Department of Physics
Miami University
Teaching


I have taught the following courses. The course websites are on Blackboard.


The Physical World (PHY182, PHY182F). This course is the second semester in a two semester calculus based sequence designed to provide a broad overview of the fundamental principles of physics at an introductory level which is appropriate as a basis for further study in science and engineering fields. PHY182 includes five weeks on thermodynamics and statistical physics, eight or nine weeks on electricity and magnetism, and one or two weeks on special relativity.


Physics for Music (PHY131). This course is intended for a general audience of students without any particular prior background in science; it provides a broad overview of the physics of the production, transmission, and reception of sound. The breakdown of students is about a third music or music education majors, a third speech pathology and audiology majors, and a third drawn from a cross-section of the student body. A majority of the students who choose to take PHY131 have a personal interest in performing and listening to music. The course material breaks down into three sections with about five weeks on oscillations and waves, four weeks on the physiology of the ear and the perception of pitch and loudness by the human ear and brain, and the remainder of the class on the physiological basis for consonance and dissonance, musical intervals and scales, and the physics of oscillations and waves as it applies to string, brass, and woodwind instruments and the human voice. Sound recording, reproduction, and digital music formats and compression (physics of the iPod) may be included as well.


Introduction to Computational Physics (PHY 286). This course is intended to provide students with a major or minor in physics or interested students in related disciplines such as engineering with an introduction to standard techniques in using computers to carry out numerical simulations or solutions of the mathematical equations arising in the analysis of a variety of physical systems. The problems are drawn from classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and quantum mechanics. The computational techniques include the numerical solution of coupled ordinary differential equations via Euler integration as well as more sophisticated algorithms like the Runge-Kutta methods, numerical solution of partial differential equations, numerical integration, root-finding algorithms, and numerical solution of coupled linear equations.


Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (PHY 491). This course is intended to provide students with a major in physics with an introduction to quantum mechanics at the advanced undergraduate level. This course builds on the introduction to quantum mechanics provided in PHY 181 and PHY 291. This includes the infinite square well, the finite square well, quantum tunneling, the harmonic oscillator, and quantization of angular momentum. With regard to these topics the main difference between the lower level courses and PHY 491 is that I expect students to be able to carry out the full solution for these topics from first principles whereas the lower level course focus on the phenomenology of these topics. The second portion of PHY 491 covers three-dimensional wave mechanics including the full derivation of quantization of angular momentum and the full solution of the hydrogen atom, spin, and applications of perturbation theory including the fine structure of hydrogen, the Zeeman effect, and the hyperfine structure of hydrogen. If time allows topics such as Bell's theorem and the no cloning theorem may be included as well.