Every generation faces new and complex challenges. In content, physics seeks to understand the properties and behavior of the fundamental constituents of nature – matter and energy – leading to an exploration spanning from the subatomic scale of atoms and nuclei (particle physics) to the cosmic scale of galaxies and the Universe (astrophysics and cosmology). But the critical thinking skills that students master through their analysis of these various complex physical systems are transferable toward the solution of all complex problems. For this reason, a physics-based education provides a strong foundation upon which numerous career and research paths can begin – be they in the sciences, engineering, humanities, or business.
Guided by the University Mission, and driven by a commitment to the common good and to the education of the whole person, it is the goal of the physics department to be a learning community that fosters thought, discussion, and exploration through meaningful interactions among students and faculty and provides students with an educational experience that is tailored to their specific passions and interests. Toward that end, we offer Bachelor of Science degrees in:
Program specific information can be found by clicking on the corresponding word or tab.
Our Universe: In the Beginning
This course explores the historical progression of our beliefs regarding the origin and structure of the universe. The first part of the course presents and critiques cosmological models put forth by Greek philosophers, medieval theologians, and modern scientists. The second part of the course then provides a conceptual understanding of modern Big Bang theory.
This course explains the intriguing work of crime scene investigators from a physics standpoint. Included are techniques to find out how a crime happened, e. g. ballistics, blood pattern analysis and skid marks, and techniques to investigate traces like bite marks, fingerprints and body fluids that lead to an identification of the perpetrator.
Modern Physics I
This course explores how the experiments of the late 19th and early 20th century revolutionized our understanding of nature, and presents the basic principles of the two theories that emerged as a result - special relativity and quantum physics.
This course builds on the principles of the electromagnetic theory to develop a fundamental understanding of light waves and how they interact with matter and objects.