The Department of Physics at Kenyon College aims to provide Kenyon students with a rigorous and lively program of instruction in physics within the liberal arts context of the College. To this end, we aspire to several goals:
The Physics CurriculumThe curriculum of the Department of Physics will give students a solid grounding in both theoretical and experimental physics. The core curriculum for physics majors must be a sufficient basis both for further physics study and for multidisciplinary scientific work.
- Elements of the curriculum. Students in the Department of Physics will enjoy opportunities for a variety of educational experiences, including classroom and laboratory work, joint work with other students, written and oral presentations, independent projects, and undergraduate research. The strongest upper-level students will also have a chance to pursue honors work beyond the usual curriculum.
- Theoretical program. Students will understand the basic structure of fundamental theories of physics, including (but not limited to) classical mechanics, quantum theory and electromagnetism. They will also learn mathematical techniques for the application of these theories to physical systems, including both analytical and computational approaches. Mathematical and conceptual connections among the various branches of physics will be emphasized.
- Experimental program. Classroom teaching in physics will be backed up by extensive laboratory investigations. Students will study a great variety of physical phenomena in the lab, using a broad range of experimental techniques. They will learn the operation and underlying principles of modern physics instrumentation, including computer-based devices. Kenyon physics laboratories will be oriented toward general-purpose equipment and methods, so that students will be able to apply the skills they acquire there as widely as possible.
- Contemporary perspectives. Kenyon physics students will be given general perspectives on areas in physics of contemporary research interest.
- Collegiate courses and programs. Physics is not just for physicists; therefore, students throughout the College and members of the wider community will find opportunities in the Department of Physics to learn physics and related fields through courses and outreach programs that involve descriptive knowledge, experimental methods, and mathematical analysis.
- Academic environment. The Department of Physics will foster a supportive and collaborative atmosphere among students and faculty.
Opportunities for Graduates
Students graduating with a degree in physics from Kenyon College will be well prepared for graduate study and careers in many fields, including physics and related sciences, engineering, education, and medicine. They will be competitive with their peers both in application to top graduate schools and in seeking employment.
The faculty of the Physics Department must be excellent teachers and active physicists. Thus, they will be encouraged and supported to pursue their own scholarly work, both in pedagogical innovation and in scientific research.
(Last updated July 28, 2011)