Catalogue 2014 - 2015

ILP 237 Forensic Physics


3 cr.


PHYS 103 or PHYS 123 or PHYS 133.

Course Description

This ILP course will focus on the application of basic physics concepts to Forensic Science with an emphasis on the quantitative analysis of real and contrived cases. It will expose the students to actual methods and techniques used by investigators in the field of Forensic Physics. The science of physics is especially important when dealing with ballistic evidence where the trajectory of a bullet is in question (kinematics). Physics is needed to aid in accident reconstruction, resolving the many different forces at work in order to explain how an event may have happened (Newton's laws, collisions, energy). Other topics are, e.g., the physics of explosions and arson (thermodynamics), analysis of bloodstain patterns (kinematics), and the use of physical and geometric optics principles to develop latent fingerprints.