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 at least one 300-level course in physics. Physics majors are required to complete the courses listed above plus Physics 241, Modern Physics; Physics 303, Mechanics; Physics 312, Electricity and Magnetism; Physics 314, Thermal Physics; at least one 400-level physics course; Mathematics 211, Introduction to Differential Equations; Mathematics 212, Calculus III; and the Senior Project.

Recent Senior Projects in Physics

  • "Aeroelasticity and vibration of composite aircraft wings: Transverse oscillations of composite wings modeled as simple beams"
  • "The Casimir Oscillator," a description of quantum phenomenon to produce a nonharmonic oscillator
  • "Eddy Current Forces and Torques Experienced by a Moving Magnet"
  • "Factorization, SUSY QM, and Shape Invariance"

Courses

In addition to the core required courses, electives include mathematical courses (e.g., Physics 221 and 222, Mathematical Methods of Physics I and II) and advanced laboratory and theoretical courses, including Physics 210, Introduction to Electronics, and Physics 403, Quantum Mechanics. Additionally, tutorials are offered for advanced study on such topics as general relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and condensed matter physics.