2014-2015 Catalog 
    
    Apr 18, 2021  
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics Major


Major Requirements


  1. PHYS 033L KS - Principles of Physics  and PHYS 034L KS - Principles of Physics 
  2. PHYS 035 KS - Modern Physics 
  3. PHYS 100 KS - Computational Physics and Engineering 
  4. PHYS 101 KS - Intermediate Mechanics 
  5. PHYS 102 KS - Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism 
  6. PHYS 108 KS - Programming for Science and Engineering , or CSCI 051 CM - Introduction to Computer Science , or another computer science course chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.
  7. PHYS 114 KS - Quantum Mechanics: A Numerical Methods Approach 
  8. PHYS 115 KS - Statistical Mechanics with Numerical Approach and Application 
  9. Senior thesis in Physics: Physics majors must complete a one- or two-semester thesis in physics. As an alternative, they may choose to complete a one- or two-semester thesis in biology or chemistry. For further information see Senior Thesis in Science .

Notes:


Learning Goals of the Program in Physics


The objectives for the program in physics are to prepare students for:

  1. When confronted with an unfamiliar physical or dynamical system or situation, our students should be able to:
    1. Develop a conceptual framework for understanding the system by identifying the key physical principles, relationships, and constraints underlying the system;
    2. Translate that conceptual framework into an appropriate mathematical format/model;
    3. (i) If the mathematical model/equations are analytically tractable, carry out the analysis of the problem to completion (by demonstrating knowledge of and proficiency with the standard mathematical tools of physics and engineering);
      (ii) If the model/equations are not tractable, develop a computer code and/or use standard software/ programming languages (e.g. Matlab, Maple, Python) to numerically simulate the model system;
    4. Intelligently analyze, interpret, and assess the reasonableness of the answers obtained and/or the model’s predictions;
    5. Effectively communicate their findings (either verbally and/or via written expression) to diverse audiences.
  2. In a laboratory setting, students should be able to:
    1. Design an appropriate experiment to test out a hypothesis of interest;
    2. Make basic order-of-magnitude estimates;
    3. Demonstrate a working familiarity with standard laboratory equipment (e.g. oscilloscopes, DMMs, signal generators, etc.);
    4. Identify and appropriately address the sources of systematic error and statistical error in their experiment;
    5. Have proficiency with standard methods of data analysis (e.g. graphing, curve-fitting, statistical analysis, Fourier analysis, etc.);
    6. Intelligently analyze, interpret, and assess the reasonableness of their experimental results;
    7. Effectively communicate their findings (either verbally and/or via written expression) to diverse audiences.