2019 - 2020
Departmental Guidelines and Goals
The study of physics is a challenging and intellectually rewarding activity selected by those who seek to sharpen and broaden their appreciation and understanding of the physical world and their relationship to it. To this end, courses offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy are designed to bring the student to an increasingly independent level of investigation in experimental and theoretical physics, and to a level of sophistication commensurate with an individual's motivation, goals, and abilities.
A major in Physics is an excellent preparation for careers in engineering, medicine, business, computer science, law, industrial management, and teaching. Sufficient flexibility exists in the major program to suit the needs and goals of the individual.
For off-campus research opportunities in Physics, see the Oak Ridge Science Semester described at http://www.denison.edu/academics/oak-ridge.
A student who wants to major or minor in Physics, or minor in Astronomy, should consult with a member of the Department as soon as possible. The requirements for the major in Physics include Physics courses, Math courses, and the comprehensive experience, as discussed below: (Students who have taken PHYS 121 - General Physics I and PHYS 122 - General Physics II should consult with the chair about Physics course requirements.)
- Physics courses
- The B.A. degree requires:
Course List Code Title PHYS 125 Principles of Physics I PHYS 126 Principles of Physics II PHYS 127 Principles of Physics III PHYS 200 Modern Physics PHYS 201 Applied Mathematics for Physical Systems PHYS 211 Electronics PHYS 305 Classical Mechanics PHYS 312 Experimental Physics And two semesters of 400 (1 credit each), plus one additional Physics or Astronomy course at the 200-level or above.
- The B.S. degree requires:
Course List Code Title PHYS 125 Principles of Physics I PHYS 126 Principles of Physics II PHYS 127 Principles of Physics III PHYS 200 Modern Physics PHYS 201 Applied Mathematics for Physical Systems PHYS 211 Electronics PHYS 305 Classical Mechanics PHYS 306 Electricity and Magnetism PHYS 312 Experimental Physics PHYS 330 Introductory Quantum Mechanics And two semesters of 400 (1 credit each), plus one additional Physics or Astronomy course at the 200-level or above.
- The B.A. degree requires:
- Math courses
- The B.A. degree requires MATH 135 - Single Variable Calculus and MATH 145 - Multi-variable Calculus.
- The B.S. degree requires MATH 135 - Single Variable Calculus and MATH 145 - Multi-variable Calculus, as well as one additional Math class (200-level or above) or a course in Computer Science.
- Comprehensive experience -
The B.A. and B.S. degree both require the successful completion of an independent project. The project must be approved in advance by the department. As a result, the student is required to discuss potential project ideas with the chair and other department faculty before beginning work on a project.
The B.S. degree also requires passing the physics comprehensive examination, normally administered during the senior year.
Students preparing for graduate work in Physics, Astronomy, or related fields are advised to elect the B.S. degree in Physics. Additional courses taken in other science departments (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geosciences, Math) are desirable.
A minor program in Physics is designed to be flexible and complement the student's major program. The student, in consultation with the Physics and Astronomy Department, will develop a minor program that will broaden and enhance both the liberal arts experience and the student's major program. The minor shall include:
|PHYS 125||Principles of Physics I|
|PHYS 126||Principles of Physics II|
|PHYS 127||Principles of Physics III|
|MATH 135||Single Variable Calculus|
|MATH 145||Multi-variable Calculus|
(Students who have taken PHYS 121 - General Physics I-PHYS 122 - General Physics II should consult with the chair about requirements.)
In addition, three courses at the advanced level (200 and above) in Physics are required for the minor. One of the three courses must include a significant laboratory component. These courses will be selected to provide a perspective on the discipline with the specific needs of the student in mind.
In addition to these requirements, a final culminating experience will be designed by the Department and the student. One possibility includes interdisciplinary research that bridges the major and minor areas.
Additional Points of Interest
Denison offers the opportunity to study engineering via three, two dual-degree programs undertaken in cooperation with leading schools of engineering. Students interested in these programs should consult early with the Physics Department chair. Additional details can be found in this catalog under Pre-Professional Programs.