Academic Programs

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Physics

Overview

The Physics Program provides a firm foundation for work in a variety of areas, including graduate work in physics and allied fields. A student usually takes the core courses listed below, although in some cases the student and faculty may decide that not all the courses are appropriate because of advanced preparation or the particular focus of the student’s work. The student also chooses a number of electives according to personal interests. Students are expected to follow the standard divisional procedure for Moderation and to fulfill the collegewide distribution and First-Year Seminar requirements.

Requirements

Prior to Moderation, a student has usually completed Physics 141 and 142, Introduction to Physics I and II; Mathematics 141 and 142, Calculus I and II; and Physics 241, Modern Physics. Physics majors are required to complete the courses listed above plus Physics 303, Mechanics; Physics 312, Electricity and Magnetism; Physics 314, Thermal Physics; Physics 321, Quantum Mechanics; Mathematics 213, Linear Algebra with Ordinary Differential Equations; Mathematics 241, Vector Calculus; and the Senior Project.

Recent Senior Projects in Physics

  • “The Deformation of a Zn-Sn Alloy”
  • “Directional Quorum Sensing in Microfluidic Devices and Hydrogel Diffusion Models”
  • “Electronic Transport in Graphene: Measuring the Integer Quantum Hall Effect in Large-Area, Monolayer Samples”
  • “Frustrated Total Internal Reflection of Microwaves”

Courses

In addition to the core required courses, electives include mathematical courses (e.g., Mathematical Methods of Physics I and II), advanced laboratory and theoretical courses, tutorials on such subjects as general relativity, condensed matter physics, and nuclear and particle physics, and advanced studies in acoustics, optics, electronics, quantum mechanics, and electromagnetism.