The mission of the Physics Program is to provide strong academic preparation to students for graduate study in physics or a related STEM field or for employment in the high-tech industry in a STEM field. The Physics Program provides a solid background in theoretical, computational and experimental physics in an active learning environment. Students also participate in cutting-edge undergraduate research that cultivate critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical skills, as well as technical and scientific competency.
Students majoring in Physics will demonstrate:
- A strong understanding of the major sub-disciplines of physics - classical mechanics,
electricity & magnetism, thermal & statistical physics, and quantum physics.
- Laboratory skills and responsible laboratory practices in modern instrumentation, computer
software and methods of information retrieval.
- Research skills that reflect critical thinking and analysis.
- Effective written and oral communication skills.
Physics Program Overview
Physics is a fascinating field! Humanity has learned that there is order in the Universe, and 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, 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.
One of the great strengths of Bellarmine's Physics Program is a small class size and the close collaborative interactions among faculty and students. We offer a robust physics curriculum –the Bachelor of Science degree in Physics provides a broad background in physics, as well as in mathematics and computer science in a wide range of courses. 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 and for employment in industry.
In the upper division Physics courses, the emphasis shifts from structured classroom and laboratory activities to experiences designed to develop increasing independence and creativity. Students obtain a strong foundation in classical mechanics, electricity & magmatism, thermal and statistical physics, modern physics, quantum physics, electronics, and computational physics using high performance parallel cluster computing. By combining a rigorous physics curriculum with instruction in computer science, mathematics, and computational physics, students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science physics degree program acquire versatile skills in Big Data Analytics.
The Physics Program seeks to produce graduates who not only have strong critical thinking, problem solving, analytical and technical/hardware skills, but also have strong computational and software/programming skills. These skills sets are 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. Many of today’s physics students will become tomorrow’s leaders and will be expanding the frontiers of Physics, Computing, Information Technology(IT), and Data Science.