Fall 2020

Oscillations and Waves

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-125

Moodle site: Course


David Hanneke (Section 01)
Jarrett A. Moyer (Section 01)


Phenomena that repeat over regular intervals of time and space play a fundamental role in physics and its applications. This course explores oscillations and waves in contexts from a simple mass on a spring to mechanical waves in solids, liquids, and gasses as well as electromagnetic waves. It emphasizes broadly applicable phenomena including superposition, boundary effects, interference, diffraction, coherence, normal modes, and the decomposition of arbitrary wave amplitudes into normal modes, as with Fourier analysis. The laboratory experiments on oscillations, mechanical waves and optics provide hands-on experience of the concepts discussed in the rest of the course. Two hours of lecture and discussion and one three-hour laboratory per week.

All course meetings will be in-person to the extent possible. Provisions will be available for remote learning, including recorded class meetings, online activities, synchronous discussions and office hours, and kits that allow completion of the labs.

Requisite: PHYS 116/123 and MATH 121 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 24 students. Fall semester. Professor Hanneke.

If Overenrolled: Physics majors have priority, then sophomores, then first-year students.


Lab Science Course, Quantitative Reasoning


2021-22: Offered in Fall 2021
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021