Skip Navigation
search: People | Departments | Penn State | Web
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Engineering Science (E SC)

E SC 312 Engineering Applications of Wave, Particle, and Ensemble Concepts (3) The engineering applications of the wave and ensemble pictures of the physical world.

E SC 312 Engineering Applications of Wave, Particle, and Ensemble Concepts (3)

This course covers the engineering applications of wave based and ensemble-formulated pictures of the physical world. It begins by discussing criteria for the applicability of geometrical optics and of physical optics and moves into a general discussion of wave phenomena. An introduction to the formalism of physical optics is then given along with examples of its use in engineering applications. The course then moves to discussing the criterion for the applicability of classical mechanics and of quantum mechanics. The parallelism between the geometrical optics/physical optics and classical mechanics/quantum mechanics criteria is underscored. An introduction to the formalism of quantum mechanics is then undertaken followed by a discussion of engineering applications of quantum mechanics. The impact of quantum mechanics on particle, quasi-particle, and cooperative phenomena is discussed. The course then treats the problem of determining the physical properties of ensembles of particles and quasi-particles. Statistical mechanics concepts are introduced and the effects of quantum mechanics on ensemble predictions is covered. Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein, and Boltzmann statistics are developed and discussed. The connection is also made between statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Engineering applications of statistical mechanics are presented and discussed.

The objective of this course is to give engineering students a broad technical picture of physical concepts that will affect much of the engineering advances of this century. Students will be exposed to the duality of the wave-particle picture and to that picture's critical engineering important to the fields of optics and mechanics. They will be taught the influence of quantum mechanics on physical properties and the need for ensemble approaches for predicting the expected values of those properties for many particle systems. The impact of wave and ensemble approaches on engineering applications will be stressed and the students will be given hands-on exposure to this impact in three laboratory experiences.

Evaluation methods to be used in this course will be two in-class examinations and one final period examination.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2012
Prerequisite: PHYS 214

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Graduate Course Descriptions
  2. Graduate Programs
  3. Doctoral Degree Requirements
  4. Master's Degree Requirements
  5. Application and Admission Procedures
  6. Credit Certificate Programs
  7. General Information
  8. Tuition and Cost
  9. Intercollege
  10. Academic Information and Procedures