# Mission

As part of the overall mission of Western Washington University and the College of Science and Engineering, the mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy is to:

- Provide a curriculum in Physics and Astronomy with the breadth and depth to facilitate and support effective learning in the core areas of the discipline at all levels;
- Provide a range of courses in Physics and Astronomy that enhance the education of students of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences;
- Provide the core curriculum in Physics for future Physics teachers and for science teachers in all disciplines;
- Provide courses at a variety of levels that serve the needs of other major programs within the College of Sciences and Technology;
- Provide students with opportunities to participate in original research, and encourage and support faculty research and the improvement of pedagogical methods;
- Provide an overall supportive and sustainable working and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff.

## Learning Objectives

Within three to five years of graduation, graduates of the program will:

- Utilize conceptual knowledge and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations.
- Apply core Physics principles to problems in professional or academic settings.
- Effectively communicate ideas and strategies to colleagues.
- Actively demonstrate the ability to work individually and in groups.
- Continue to add to personal core knowledge and professional skill sets as life-long learners.

## Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation from the department of Physics and Astronomy, students will:

- Have demonstrated mastery of the core concepts of Physics.
- Have demonstrated understanding of quantitative reasoning and scientific inquiry.
- Have demonstrated an ability to use lab equipment and interpret data.
- Have demonstrated an ability to communicate ideas effectively, both verbally and in written form.
- Have demonstrated an ability to solve problems, both independently and in groups.

## Mapping of Program Objectives to Program Outcomes

Outcome 1 | Outcome 2 | Outcome 3 | Outcome 4 | Outcome 5 | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Objective 1 | x | x | x | ||

Objective 2 | x | ||||

Objective 3 | x | ||||

Objective 4 | x | ||||

Objective 5 | x | x | x | x | x |

## Mapping of Course Outcomes to Program Outcomes

Outcome 1 | Outcome 2 | Outcome 3 | Outcome 4 | Outcome 5 | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

Phys 363 | x | x | x | ||

Phys 335 | x | x | x | ||

Phys 368 | x | x | x | ||

Phys 455 | x | x | x | ||

Phys 419 | x | x | x | ||

Phys/Astr 39X | x | x | x |

## Course outcomes for courses listed in Table 2.

Course outcomes are measured according to particular assessment tools.

### Physics 455 Quantum Mechanics I (QM)

After completing Physics 455, students should have:

- Thorough understanding of the core concepts of QM, including probability, Schrodinger’s equation, wave function mechanics, ensemble averages, and measurement.
- Thorough understanding of the mathematical tools for QM, including linear algebra, expansion of functions in discrete and continuous bases, partial differential equations, and Dirac notation.
- Thorough understanding of the relationship between the QM theoretical structure and the outcomes of measurements in the lab.

### Physics 363 Classical Mechanics

After completing Physics 363, students should:

- Understand and be able to apply core concepts of classical mechanics, including Newton’s laws, conservation principles, the principle of superposition, variational principles, and fictitious forces in non-inertial reference frames,
- Demonstrate facility with the mathematical tools and methods of classical mechanics, including the use of non-Cartesian coordinate systems, generating and solving the differential equations that describe the behavior of physical systems, Taylor and Fourier series, gradient and curl, and the calculus of variations.
- Be able to apply concepts and mathematical tools to thoroughly analyze and understand selected “touchstone” physical systems, such as the oscillator and the two-body central force problem.

### Physics 335, Statistical Mechanics

After completing Physics 335, students should:

- Have a thorough understanding of the core concepts of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, including the laws of thermodynamics, multiplicities and Entropy, Free energies, Boltzmann Statistics and Quantum Statistics.
- Be able to apply of these concepts to model systems like paramagnets, ideal gases and Einstein solids.
- Be able to use computational tools for statistical analysis.

### Physics 368 Electricity and Magnetism

After completing Physics 368, students should:

- Have a thorough understanding of the core concepts of vector analysis, including scalar and vector products, differential and integral vector calculus in rectangular and curvilinear coordinates, the Dirac delta function.
- Have a thorough understanding of electrostatics in free space and in matter, including the divergence and curl of electric fields, electric potential, work and energy in electrostatics, and electrostatics in conductors.
- Have a thorough understanding of magnetostatics in free space and in matter, including the divergence and curl of magnetic fields due to steady currents, and magnetization
- Be able to apply the theory to dielectrics and magnetic materials, including connections to measurements.