Physics is the branch of natural science that is concerned with models of the physical constituents of the universe, such as electrons, photons, quarks and aggregations of such particles, and the mathematical laws that govern how they move and interact with one another. Because it deals with the behavior of the physical world at its most fundamental level, physics strongly influences the development of many other disciplines. It is foundational to the other natural sciences, and its application has resulted in the formation of several entirely separate subfields, including physical chemistry, astrophysics, geophysics, and biophysics. Because some of its findings have implications for humanity’s fundamental understanding of the nature of matter, space, time, and causality, it also informs philosophy. Finally, physics provides the fundamental knowledge necessary to predict and control the behavior of the physical world. As a result, it is also foundational to many of the applied sciences and engineering disciplines, including medicine, meteorology, applied acoustics/optics, materials science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, nuclear engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.
The physics minor is designed to provide students who are majoring in other natural sciences, especially those planning to attend graduate or engineering school, with a solid theoretical background in the physical principles that undergird those disciplines. It is expected to be especially beneficial for students interested in physical chemistry, biophysics, sonochemistry, nuclear chemistry or biomedical engineering. It may also benefit philosophy majors who have a specific interest in metaphysics or the philosophy of science, and math majors who are interested in applied mathematics or wish to have the capacity to teach high school physics.
For more information, please contact:
Anthony Gerig, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics
Chair, Mathematics and Physics