About this 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 they react 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.
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 Astrophysics, 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 research projects with faculty mentors.
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.)
Other Relevant 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