2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

Physics

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Majors

Applied Physics Major

Physics Major

Minors

Physics Minor

Teacher Licensure

Endorsement in Physics (6-12)

Two different majors in the Department of Physics provide opportunities for students to study the theoretical and applied nature of physics from within a broad liberal arts context. The courses of study in these majors prepare students for a variety of challenging and rewarding careers, not only in the fields of science and technology, but also in education, engineering and computer science, as well as careers emphasizing advanced analytical skills, such as business management, law, medical professions and ministry.
 
The physics major prepares a student for further study in graduate school or for a career in industry. A number of our graduates have used this route to prepare for study towards a master’s degree in engineering. Others have entered doctoral studies and subsequent vocations in higher education or research. Still others have gone directly into technical jobs in business such as electronics technicians or computer specialists.
 
The applied physics major is for students interested in technical careers. Depending on their interests, students will select one of three tracks within this major. The engineering physics track is designed for students preparing for further study in engineering or completing a dual-degree engineering program with Virginia Tech. Students interested in combining interests in physics, electronics and computer science should complete the physics and technology track. The physical science track gives a student a broad background in both physics and chemistry.
 
The department also offers students the opportunity to minor in physics, which can be a unique way of blending together an interest in traditionally non-science areas with an interest in physics. For example, students interested in careers in technical writing, patent law, philosophy or religion can combine studies in the humanities with physics. In addition, the department offers several courses in astronomy and physics that meet the general education needs of non-science majors.

Applied Physics Major

Degree Type Offered: B.S. Major

Primarily for students interested in careers in engineering or technology. Students completing dual-degree programs may transfer appropriate engineering courses for physics courses at the discretion of the department and the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Required courses:

PHYS-221 General Physics I

PHYS-222 General Physics II

PHYS-300 Mathematical Methods in Physics

PHYS-308 Modern Physics

PHYS-311 Classical Mechanics

MATH-131 Calculus I

MATH-132 Calculus II

In addition, complete the Senior Capstone requirement by choosing one of the following options:

PHYS-497 Senior Capstone Project I

PHYS-498 Senior Capstone Project II

-or-

PHYS-491 Research

-or-

PHYS-499 Honors Project

-or-

PHYS-495 Senior Thesis

Students must select additional courses as outlined in one of the following tracks:

Track 1—Engineering Physics

Cannot be taken as a dual major with a major in physics.

Required courses:

CHEM-161 General Chemistry I

CHEM-162 General Chemistry II

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

PHYS-411 Fluid Mechanics

MATH-231 Calculus III

MATH-232 Calculus IV

And two additional PHYS courses numbered 300 or above.

Track 2—Physics and Technology

Cannot be taken as a dual major with a major in computer science or physics.

Required courses:

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

CSCI-200 Intermediate Programming

CSCI-205 Data Structures

PHYS-305 Electronics

PHYS-306 Digital Electronics

And three additional courses numbered 300 or above, chosen from courses with PHYS, CSCI, or CIS designations, with at least one course from PHYS.

Track 3—Physical Science

Cannot be taken as a dual major with a major in chemistry or in physics.

Required courses:

CHEM-161 General Chemistry I

CHEM-162 General Chemistry II

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

MATH-231 Calculus III

MATH-232 Calculus IV

And three additional courses numbered 300 or above, chosen from courses with PHYS or CHEM designations (at least one course from each designation).

Physics Major

Degree Type Offered: B.S. Major

For students planning on graduate study in physics or engineering or a physics-related career in industry.

Required courses:

PHYS-221 General Physics I

PHYS-222 General Physics II

PHYS-300 Mathematical Methods in Physics

PHYS-305 Electronics

PHYS-308 Modern Physics

PHYS-311 Classical Mechanics

PHYS-331 Electricity and Magnetism

-or-

PHYS-420 Quantum Mechanics

PHYS-345W Experimental Physics

CSCI-105 Introduction to Programming

MATH-131 Calculus I

MATH-132 Calculus II

MATH-231 Calculus III

MATH-232 Calculus IV

And two additional PHYS courses numbered 300 or above.

In addition, complete the Senior Capstone requirement by choosing one of the following options:

PHYS-497 Senior Capstone Project I

PHYS-498 Senior Capstone Project II

-or-

PHYS-491 Research

-or-

PHYS-499 Honors Project

-or-

PHYS-495 Senior Thesis

Students admitted to the Teacher Education Program may substitute EDU-470 to meet the Senior Capstone requirement.

Physics Minor

Degree Type Offered: Minor

Required courses:

MATH-131 Calculus I

MATH-132 Calculus II

PHYS-221 General Physics I

PHYS-222 General Physics II

PHYS-308 Modern Physics

And three additional PHYS courses numbered 300 or above.

Endorsement in Physics (6-12)

Degree Type Offered: Teacher Licensure

Students majoring in Physics can be eligible for teacher licensure at the secondary level (6-12) by also completing the courses in the teacher education program.  As early as possible, contact Dr. Jenny Martin, coordinator for secondary education at jmartin@bridgewater.edu or 540-828-5662 for further information.

Supporting Coursework for Physics and Applied Physics Majors

Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School in Physics

CSCI-200 Intermediate Programming

MATH-331 Differential Equations

MATH-210 Introduction to Linear Algebra

-or-

MATH-310 Linear Algebra

PHYS-331 Electricity and Magnetism

PHYS-420 Quantum Mechanics

Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School in Engineering

CSCI-200 Intermediate Programming

MATH-331 Differential Equations

MATH-350 Numerical Analysis

PHYS-401 Computational Physics

PHYS-411 Fluid Mechanics

Strongly Recommended Supporting Coursework for Graduate School for Teaching Licensure in Mathematics

MATH-200 Introduction to Number Theory

MATH-210 Introduction to Linear Algebra

MATH-140 Introduction to Statistics

-or-

MATH-341 Theoretical Statistics I

MATH-300 Set Theory and Symbolic Logic

MATH-320 Modern Geometry

MATH-360 History of Mathematics

Recommended Minors for Graduate School in Physics or Engineering

Computer Science (for Physics or Engineering)

Mathematics (for Physics or Engineering)

Environmental Science (for Environmental Engineering/Civil Engineering)

Courses

PHYS-110 Introductory Astronomy

PHYS-119 Physics and the Modern World

PHYS-125 Concepts of Physics

PHYS-140 The Physics of Music

PHYS-150 Astrophysics for Beginners

PHYS-195 Visualizing Physics With Computers

PHYS-218 College Physics I

PHYS-219 College Physics II

PHYS-221 General Physics I

PHYS-222 General Physics II

PHYS-300 Mathematical Methods in Physics

PHYS-305 Electronics

PHYS-306 Digital Electronics

PHYS-308 Modern Physics

PHYS-311 Classical Mechanics

PHYS-331 Electricity and Magnetism

PHYS-341 Thermal & Statistical Physics

PHYS-345W Experimental Physics

PHYS-401 Computational Physics

PHYS-410 Optics and Laser Physics

PHYS-411 Fluid Mechanics

PHYS-420 Quantum Mechanics

PHYS-442 Fundamentals of Astrophysics

PHYS-450 Special Topics

PHYS-480 Internship

PHYS-490 Independent Study

PHYS-491 Research

PHYS-495 Senior Thesis

PHYS-497 Senior Capstone Project I

PHYS-498 Senior Capstone Project II

PHYS-499 Honors Project