# Coursework

“Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.”

― Woody Allen

On this page you’ll find descriptions of the courses I’ve taught and you’ll find links to some of the content for the particular courses:

**Physics 141-Principles of Mechanics**

**Physics 142-Dynamics, Light, and Waves**

**Physics 143-Electricity and Magnetism**

**Physics 151-Special Relativity**

**FYE 100-First Year Experience**

**Physics 244-Modern Physics**

**Physics 316-Computational Mechanics**

**Physics 416-Advanced Mechanics**

**Physics 420-Advanced Electricity and Magnetism**

*Course Descriptions:*

#### Physics 141- Principles of Mechanics

In this course, we’ll explore fundamental concepts associated with classical, relativistic and quantum mechanical physics. What does that mean? Well, we’ll see. However, broadly, we’ll work to understand the world (and universe!) around us by understanding the underlying physical concepts that govern its behavior. Some of these concepts are intuitive, but many are not. My goal is to use modern teaching techniques, informed by current physics education research, to guide you through the material. This course help you to appreciate the physical universe we live in as well as help you to develop tools to excel in whatever field you decide to pursue.

From the course catalog:

*“The first in a sequence of introductory physics courses. The study of motion using Newton’s Laws and the conservation laws for energy and linear momentum. Calculus is used. May not take PHY 141 after PHY 115.”*

**Physics 142-Dynamics, Light, and Waves**

In this course, a continuation from Physics 141, we will apply the fundamental ideas about motion, force, and energy that you learned to phenomena that are slightly more complicated and more interesting than linear and circular motion of particles. We’ll continue our quest to become better physicists by applying our modelling techniques and problem solving by exploring rotating objects, oscillating (vibrating) objects, waves, and light.

From the course catalog:

“*A continuation of PHY 141. Static equilbrium, rotational motion, conservation of angular momentum, oscillatory and wave motion, sound, geometric and physical optics. Calculus is used. May not take PHY 142 after PHY 115 or 116.*”

**Physics 143-Electricity and Magnetism**

The focus of this course is electromagnetism, however in Physics 143A, we’ll also spend some time with fluids, thermodynamics and phase transformations. Using fundamental ideas about motion, force, energy, and waves that you learned in PHY 141 and PHY 142, we shall study electrical and magnetic phenomena, the theory that describes them, and discover that electricity and magnetism are in fact different aspects of a single underlying physical principle. Electromagnetic theory is the crowning achievement of classical (pre-20th century) physics, but also the source of its eventual undoing. The story continues in PHY 244.

From the course catalog:

“A continuation of PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Coulombs law, the electric and magnetic fields, electric potential, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s equations, DC electrical circuits, radioactive decay. Other topics may include fluid mechanics, heat, temperature, and phase transitions. Calculus is used. May not take both PHY 143C and PHY 143A.”

**Physics 151-Special Relativity**

We will explore the surprising consequences of Einstein’s postulate that the speed

of light is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source. Class sessions will be conducted in a seminar format, and will be focused on student-led problem solving rather than instructor’s lectures. Through reading, discussion, and problem solving we will learn how observers in different reference frames may disagree about measurements of length and time intervals between two events, and we’ll learn how to use spacetime diagrams to represent each observer’s measurements. We’ll learn why objects cannot move faster than the speed of light. The course concludes with a study of relativistic energy and momentum with applications to nuclear and high energy physics. If possible, we will tour the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, where protons are accelerated to nearly the speed of light and collisions of high-energy particles transform energy into mass and vice versa.

From the course catalog:

“*Introduction to the theory of special relativity. Topics will include the Principle of Relativity, Lorentz transformations, relativistic energy, and momentum.*” D-term course.

**FYE 100-First Year Experience**

From the course catalog:

**Physics 244-Modern Physics (Laboratory)**

Experimental plays an important and integral role in physics. We use the laboratory as a setting to gain experience with the experimental method, problem solving, intuition enhancement of key concepts from class and the practice of doing physics.

From the course catalog:

“*A continuation of PHY 143C. Fluid mechanics, thermal physics, kinetic theory, introduction to statistical mechanics, origins of quantum physics. Laboratory.*”

**Physics 316-Computational Mechanics**

This term, we will tackle a variety of topics that we collectively call intermediate mechanics. For much of the term, the topics will be familiar to you or you have been introduced to the topics previously: forces and potentials, kinematics and dynamics, momentum, rotational physics, oscillations and orbits. However, we will be expanding on these topics, introducing further rigor, as well as developing a strong computational foundation for treating these and other topics, and, finally, introducing a few (likely) new topics including the variational principle and Langrangian mechanics. In short, we return to the study of classical Newtonian mechanics that we began in PHY 141 (and a bit of PHY 142) to examine the classical description of how things move and interact under the influence of forces. We do so now equipped with a more sophisticated array of mathematical tools. In addition to additional mathematical depth, we will also add conceptual depth and develop computational tools and methods.

From the course catalog:

“*Classical mechanics at the intermediate level. Topics include Newton’s laws, projectile and charged particle kinematics, conservation Laws, and oscillations. Mathematical methods introduced as needed. Laboratory focuses on computational methods based on Matlab”*

Syllabus_Physics_316_Mauro_S2016

**Physics 416-Advanced Mechanics**

This course introduces the principle of least action, Lagrangian mechanics, symmetries and conservation laws, central field motion, Euler angles, solid body motion, and motion in noninertial frames. Basic features of Hamiltonian dynamics are also developed.

From the course catalog:

“*Advanced classical mechanics. Topics include LaGrange’s and Hamilton’s formalisms, mechanics in non-inertial reference frames, the general problem of rotational motion, coupled oscillations and other advanced topics.”*

**Physics 420-Advanced Electricity and Magnetism**

This course will focus on electrostatics and magnetostatics, ultimately arriving at Maxwell’s integration of these two ideas into electromagnetism. Electrodynamics is by no means a closed subject, but has foundational principles which have stood the test of time and scrutiny. The complete formulation of the laws of classical electricity and magnetism culminates in the prediction of electromagnetic waves, perhaps the greatest triumph of 19^{th} century physics. Incidentally, this is the first physical theory to satisfy the requirements of special relativity and was the theory that led Einstein to his postulates. In this course our goals are to 1.) develop these principles and use them to attempt to explain (and predict) certain physical processes while taking brief trips into contemporary topics; 2.) develop a high degree of mathematical sophistication and 3.) a deep conceptual foundation in order to truly gain an understanding of this topic. We also have goals to 4.) work to integrate computation into this course in appropriate ways to enhance our learning but also to develop some basic programming skills and 5.) become better scholars through communicating our work.

From the course catalog:

“*The theory of electromagnetic fields and waves, including electrostatics, magnetostatics, steady and time varying currents, dielectrics, and Maxwell’s equations.”*

Syllabus_Physics_420_Mauro_W2016_a

### Calendar

September 2024 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 ### Schedule a Meeting