Physics - B.S.

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Overview

About the Degree: 

A branch of the physical sciences, physics is the study of energy and the behavior of single atoms and their component pieces. Physicists consider themselves the most fundamental of scientists for they examine the basic laws of our universe and apply these laws to explain the behavior of increasingly more complex systems. The same underlying principle describes the behavior of atoms, lasers, living cells, and galaxies. Physicists seek to study and understand what happens when atoms and subatomic particles break down and assemble, how theyreact to collisions with each other and to electro-magnetic radiation, so it is at the base of all modern science and technology, and even at an elementary level this fundamental nature can be appreciated. Moving out into the heavens and the study of the celestial bodies has virtually exploded during the last 50 years. Humans are on the moon in space and visiting the outside planets. Astronomers using all of the basics of the physicist are at the forefront of these movements.

Academics

What you will learn: 

At the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Georgia, we prepare our students for careers in today's technological society in a number of ways. First, we offer a curriculum of physics courses that provides a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of physics and supply a foundation for further study in almost any science discipline. Second, we emphasize problem solving techniques, which are valuable in any career, in both our lecture and laboratory courses. Finally, we work with you to help tailor your program to match your post-baccalaureate career plans. We offer major programs in Physics as well as in Physics and Astronomy, and each major program has an associated minor program. Double-major programs are also available.

Students majoring in physics will learn the foundational theories of classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and quantum mechanics. Other required courses and electives emphasize additional areas of physics such as optics, condensed matter physics, biophysics, and electronics. Throughout the course of study, students will develop their skills in problem solving, conceptual reasoning, and quantitative modeling, skills that are also widely applicable outside the field of physics. Physics classes are generally small, which offers students a valuable opportunity for interaction with the faculty. Students can choose to become involved in experimental, theoretical, or simulational resesarch projects with faculty mentors.

Beyond the Classroom

General Research Information: 
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Atomic, Molecular, Optical, and Chemical Physics
  • Experimental Biophysics
  • Computational Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics and Statistical Mechanics
  • Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics

Careers

Salary: 
High Salary: 
$181,800
Low Salary: 
$55,200
Median Salary: 
$110,100
Employers: 

Possible Employers

  • Ahlberg Engineering, Inc.
  • Aberdeen Proving Ground, Test Ctr.
  • Aerospace Corporation
  • AT&T Labs Organization
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc.
  • Engineering Firms
  • Aircraft & Instrument Industries
  • Fermi National Accelerator Lab.
  • Department of Defense
  • Dept. of Homeland Defense
  • General Dynamics
  • Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical
  • HP-Intelligent Infrastructure Lab
  • Intel Corporation
  • Information/Technology NASA
  • Keithley Instruments Inc.
  • Google Fiber Location
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Mauna Kea Observatories
  • Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of the Navy
  • National Science Foundation
  • Msrcosmos LLC
  • Private Space Cruise Enterprises
  • Occ. Safety & Health Admin.
  • Pacific Northwest Nat. Lab.
  • Radiance Technologies
  • Sensing Systems R&D Lab
  • SAIC
  • TriQuint Semiconductor
  • TSYS
  • Johns Hopkins U.
     
Possible Job Titles: 

Physicists study questions facing today's science and technology and are at the forefront of solutions for instrumentation, measurement techniques, and model development in many areas including :

  • lasers and optics (telecommunications, optometry, holography, etc.)
  • environmental science(weather, oceanography, pollution control, etc.)
  • medicine (medical imaging, radiation treatment, lasers)
  • space science (mission specialists, satellite design, etc.)
  • acoustics (speaker research, hall design, etc.)
  • electricity and magnetism (power management, antenna design, instrumentation, etc.)
  • nuclear science (reactor design, waste management, etc.).
  • materials science (semiconductor devices, magnetic thin films, superconductivity, computer technologies, biomaterials etc.)