Physics

Physics is the scientific study of the fundamental principles governing the behavior of matter and the interaction of matter and energy. Mathematics is used to describe fundamental physical principles, the behavior of matter, and the interactions of matter and energy. As the most fundamental of sciences, physics provides a foundation for other scientific fields as well as the underpinnings of modern technology. The Physics department is unique because of the breadth of its faculty expertise and research, and the relatively intimate size of its classes above the introductory level. Physics concentrators may choose to pursue either the A.B. or the more intensive Sc.B. degree. Course work on either path covers a broad base of topics (for example, electricity and magnetism, classical and quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics). The Sc.B. degree requires additional advanced topics as well as a senior thesis project. 

Standard concentration for the A.B. degree

Select one of the following Series:2
Analytical Mechanics
   and Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
Basic Physics
   and Basic Physics
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
PHYS 0500Advanced Classical Mechanics1
PHYS 0560Experiments in Modern Physics1
PHYS 1410Quantum Mechanics A1
PHYS 1530Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics1
One additional 1000-level course or a mathematics course beyond the introductory level. 1
Total Credits8

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

Prerequisites:
Select one of the following series:2
Analytical Mechanics
   and Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Select one of the following:1
Advanced Placement Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Program:
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
PHYS 0500Advanced Classical Mechanics1
PHYS 0560Experiments in Modern Physics1
PHYS 1410Quantum Mechanics A1
PHYS 1420Quantum Mechanics B1
PHYS 1510Advanced Electromagnetic Theory1
PHYS 1530Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics1
PHYS 1560Modern Physics Laboratory1
PHYS 1980Undergraduate Research in Physics1
One additional 1000 or 2000 level Physics course or upper level course in related fields of science chosen by the student with agreement of his or her advisor.1
Four Mathematics courses beyond MATH 0190 or 0090, 0100 including choices from Applied Mathematics 14
PHYS 1990Senior Conference Course 21
Total Credits18
1

In addition, courses in computer programming are recommended.

2

A senior thesis is required. This is to be prepared in connection with PHYS 1990 under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The topic may be in a related department or of interdisciplinary nature. In any event, a dissertation must be submitted.

Honors

Candidates for honors in physics will be expected to pursue a more rigorous and extensive program than those merely concentrating in the subject. In addition they will be required to begin an honors thesis during the seventh semester and to complete it (as part of PHYS 1990) during the eighth semester. Honors candidates are also expected to take a special oral examination on the thesis at the end of the eighth semester. Further details about the program may be obtained from the chair of the department or the departmental honors advisor.

Astrophysics Track for the Sc.B. degree

Prerequisites:
Select one of the following Series:2
Analytical Mechanics
   and Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
PHYS 0270Introduction to Astronomy1
Select one of the following Series:2
Advanced Placement Calculus
   and Intermediate Calculus
Advanced Placement Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
   and Intermediate Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Honors Calculus (or equivalent)
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
Program:
MATH 0520Linear Algebra1
or MATH 0540 Honors Linear Algebra
or PHYS 0720 Methods of Mathematical Physics
Select one of the following Math courses:1
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Ordinary Differential Equations
Partial Differential Equations
PHYS 0500Advanced Classical Mechanics1
PHYS 0560Experiments in Modern Physics1
PHYS 1410Quantum Mechanics A1
PHYS 1530Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics1
Three of the following:3
Introduction to General Relativity
Stellar Structure and the Interstellar Medium
Extragalactic Astronomy and High-Energy Astrophysics
Introduction to Cosmology
Two additonal 1000- or 2000-level courses in physics or a related field which are not listed as requirements.2
PHYS 1990Senior Conference Course 11
Total Credits18
1

A senior thesis is required. This is to be prepared in connection with under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The topic may be in a related department or of interdisciplinary nature. In any event, a dissertation must be submitted.

 Biological Physics Track for the Sc.B. degree

Foundations of Physics
PHYS 0070Analytical Mechanics1
or PHYS 0050 Foundations of Mechanics
or ENGN 0040 Dynamics and Vibrations
PHYS 0160Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics1
or PHYS 0060 Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
PHYS 0500Advanced Classical Mechanics1
PHYS 1410Quantum Mechanics A1
PHYS 1530Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics1
Select one of the following Series: 11-2
Series A
Methods of Mathematical Physics
Series B
Select one of the following:
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Ordinary Differential Equations
And select one of the following:
Intermediate Calculus
Intermediate Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Honors Calculus
Linear Algebra
Honors Linear Algebra
Basic Biology and Chemistry
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (or placement out of BIOL 0200)1
BIOL 0500Cell and Molecular Biology1
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure1
Advanced Biophysical Topics and Techniques
PHYS 1610Biological Physics1
PHYS 1990Senior Conference Course1
Elective Courses (four chosen from the following list, with at least two 1000-level courses, or additional courses approved by the concentration advisor:4
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Mathematical Methods in the Brain Sciences
Essential Statistics
Quantitative Models of Biological Systems
Inference in Genomics and Molecuar Biology
Introductory Biochemistry
Genetics
Biology of the Eukaryotic Cell
Protein Biophysics and Structure
Advanced Biochemistry
Techniques in Pathobiology
Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Introductory Calculus, Part I
Advanced Placement Calculus
Advanced Placement Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Probability
Mathematical Statistics
Experiments in Modern Physics
Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
Modern Physics Laboratory
Selected Topics in Molecular Biophysics
PHYS 1990Senior Conference Course 21
Total Credits17-18
1

Select Series A alone or two from Series B as indicated.

2

A senior thesis is required. This is to be prepared in connection with under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The topic may be in a related department or of interdisciplinary nature. In any event, a dissertation must be submitted.

Mathematical Physics Track for the A.B. degree 

Prerequisites:
MATH 0090Introductory Calculus, Part I1
or MATH 0100 Introductory Calculus, Part II
or MATH 0190 Advanced Placement Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
PHYS 0050Foundations of Mechanics1
or PHYS 0070 Analytical Mechanics
Mathematics Courses 1
MATH 0180Intermediate Calculus1
or MATH 0200 Intermediate Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
or MATH 0350 Honors Calculus
MATH 0520Linear Algebra1
or MATH 0540 Honors Linear Algebra
MATH 1110Ordinary Differential Equations1
Select at least one of the following:1
Differential Geometry
Partial Differential Equations
Probability
Physics Courses 1
PHYS 0060Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics1
or PHYS 0160 Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
PHYS 0500Advanced Classical Mechanics1
PHYS 0560Experiments in Modern Physics1
Select at least two of the following:2
Quantum Mechanics A
Quantum Mechanics B
Advanced Electromagnetic Theory
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Modern Physics Laboratory
Total Credits12
1

Concentrators are required to take at least one course in mathematics and one in physics in each of their last two semesters.

Mathematical Physics Track for the Sc.B. degree

Prerequisites:
Select one of the following series:2
Analytical Mechanics
   and Introduction to Relativity and Quantum Physics
Foundations of Mechanics
   and Foundations of Electromagnetism and Modern Physics
Select one of the following:1-2
Advanced Placement Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Introductory Calculus, Part I
   and Introductory Calculus, Part II
Required courses:
PHYS 0470Electricity and Magnetism1
PHYS 0500Advanced Classical Mechanics1
PHYS 0560Experiments in Modern Physics1
PHYS 1410Quantum Mechanics A1
PHYS 1530Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics1
MATH 0180
  & MATH 0200
Intermediate Calculus
   and Intermediate Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
1-2
or MATH 0350 Honors Calculus
MATH 0520Linear Algebra1
or MATH 0540 Honors Linear Algebra
MATH 1530Abstract Algebra1
Four additional 1000 or 2000 level Physics courses4
Two additional 1000 or 2000 level Math courses2
PHYS 1990Senior Conference Course 11
Total Credits18-20
1

A senior thesis is required. This is to be prepared in connection with under the direction of a faculty supervisor.