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Academics

Physics Major (B.A. or B.S.)

Our Physics major provides a rigorous grounding in fundamental physics, fosters critical thinking and creative problem solving, and provides broad practical training in science and technology. It is designed to prepare students for advanced study in physics, engineering, or other technical disciplines, for employment in industry, or for a teaching at the secondary level.

The Physics major provides a rigorous grounding in fundamental physics, fosters critical thinking and creative problem solving, and provides broad practical training in science and technology. It is designed to prepare you for advanced study in physics, engineering or other technical disciplines, for employment in industry, or for teaching at the secondary level. Physics graduates are in high demand in any area where analytical thinking and problem solving are important, and our students have also gone on to careers in computer programming, finance, law, and medicine.

All physics majors complete a core of courses covering the foundations of the discipline: classical mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, electrodynamics, and quantum mechanics. Electives allow more specialized areas to be explored in greater detail, for example condensed matter physics, particle physics, optics and general relativity. In the advanced and electronics laboratories, you have access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, and gain experience in experimental design and data analysis.

You are also encouraged to participate in research with a faculty member, which, depending on interests, may start as early as the freshman year. Physics faculty members have active research programs in experimental atomic physics, experimental particle physics, and theoretical and computational particle physics. Experimental research is carried out in the Otterbein Atomic Physics lab and at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Example Course Schedule for Physics BA - Starting 2018-19
(Note that most courses are offered every other year, so schedules will change depending on whether you start in an even or an odd year).

The BA is designed to allow students enough flexibility to pursue a second major or a custom course of study.


Year 1 - Fall
MATH 1700 - Calculus I
PHYS 1500 - Principles I (with lab)
FYS 1xxx - First Year Seminar
INST or Elective

Year 1 - Spring
MATH 1800 - Calculus II
PHYS 1600 - Principles II (with lab)
INST 15xx - Writing and Literature
INST or Elective

 Year 2 - Fall
MATH 2700 - Multivariable Calculus
PHYS 2200 - Mathematical Methods in Physics
PHYS 2500 - Experimental Methods in Physics (WI)
PHYS 3000 - Classical Mechanics I
INST Thread / Elective
 Year 2 - Spring
PHYS 4000 - Quantum Mechanics I
INST Threads / Electives (x 4)

 Year 3 - Fall
PHYS 3100 - Electricity and Magnetism 
INST Threads / Electives (x 4)

 Year 3 - Spring
PHYS 3150 - Electrodynamics
INST Threads / Electives (x 4)

Year 4- Fall 
SYE
PHYS 3/4xxx -Elective
INST / Electives (x 3)
Year 4 - Spring
PHYS 3/4xxx -Elective
INST / Electives (x 4)
Example Course Schedule for Physics BS - Starting 2018-19
(Note that most courses are offered every other year, so schedules will change depending on whether you start in an even or an odd year).


Year 1 - Fall
MATH 1700 - Calculus I
PHYS 1500 - Principles I (with lab)
FYS 1xxx - First Year Seminar
INST or Electives (1)

Year 1 - Spring
MATH 1800 - Calculus II
PHYS 1600 - Principles II (with lab)
INST 15xx - Writing and Literature
INST or Electives (1)

 Year 2 - Fall
MATH 2700 - Multivariable Calculus
PHYS 2200 - Mathematical Methods in Physics
PHYS 2500 - Experimental Methods in Physics (WI)
PHYS 3000 - Classical Mechanics I
INST Thread / Elective (1)
 Year 2 - Spring
PHYS 3050- Classical Mechanics II
PHYS 4000 - Quantum Mechanics I
INST Threads / Electives (3)

 Year 3 - Fall
PHYS 4050 - Quantum Mechanics II
MATH 3200 - Statistical Mechanics
PHYS 3100 - Electricity and Magnetism 
INST Threads / Electives (2)

 Year 3 - Spring
PHYS 3150 - Electrodynamics
PHYS 3/4xxx -Elective
INST Threads / Electives (3)

Year 4- Fall 
PHYS 3/4xxx -Elective
PHYS 3/4xxx - Elective
SYE
INST / Electives(2)
Year 4 - Spring
PHYS  3500 Advanced Laboratory
PHYS 3/4xxx -Elective
INST / Electives (3)