Physics is the study of how objects interact, move, and change. It covers objects as small as sub-atomic particles, such as quarks, to as large as the universe. It is inherently an experimental endeavor. The starting and ending points are the data and observations. From experiments and observations we develop fundamental theories that allow us to explain phenomena as commonplace as the flight of a baseball to as exotic as an electron traveling at a speed close to the speed of light.
Courses within the department seek to help students develop a deep understanding of fundamental concepts, problem-solving skills, oral and written communication skills, experimental skills, and the ability to work independently as well as with others. The skills learned in studying physics translate well to many fields and careers.
Recent physics majors have gone on to graduate school in physics, astrophysics, astronomy, and engineering, to medical school, and to careers ranging from teaching high school physics to working on Wall Street.
The department participates in dual-degree programs, in which students receive a BA from the College and a BS in engineering from the partner institution, with Case Western Reserve, Columbia University, Pennsylvania State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Washington University. Students interested in any of these programs are urged to discuss them with the Department Chair and the Dual-Degree Engineering adviser early in the planning of their academic programs.
To learn more about the department of Physics & Astronomy please see the links on the sidebar as well as Franklin & Marshall's Excellence in Science page.