SRJC Course Outlines

5/28/2024 12:08:51 AMPHYS 41 Course Outline as of Fall 2006

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  PHYS 41Title:  WAVES, OPTICS, THERMO  
Full Title:  Waves, Optics and Thermodynamics for Scientists & Engineers
Last Reviewed:1/23/2023

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum4.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum4.00Lab Scheduled3.0017.5 min.Lab Scheduled52.50
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total6.00 Contact Total105.00
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 210.00 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade Only
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  PHYS 4B

Catalog Description:
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This is a course intended for scientists and engineers and will include oscillations, mechanical waves and sound, heat, kinetic theory, thermodynamics, geometrical optics, interference, diffraction and polarization of light.

Course Completion of PHYS 40 ( or PHYS 4A)

Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
This is a course intended for scientists and engineers and will include oscillations, mechanical waves and sound, heat, kinetic theory, thermodynamics, geometrical optics, interference, diffraction and polarization of light.
(Grade Only)

Prerequisites:Course Completion of PHYS 40 ( or PHYS 4A)
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Spring 1983
Natural Sciences
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 B1Physical ScienceSpring 1983
 B3Laboratory Activity  
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 5APhysical SciencesSpring 1983
 5CFulfills Lab Requirement  
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Spring 1983Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Spring 1983Inactive:
 CID Descriptor: PHYS 200S Calculus-Based Physics for Scientists and Engineers: ABC SRJC Equivalent Course(s): PHYS40 AND PHYS41 AND PHYS42 AND PHYS43

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:
1.  Explain what a wave is and define common terms used in describing
2.  Write an equation for a one-dimensional wave traveling in the positive
   or negative direction, differentiate to find velocity and acceleration
   and solve problems involving these relationships.
3.  Solve problems involving velocity, energy and power of waves in
   stretched strings.
4.  Explain the concepts of superposition of waves, constructive
   interference, destructive interference and beats and solve problems
   involving the superposition of two or more waves.
5.  Explain the Doppler effect and solve Doppler effect problems.
6.  Explain what the intensity of a wave measures, relate it to sound
   level in decibels, and solve problems involving intensity and sound
7.  Sketch standing wave patterns for vibrating strings and air columns,
   explain/describe overtones and resonance, and solve problems involving
   standing waves in strings and air columns.
8.  Give values for the freezing and boiling points of water on the
   Absolute, Celsius, and Fahrenheit scales and convert temperatures
   from one scale to another.
9.  Describe what a coefficient of expansion represents and solve problems
   involving thermal expansion in 1, 2, and 3 dimensions.
10. Write the equation of state for an ideal gas and solve problems using
   the relationship.
11. Explain the concepts of specific heat and latent heat and solve
   problems using the first law of thermodynamics and these quantities.
12. List the 3 methods of heat transfer, explain the concepts of
   temperature gradient and thermal conductivity, and solve problems
   involving heat transfer by conduction and by radiation.
13. Use the kinetic theory of gases including the concepts of equiparition
   of energy and degrees of freedom to provide values for molar
   specific heats at constant volume and constant pressure for monatomic,
   diatomic and triatomic molecules at low, mid and high temperatures.
14. Describe what occurs in isothermal, isobaric, isovolumic and adiabatic
   processes, sketch changes of state involving these processes on a
   P-V diagram, and solve problems involving these processes.
15. Given a distribution of molecular speeds, calculate the average speed,
   most probable speed and root-mean-square speed.
16. State the second law of thermodynamics, describe the Carnot cycle, and
   solve problems involving various thermodynamic cycles.
17. Explain what entropy is and calculate changes in entropy for various
   thermal processes.
18. Give a value for the speed of light in a vacuum, state the wavelength
   range of the visible spectrum, and relate speed, frequency and
   wavelength of light waves.
19. State two rules for reflection of light and explain the difference
   between specular and diffuse reflection.
20. Explain the refraction of light at the interface between two
   transparent media and the concepts of index of refraction, critical
   angle and internal reflection, and solve problems using Snell's law.
21. Explain what dispersion is, why a prism forms a spectrum of colors,
   the minimum angle of deviation and solve problems involving refraction
   of light through a prism.
22. Explain the terms real, virtual, erect and inverted, and describe the
   image forming properties of converging and diverging spherical mirrors
   and thin lenses.
23. Solve problems involving object distance, image distance, focal length
   and linear magnification for single and multiple mirror/thin lens
24. Draw ray diagrams to determine image locations and magnifications for
   single and combinations of spherical mirrors and thin lenses.
25. Solve problems using the lens maker's equation, problems involving
   refraction at spherical surfaces, and problems involving thick lenses.
26. Describe the configuration of lenses in, draw ray diagrams for and do
   calculations involving a simple microscope, opera glass and
   astronomical telescope.
27. Explain the formation of a double slit interference pattern, describe
   the effect of wavelength and slit separation on the pattern, and solve
   problems involving double slit interference.
28. Explain the formation of spectra by diffraction gratings and solve
   problems involving spectra formed by diffraction gratings.
29. Explain interference in thin films and solve problems involving thin
   film interference.
30. Explain the formation of the single slit diffraction pattern and solve
   problems involving single slit diffraction.
31. Describe at least three methods by which light can be polarized and
   solve problems involving the intensity of light transmitted through
   multiple polarizing filters, Brewster's angle, and polarization by

Topics and Scope
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Topics covered include:
1.  Waves in elastic media.
2.  Sound waves.
3.  Superposition of waves and standing waves in strings and air columns.
4.  Temperature and conversion of temperature scales.
5.  Thermal expansion.
6.  The ideal gas law.
7.  Specific heat, latent heat, & the first law of thermodynamics.
8.  The kinetic theory of gases and molar specific heats.
9.  Isothermal, isobaric, isovolumic, and adiabatic processes.
10. Heat engines, refrigerators, heat pumps and the second law of
11. Entropy.
12. Reflection and refraction of plane light waves incident on plane
13. Image forming properties of spherical mirrors and thin lenses.
14. Interference of light: double slit interference, thin film
   interference, diffraction gratings.
15. Single slit diffraction.
16. Polarization of light.
Lab work includes:
1.  Using computers with motion detectors and force probes to make
   measurements on systems vibrating with simple harmonic motion and to
   develop concepts of simple harmonic motion.
2.  Using computers with microphones, force probes, etc. to make
   measurements of sound waves and waves in strings and springs and to
   develop concepts such as frequency, period, and interference of waves
3.  Making measurements in thermal systems including using computers with
   temperature probes.
4.  Making measurements in optical systems.
5.  Using spreadsheets to record data and to calculate experimental
6.  Constructing graphs using computer graphing programs.
7.  Error analysis.
8.  Numerical and graphical analysis of data.

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1.  No less than 10 sets of homework problems (one for each chapter
2.  Five to fifteen quizzes.
3.  No less than 12 laboratory experiments.
4.  No less than three mid-term exams.
5.  Final exam.
6.  Lab Reports.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
0 - 0%
This is a degree applicable course but assessment tools based on writing are not included because problem solving assessments are more appropriate for this course.
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
10 - 30%
Homework problems, Experiments.
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
50 - 70%
Multiple choice, Physics problems to solve, quizzes and exams.
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
20 - 30%

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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