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The mission of the Physics Departments is to prepare students to become knowledgeable, contributing citizens in a world of diverse cultures in which they work and live and to offer quality educational opportunities for students by providing courses that transfer to four-year institutions and offering associate degree courses that meet general education requirements. Vital to the mission of the departments is to aid in the understanding of new scientific knowledge through teaching, learning, and creative activity. 

The Physics program has the potential to provide a range of lecture and laboratory courses from calculus-based engineering physics to a non-mathematical presentation of the principles of physics for the non-major.  Through a series of courses with different mathematical requirements, the department meets the needs of both the physical science and biological science majors

Physics Classes Offered at the El Camino College Compton Center

Physics 1A                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mechanics of Solids

This is the first course in a four-semester calculus-based physics sequence designed for students with majors in engineering and the physical sciences. The course focuses on the mechanics of solids, with topics including statics, kinematics, Newton’s Laws, energy, power, linear and angular momentum, rotational dynamics, elasticity, simple harmonic motion, and gravitation.

Physics 1D                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Optics and Modern Physics

This is the fourth course in four-semester calculus-based physics sequence intended for students entering majors in engineering and the physical sciences. The topics covered include geometric and physical optics, special relativity, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, and selected topics in modern physics.

Physics 2A                                                                                                                                                                                                                        General Physics

This course is part of a one-year algebra- and trigonometry-based survey of physics. Topics covered include kinematics, statics, dynamics, momentum, energy, rotation, gravitation and planetary motion, fluids, kinetic theory of gases, and thermodynamics. In addition, the course covers elasticity and vibration, wave motion, interference, standing waves, and sound.

Physics 2B                                                                                                                                                                                                                        General Physics

This course is part of a one-year algebra- and trigonometry-based survey of physics. Topics covered include electric forces and fields, electric energy, electric circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic waves, geometric optics, wave optics, applied optics, relativity, electrons and photons, atomic structure, the nucleus, applied nuclear physics, and particle physics.

Physics 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Descriptive Introduction to Physics

This course utilizes lectures and demonstrations to present various principles of physics in a non-mathematical manner. Newton’s Laws of motion and gravitation, momentum, work, energy and heat will be presented. Other topics will be selected from properties of matter, fluids, sound, light, electricity and magnetism, atomic and modern physics, special and general relativity.

Physics 12                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Laboratory for Introductory Physics

This laboratory course is designed to give the student an opportunity to experimentally reinforce some of the fundamental concepts of physics studied in Physics 11.


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