The Physics Major and Minor at Davidson

The Physics Department has an impressive history and an exciting future.

If you would like to tour our facilities, including our labs and classes, please contact Prof. Mario Belloni at mabelloni@davidson.edu.

Major

If you are interested in majoring in physics or allied subjects, Davidson has much to offer you. Because physics is a fundamental natural science, linking science and philosophy, a major in physics provides a natural cornerstone for a well-rounded liberal arts education. The Physics Department offers a full range of courses and excellent opportunities to participate in high-level research projects with faculty.

Minors

The Physics Department offers minors in astrophysics and experimental physics, as well as excellent opportunities to participate in high-level research projects with faculty.

An experimental physics minor includes conducting research into physical phenomena, developing theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devising methods to apply physical laws and theories. An astrophysics minor includes analyzing the properties and interactions of cosmological objects.

Engineering Dual-Dual Degree

In a society faced with increasingly complex technological and humanistic problems, a liberal arts education contributes to the development of engineers. Partnering with Columbia University in New York and Washington University in St. Louis, Davidson offers cooperative dual degree engineering programs.

Honors

In addition to completing the requirements for a major in physics, a candidate for honors in physics must submit a written thesis covering an independent research project. Such a project may be based upon work completed in Physics 495, 496, or in an undergraduate research program on or away from campus that is approved by the department.

Applications for honors in physics should be made in writing to the chair of the department no later than the end of the junior year.

Courses and Requirements

Courses You Might Take

PHY 130

General Physics with Calculus

Instructors 
Belloni, Cain, M. Kuchera, Thompson

Mechanics, rotational motion, fluids, waves, sound, and thermodynamics. More comprehensive than Physics 120 and designed for students who intend to major in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and/or plan to pursue a degree in engineering.  One laboratory each week.

Satisfies the Natural Science requirement.

Prerequisites
Corequisite: Math 111 or 112. (Fall/Spring)

PHY 220

General Physics II

Instructors
Belloni, A. Kuchera, Yukich
Electricity and magnetism, circuits, optics, and modern physics (special relativity, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics).  One laboratory each week.

Satisfies the Natural Science requirement.

Prerequisites
Physics 120 or permission of the instructor. (Spring)

PHY 392

Special Topics in Physics

Instructor
Staff

Open to qualified students with permission of instructor. Topics announced in advance of registration.

Prerequisites

Education Abroad

Many of our students study abroad for a semester, and there is flexibility within plans of study for physics majors. We urge you to talk to the chair of the department as soon as possible if you are considering majoring in physics.

Study Abroad Program Highlights