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
- 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
- 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.