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ABOUTACADEMICSADMISSIONSTUDENT LIFEATHLETICSALUMNAERIDINGNEWSGIVINGDIRECTORY
 

Physics

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, underlying our understanding and knowledge of all areas of science and technology. The goal of physics is to discover comprehensive principles or laws of nature and to determine how they apply to a variety of systems, ranging from the nucleus of an atom to the universe itself. Physicists develop problem-solving skills that are broadly applicable. At Sweet Briar, students may prepare for traditional careers in physics research or teaching, or they may apply their knowledge and skills to other fields such as engineering, medicine, law, and business. Training in physics also makes it possible to contribute to many of the social and environmental concerns of today.

The major in physics is based on coursework in mechanics, electromagnetic phenomena, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and relativity. Students’ degree options are the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree in physics.

A minor in physics and a teacher licensure program are also offered.    
Students are also directed to the mathematics-physics interdepartmental major.

 

The Physics Major (B.A.)
The Physics Major (B.S.)
The Physics Minor
Teacher Licensure
Course Descriptions

 

The Physics Major (B.A.)
(44 semester hours)

Required:
MATH 123    (4)    Calculus I
MATH 124    (3)    Calculus II
MATH 223    (3)    Calculus III
MATH 328    (3)    Ordinary Differential Equations
PHYS 171    (4)    General Physics I
PHYS 172    (4)    General Physics II
PHYS 215    (1)    Matlab Programming
PHYS 221    (4)    Electrical Circuits
PHYS 233    (1)    Intermediate Physics Laboratory
PHYS 258    (3)    Intermediate Physics Seminar

Senior Exercise:
PHYS 321    (3)    Advanced Physics Laboratory


Choose 1 of the following courses:
CHEM 331    (3)    Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
PHYS 202    (3)    Twentieth-Century Physics


Choose 8 additional semester hours of physics courses at the 200-level or above. Three or four semester hours may be satisfied by CHEM 332 or a course in engineering at the 200-level or above, excluding ENGR 230 and ENGR 232.

NOTE: CHEM 332 and PHYS 327 cannot both be counted toward the major.

NOTE: In addition to all other degree requirements, students must have a 2.0 GPA in all physics courses in order to graduate with this major.



The Physics Major (B.S.)
(60 semester hours)

Required:
CHEM 131    (4)    General Chemistry
CHEM 141    (1)    General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 252    (4)    Introduction to Quantitative and Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 253    (1)    Introduction to Quantitative and Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
MATH 123    (4)    Calculus I
MATH 124    (3)    Calculus II
MATH 223    (3)    Calculus III
MATH 328    (3)    Ordinary Differential Equations
PHYS 171    (4)    General Physics I
PHYS 172    (4)    General Physics II
PHYS 215    (1)    Matlab Programming
PHYS 221    (4)    Electrical Circuits
PHYS 233    (1)    Intermediate Physics Laboratory
PHYS 258    (3)    Intermediate Physics Seminar
PHYS 351    (2)    Research in Physics

Senior Exercise:
PHYS 321    (3)    Advanced Physics Laboratory

Choose 1 of the following courses:
CHEM 331    (3)    Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
PHYS 202    (3)    Twentieth-Century Physics

Choose 2 of the following courses:
PHYS 301    (3)    Classical Mechanics
PHYS 302    (3)    Electromagnetic Theory
PHYS 313    (3)    Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 327    (3)    Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Choose 6 additional semester hours of physics courses at the 200-level or above. Three or four semester hours may be satisfied by CHEM 332 or a course in engineering at the 200-level or above, excluding ENGR 230 and ENGR 232.

NOTE: CHEM 332 and PHYS 327 cannot both be counted toward the major.

NOTE: In addition to all other degree requirements, students must have a 2.0 GPA in all physics courses in order to graduate with this major.

The Physics Minor
(21 semester hours)

Required:
PHYS 171    (4)    General Physics I
PHYS 172    (4)    General Physics II
PHYS 233    (1)    Intermediate Physics Laboratory
PHYS 258    (3)    Intermediate Physics Seminar

Choose 1 of the following courses:
CHEM 331    (3)    Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
PHYS 202    (3)    Twentieth-Century Physics

Choose 6 additional credits in physics courses numbered 210 or above.

Teacher Licensure
(61 semester hours)

Required:
1. A bachelor of arts or science degree in physics or a bachelor of science degree in mathematics-physics
2. A minimum of 16 credit hours in non-physics courses which must include at least three credits in chemistry, at least three credits in biology, and at least three credits in earth science

Students who seek endorsement in more than one area of science need to complete an additional 18 credit hours in the second field which must include any specific requirements in that field


Course Descriptions

PHYS 113

| Astronomy for the Liberal Arts

PHYS 114

| Astronomy for the Liberal Arts Laboratory

PHYS 131

| Introductory Physics Laboratory I

PHYS 171

| General Physics I

PHYS 172

| General Physics II

PHYS 202

| Twentieth-Century Physics

PHYS 210

| Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics

PHYS 215

| Matlab Programming

PHYS 221

| Electrical Circuits

PHYS 233

| Intermediate Physics Laboratory

PHYS 240

| Optics

PHYS 258

| Intermediate Physics Seminar

PHYS 261

| Directed Study

PHYS 301

| Classical Mechanics

PHYS 302

| Electromagnetic Theory

PHYS 313

| Quantum Mechanics

PHYS 321

| Advanced Physics Laboratory

PHYS 337

| Special Topics

PHYS 351

| Research in Physics

PHYS 361

| Special Study

PHYS 377

| Internship

PHYS 461

| Independent Study