Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:
1. Explain what a wave is & define the terms: longitudinal, transverse,
transverse velocity, wave velocity, frequency, wavelength, period,
wave number, amplitude & angular frequency.
2. Write an equation for a one-dimensional harmonic wave traveling either
in the positive or negative direction, differentiate to find velocity
& acceleration, write equations relating wave velocity, angular
frequency, frequency, wavelength, period, & wave number & solve
problems using these equations & relationship.
3. Solve problems involving velocity, energy & power of waves in
4. Explain the concepts of superposition of waves, constructive
interference, destructive interference, & beats; & solve problems
involving the superposition of 2 or more waves traveling in the same
or opposite directions & of equal or different frequencies &
5. Explain the Doppler effect & solve problems involving the Doppler
effect for moving sources & observers.
6. Define what the intensity of a wave measures, describe how the
intensity of a wave depends on its amplitude, relate the intensity
of a sound wave in watts/square meter to its sound level expressed
in decibels; & solve problems involving intensity of waves & sound
levels in decibels.
7. Sketch standing wave patterns for vibrating strings & vibrating air
columns in open & closed pipes; explain what is meant by overtones &
harmonics; describe the phenomenon of resonance; & solve problems
involving standing waves in strings & air columns.
8. Explain what a temperature measurement is a measurement of; give
values for the freezing & boiling points of water on the Celsius,
Kelvin & Fahrenheit scales; & convert a temperature given on any
temperature scale to any other temperature scale.
9. Describe what coefficients of linear, area, & volume expansion
represent, & solve problems involving thermal expansion in 1, 2, & 3
10. Write the equation of state for an ideal gas & solve problems using
11. Explain what constitutes internal energy & what heat is; explain the
concepts of specific heat & latent heat; solve problems using specific
heats, latent heats, & the first law of thermodynamics.
12. List the 3 methods of heat transfer; write an equation for heat
transfer by conduction; explain the concepts of temperature gradient
& thermal conductivity; & solve problems involving heat transfer by
conduction, with a variety of geometries, & heat transfer by
13. Explain how the kinetic theory of gases can be used to relate
translational kinetic energy to absolute temperature in an ideal gas;
explain the concepts of equipartition of energy & degrees of freedom;
& use these concepts to provide values for molar specific heats at
constant volume & constant pressure for monatomic, diatomic &
triatomic molecules at low, mid, & high temperatures.
14. Describe what occurs in isothermal, isobaric, isovolumic & adiabatic
processes; sketch changes of state involving these processes on a
P-V diagram; & solve problems involving these processes including
calculating work done, changes in internal energy & heat gained by
systems undergoing these processes.
15. Given a distribution of molecular speeds, such as the Maxwell
distribution, calculate the average speed, most probable speed &
16. State the second law of thermodynamics in a variety of ways; describe
the Carnot cycle; solve problems involving various thermodynamic
cycles including calculations of efficiency for heat engines &
coefficients of performance for refrigerators & heat pumps.
17. Explain what entropy is, write an equation for change in entropy, &
calculate changes in entropy for various thermal processes.
18. Give a value for the speed of light in a vacuum; state the approximate
wavelength range of the visible spectrum; give an equation relating
speed, frequency & wavelength for light waves & use the relationship
in problem solving.
19. State 2 rules for reflection of light & explain the difference
between specular & diffuse reflection.
20. Explain the refraction of light at the interface between 2 transparent
media & the concept of index of refraction; write the equation for
Snell's Law & use it in problem solving; explain the concepts of
total internal reflection & the critical angle & use these concepts
in problems solving.
21. Explain what dispersion is, why a prism forms a spectrum of colors for
incident white light, what the minimum angle of deviation is, & solve
problems involving refraction of light through a prism.
22. Explain the terms real, virtual, erect & inverted as they apply to
images formed by mirrors & lenses; describe the image forming
properties of convex & concave spherical mirrors & of converging &
diverging thin spherical lenses.
23. Write an equation relating object distance, image distance & focal
length for spherical mirrors & thin lenses; write an equation for
linear magnification for mirrors & thin lenses; state the conventions
used for plus & minus signs on distances, focal lengths &
magnifications; & solve problems using these relationships for single
& multiple mirror/lens systems.
24. Draw ray diagrams to determine image locations & magnifications for
single spherical mirrors & thin lenses as well as for systems of
mirrors & lenses.
25. Solve problems using the lens maker's equation, problems involving
refraction at spherical surfaces, & problems involving thick lenses.
26. Describe the configuration of lenses in a simple microscope, opera
glass & astronomical telescope, draw ray diagrams & calculate image
positions & magnifications.