Physics 136 introduces students to the basic principles of fluid physics,
thermal physics, electricity,
magnetism, and optics. After successfully completing this course students will have
acquired the fundamental knowledge to understand various physical phenomena and
their basis for practical applications. They will be able to apply
mathematics (vectors, algebra, trigonometry, calculus) to describe and analyze
physical properties and they will have practiced discussing physics with
classmates through active participation in the course.

Physics often serves as a support course for students studying in another
program. Physics 136 teaches students to look for the physical principles
that underlie complex technical and biological phenomena and to spot misleading
claims that defy the laws of physics.

The laboratory component is especially important. In 10 laboratories or
studio sessions students perform open-ended real or realistically simulated
experiments. These experiments, which combine many different skills and
concepts, expose the students to the experimental basis of physics.
Students acquire skills in planning and performing experimental work, in
analyzing experimental data and in estimating experimental uncertainties.

- Module 1:
Fluids
- Pressure, buoyancy, ideal fluids, viscous fluids

- Module 2:
Temperature and heat
- Temperature, kinetic theory, ideal gas law, heat flow, thermal properties of matter

- Module 3:
Thermodynamics
- The first and second law of thermodynamics, heat engines and refrigerators, entropy

- Module 4:
Electric forces and fields
- Coulombs law, electric field lines, electric flux, Gauss’ law, insulators and conductors

- Module 5:
Electric energy and potential
- Potential energy, potential difference, capacitance

- Module 6:
Steady electric currents
- Electric current, resistance, Ohm’s law, electrical energy and power, emf, Kirchhoff’s rules, RC circuits

- Module 7: Magnetic forces and fields
- Magnetic fields, magnetic force, Biot-Savart law, Ampere’s law, magnetism in matter

- Module 8: Induced fields
- Faraday’s law, motional emf, Lenz’s law, self-inductance, RL circuits

- Module 9: Electromagnetic waves
- Maxwell’s equations, production of EM waves, polarization, diffraction and interference

- Module 10: Geometrical Optics
- Reflection and refraction, mirrors and lenses, aberrations, optical instruments