Want to know how the world works?

At its most basic level, physics is the study of the fundamental laws that govern matter and energy in the universe. By its nature, physics is a broad field encompassing diverse disciplines such as astrophysics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, geophysics, medical physics, atomic & nuclear physics, and particle physics. Toward the end of the 19th century there was a feeling that perhaps the major problems in physics were nearly solved. However, within a few decades “classical physics” underwent a dramatic reformulation with the advent of relativity theory, quantum mechanics, and advances in nuclear science. Around the same time, our view of the universe was shattered by the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way, as well as evidence for the big bang and the expansion of the universe. Our universe was suddenly a much larger and stranger place. Today, new discoveries and computational advances continue to change our view of the physical universe and major problems remain to be solved.

The physics major at Adrian College is designed to give the student a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of physics. Our focus is on providing a solid background in the core areas of physics rather than specialization, though some specialized elective courses are available. Our curriculum emphasizes both theory and practice through a combination of lecture courses, laboratory courses, and a senior capstone course. An undergraduate degree in physics provides the foundation necessary for graduate study in physics and related fields but is also excellent preparation for professional work in fields such as education, engineering, law, and medicine. Students considering a physics degree or minor are urged to consult with a physics faculty member in their first semester to discuss the degree options and to develop a 4-year plan.

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