Physical Sciences Courses

Astronomy

ASTR 2: Astronomy Laboratory

1 unit: lecture 0 units; lab 1 unit

Corequisites: ASTR 10 or 11 or previous completion of ASTR 10 or 11

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course is a hands-on approach to learning astronomical data-collecting methods that reinforces the concepts learned in Astronomy 10 or 11. Methods include use of the planetarium instrument, celestial globes, spectroscopes, optical benches, computer simulations and analysis tools. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 5: Planetarium Astronomy

2 units: lecture 2 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: California State University

Naked eye astronomy is taught using the planetarium as a space simulator and teaching tool. Students have the opportunity to find and recognize northern hemisphere constellations and identify their brightest stars. The motion of the starry skies including celestial viewing of moon and planets is studied. Telescopes and methods of analyzing starlight are introduced. A brief history of astronomy from an earth centered to expanding universe view is presented. Planetarium astronomy makes use of our campus planetarium and, when practical, visit(s) to Bay Area planetarium(s). This class is also useful to prospective teachers and youth leaders. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 10: Solar System Astronomy

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This is a course in descriptive Astronomy, with emphasis on evolution, structure and behavior of the Solar System and its contents. The course commences with a study of the night sky including the motions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. The motions of the celestial bodies are explained in the historical context of geocentric and heliocentric models. The origins of the solar system are explored followed by a study of the Terrestrial planets utilizing comparative planetary geology. The atmospheres of the Terrestrials and Jovians are investigated; followed by an exploration of moons, ring systems, asteroids and comets. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 11: Stellar Astronomy

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This is a course in descriptive Astronomy, with emphasis on stars: their origin and evolution, their distribution within the galaxies and the origin of the universe within which the galaxies of stars are found. The course commences with a study of the night sky including the motions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. The motions of the celestial bodies are explained in the historical context of geocentric and heliocentric models. The course also covers the nature of light and employs telescopic observations to explore the properties of stars and their evolution. An investigation of the stages in the life of a star from birth to the different forms of stellar death is also offered. The course also examines the origins of the galaxies and the fate of the Universe. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 14: Life in the Universe

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course considers the origin and evolution of life on Earth and the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe. Applying the disciplines of astrophysics, biology, geology, and planetary science, students have the opportunity to study the chemical basis for life, the limits of life on earth and look for the markers of life in other places in the solar system. The course also examines the possibilities for life outside of the solar system. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 20: Family of the Sun

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This is an introductory course in astronomy for the non-science major. Topics include study of the night sky and the motions of the objects in the heavens as seen from Earth, examination of the structure and behavior of the Solar System and its contents, planetary geology, planetary atmospheres, the search for other solar systems and the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Laboratory work includes observation and application of concepts discussed in lectures, computer simulations, planetarium simulations, and field work. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 20H: Honors Family of the Sun

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Advisory: MATH 902 or MATH 902P

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Honors Astronomy uses the pedagogical methods common to all Honors courses: interdisciplinary, writing- intensive, collaborative, and experiential instruction. Course content makes connection through a common theme with other courses offered within the specified trans-disciplinary unit. Topics include study of the night sky and the motions of the objects in the heavens as seen from Earth, examination of the structure and behavior of the Solar System and its contents, planetary geology, planetary atmospheres, the search for other solar systems and the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Laboratory work includes observation and application of concepts discussed in lectures, computer simulations, planetarium simulations, and field work.

ASTR 21: Lifestyles of the Stars

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This is an introductory course in astronomy for the non-science major. Topics include study of the night sky and the motions of the objects in the heavens as seen from Earth, study of the birth, life and death of stars including Einstein’s theory of relativity as applied to black holes. Laboratory work includes observation and application of concepts discussed in lectures, computer simulations, planetarium simulations, and field work. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 21H: Honors Lifestyles of the Stars

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Advisory: MATH 902P

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

Honors Astronomy uses the pedagogical methods common to all Honors courses: interdisciplinary, writing- intensive, collaborative, and experiential instruction. Course content makes connection through a common theme with other courses offered within the specified trans-disciplinary unit. Topics include study of the night sky and the motions of the objects in the heavens as seen from Earth, study of the birth, life and death of stars including Einstein’s theory of relativity as applied to black holes. Laboratory work includes observation and application of concepts discussed in lectures, computer simulations, planetarium simulations, and field work.

ASTR 22: From Big Bang to Black Holes

3 unit: lecture 3 unit; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This is an introductory course in Cosmology. Topics include an examination of the technologies (telescopes, particle accelerators and neutrino detectors) that are used to study the Cosmos, the study of interactions of light, matter, space-time and gravity, and the study of the history of the Universe including the Big Bang, cosmic expansion, inflation, large scale structure, dark matter and dark energy. Pass/No Pass Option

ASTR 30: Field Astronomy

1 unit: lecture 1 unit; lab 0 units

Corequisite: GEOL 30

Acceptable for credit: California State University

This is an intensive weekend field lecture course, whose location may change from semester to semester, in general observational astronomy. The class uses direct visual and telescopic observation of the sky to help explain solar system, stellar and galaxy formation. The course includes pre-trip lecture meetings that cover the fundamentals of the motion of the heavens, star charts and telescope optics. Hiking and overnight camping is required. The course is held in conjunction with GEOL 30. Pass/No Pass Option

Geology Courses

GEOL 1A: Physical Geology

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID GEOL 101

Honors Physical Geology uses the pedagogical methods common to all Honors courses: interdisciplinary, writing intensive, collaborative, and experiential instruction. Course content makes connection through a common theme with other courses offered within the specified trans-disciplinary unit. This course offers an introduction to the principles of geology with emphasis on Earth processes. This course focuses on the internal structure and origin of the Earth and then processes that change and shape it. The laboratory component focuses on the identification of rocks and minerals, topographic and geologic map exercises demonstrating the work of water, wind, ice and gravity and effects of tectonic activity. Pass/No Pass Option

GEOL 1B: Historical Geology

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Advisory: GEOL 001A or GEOL 1AH

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID GEOL 110

Historical geology introduces theories on the origin of the earth, oceans, atmosphere, paleogeography, and life as determined in the fossil and stratigraphic rock record during the past 4.6 billion years. Subjects include the minerals and rocks, plate tectonics, geologic dating, fossils, stratigraphy, biological evolution, the origin of planet Earth, and environment of deposition of rock formations. With the background of geologic principles, the development of the North American continent is introduced in detail. Pass/No Pass Option

GEOL 2B: Historical Geology Laboratory

1 unit: lecture 0 units; lab 1 unit

Corequisite: GEOL 1B

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID GEOL 110L

This course provides laboratory and field experience to introduce Earth’s history and the life it supports. Subjects include rock descriptions, origins of the Universe and planet Earth, fossils, geologic dating, plate tectonics, biological evolution, stratigraphy, geologic maps, and paleogeography during the past 4.6 billion years. Time is spent in the field, both during the regular scheduled time plus one weekend. Pass/No Pass Option

GEOL 12: Earth Science with Lab

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID GEOL 121

This course provides an introduction to the essentials of Earth Science. The course focuses on the interactions between physical and chemical systems of the Earth, including the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and solar system. Lecture topics include plate tectonics, rock cycle, hydrologic cycle, solar system astronomy, weather, and climate. Laboratory activities include: mineral and rock identification; plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes; groundwater, stream, and mass wasting processes; geologic time and fossils; solar system and lunar astronomy; weather and climate; and field trip studies. Pass/No Pass Option

GEOL 15: Geology of California

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID GEOL 200

Geology of California investigates the geologic development of California in space and time as shown by sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks and associated faults, folds and land forms. A background of earth science, although not required, is helpful. Pass/No Pass Option

GEOL 20: Field Ecology

2 units: lecture 1 unit; lab 1 unit

Acceptable for credit: California State University

This course covers the study and practice in observing, mapping, and interpreting rocks and rock structures in the field. Locations studied depend on the season and interests of the class. In the past, work has been done in the Santa Cruz Range, the Diablo Range, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite National Park, the northern California Coast Range, and Point Reyes National Park. The class meets nominally one day per week. Saturday and weekend field trips are by arrangement. Pass/No Pass Option

GEOL 30: Regional Geology Field Excursion

1 unit: Lecture 1 unit; lab 0 units

Corequisite: ASTR 30

Acceptable for credit: California State University

This is a weekend field lecture course, whose location may change from semester to semester, that allows students to study, through direct observation, the geologic history and processes that have formed and shaped the Earth. The course includes pre-trip lecture meetings that cover the fundamentals of geology and the geologic history of the specific location chosen for the trip. Hiking and overnight stay are required. The course is held in conjunction with ASTR 30.

Oceanography Courses

OCEA 10: Introduction to Oceanography

4 units: lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course presents some of the more important phenomena of oceanography with emphasis on seafloor plate tectonics, marine geology, ocean chemistry, ocean physics, and marine ecology. The laboratory section complements the lecture with hands-on experience through lab exercises, demonstrations, and field trips. Pass/No Pass Option

Physical Science Courses

PSCI 10: Physical Science Survey

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course takes the student on a tour of physics, chemistry, geology and astronomy. It introduces major theories and concepts in these four fields and shows the interconnectedness of the many branches of science. Pass/No Pass Option

PSCI 20: Weather and Climate

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID GEOG 130

This course is an introduction to Earth’s atmosphere. The topics covered include atmospheric structure and composition, solar radiation and energy balances, temperature, seasonal changes, atmospheric moisture, clouds and fog, precipitation, air pressure, winds, air masses and fronts, thunderstorms and tornadoes, tropical cyclones, weather forecasting, California climate and weather, global climate and weather and climate change. Pass/No Pass Option

Physics Courses

PHYS 1: Introduction to Physics Problem Solving

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Prerequisite: MATH D or MATH 2

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course is designed specifically to prepare students for Physics 002A or Physics 4A. It covers basic principles/concepts in classical mechanics and introduces problem-solving skills that may be applied to a wide variety of problems.

PHYS 2A: General Physics – Mechanics

Prerequisite: MATH D or MATH 2

Advisory: PHYS 1

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID PHYS 105

This is a trigonometry-based first course in Physics for majors in subjects other than engineering or the physical sciences. The course covers mechanics (motion, forces, torques, energy, momentum, and rotation), thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and simple harmonic motion. Concepts and problem solving are emphasized.

PHYS 2B: General Physics – Electricity and Magnetism

5 units: lecture 4 units; lab 1 unit

Prerequisite: PHYS 2A

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID PHYS 110

This is a trigonometry-based course in Physics for majors in subjects other than engineering or the physical sciences. The course covers mechanical waves and sound, electricity, magnetism, optics, atomic physics, nuclear physics and special relativity. Concepts and problem solving are emphasized.

PHYS 4A: Engineering Physics

5 units: lecture 4 units; lab 1 unit

Prerequisite: MATH 3A

Advisory: PHYS 1

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID PHYS 205

Mechanics is the first course in the engineering physics series. It covers vectors, kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum, universal gravity, rotational physics, fluid dynamics, elasticity and harmonic motion.

PHYS 4B: Engineering Physics – Electricity and Magnetism

5 units: lecture 4 units; lab 1 unit

Prerequisite: PHYS 4A and MATH 3B

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID PHYS 210

This is the second semester of a three-semester physics sequence, intended for students majoring in physical sciences and engineering. Core topics include electrostatics (electric fields, Gauss’s Law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectric), magnetism (applications of Ampere’s Law, inductance and Faraday’s Law of Induction, magnetic properties of matter), DC and AC circuits (direct current, resistance, electromotive force, alternating currents), and Maxwell’s equations.

PHYS 4C: Engineering Physics – Light, Heat and Waves

5 units: lecture 4 units; lab 1 unit

Prerequisite: PHYS 4A and MATH 3B

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

C-ID PHYS 215

This is the third semester of a three-semester physics course, intended for students majoring in physical sciences and engineering. PHYS 4C is composed of topics that, together with PHYS 004A and PHYS 4B constitute all of the topics included in the calculus based physics sequence. Topics to be studied include wave motion, heat, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, the concept of entropy, the nature and propagation of light, the laws of reflection and refraction for plane and spherical waves, interference, diffraction, and modern physics including wave-particle duality, matter waves, and special relativity. Problem solutions using calculus is emphasized.

PHYS 4D: Advanced Topics in Modern Physics

3 units: lecture 3 units; lab 0 units

Prerequisite: PHYS 4B or PHYS 4C

Advisory: MATH 4B

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course explores advanced topics in Modern Physics, emphasizing the fundamental principles of relativity and quantum mechanics. Topics to be covered include: Special and General Relativity, the Bohr Atom, Quantum Mechanics, Schrodinger’s Equation, the Hydrogen Atom, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, and Solid-State Physics and other selected topics in Modern Physics.

PHYS 10: Conceptual Introduction to Physics

4 units: Lecture 3 units; lab 1 unit

Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

This course takes a conceptual approach to physics. Topics include mechanics, heat, fluids, solids, waves, electricity, magnetism, light, atomic physics, nuclear physics. A lab is included with the course to experience the phenomena discussed in lecture.

Last Updated 1/30/19