. These theories are applied to a variety of physical processes and systems, such as ideal and real gases, heat engines, and quantum systems.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100/1200 or PHYS 1150/1250; MATH 1130/1230 or MATH 1140/1240; MATH 2110
PHYS 3200
PHYS 3200
Advanced Mechanics (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course offers an extension to the concepts studied in PHYS 2200: Mechanics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, central forces, motion in noninertial frames, Hamilton's principle and Lagrange's equations, systems of particles, and dynamics of rigid bodies.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2200, MATH 2110, MATH 2120, MATH 2240 and MATH 3170
PHYS 3250
PHYS 3250
Advanced Electromagnetism (3,1,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students develop a working knowledge of electrodynamics, which requires a solid grounding in vector calculus, partial differential equations, and an in-depth understanding of Maxwell's equations. Topics include a review of vector calculus; Laplace's equation; potential theory; electrostatics and magnetostatics in matter; electrodynamics; special relativity; and electromagnetism.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2250, MATH 2240 and MATH 3170 Required Seminar: PHYS 3250S
PHYS 3300
PHYS 3300
Biophysics (3,0,3*)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students apply the basic principles of physics to the actions, body design and physical limitations of animals, mainly vertebrates. Topics include physical concepts of forces, materials structure, fluid mechanics, light and sound, and electricity and magnetism. These topics are applied to biological aspects such as strength of bodies, movement through air and water, and organismal behaviour. This course is offered in the Winter semester of odd-numbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 1100/1200 or 1150/1250; BIOL 1040 or 1050 or 1110 or 1210 (BIOL 1210 preferred) Required Lab: PHYS 3300L
PHYS 3400
PHYS 3400
Principles and Applications of Quantum Mechanics 1 (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students build on the basic concepts of quantum physics examined in PHYS 2000: Relativity and Quanta, and develop a formulation of quantum mechanics, initially using the wave-mechanical approach, and then formally using the state-vector approach. Finally, this theory is applied to one-electron atoms, and other quantum systems.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2000; MATH 2240; MATH 3170
PHYS 3500
PHYS 3500
Selected Topics in Physics (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students explore current topics in Physics. The course content varies from year to year, and may include topics such as nanotechnology, superconductivity, photonics, semiconductor physics, and optoelectronics.
Prerequisite: Prerequisites will vary from year to year but typically consist of a combination of second-year courses in Physics and Mathematics. Consult the Bachelor of Science Program Advisor for the specific prerequisites for each offering.
PHYS 4140
PHYS 4140
Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
In this survey course, students study basic concepts of nuclear physics, with applications in power, medicine, geology, industry, archaeology and cosmology.
Prerequisite: PHYS 2000 or CHEM 2000, PHYS 2250 and MATH 2240
PHYS 4400
PHYS 4400
Principles and Applications of Quantum Mechanics 2 (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is a continuation of PHYS 3400: Principles and Applications of Quantum Mechanics 2. Students start with a review of angular momentum and spin, and the hydrogen atom. Students then examine standard techniques that find wide applications in the study of quantum phenomena. These techniques include the perturbation theories, the variation principle, and the WKB and adiabatic approximations. These are subsequently applied to problems related to the fine structure of hydrogen, the Zeeman effect, molecules, tunnelling, radiation, and scattering.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3400
PHYS 4480
PHYS 4480
Directed Studies in Physics (L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
Students investigate a specific topic involving experimental work as agreed upon by the student and her or his faculty supervisor and co-supervisor. This course provides experience with research techniques and the presentation of results.
Prerequisite: Acceptance into Physics Major; approval of supervisor and co-supervisor
EPHY 1150
EPHY 1150
Physics for Engineers 1 (3,1,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is similiar to PHYS 1150: Mechanics and Waves except that Engineering students do complete the laboratory portion. Students are introduced to and apply calculus to physical concepts. Topics include mechanics, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves, sound, wave optics and geometric optics.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Engineering Program Required Seminar: EPHY 1150S
EPHY 1250
EPHY 1250
Physics for Engineers 2 (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This course is similar to PHYS 1250: Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism , however, students may complete laboratory work more specifically related to Engineering. Topics include thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, electricity and magnetism.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Engineering Program
Exclusion: Students may only receive credit for one of EPHY 1250 or PHYS 1250 Required Lab: EPHY 1250L
ASTR 1140
ASTR 1140
Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This is a general interest introductory course on the history of astronomy and the solar system, and is intended for non-science majors. Topics include: telescopes and observing the night sky, ancient astronomy, space exploration, the Earth/Moon system, formation and evolution of the solar system, the planets, minor members of the solar system and the Sun.
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both ASTR 1130 and ASTR 1140
ASTR 1150
ASTR 1150
Introductory Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
This is a general interest introductory course on the night sky, stars and galaxies, and is intended for non-science majors. Topics include: telescopes and observing the night sky, radiation and spectra, stellar properties and evolution, black holes, the Milky Way and other galaxies and cosmology.
PHYS 4500
PHYS 4500
Advanced Physics Laboratory (0,2,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
PHYS
In this course, students work with experimental apparatus over an extended period of time to complete rigorous data analysis and present their findings. Laboratory work provides opportunities in several areas of physics including condensed matter physics, optics, signal conditioning, astronomy and image processing, nuclear physics, and acoustics. Students use sophisticated equipment such as a transmission electron microscope, scanning electron microscope, thin film evaporator, and low temperature cryostats.
Prerequisite: PHYS 3080 or PHYS 3090/3100