Physics Requirements

Physics student presents research during Hartwick Student Showcase

Physics Major Requirements

The minimum requirements for a Physics major are 16 credits in the Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry Departments as follows:

Ten Courses in Physics:

  • Light and Relativity (160)
  • General Physics I, II (201, 202)
  • Electronics (265)
  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics (305)
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (314) or Optics (318)
  • Astrophysics (344)
  • Classical Mechanics I (361)
  • Quantum Mechanics (410)
  • Electricity and Magnetism I (401)
  • Senior Project (490)

Four Courses in Mathematics:

  • Calculus I, II, III (121, 122, 221)
  • Differential Equations (311)

Two Courses in Chemistry:

  • General Chemistry I, II (107, 108) or Accelerated General Chemistry (109)

Physics Minor Requirements

General Physics I, II (201, 202), Atomic and Nuclear Physics (305)

Two more Physics courses at a level of 160 and above.


Senior Thesis in Physics

All Physics majors are required to complete a Senior Thesis. Ideally a student in the spring of the their junior year will identify a thesis advisor and identify a topic of interest, so that by the start of their senior year they can begin research. Students are required to write a thesis paper and present their findings at an open forum. Recent projects have included:  measure the temperature dependence of the efficiency of solar panels, computational studies of chaos in electrical circuits, Monte Carlo calculations of gamma rays travelling through a medium, programming a FPGA to be oscilloscope, programming a computer cluster out of Raspbery Pi computers, measuring the quantized conductance of gold nanowires, building nickel foam batteries, and building induction heaters.

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