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Physics Home


The Physics Program at Merritt College provides a variety of university-transferable physics courses. Whether you are preparing to transfer to a four-year institution with a major in one of the sciences, fulfilling a science requirement, or are just curious about the physical world around you, the right class is here for you.

Physics courses

Physics Courses at  Merritt College (check class schedule for current offerings)

Physics 10

Elementary introduction to field of physics: Mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, sound, optics, and modern physics.

This class can be used as a basic introduction before enrolling in the 2 series or 4 series for those who have not had any physics in high school.

This class does not require Intermediate Algebra, Triginometry, or Calculus.

Always check with your counselor for your specific requirements.

Physics 2 Series  (Sections 2A and 2B) are Algebra-Based Physics Courses

Physics 2A  

Introductory physics version, without calculus, covering a comprehensive study of general physics: Mechanics, properties of matter, thermodynamics, heat, wave motion, and sound. 1902.00

 Physics 2B   

Introductory study of general physics, including Light, Optics, Electricity & Magnetism, Atomic Physics, and Modern Physics. This is a lab-based course and the prerequisite is Physics 2A and / or equivalent.1902.00

AA/AS area 1; CSU are B1, B3; IGETC area 5A,5C

Physics 4 series  (4A, 4B, 4C) is a Calculus Based Physics Series

Physics 4A  

Introductory physics, version with calculus covering a comprehensive study of major topics of physics: Motion, forces, gravity, energy, momentum, rotation, equilibrium, fluids, oscillations, waves, and sound. 1902.00

Physics 4B    

Comprehensive study of major topics of physics: Thermodynamics, electric forces and fields, magnetic forces and fields, electricity, and AC and DC circuits. Prerequisite: Physics 4A or equivalent:  1902.00

Physics 4C

Study of major topics of Physics; Light, Interference, Relativity, Quantum Physics, Atoms, Molecules, and Nuclei


Merritt College Physics Instructors

Andrew Combs, Ph.D. from MIT is Merritt’s Physics 10 instructor and has been teaching this class at Merritt for the past four years. He is also an award-winning instructor at Los Positas College in the Livermore Valley, is an instructor at Diablo Valley College, and teaches at an Aeronautics Training facility. Following his graduate work, Professor Combs became interested in applying science and math to things people use directly which led to the founding of a couple of technology companies, which pioneered methods to compress map data for navigational electronics, and built systems for electronic document imaging systems. Systems were sold to NASA, Samsung, General Dynamics and GE-Medical, as well as to large electric power utilities in Japan and Korea. “We even helped repair and maintain the Hubble Space Telescope!”

Stephen Matthew, Ph.D. is the  instructor for the Physics 4 & 2 series. Professor Matthews has taught at Merritt for the past six years, specializing in our Physics 2A, 2B, 4A, and 4B classes.

To contact the Physics Program, call Michele Bruni, Physics and Astronomy Technician, at  (510) 436-2601. Please leave your name and the date and time that you called.