Physics is the study and application of the fundamental laws of nature, including the laws of motion, gravity, electromagnetism, heat, and microscopic interactions. These laws govern the behavior of objects at all scales, from the smallest subatomic particles to the entire observable universe. In between, physicists study nuclear reactions, the interactions of atoms with light, properties of solids, the chaotic dynamics of fluids, and the evolution of stars and galaxies, among many other applications.
Our courses in physics introduce all of the most important fundamental laws and many of their applications. Equally valuable, however, are the skills that students develop in these courses, from analytical thinking and problem solving to experimental design and interpretation. Majoring in physics can thus prepare a student for a variety of careers in research, education, business, industry, and government.
The Department offers three major programs: Physics, Applied Physics, and Physics Teaching. The Physics major places emphasis on understanding nature at the deepest possible level. It also provides a strong foundation for graduate work in pure physics. The Applied Physics major places more emphasis on physical phenomena and hands-on experience. Thus, it is more suitable for those planning to go either directly into industrial employment or into graduate programs in certain applied fields. Since the course requirements for these two majors overlap considerably, students can easily switch from one major to the other any time before their senior year. The Physics Teaching major is designed specifically for those planning to teach physics at the secondary school level.
Students who are majoring in other disciplines are encouraged to consider a minor in physics, which includes a year of introductory physics plus eight credit hours of additional physics courses. These electives may be chosen to emphasize basic theory, experimental techniques, or applied subfields such as optics and astrophysics.
Weber State University 2007-2008 Catalog