Applied Physics, B.A.

Requirements

The requirements for the major include 39 credits in physics with a minimum grade-point average of 2.5. The following courses are required for the major:

  21:750:205,206  Introductory Physics Laboratory (1,1)

  21:750:213,214  University Physics* (4,4) [21:750:203,204  General Physics I,II (4,4) may be substituted under special circumstances]

  21:750:315  Introductory Thermodynamics (3)

  21:750:316  Introduction to Modern Physics (3)

  21:750:333  Applications of Mathematics to Physics (3)

  21:750:361,362  Mechanics I,II (3,3)

  21:750:385,386  Electromagnetic Fields and Waves I,II (3,3)

  21:750:403  Introduction to Atomic and Nuclear Physics (3)

  21:750:404  Quantum Mechanics (3)

  21:750:407,408  Advanced Physics Laboratory I, II (1,1)

The major also requires the following courses in mathematics:

  21:640:135,136  Calculus I, II (4,4)

  21:640:314  Elementary Differential Equations (3)

In addition, two courses from the following list are required:

  21:640:251  Linear Algebra (or Math 337**) (3)

  21:640:410  Vector Analysis (or Math 335**) (3)

  21:640:473  Numerical Analysis (3)

  21:640:475,476  Applied Mathematics I,II (3,3)

  21:750:461  Computational Methods in Applied Physics (3)

  21:750:462  Mathematical Methods of Theoretical Physics (3)

  Math 331  Introduction to Partial Differential Equations**

Courses recommended, but not required, include:

  21:160:115,116  General Chemistry (4,4)

  21:640:403  Introductory Theory of Functions of a Complex Variable (3)

  21:750:406  Introductory Solid-State Physics (3)

  21:750:410  Physical Electronics (2)

  21:750:411  Physical Optics (3)

  21:750:491,492  Physics Seminar (1,1)

  EE 251  Digital Design**

Physics

The program in physics is designed to enable a major to graduate with a sound and thorough preparation in basic physics. The student is prepared either for subsequent graduate study in physics or for employment in physics or allied fields at a level commensurate with a good undergraduate physics background. Individual study and participation in ongoing research within the department are encouraged for those interested and qualified. Research opportunities also exist in undergraduate research programs organized or sponsored by the American Institute of Physics and the National Science Foundation, on a competitive basis. The physics major may be combined with undergraduate programs or selected course work in the areas of pre-medicine, pre-business, and prelaw; this provides excellent credentials and background for entrance into professional programs in these fields. A modified physics program is also available to students in the field of education, which leads to certification for high school teaching in the area of physical science.

Physics Learning Objectives

The program in physics is designed to enable a major to graduate with a sound and thorough preparation in fundamental physics. The student is prepared for subsequent graduate study in physics and for employment in physics or an allied field at a level commensurate with a good undergraduate physics background.

In the basic courses the student will learn to apply logical reasoning to better understand physical phenomena in the world around them. Students will learn to quantitatively relate hypothesis to measurement and reality and to successfully employ reduction, abstraction and induction to analyze complex phenomena and problems. They will learn the basic techniques of the scientific method and become familiar with methods to rigorously test scientific ideas experimentally. Students will discover the conceptual usefulness of quantitative theories in collecting, relating and explaining knowledge and begin to appreciate their predictive power. 

Students will learn to apply mathematical methods in physical theory to analyze and become proficient at solving quantitative physical problems.

Students will learn and become familiar with the ideas and methods of Newtonian mechanics and of classical electro-magnetism in introductory courses.

They will learn to abstract from an understanding of their surroundings to a less intuitive understanding of the atomic, sub-atomic and cosmic. The study of thermodynamic-, relativistic- and quantum phenomena in upper-level courses will enable our students to actively participate in and contribute to a modern high-tech world. They will acquire the skills required to succeed as engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs.  

Associated laboratory experiences are designed to teach the student to design quantitative experiments and interpret the measured outcomes. Students will learn to understand, measure and control for statistical and systematic experimental errors. They will learn the basic skills required in any quantitative investigation.

On a competitive basis, interested and qualified students will have the opportunity to participation in ongoing research within the department and in undergraduate research programs organized or sponsored by the American Institute of Physics and the National Science Foundation.

The physics major will prepare for undergraduate programs or selected course work in the areas of pre-medicine, pre-business, and pre-law. It will provide excellent credentials and background for entrance into professional programs in these fields. Students in the field of education will be able to obtain a certification for high school teaching in the area of physical science.

For academic advising contact the Department Chair, Dr. Michele Pavanello.