The physics program is designed to provide a thorough grounding in the central areas of physics, allowing for flexibility in pursuing individual interests in depth. It addresses the needs of both majors and non-majors through courses and tutorials in theoretical, experimental and computational physics. Students participating in the physics program become familiar with the facts and processes of physics and learn to think logically. Those whose interests expand beyond the introductory level will find small classes, intensive work and challenging projects. They will also find state of the art equipment for doing research in the laboratory, including an atomic force microscope, a micro-Raman spectrometer, an X Ray diffractometer, an X Ray fluorescence spectrometer, micro-spectrophotometer and a Q switched Nd:YAG laser with second and fourth harmonic emission. Joint or double areas of concentration with other disciplines are possible. For example, combinations of physics with mathematics or chemistry are common. Some of our graduates go on to work for industry or government, but most continue their education in graduate school.
At New College all students do a senior thesis, and physics students usually satisfy this capstone requirement by becoming involved in some area of a faculty member's research. Recent research projects have included work on metal nano-particles in thin films, Raman micro-spectroscopy of carbon nanotubes, quantum chemistry, symmetry breaking in quantum field theory, computer analysis of pendulum data, the theory of black hole confinement, computer simulation of electromagnetic wave propagation and star formation in dwarf galaxies. Faculty research laboratories and computer equipment are available to students engaged in research of all kinds.
Graduates of New College have continued their education in fields as varied as physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and education at institutions such as Princeton, Duke, University of Texas, California Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin, University of California Davis, University of Hawaii, University of Washington, University of South Florida, Columbia, University of Central Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia, SUNY at Albany and Brandeis University.
Some of our graduates go on to work for industry or government, but most continue their education in graduate school. According to the American Institute of Physics, 35% of physics bachelor degree graduates are enrolled in graduate programs in Physics or Astronomy, 22% in other graduate programs. A bachelor's degree in physics is immediately useful in the job market, and not just in physics. Of those receiving their degrees in the combined class of 2006 and 2007, 39% were employed within the first year. Almost half (48%) of those graduates took positions in engineering, computer science and information technology.
For program requirements, click here for the General Catalog.
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