Physics, the science that deals with matter and energy and the interactions between the two, allows us to understand phenomena that take place around us and in the universe. Physical laws help us perceive our world. Some physicists use these principles in theoretical areas, such as the nature of time and the origin of the universe; others apply their physics knowledge to practical areas, such as the development of advanced materials, electronic and optical devices and medical equipment. Physicists design and perform experiments with lasers, cyclotrons, telescopes, mass spectrometers and other equipment. Based on observations and analysis, they attempt to discover and explain laws describing the forces of nature, such as gravity, electromagnetism and nuclear interactions.
Physicists also find ways to apply physical laws and theories to problems in nuclear energy, electronics, optics, materials, communications, aerospace technology, navigation equipment and medical instrumentation. Most physicists work in research and development. For example, basic research in solid-state physics led to the development of transistors and, then, of integrated circuits used in computers. Physicists also design research equipment. For example, lasers designed by physicists are used in surgery. Although physics research may require extensive experimentation in laboratories, research physicists also spend time in offices planning, recording, analyzing and reporting on research.
This program aims to provide a comprehensive physics education with considerable emphasis on both theoretical foundations and laboratory practice. The theoretical and mathematical components develop the intellectual skills and versatility needed either to pursue physics professionally at the postgraduate level, or to cross over into other professions such as medicine, actuarial science, meteorology and secondary education, in which a physics background is strongly preferred. The senior laboratory components consist of long-range projects, rather than prescribed exercises, to encourage initiative on the part of the student and to prepare him or her for the inventive atmosphere of modern high-tech industry. Graduates of this program have attained success in high-tech industry, computer software development, secondary education, and postgraduate studies.
Physics has ties many other areas of inquiry. Students wishing to complement another area of study with Physics, should consider pursuing the Minor program.
Last reviewed 6/4/2012 4:24:45 PM