Division I Chair: R. Rosen
Program Chair : T. Hodge
Faculty: T. Hodge, A. Lahamer, and M. Veillette
The Physics Program provides courses, labor opportunities, and other activities designed to: a) prepare students to enter graduate schools or research laboratories en route to careers as professional physicists; b) provide a liberal-arts major or a minor for students who will not become physicists but are interested in careers in astronomy, medicine, computer science, etc., where a background in physics might be desirable; and c) provide service courses for majors in other sciences, such as pre-medicine, mathematics, technology and applied design, and agriculture.
Physics majors and minors begin their study with the calculus-based courses with laboratory components. These laboratory skills are enhanced through the advanced laboratory course, which can be taken multiple times. The curriculum also incorporates research activities in our Directed, Independent, and Team Initiated Study courses. This work serves as training for the independent Senior Seminar Project which all Physics majors must undertake. In addition, the Program encourages research activity for Physics majors in the summer either on or off campus (via Internships or the travel-abroad program), and makes them aware of such opportunities. Credit may be awarded for this work.
A strong background in Physics is essential in any Engineering field, so the Program also offers a dual-degree 3-2 Engineering Program through which students can become certified engineers. The interdisciplinary Applied Science and Mathematics major (see separate program in this section of the Catalog & Student Handbook ) is recommended for students planning to pursue the dual-degree program. In this program, a student attends Berea College for three to four years, then completes the Engineering degree requirements at either the University of Washington (Saint Louis, Missouri) or the University of Kentucky (Lexington).
The Physics Program’s resources include a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded X-ray diffraction instrument; a fully equipped optics laboratory; a digital electronics laboratory; a Mössbauer spectroscopy laboratory; a laser-ablation setup; a Time of Flight (TOF) mass spectrometer; an observatory with a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope; and a planetarium. Computing facilities are also available to students, including laptops and a few PCs running Linux as well as those running Windows, operating systems.