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Chemistry, Geology, Physics + Physical Science

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 1: General Chemistry I (5 units)

  • Prerequisites: CHEM 110 or one year of high school chemistry; Math Level V
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 6 hrs lab per week

This course provides the basic principles of chemistry with a quantitative emphasis. Topics include atomic theory, chemical bonding, molecular geometry, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, gases, thermochemistry, intermolecular forces and solutions.
  The two-semester sequence of CHEM 1 and CHEM 2 provides the basic chemical background needed for further investigations into our physical environment. This course is generally recommended for majors in science and engineering.  Graded only.

CHEM 2: General Chemistry II (5 units)

  • Prerequisite: CHEM 1
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 6 hrs lab per week

This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I. Topics include chemical kinetics and equilibrium, acid-base and solubility equilibria, thermodynamics, oxidation-reduction, electrochemistry, coordination compounds, nuclear chemistry, introduction to organic chemistry and qualitative analysis.
  The two-semester sequence of CHEM 1 and CHEM 2 provides the basic chemical background needed for further investigations into our physical environment. Recommended for some majors in the sciences and engineering; not recommended for nursing or other applied science majors.  Graded only.

CHEM 21: Organic Chemistry I (5 units)

  • Prerequisite: CHEM 2 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 6 hrs lab per week

This is the first semester in a year-long course in organic chemistry designed for students majoring in chemistry and related disciplines. It covers basic principles of organic chemistry including conformational analysis, stereochemistry and substitution and elimination reaction pathways. Topics include hydrocarbons, alkyl halides, alcohols, ethers and unsaturated hydrocarbons. This includes analysis of the physical properties, reactions and reaction mechanisms of each of these particular groups of compounds. Proton and carbon Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy is discussed in detail. Laboratory work includes microscale, macroscale and various spectroscopic techniques.  Graded only.

CHEM 22: Organic Chemistry II (5 units)

  • Prerequisite: CHEM 21 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 6 hrs lab per week

This is the second semester in a year-long course in organic chemistry designed for students majoring in chemistry and related disciplines. It covers the study of several groups of compounds in organic chemistry including aromatic compounds, carbonyl compounds, amines and biomolecules. Each group is analyzed in terms of their physical properties, nomenclature, reactions and reaction mechanisms. Laboratory work includes advanced techniques in reaction conditions, product separation, purification and spectroscopy.  Graded only.

CHEM 51: Elementary Inorganic Chemistry (5 units)

  • Prerequisites: CHEM 110 or one year of high school chemistry; Math Level V
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 6 hrs lab per week

This is a survey course in the principles of inorganic chemistry, including atomic theory and periodic properties, nuclear chemistry, electronic structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, gas behavior, solution chemistry, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction, and elementary thermodynamics. 
It is recommended for allied health or applied science majors. Graded only.

CHEM 52: Elementary Organic and Biochemistry
(4 units)

  • Prerequisite: CHEM 51
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course provides and introduction to the chemistry of carbon compounds including organic nomenclature and functional group chemistry. Biochemistry topics include optical isomerism, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.  Recommended for allied health and applied science majors. Graded only.

CHEM 110: Introductory Chemistry (4 units)

  • Prerequisite: Math Level III
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV
  • Transfer Status: Non-transferable
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course is for the student who lacks the necessary background to enroll directly in CHEM 51 or CHEM 1. The assumption is made that this is the student's first exposure to chemistry. With that in mind, both the philosophy and practice of laboratory chemistry are pursued. The approach to many topics is quantitative and the topics chosen are those that are bothersome to students in more advanced courses.
  The goal is to prepare students for CHEM 51 or CHEM 1. This course also serves as a per-requisite for certain biology courses.


Geology Courses

GEOL 10: Physical Geology (3 units)

  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture per week

Physical geology introduces students to the internal and external processes that are at work changing the earth. Within the context of modern plate tectonics theory, students will explore the origins of rocks and minerals and dynamic processes such as volcanism, seismicity, and mountain building that are driven by thermal energy from the Earth's interior. It also examines how wind, running water, and glaciers move in response to gravity and solar energy sculpting the Earth's surface by erosion.

GEOL 11: Physical Geology Lab (1 unit)

  • Prerequisite: GEOL 10 (or concurrent enrollment)
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course provides students with hands-on experience identifying and interpreting common rocks and minerals.  Students will also learn to interpret topographic and geologic maps, identify and interpret geologic structures, and use scientific methods to study topics such as groundwater flow and earthquakes.  Material covered in this laboratory will reinforce concepts presented in the Physical Geology lecture course.

GEOL 20: Historical Geology (3 units)

  • Prerequisites: GEOL 10, GEOL 11
  • Co-requisite:  GEOL 21
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level III
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture per week

This course introduces Earth's geologic history and the history of life on Earth. Drawing on concepts from geologic dating, global tectonics, and stratigraphy, it explores the planet's origin and the processes that have repeatedly re-shaped the global environment during the past 4.5 billion years. It also reviews fossil evidence for the origin of life on Earth, and for the complementary roles played by natural selection and environmental change in shaping both ancient and modern living communities.

GEOL 21: Historical Geology Lab (1 unit)

  • Co-requisite: GEOL 20
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level III
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course is the laboratory to accompany Historical Geology, GEOL 20. The laboratory provides practical experience in studying sedimentary rocks to interpret depositional processes and environments, examination of fossils and their use in age determinations, correlation of rock units, radiometric dating, evolution, interpreting geologic history from maps, and the regional geology of North America.

GEOL 32: General Geology (4 units)

  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

General geology will introduce students to the internal and external processes that are at work changing the earth today. Within the context of modern plate tectonics theory, students will explore the origins of rocks and minerals and dynamic earth processes such as volcanism, seismicity, and mountain building that are driven by the release of Earth's internal heat. It also examines how wind, running water, and glaciers move in response to gravity and energy from the sun and the sculpting of Earth's surface by erosion.  These concepts as well as the interpretation of topographic and geologic maps will be reinforced with an integrated laboratory program.


Physics Courses

PHYS 10: Concepts of Physics (3 units)

  • Prerequisite: MATH 108 or high school algebra
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture per week

Emphasis is placed on physics from a conceptual rather than a mathematical approach. Topics include: Newton's Laws of Motion, energy and momentum. Depending on the students' interests, further topics may include: Heat and Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism, Light and Optics and Atomic and Nuclear Physics. 
Not intended for students who have completed high school physics or Physics 21 or 41.

PHYS 11: Concepts of Physics Lab (1 unit)

  • Prerequisite: PHYS 10 (or concurrent enrollment)
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course is designed to accompany the lecture topics taught in Physics 10. Experiments performed will cover the areas of motion, sound, electricity and magnetism, and light.
 Not recommended for physics majors.

PHYS 21: College Physics I (4 units)

  • Prerequisite: MATH 20 or high school trigonometry
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This is a non-calculus based study of mechanics, energy properties of matter, wave motion, sound, heat and thermodynamics. Graded only.

PHYS 22: College Physics II (4 units)

  • Prerequisite: PHYS 21
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This is a non-calculus based study of electricity and magnetism, light, optics, relativity and modern physics. Graded only.

PHYS 41: Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
(4 units)

  • Prerequisite: MATH 30
  • Co-requisite:  PHYS 51 recommended
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV and high school physics
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course is a study of vectors, statics, kinematics, forces, momentum, energy, rotational motion, gravity, oscillatory motion, and fluid mechanics. Graded only.

PHYS 42: Physics for Scientists and Engineers II
(4 units)

  • Prerequisites: PHYS 41, MATH 31
  • Co-requisite: PHYS 52 recommended
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course introduces students to electric fields, electric potential, capacitance, current, circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, alternating current, electromagnetic waves, and acoustics. Graded only.

PHYS 43: Physics for Scientists and Engineers III
(4 units)

  • Prerequisites: PHYS 42, MATH 32
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course introduces students to geometrical and physical optics, thermodynamics, introductory quantum phenomena, relativity, atomic spectra, atoms, molecules, nuclei, radioactivity, and fundamental particles. Graded only.

PHYS 51: Problem Solving Strategies for PHYS 41
(1 unit)

  • Co-requisite: PHYS 41
  • Transfer Status: CSU
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course is a supplement to PHYS 41 and is intended to enhance the students problem solving skills in the areas of vectors, statics, kinematics, dynamics, momentum, energy, rotational motion, oscillatory motion and fluid mechanics. Pass/No Pass only.

PHYS 52: Problem Solving Strategies for PHYS 42
(1 unit)

  • Co-requisite: PHYS 42
  • Transfer Status: CSU
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course is a supplement to PHYS 42 and is intended to enhance the students' problem solving skills in the areas of electric fields and potential, electric currents, electric circuits, induced currents, magnetic fields, dielectrics, alternating currents and electromagnetic waves. Pass/No Pass only.


Physical Science Courses

PSC 10: Introduction to Environmental Science
(4 units)

  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

Introduction to Environmental Science introduces students to the scientific principles and problem solving techniques used to evaluate the effects of human activities on different ecosystems. Topics include the sustainability and stewardship of natural ecosystems, use of natural resources, environmental hazards such as air and water pollution, solid waste disposal, soils and food production, the atmosphere and global warming, as well as population and urbanization. Basic chemistry, geology and physics will be introduced throughout the course to explain and expand on these topics. The concepts will be reinforced with an integrated laboratory program.

PSC 12: Concepts in Physical Science (4 units)

  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course offers a broad but thorough study of the physical sciences with introductory sections in physics and chemistry. The focus is on understanding the fundamental behavior of matter and energy using the scientific method as the means of inquiry. Scientific concepts and ideas are emphasized rather than rigorous mathematical problem solving, although basic arithmetic and elementary algebra are used. The concepts will be reinforced with an integrated laboratory program. 
This course is recommended for non-science majors.

PSC 20: Introductory Physical Science (3 units)

  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture per week

Introductory Physical Science introduces students to the earth and physical sciences and includes introductory sections on physics, earth and atmospheric science and space science. This course is meant to give students a broad but basic understanding of the concepts, terminology and methods of study of the physical environment.

PSC 21: Introductory Physical Science Lab (1 unit)

  • Prerequisite: PSC 20 (or concurrent enrollment)
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course will introduce students to measurements, techniques, and terminology used to describe the physical environment. Topics include experiments and activities on the scientific method, Newton's laws of motion, energy, light and sound.  Scientific methods will also be used to study earthquakes, geologic time, common rocks and Earth's atmosphere.  This course will supplement material presented in the Physical Science lecture course.

PSC 30: Introductory Astronomy (4 units)

  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture/ 3 hrs lab per week

This course is a study of our dynamic universe. Topics include the history of astronomy, the science of observation and discovery, stellar birth, maturation and death, planetary formation, a description of our solar system, galaxies, quasars and cosmology.

PSC 50: Introduction to Weather (3 units)

  • Co-requisite: PSC 51 (Recommended)
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level IV
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture per week

This course provides an introduction to modern meteorology. The main topics will include air circulation, pressure and wind, temperature, moisture, fronts, storm systems, cloud types and air stability. The course will also include an introduction to interpreting weather maps, synoptic weather forecasting, and climate change. Math will be used at times during this course but emphasis will be on a conceptual understanding of basic meteorology.

PSC 51: Weather Lab (1 unit)

  • Prerequisite: PSC 50 or PSC 52 (or concurrent enrollment)
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lab per week

This course will emphasize the practical concepts of physical science and weather using demonstration and experimentation. Topics include the scientific method, Newton's laws of motion, heat and energy transfer, the gas law, and fluid dynamics. Other experiments will demonstrate weather observation techniques, collection and analysis of atmospheric data, weather map study, cloud identification, interpretation of satellite imagery, and basic forecasting skills. This course includes a field trip to a local forecasting facility.

PSC 52: Extreme Weather (3 units)

  • Co-requisite: PSC 51 (Recommended)
  • Recommended Prep: Reading Level IV, English Level IV, Math Level III
  • Transfer Status: CSU/UC
  • 3 hrs lecture per week

This course will explore extreme weather topics with a background in basic meteorology.  Students will be provided with a introduction to physical and atmospheric science concepts including the scientific method, composition and structure of the atmosphere, seasonal variation, cloud identification, air stability, weather variables, forecasting, and atmospheric circulation.  These concepts will help the student build an understanding of extreme weather events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, mid-latitude storms, thunderstorms, blizzards, drought, El Nino/La Nina, and more.  Students will be required to read and analyze information while using critical thinking and communication skills to solve problems.  Math will be used at times during this course but the emphasis will be on a conceptual understanding of the atmosphere and extreme weather topics.


Last updated 10-5-2012

Butte College | 3536 Butte Campus Drive, Oroville CA 95965 | General Information 530.895.2511

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