GENERAL PHYSICS LAB
The Department has defined a set of learning goals for our curriculum.
- To provide science and non-science students with an introduction to
both the methodology of the physical sciences and the major models of
reality developed in the physical sciences.
- To provide all students with opportunities to understand and practice the methodology of the physical sciences.
- To provide students with a grasp of the historical development of
models of the physical world, the experimental basis of these models,
and how these models have impacted how humanity views reality.
- To provide Biology, Chemistry, Physical Chemistry,
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Mathematics students with the
background in theoretical and applied physics necessary for their
chosen field of academic specialization.
- Biologists and Chemists need to understand the physical laws of
mechanics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, and atomic physics that are
crucial to their disciplines.
- Mathematicians need to see how mathematics is applied to the description of natural phenomena.
- To provide physics majors with an in-depth study in the field of physics.
- A clear understanding of the experimental basis of all fundamental
physical theories. They should understand the major theories and be
able to explain how they follow from experimental results.
- A panoramic view of the field of physics with enough detail to enable
them to easily make connections with new information in physics, and
thereby more readily assimilate new information.
- Undergraduate research. We feel that students don’t really understand
the nature of the field of physics until they have practiced it,
reported their results at a meeting involving students from other
institutions, and compared the quality of their work with that of
students at other institutions. Since we consider ourselves a national
liberal arts college, this comparison should be at the national level.
COURSES FOR THE NON-MAJOR
The Department offers a number of courses for those students who would like to know more about the physical world but do not wish to pursue a physics major. These are introductory courses and do not have any pre-requisites.
- PHYS 110: Concepts of Space, Time, and Reality (NS-L)
- PHYS 135: Robotics Explorations Studio (NS-L)
- PHYS 160: Astronomy (NS)
THE DEGREE PROGAM IN PHYSICS
The Department offers both a minor and a major in physics. In addition, we support a special track for those interested in a Dual Degree Program in Engineering. We have designed the BA degree program in physics so that it is possible to complete the physics major in three years. But that is a challenging task.
The department places a strong emphasis on undergraduate research and provides the support and time for students to become actively involved in projects either on campus or off campus.
In addition to coursework, physics majors are required to complete a senior comprehensive exam. The student may either take the GRE Advanced Physics Exam or an oral exam administered by the physics faculty.
The major consists of the following course requirements.
The minor degree plan normally consists of the following courses.
- PHYS 210 General Physics I or PHYS 230 General Physics I (Calculus-based)
- PHYS 220 General Physics II or PHYS 240 General Physics II (Calculus-based)
- PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves
- PHYS 315 Modern Physics
- MATH 130 Calculus I
- MATH 140 Calculus II
- MATH 260 Differential Equations
COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS IN ENGINEERING
Hendrix College participates in Dual Degree programs in engineering with Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University in St. Louis.
Students will normally spend three years at Hendrix and then transfer to an engineering school to complete their studies. Under optimum conditions it is possible for students to complete both courses of study in five years and they would then receive two bachelor degrees, a BA from Hendrix College and a BS in engineering from the affiliated school.
Students should contact the engineering advisor, Dr. Ann Wright, immediately if they are interested in engineering. Only by careful planning and hard work can the program be accomplished in the planned five years of study.
Students interested in chemical engineering should normally major in chemistry. All other engineering fields would normally major in physics. Both options require accelerated sophomore and junior years, so that the the students will complete the requirements of the major in three years. Those interested in computer engineering should consult with Dr. Wright.