Physics at Aquinas College

Chemical Physics Major (BS)

Chemical physics is an interdisciplinary major which combines chemistry’s study of the composition of matter with physics’ study of the properties of matter and energy. Courses are drawn from the departments of chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Major Requirements:
Fifty (50) credit hours. Required courses:

  • CY111
  • CY112
  • CY311
  • CY312
  • CY215
  • CY336
  • CY346
  • CY400/401
  • PC213
  • PC214
  • PC215
  • PC316
  • MS252​

Required allied courses:

  • CS152
  • MS121
  • MS122
  • MS231
  • MS241

Equivalent courses from other colleges may be substituted with the permission of one of the designated advisors. At least thirty (30) of these hours must be taken at Aquinas College.

At least thirty (30) of these hours must be taken at Aquinas College, with a minimum GPA of 2.0, no more than one C-.

Majors must attend at least eight (8) seminars / lectures sponsored by the Departments of Chemistry and Physics.

Courses

  • CY111 General Chemistry (4) NL

    A first college course in chemistry designed primarily for science majors. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, properties of gases, solids, and liquids, stoichiometry, and thermochemistry. Three (3) hours of lecture and one 3-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CY100 or high school chemistry; math placement score of 18 or higher, co-registration in MS114, or completion of MS114 with a C or better. High school physics strongly recommended.

  • CY112 General Chemistry (4)

    A continuation of CY111. Topics include coordination chemistry, descriptive inorganic and organic chemistry, electrochemistry, equilibria, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CY111 and CS152 with grades of C- or better. Co-enrollment in CY112 and CS152 is allowed with approval of the chemistry department chairperson. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY311/312 Physical Chemistry I and II (4/4)

    A two-semester course in the theoretical principles of chemistry. Topics include thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, phase equilibria, electrochemistry, kinetics, and quantum chemistry. Three (3) hours lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week each semester. CY 311 offered fall of even-numbered years, CY 312 offered spring of odd-numbered years. Prerequisites for CY311: CY112 and MS122 with grades of C- or better. PC213 is also required but may be taken as a co-enrollment. Prerequisites for CY312: CY311 with a grade of C- or better. PC214 is also required but may be taken as a co-enrollment. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY215 Quantitative Analysis (4) QR

    A first course in chemical analysis. Topics include gravimetric and volumetric methods, statistical applications, ionic equilibria, chromatography, and spectroscopy. Two (2) hours of lecture and two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: CY112 (or equivalent) with a grade of C– or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY336 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (4)

    Principles of inorganic chemistry with emphasis on periodicity, molecular orbital theory, bonding, solid structure, acid/base, reduction/oxidation reactions, and systematic chemistry of the elements. Coordination chemistry and organometallic chemistry will also be discussed. The laboratory will focus on the synthesis and characterization of inorganic compounds. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Offered spring semester of even-numbered years. Prerequisite: CY112 with a grade of C- or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY346 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (4) WI

    An introduction to instrumental methods both theoretical and practical. Topics include spectroscopic methods (UV/Visible, IR, Raman, AA, AE, NMR), electrochemical methods (potentiometry and voltammetry), chromatographic methods (GC and HPLC), radiomethods, and thermal methods. Two (2) hours of lecture and two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: CY215 with a grade of C- or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY400/401 Undergraduate Seminar/Research (1/2) SC

    A two-semester introduction to chemical research. The first semester will focus on development of an individual research topic, writing a proposal, and safety considerations, and may include beginning laboratory work. Chemical Abstracts and other data-retrieval systems will be used to locate information on the theory and method needed for the project. The second semester will consist of laboratory work and will conclude with a seminar and written report on the results of the project. CY400 will be offered each fall. CY401 will be offered each spring. Prerequisites: senior status and approval of department chairperson. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • PC213 General Physics with Calculus: Mechanics, Sound, Heat (4)

    Four (4) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab. Prerequisite: MS121.

  • PC214 General Physics with Calculus: Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Nuclear Physics (4)

    Four (4) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab. Prerequisite: PC213.

  • PC215 Modern Physics (4)

    A semester-long course that will complete the two-semester, general physics survey sequence. The topics covered will include the study of relativity, the wave nature of particles, quantum mechanics, chemical spectra, particle and low-energy nuclear physics. Prerequisite: PC201/202, or PC213/214.

  • MS316/PC316 Applied Mathematics for the Physical Sciences (4) MS

    An introduction to topics in applied mathematics not covered in a traditional mathematics curriculum. Topics include Complex Numbers, Fourier Series, Fourier Analysis, Partial Differentiation, and Laplace Transforms. Prerequisite: MS122.

  • MS252 Statistics (3)

    Designed for students who have had at least three (3) years of high-school mathematics or its equivalent. Topics to be covered include frequency distributions, variability, probability, sampling, estimation, testing, hypotheses, analysis of variance, regression and correlation analysis, and nonparametric tests. (Course counts as three (3) semester hours toward a minor, but only one (1) semester hour toward a major.) Prerequisite: MS114.This course is not accepted for the General Education Mathematics requirement.

  • CS152 Spreadsheets (1) T

    This hands-on lab course covers basic spreadsheet functions such as simple formulas, formatting, and print layout using Microsoft Excel. Course projects introduce skills using a variety of formulas and basic functions, charts, and absolute addressing. This course would be beneficial to any students with a desire to analyze numerical data, manage finances, perform simple statistics, or generate charts and graphs.

  • MS121 Calculus I (4) MS

    Functions, limits, continuity, derivatives, antiderivatives, Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, solids of revolution. This course has five contact hours per week. Prerequisites: Three and one-half years of college-preparatory math, including trigonometry or MS114.

  • MS122 Calculus II (4) MS

    Inverse functions, integration techniques, integrals with applications, conic sections, polar coordinates, parametric equations, sequences and series. This course has five contact hours per week. Prerequisites: MS121

  • MS231 Multivariate Calculus (4) MS

    Vector and solid geometry, vector-valued functions, calculus of curves in space, functions of several variables, partial differentiation, multiple integration, and vector analysis. Prerequisite: MS122.

  • MS241 Differential Equations (3) MS

    Study of the classification and solutions of ordinary differential equations with applications. Prerequisite: MS231.