Physics (PHYS)

Major Courses

PHYS A101 Introduction to Mechanics 4 crs.

This is a calculus-based introductory course in Newtonian mechanics intended for physical science and math majors.

Corequisites: PHYS A103, MATH A257

PHYS A102 Introduction to Electromagnetism and Relativity 4 crs.

This course is an introduction to the electricity and magnetism culminating in an elementary treatment of Maxwell’s equations. Einstein’s special relativity is also discussed.

Prerequisite: PHYS A101
Corequisites: PHYS A104, MATH A258

PHYS A103 Mechanics Lab 1 cr.

This is a laboratory course illustrating concepts and phenomena in mechanics. It is intended for students enrolled in Introduction to Mechanics (PHYS A101). Lab fee $50

Corequisite: PHYS A101

PHYS A104 Electricity and Magnetism Lab 1 cr.

This is a laboratory course illustrating concepts and phenomena in electricity and magnetism. It is intended for students enrolled in Introduction to EM and Relativity (PHYS A102). Lab fee: $50

Prerequisite: PHYS A103
Corequisite: PHYS A102

PHYS A112 Physics Lab I 1 cr.

This is a laboratory course intended for pre-health and other students enrolled in Physics for Life Sciences (PHYS A115). In a two-semester sequence it covers phenomena in mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism and optics. Lab fee: $50

Corequisite: PHYS A115. Lab fee: $50

PHYS A113 Physics Lab II 1 cr.

This course is a continuation of PHYS A112. Lab fee: $50

Prerequisite: PHYS A112
Corequisite: PHYS A116

PHYS A115 Physics for Life Sciences I 3 crs.

The course discusses the principles of mechanics, heat, sound, light, magnetism, electricity, and fundamentals of atomic physics. In presenting these topics, the special interest of the biological sciences, pre-health, and the general education groups are kept in view.

Corequisite: PHYS A112

PHYS A116 Physics for Life Sciences II 3 crs.

This course is a continuation of PHYS A115.

Prerequisite: PHYS A115
Corequisite: PHYS A113

PHYS A120 Introduction to Physics and Engineering 1 crs.

This course provides an introduction to the process and diversity of the fields of physics and engineering. It introduces students to the most common problem solving techniques used by scientists and engineers, with an emphasis on scientific problem solving and engineering design, ethical decision-making, teamwork, and effective communication.

PHYS A195 Special Projects I, 1 cr.

This course facilitates a wide range of options for study and outcomes. 

PHYS A240 Introduction to Waves and Quantum Physics 4 crs.

This is a sophomore-level course that describes wave physics and introduces basic concepts of quantum physics. It is a lecture/lab course and the students perform 3-4 experiments in a wave and quantum physics laboratory, in addition to regular classroom meetings.

Prerequisites: PHYS A102, MATH A258 

PHYS A241 Introduction to Thermal Physics 3 crs.

This is a sophomore-level course that introduces the basic thermodynamic concepts of temperature, heat, and entropy. Classical thermodynamics as well as statistical mechanics are covered.

Prerequisites: PHYS A102MATH A258 

PHYS A295 Special Projects II, credits vary 

This course facilitates a wide range of options for study and outcomes. 

PHYS A340 Classical Mechanics 4 crs.

This is a junior-level course that introduces methods of classical mechanics. It gives a rigorous treatment of Newtonian and Lagrangian formulations of classical mechanics, including numerous applications. It is a continuation and extension of the course (Introduction to Mechanics PHYS A101).

Prerequisites: MATH A259, PHYS A240

PHYS A350 Electromagnetism 4 crs.

This course gives a rigorous treatment of laws of electromagnetism. It covers applications of Maxwell’s equations, including electromagnetic waves. It is a continuation and extension of the course (Introduction to Electromagnetism and Relativity PHYS A102).

Prerequisites: MATH A259PHYS A240

PHYS A395 Special Projects III, credits vary

This course facilitates a wide range of options for study and outcomes. 

PHYS A432 Solid State Physics 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to solid state physics.  Some of the areas covered are thermal properties, free electron theory of metals, band theory, semiconductors, superconductivity and magnetic properties. 

Prerequisite: PHYS A241

PHYS A436 Cellular Biophysics 3 crs.

This course is concerned with selected physiological phenomena occurring in biological cells, such as action potential in neurons. Although these are fundamentally biological phenomena, the analysis is inherently multidisciplinary, involving both physical and chemical principles. The course also introduces students to basic mathematical modeling of biophysical phenomena.

Prerequisite: PHYS A241 or PHYS A116

PHYS A438 Introduction to Astrophysics 3 crs.

This introduction to astrophysics is an elective course for the physics major sequences.  Topics include the physical principles of the tools of astronomy; the physics of stars and planetary systems; galaxies and cosmology. 

Prerequisites: MATH A259PHYS A240, PHYS A241

PHYS A445 Advanced Laboratory Physics 3 crs.

This is an advanced laboratory course for physics majors with the objective of training students to be self-reliant in planning and performing experiments not ordinarily done at the elementary level. Experiments are performed in such areas as electronics, mechanics, atomic physics and spectroscopy and emphasis is placed on experimental error analysis.  Lab fee $50.

Prerequisites: PHYS A240PHYS A241

PHYS A450 Quantum Mechanics 4 crs.

This course gives an introductory treatment of quantum mechanics. Starting with the experimental evidence, it introduces the Schroedinger and Heisenberg formulations of quantum theory, discusses basic properties of the Schroedinger equation and provides an elementary introduction to axiomatic structure of quantum mechanics.

Prerequisites: MATH A259PHYS A240

PHYS A495 Special Projects IV, credits vary

Prerequisite: PHYS A395

PHYS A496 Seminar/Workshop, credits vary

A seminar is a supervised group of students sharing the results of their research on a common topic. A workshop is a supervised group of students participating in a common effort. 

PHYS A497 Internship/Practicum, credits vary

An internship is supervised practical experience. A practicum is supervised practical application of previously studied theory. 

PHYS A498 Research Project, credits vary

This project focuses on empirical or historical investigation, culminating in a written report. 

PHYS A499 Independent Study, credits vary

Independent work done under professorial supervision. 

PHYS H234 Honors Seminar 3 crs.

The Physics Department regularly offers special topics seminars in the University Honors Program.  Please see the UHP for current courses.

PHYS H498 Honors Thesis 3 crs.

Loyola Core

PHYS T121 First Year Seminar 3crs.

Foundation Courses: First Year Seminar


All first-year students take a 3-credit First-Year Seminar during their first semester as one of the core course in the Loyola Core. First-Year Seminars at Loyola are small, discussion-based seminars that introduce new college students to academic inquiry at the university level by investigating a relevant topic. Specially-trained faculty lead these seminars in a way that instills in students the academic skills necessary to become successful Loyola students. A list of upcoming First-Year Seminars can be found on the First-Year Experience homepage

PHYS T121 The Making of the Atomic Bomb 3 crs.

Foundation Courses: First Year Seminar

The dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945 was a pivotal event in history marking the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. In this seminar we will look at the science leading up to, and making possible the harnessing of nuclear power. The readings will also give us other perspectives on this event and the technology behind it, and we will explore some of the ramifications of nuclear power up to the present time.

SCIE T129 Investigating Nature 3 crs.

Foundation Courses: Investigating Nature

This team-taught interdisciplinary course examines how scientists learn about the natural world through the process of scientific discovery. Students learn critical thinking skills that scientists regularly engage in, and demonstrate this through classroom exercises and assignments. Students learn how methods such as mathematical modeling, observation, and field and laboratory experimentation are used to discover new information about a specific scientific topic. Topics covered by the professors may or may not be thematically linked.

This course replaces BIOL T122, CHEM T122, PHYS T122 

PHYS Y230 Faith, Science, and Religion 3 crs.

Knowledge-Values Courses: Natural Science in Context

This course critically analyzes various ways of knowing: faith, science, and theology (critical analysis of faith). The methods of the physical sciences and the life sciences are discussed. Topics include the epic of creation, evolution, and quantum theory. This course is cross-listed as RELS V330 and PHYS H234.

Prerequisite: SCIE T129
This course replaces PHYS Z230 

PHYS Y231 Physics of Sound 3 crs.

Knowledge-Values Courses: Natural Science in Context

This course explores the science underlying the phenomena of sound, with particular emphasis on topics related to musical sound. Students gain an understanding of basic physical and mathematical concepts relating to sound production, propagation and perception – as well as sound recording and sound reproduction.

Prerequsitie: SCIE T129
This course replaces PHYS Z231

PHYS Y234 Astronomy 3 crs.

Advanced Common Curriculum: Natural Science in Context

The purpose of this course is to place the participant in one of the cultural mainstreams of mankind’s past, present, and future by making available the rich mines of historical and practical astronomy, as well as modern space age discoveries and theories, in a comprehensive form.

Prerequisites: Any college-level math and SCIE T129
This course replaces PHYS Z234