Kenyon College Department of Physics
The Physics Major
The Physics major program at Kenyon is designed to provide an excellent
grounding in theoretical, computational, and experimental Physics for students
planning a career in Physics or an allied field such as Astronomy, Engineering,
Medical Physics, Biophysics, Geophysics, or other applied science.
The major program requirements are:
Students planning to go on to graduate study are strongly encouraged
to take several additional courses in Physics and Mathematics. Physics
majors are also subject to the general College requirement to pass a Senior Exercise . The Senior Exercise in Physics consists of a
departmental colloquium talk given by the student and a standardized test
on undergraduate Physics.
- a three semester introduction to Physics consisting of
- Physics 140 (Classical Physics) and either 110 (First Year
Seminar) or 141 (Introduction to Experimental Physics I)
- Physics 145 (Modern Physics) and 146 (Introduction to Experimental
- Physics 240 (Fields and Spacetime) and 241 (Fields and Spacetime
- Physics 245 (Oscillations and Waves) and 246 (Oscillations and
- A course on electronics: Physics 280 (Electronics) and 281 (Electronics
- A senior-level laboratory course: Physics 480 (Research Methods
for Experimental Physics) and 481 (Experimental Physics)
- Two more one-semester Physics courses numbered above 320, which
At least one of Physics 340, 350 or 360 must be taken for the Physics
- Physics 340 (Classical Mechanics)
- Physics 350 (Electricity and Magnetism)
- Physics 355 (Optics)
- Physics 360 (Quantum Mechanics)
- Physics 365 (Atomic and Nuclear Physics)
- Physics 370 (Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics)
- Physics 492 (Special Topics in Physics)
- In addition students must take a three semester course in
Calculus (MATH 111, 112, 213) and a course in either Differential Equations
(MATH 333) or Linear Algebra (MATH 224).
Honors work in Physics involves directed research on a specific topic
in experimental physics, theoretical physics, computational physics, or the
history of physics, culminating in a written thesis, an oral presentation
to a departmental colloquium, and a written and oral examination by an
The Kenyon Physics Department offers two minor programs in Physics
and Astronomy for students who wish to explore these subjects in some depth.
Each requires five semesters of course work. The Physics minor is open to
students of any major, but may be particularly attractive to students in
disciplines that have strong ties to Physics, such as Chemistry, Mathematics,
and Biology. Students considering one of the minors should consult with a
member of the department during schedule planning as not every course is
offered every year.
Requirements for the Physics Minor:
The program for a minor in physics consists of the following:
- Physics 140; 110 or 141; 145; 146; 240; 241. (Physics 130
and 135 may be substituted for 140 and 145 with permission of the department
chair. Other combinations of introductory courses may also be acceptable.)
Note: All courses in Physics numbered above 241 have as prerequisites
Physics 140, 141, 145, 146, and Math 111 and 112, unless otherwise noted.
- One additional unit selected from physics courses numbered above
Requirements for the Astronomy Minor
The program for a minor in astronomy consists of the following:
There are several options for the choice of the fifth course. Physics
240, 241 (Fields and Spacetime) and Physics 245, 246 (Oscillations and Waves)
provide further experience with the foundations of physics (note that these
two courses have prerequisites in mathematics). Students with interests
in instrumentation can choose Physics 280, 281 (Electronics). Other options
may include Independent Study and Special Topics courses related to astronomy.
- Physics 130 and 135 or 140 and 145; 141; 146; 106; 107.
- An additional 1/2 unit selected from all physics courses (see
Created by Bethany Anderson,
Kenyon College 2005
October 25, 2003