Why Study Physics at New College?

As a Physics AOC at New College, you have access to top-notch facilities and equipment that are rarely available at other leading liberal arts colleges. For instance, we opened our Optical Spectroscopy and Nanomaterials Lab in January of 2012 with a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, becoming the first and only undergraduate liberal arts college in the nation to offer such a lab.

Physics area of concentration

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.

View Physics Academic Learning Compact

View Physics courses offered in last 5 years


Area of Concentration Requirements

We offer the introductory physics sequence every year, and the upper level physics courses every other year. We also periodically offer the electives Advanced Quantum Mechanics, Advanced Physics Laboratory, Essential Electronics, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, and Solid State Physics. We also require Solid State Physics for students planning to do a thesis in Professor Sendova’s laboratory.

An essential part of our program is undergraduate research leading to the completion of the senior thesis. We are experienced and well equipped to offer projects in a wide range of areas; see our list of recent senior thesis titles below, for example. In addition, our students routinely do paid summer research at universities and government laboratories around the country as part of the NSF-funded REU program.

Area of Concentration requirements in Physics include:

  • Two semesters of Introductory Physics
  • Two semesters of Introductory Physics Lab
  • Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Modern Physics
  • Modern Physics Lab
  • Optics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Solid State Physics (for students planning to do a thesis in Professor Sendova’s laboratory)
  • Co requisite courses in mathematics, are Introductory Calculus I and II, Multivariable Calculus III, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra
  • An Independent Study Project in an advanced area Physics
  • A Senior Thesis and Baccalaureate Exam

Joint Disciplinary AOC Requirements

  • Introductory course in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology
  • History of Antropological Theory
  • Method and Theory in Archaeology
  • Two additional courses or tutorials in anthropology, and other work relating to your goals, to be chosen in consultation with your advisor in anthropology


Recent Theses

  • Surface Plasmon Resonance of Noble Metal Nanoparticles in Thin Film Dielectric Matrices
  • Star Formation and Metallicity in Irregular Galaxies
  • The Physics of Tachyons. Carbon Nanoparticles
  • Sequestration and Stabilization: Taming the Black Hole
  • Using Homotopy Groups to Detect Topological Defects with Applications to a Lorentz -Violating Theory. Quantum Chemistry & Applications of Density Functional Theory to the C1-/Benzene Adduct
  • Curved Periodic Crack Patterns in Sol-gel Films
  • Coil Impedance in the Presence of an Axially Symmetric Conductor

Careers of Physics Graduates

Associate Software Engineer
Lockheed Martin, Sarasota

Senior Application Engineer
Synopsys, New York

Senior Scientist
Ferring Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, California