Physics and Applied Physics, B.A.

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.

Applied Physics

The applied physics program is offered jointly by the physics departments of the School of Arts and Sciences–Newark (SASN) and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). It is designed to provide students with a broad background in physics and, at the same time, to relate that background to work in many high-technology industries, such as microelectronics, laser technology, and systems design/control.

The program also prepares students for graduate studies in applied physics or, with some additional courses for specific requirements, in engineering or computer science.

The applied physics program consists of a common core of basic physics and mathematics courses and currently offers two tracks, one in computational physics and one in microelectronics. The computational physics track addresses industry’s current need for personnel in scientific computing, software design, modeling, and simulation. The microelectronics track augments standard training in microchip engineering with the fundamental physics and mathematics underlying the technology necessary for research and development.

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.