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This concentration is designed to give students a broad introduction to physics. It provides students the analytical and laboratory tools to investigate the physical world and prepares them for training in engineering, medicine, or education. When supplemented by additional physics courses, the physics concentration prepares students for a graduate education in physics. Students interested in engineering should also consult the catalogue for the 3/2 dual degree program.


The following courses are required to complete the concentration. The total number of credits is 20.
Physics 210 Analog and Digital Electronics
Physics 220 Introduction to Quantum Physics
Physics 230 Modern Physics Laboratory
Physics 303 Classical Mechanics
Physics 304 Electricity and Magnetism
Physics 320 Statistical Thermodynamics

The 200-level courses listed above are usually offered every year. The 300-level courses listed above are usually offered two out of every three years. The serious physics student should also take Math 220 Linear Algebra and Math 221 Vector Calculus. See the back half of the catalogue for a complete list of advanced physics courses. Additional courses that complement this concentration are:
Chemistry 100 and 101 Introduction to Chemistry I and II
Mathematics 364 Ordinary Differential Equations
Mathematics 365 Partial Differential Equations
Natural Science 410 Research Methods

Recent Senior Theses

“The Mathematical Structure Associated with the Timbre of Musical Tones”
“Mechanics Problems in Billiards”
“The Amoebot: A New Type of Robotic Motion”
“The Effect of a Shear Flow on Solidification Texturing of Zn Alloys”
“Fluid Dynamics, Crystal Growth, and the Inner Core: A Study in the Differing Effects of Externally and Internally Driven Flows on Crystal Alignment”
“A Study of the Mechanical Properties of G. cancriformis Web Silk”
“Effect of Sample Size on Cartilage Friction Coefficient: An Introduction to Cartilage Lubrication”
“Design and Optimization of an In-Vacuum Electromagnet for the Observation of Magnetic Circular X-ray Dichroism”

Research Opportunities

Dr. Bergman and Dr. Kramer have received grants from NIH, NSF, and Research Corporation to support their ongoing research. Dr. Bergman conducts a variety of experiments on the solidification and deformation of ice and metals under extreme conditions, with the goal of illuminating similar processes that take place at the Earth’s core. Dr. Kramer pursues mathematical and computer simulation approaches to the formation of patterns in nature. Each summer they hire several students for summer research internships to allow the students to participate in high quality research and to enrich their undergraduate experience.


Michael Bergman, William Dunbar, Eric Kramer, David Myers
Faculty Contacts: Michael Bergman, Eric Kramer