Physics is the study of matter and energy. Mathematical abstraction characterizes its methodology. Physics is both empirical, based upon controlled observation, and theoretical, in the effort to relate the results of such observations together using abstract conceptual frameworks.
Physics, in fact, requires a dynamic relationship between theory and experiment, between abstract principles and observations of physical behavior. Physics is an active and ongoing attempt to improve both the theories of physics and their match with observation.
The major areas of study in physics are:
A physics concentration requires:
Additional study in other areas of physics is also recommended, for example, acoustics and mechanical waves, computational physics, relativity, advanced experimental techniques, atomic physics, solid state physics, nuclear physics, elementary particles, lasers and quantum optics and fluid dynamics. A final, integrative contract is desirable, possibly including some kind of direct participation in ongoing research. Students should be proficient in use of the computer for enlarging and improving understanding of physics. Possible applications of the computer to physics include collecting and analyzing data, complex calculations, exploring the nature of analytical solutions to problems, simulations and attacking classes of problems that were not solvable in the past.