Physics is the scientific study of the fundamental principles governing the behavior of matter and the interaction of matter and energy. Mathematics is used to describe fundamental physical principles, the behavior of matter, and the interactions of matter and energy. As the most fundamental of sciences, physics provides a foundation for other scientific fields as well as the underpinnings of modern technology. The Physics department is unique because of the breadth of its faculty expertise and research, and the relatively intimate size of its classes above the introductory level. Physics concentrators may choose to pursue either the A.B. or the more intensive Sc.B. degree. Course work on either path covers a broad base of topics (for example, electricity and magnetism, classical and quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics). The Sc.B. degree requires additional advanced topics as well as a senior thesis project.
Students in this concentration will:
A senior thesis, to be prepared in connection with Physics 1980, is required of all Sc.B. concentrators. All Sc.B. candidates are eligible for Honors consideration without any special application procedure. During the student's eighth semester, the Physics Concentration and Honors advisors will review the student's grades in all mathematics and physics courses and compute a GPA. If this GPA is judged sufficiently outstanding (typically 3.3 or better), successful completion of the senior thesis is then the remaining requirement, including an oral presentation at the end of the eighth semester. If both are deemed satisfactory, the student will be awarded Honors at graduation. Visit the department website for more information.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
Alumni who have completed the concentration in Physics have gone on to work in academia, private industry, and government. They have pursued careers as patent attorneys, engineers, research physicists, medical physicists, marine ecologists, and management consultants. Read their comments on the Physics department's website.
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