Physics Program

The mission of the Physics Department at Bellarmine University is to provide our students with excellent learning opportunities for education and research in physics. One of the great strengths of Bellarmine's Physics Department is a small class size and the close collaborative interactions among faculty and students this environment fosters.

We offer a robust physics curriculum – the Bachelor of Science degree in Physics provides our students a broad background of physics in a wide range of courses that cultivates critical thinking and problem solving skills. The Undergraduate Physics curriculum is designed to provide students with strong academic preparation and educational training in theoretical, computational and experimental physics in an active learning environment that provide the foundation for graduate study in Physics.  For the upper division Physics courses, the emphasis shifts from structured classroom and laboratory activities to experiences designed to develop increasing independence and creativity. In addition to obtaining a strong foundation in classical physics, thermal and statistical physics, modern physics, quantum physics and electronics, students enrolled in this degree program will also acquire strong software/programming skills, including knowledge and experience in computer simulation/modeling of physical systems using a high performance parallel cluster computer. By combining a rigorous physics curriculum with instruction in computer sciĀ­ence, mathematics, and computational physics, students enrolled in the physics degree program will acquire versatile marketable skills.

The Physics Department seeks to produce graduates who will have strong and versatile technical, analytical and computational skills necessary to develop solutions to complex problems and technologies of tomorrow in our society and to pursue a professional career in the private sector/high-tech industry.  In addition, we seek to advance the frontiers of knowledge in physics, and therefore provide our students with cutting-edge research opportunities that also allow them to develop their scientific and communication skills. The research mission of the Physics Department is carried out by the Physics faculty and students to investigate and develop new knowledge that is at the cutting edge of modern science and to provide the avenue for the discovery of and for the exploration of the applications of those fundamental laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy. Many of today’s physics students will become tomorrow’s leaders and will be expanding the frontiers of physics, computing, and information technology.

Our recent graduates have obtained employment at GE and Humana and some are pursuing their doctoral studies at research institutions.

What is Physics?

Physics is a fascinating field! Humanity has learned that there is order in the Universe, and that this order can be expressed through physical laws. The study of physics involves understanding of the everyday phenomena in nature, with the creative synthesis of theory and experiment to express the laws of nature, often elegant in their universality. Physics is also the study of the fundamental structure of matter, energy and their interactions with the forces of nature that control systems, from the very small to the very large.

Today the scope of physics extends from the smallest subatomic particles to the distant galaxies and to the entire observable universe. Any student with a curiosity about the physical universe can benefit from studying physics. Physics is not just for physicists. In general, everyone needs an understanding of physics because of the bearing it has on the wide range of issues facing today’s world, such as energy resources, the environment, space exploration, communication and medicine. Physics forms the basis of most of today’s technological innovations and is the core of many new advances in engineering and technology.

Physicists in general strive to develop theories to understand the concepts needed for a precise description of nature and build experiments to test such concepts. Physicists are increasingly using advanced computing tools to find solutions to both scientific and engineering problems, particularly for modeling and simulation of complex processes.

Careers in Physics and Graduate Opportunities

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics can either pursue graduate studies towards an MS. and a Ph.D degree in physics and related fields or seek immediate employment after graduation. Physics graduates can also go on to professional schools in a variety of fields. More than ever before, men and women who study physics find themselves entering a wide range of career fields and adapt to the changing work place of the 21st Century in today’s job market.

Many Physics graduates go on to pursue a professional career in the private sector, in high-tech industry as engineers, physicists and computational scientists, as computer consultants, research staff and technicians; and as physics teachers. Others pursue leadership roles in business, management and finance, and also in government. Physics graduates can also pursue employment as software programmers in firms that develop educational and scientific software, or even in Wall Street, where employers are interested in people with a background in computational physics.

Contact Us

Dr. Akhtar Mahmood, Professor and Chair, Room P209, Pasteur Hall, Physics Department, Bellarmine University, 2001 Newburg Road, Louisville, KY 40205; Tel: 502.272.7599; Email.