Physics

Physics is the study of how the world works: from fiber optic communications to the CCD chips in your phone; from bridges to radio antennas; from subatomic particles to stars and galaxies; physicists study it all. 

The educational objectives of the Department of Physics are:

  1. To train students to become critically thinking problem solvers.
  2. To develop students’ mathematical, computational, and laboratory skills to understand and solve scienific problems.
  3. To prepare students for entrance into the technological and non-technical work forces.

To accomplish these objectives, physics students are guided to an understanding of physical laws and their applications; students learn to think logically and develop their problem-solving abilities; students develop experimental skills and become knowledgeable in the use of instrumentation; and students receive instruction in advanced mathematical and analytical techniques and in the use of computers and microprocessors. The applied component of the physics curriculum focuses on laser technology, applications in biology and medicine, and nanotechnology and materials science. Students learn the fundamental physical processes that constitute the basis of modern technology and engineering. We strongly encourage students to work with our faculty members on research ranging from biophotonics, astronomy, to high energy physics. Finally, students will complete a Senior Capstone Project which is an integrative project, chosen by our students and executed with the help of a faculty mentor. Here, students will apply their classroom knowledge to concrete challenges at the forefront of physics. Past capstones, for example, have ranged from quantum computing, to detecting early-stage cancer, to monitoring the earth's ionosphere using low-frequency radio receivers. Physics majors automatically earn a minor in mathematics.

Whether your interest is teaching high school, working in a high-tech company, or continuing on to graduate school and a research career, our combination of a solid classroom foundation and student research will give you an outstanding starting point for your future career. Physics graduates can pursue graduate studies in any sub-field of physics and related fields such as engineering, follow industrial careers in research and development in corporate or industrial environments, or pursue professional careers in such fields as physics, engineering, computer science, finance, medicine, biology, architecture, patent/high-tech law, and science teaching, just to name a few.