Physics Program

While not the oldest science, Physics has evolved over the last four centuries into the most fundamental.  From Aristotle through Newton to Einstein, the science has developed into our primary means of probing the forces that serve as the foundation for everything that happens on all levels, from the subatomic to the large-scale structure of the Universe. Physics, like all the sciences, draws individuals who love a challenge, who find problem-solving and complex puzzles motivating factors for getting up and going to work every day. Critically, the puzzles within Physics often challenge our intuition and demand that we rethink the way we perceive the Universe. Ultimately, all of the physical and biological sciences can be reduced to a form of applied Physics. Thus, the motto for our Department is

Understanding the Universe Starts Here

and the range of research topics under investigation locally bears that out in extraordinary fashion.

Within the Department, research groups study the magnetospheric interaction of the sun and objects within the solar system, quantum computing, energy-generating nanotechnology, the quark-gluon plasma that defined the Universe at the moment of the Big Bang, the origin and evolution of galaxies, the kinetics and thermodynamics of protein-nucleic acid interactions, destruction of planetary species through astrophysical catastrophes, and many, many more. Most important, the basic insight gained by researching questions of pure science leads to practical applications that alter our environment and the way we interact with it, as illustrated by the revolution in technology of the last century triggered by breakthroughs in quantum and nuclear physics. 

If you have a strong background in Math, a fascination with science, and love a challenge, a Physics degree could be what you are looking for in the future. We encourage you to explore the options available through the Department, from an undergraduate degree in Physics, Astronomy, or Engineering Physics, if you are a high school student or have recently started college, to a graduate degree in Physics if you are looking to continue your undergraduate education with an advanced degree. Check out the multiple areas of research and see if any appeal to you. The course/degree requirements for all Physics degrees can be accessed below, while the Astronomy and Engineering Physics curricula can be accessed on their specific pages. If any questions arise which can’t be answered through the links on the web site, please feel free to contact the Department at any time.