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Rochester Community and Technical College - Rochester, Minnesota

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Physics

 

Physics, the science of matter and energy, is the study of the deepest mysteries of the universe, ranging from subatomic particles to cosmology.  Physics has tremendous practical applications in many fields including medical/health-related fields, engineering, and architecture. The Physics Department offers a variety of courses including Introductory Physics, Classical Physics, Modern Physics and Elements of Physics (for non-majors).  There is also a Technical Physics sequence that allows students in the Technology programs to satisfy their requirements.  All Physics courses include both lecture and lab experience for the best hands-on training. 

Picture
Photo used with permission from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Physics Course Offerings

PHYS 1101  Elements of Physics
This course is a non-mathematical introduction to physics for the non-science major. The course covers topics that include units and measurement, linear motion, Newton's laws of motion, work and energy, temperature and heat, heat transfer, specific heat and latent heat, waves, sound, reflection and refraction, mirrors and lenses, color theory, electrostatics, electricity, magnetism and magnetic induction. In the laboratory, we will cover topics in experimentation that include data taking, graphing, use of scientific instruments and simple error analysis. (Prerequisites: None). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.

PHYS 1103 Principles of Physics
This course is a one-semester algebra-based general introduction to physics covering the topics of motion, force, energy, fluids, waves, basic electricity, radioactivity, and emission of radiation. Problem solving is practiced both individually and in groups. The laboratory includes the acquisition of experimental data, analysis, and graphing. Group presentations on physics topics are included in the course. College level reading and writing skills are required. (Prerequisites: MATH 0099). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Science.

PHYS 1117  Introductory Physics I
This course is the first semester of a two-semester algebra-based introduction to physics. The course covers topics from mechanics that include linear and parabolic motion, Newton's Laws of motion, energy, momentum, angular motion and torque, fluid mechanics, periodic motion, waves and sound. Emphasis is on both conceptual learning and problem solving. The laboratory experience will provide the student with opportunities for discovery, measurement, report writing and data analysis. College-level reading and writing skills are required. (Prerequisites: MATH 1117). (5 C/4 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.

PHYS 1118 Introductory Physics II
This course is the second semester of a two-semester algebra-based introduction to physics. The course covers the following topics: temperature and heat, heat transfer, calorimetry, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, electrostatics, simple DC circuits, electric safety, AC circuits, optics, relativity, and atomic and nuclear physics. Emphasis is on both conceptual learning and problem solving. The laboratory experience will provide the student with opportunities for discovery, measurement, report writing and data analysis. College level reading and writing skills are required. (Prerequisites: PHYS 1117 or permission of instructor). (5 C/4 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.

PHYS 1127 Classical Physics I
This course is the first semester of a two-semester introduction to classical physics using the mathematics of vectors and calculus. Topics studied include vectors, motion in one and two dimensions, Newton's Laws of motion, work and energy, conservation of momentum, torque and rotational motion, simple harmonic motion, waves, sound, and fluid mechanics. These topics are studied through lecture, discussion, interactive problem-solving, demonstrations, hands-on laboratories, and independent work. Free-body diagrams are used extensively. Emphasis is on both conceptual learning and problem solving. The laboratory experience will provide the student with opportunities for discovery, measurement, technical writing and data analysis. College level reading and writing skills are required. (Prerequisites: MATH 1127 or concurrent enrollment in MATH 1127). (5 C/5 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/CT, Goal 3/NS.

PHYS 1128 Classical Physics II
This course is the second semester of a two-semester introduction to classical physics using the mathematics of vectors and calculus. Topics studied include temperature, heat, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, electrostatics, electric and magnetic fields, simple DC circuits, Kirchhoff's Laws, Ampere's Law, Faraday's Law, resistance, capacitance, inductance, AC circuits, electromagnetic waves, Maxwell's equations, geometric and physical optics. These topics are studied through lecture, discussion, interactive problem-solving, demonstrations, hands-on laboratories, and independent work. Emphasis is on both conceptual learning and problem solving. The laboratory experience will provide the student with opportunities for discovery, measurement, report writing and data analysis. College level reading and writing skills are required. (Prerequisites: PHYS 1127 and MATH 1128. MATH 1128 may be taken concurrently). (5 C/5 lect, 2 lab).

PHYS 1134 Stellar Astronomy
This course is an introduction of stellar astronomy for the non-science major. The course covers topics that include light spectra, the sun, the stars, galaxies, supernovae, black holes and the Big Bang. In addition, students will be introduced to the stunning beauty of the universe as revealed in images, written works and direct experience through the telescope. Laboratory exercises introduce students to the methods astronomers use to study the universe. Lab work is supplemented by astronomical observing sessions at the RCTC Observatory. NOTE: ESCI 1134 and PHYS 1134 are cross-listed. Students may take one or the other for credit, but will not receive credit for both. (Prerequisites: Appropriate score on the RCTC placement test with needed score into developmental English). (3 C/2 lect, 2 lab). MNTC: Goal 2/Critical Thinking, Goal 3/Natural Sciences.

PHYS 2227 Modern Physics
This course is a one-semester overview of modern physics. Topics studied include special relativity, the experimental basis of quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality, introduction to wave mechanics, the Schrodinger Equation, application of the Schrodinger equation to the hydrogen atom and the development of the atomic structure, molecular structure, solid state and nuclear structure. College level reading and writing skills are required. (Prerequisites: PHYS 1128, MATH 1128 and concurrent enrollment in MATH 2237 or consent of instructor). (3 C/3 lect, 0 lab).

Physics Instructors

The instructors in the Physics Department are enthusiastic and ready to teach the students principles and procedures using state-of-the-art equipment and technology.  They  are able to share how the students' education will be necessary in the workforce. 

Current Common Course Outlines for these courses can be found on the Course Schedule or Catalog Course Discriptions.

Dr. Rod Milbrandt

Updated 2-4-2013

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