Physics
What if you could ID molecules—in liquids and powders being analyzed by drug enforcement, for example—using a laser to measure light scatter...
Physics works to understand
the universe and the laws
that govern it
To be or not to be
If it exists, physicists study it. And we even study things that don’t exist in any conventional sense. Take the particle believed to be the Higgs boson, for example, and its role in giving mass to particles. Physics explores the deepest questions about the universe and how things work in the simplest terms.
Every gamechanging technology in our world is applied physics. Our majors participate in real research in lasers, quantum optics, spectroscopy, atomic and molecular physics and biophysics.
In Drew’s RISE program, you also have the rare opportunity to conduct research alongside top veteran scientists from industry, the only program of its kind in the nation.
We like to say that physicists have done as much for health care as physicians. From ways of seeing inside the body for diagnosis to methods for curing without cutting, physics research has resulted in the wide array of modern tools for medicine.
Our program is especially hospitable to women. About half of our majors have been women; this is a longterm trend recognized in a national American Physical Society survey.
Careers Made easy
Critical Mass
Threequarters of our physics majors go on to advanced studies, pursuing astrophysics, engineering (electrical, mechanical), energy and environmental policy, law school, medicine and secondary education. Most receive fellowships and research/teaching assistantships that cover full tuition and living expenses for grad school.
Our basic toolkit in physics is clear: strong mathematics, reasoning and criticalthinking skills. The result? The ability to solve problems that will equip you for success in many fields.
The American Institute of Physics reports that physics majors scored the highest of all majors on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and second highest on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

Standout Students
Ashish Shah
I did a Research Experience for Undergraduates program this summer at Lehigh University, where I studied carbon nanotubes. What I learned about Raman spectroscopy and optics at Drew helped me understand the material for my research at Lehigh.

Passionate Faculty
Minjoon Kouh
Associate professor
I’m working on computational neuroscience research projects—we study the brain as a computational and informationprocessing organ, using numerical and theoretical methods. I also play the traditional Korean drum in the Pungmul tradition.
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Passionate Faculty
Bjorg Larson
Assistant Professor
My work is in confocal microscopy, which I study in the context of cancer detection. I’m also interested in its applications in environmental science. I always aim to involve students in my research. I’m also an accomplished violist.
Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Passionate Faculty
James M. Supplee
Professor
I’m working on a calculation in semiclassical optics, though I’d call myself a teacher first. In my spare time I play bass guitar with a band at Drew.
Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas

Passionate Faculty
Robert K. Murawski
Associate professor & chair
I once had a student tell me, “I never thought I’d be able to do math like that until now.” In my research, I’m working on a paper that will show a simple solution to a complex quantum mechanical problem.
Ph.D., Stevens Institute of Technology

Passionate Faculty
Robert L. Fenstermacher
Professor Emeritus, Oxnam Professor of Science and Society
My specialties are astronomy and experimental physics. Back in 1973 I worked to build Drew’s first observatory, which now boasts an NSFfunded research grade computercontrolled telescope. But my true passions have always been working with undergraduates and teaching science to nonscientists. It’s where my heart lies.
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State
Successful Alumni
 Atomic molecular optical physicist
Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, Mass.  Senior systems performance analyst
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission  Launch site support manager
NASA
My Favorite Course
“It gave me an opportunity to build and perform my own experiment. I was able to experience graduatelevel work and see what would be expected of me in the future.”
Ashish Shah on Advanced Lab I
Major
Requirements for the Major (58 credits)
I. Core (46 credits)
 PHYS 150  University Physics I
PHYS 150 is required for physics majors and 3/2 engineering students; it is also the normal introductory physics course recommended for most science majors. Because many students take calculus and PHYS 150 in the same semester, calculus is introduced gradually and discussed as needed. Offers topics in mechanics: motion, Newton's laws, energy, conservation laws, collisions, gravitation, oscillations, and waves.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLABreadth/Natural Science, CLAQuantitative
Offered: fall semester.
Corequisite: PHYS 113. Corequisite or Prerequisite: Calculus (MATH 150, or equivalent).
 PHYS 160  University Physics II
PHYS 160 is required for physics majors and 3/2 engineering students; it is also the normal second semester introductory physics course recommended for most science majors. This course includes electricity, magnetism, electrical circuits and an introduction to Maxwell's equations. In addition topics in optics such as lenses, mirrors, diffraction and interference of light.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLABreadth/Natural Science, CLAQuantitative
Offered: spring semester.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150.MATH 150
Corequisite: PHYS 114; Prerequisite OR corequisite: MATH 151.
 MATH 150  Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
Functions, limits, continuity, and differentiation and its applications; introduction to integration including definite and indefinite integrals and the fundamental theorem of calculus; analysis of graphical and numerical information.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAQuantitative
Offered: fall semester and occasional summers.
Prerequisite: MATH 001 with a C or by placement exam
 MATH 151  Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
Integration, including techniques of integration, improper integrals, and applications; polar coordinates, parametric equations, Taylor polynomials, sequences and series.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAQuantitative
Offered: spring semester and occasional summers.
Prerequisite: C or better in MATH 150.
 MATH 250  Calculus and Analytic Geometry III
Extending the concepts of calculus from two to three or more dimensions: partial differentiation, multiple integration; analytic geometry in three dimensions, vectors, line and surface integrals, applications.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAQuantitative
Offered: fall semester.
Prerequisite: C or better in MATH 151.
 PHYS 255  Electronics
A laboratory course introducing electronic and instrumental techniques important in modern scientific experimentation. Includes DC and AC circuits, test instruments, power supplies, transducers, operational amplifiers, basic digital devices, and circuit simulation with computers. Extensive use of integrated circuits with strong emphasis on applications. Intended to provide background for advanced laboratory work in the sciences.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 160 and MATH 151.
 PHYS 250  Modern Physics(Same as: MAT 848.)
A descriptive and mathematical introduction to topics in contemporary physics. Topics include special relativity, early quantum theory, the Schroedinger equation and its applications, and additional selected topics from general relativity, atomic, nuclear, solid state, and elementary particle physics.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAWriting Intensive
Offered: fall semester.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 151.
Corequisite: Prerequisite or Corequisite: MATH 250.
 PHYS 301  Mechanics
A study of Newton's laws applied to the motion of particles and systems of particles. Forced and damped harmonic oscillators. Centralfield motion, collisions, conservation laws, Lagrangian mechanics, and Hamilton's equations. Also rigid body dynamics and topics in computational physics.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250.
 PHYS 304  Advanced Physics Laboratory I
Experimental physics at an advanced undergraduate level. Includes working in an increasingly independent format on a series of selected projects from a variety of physics areas. Lectures and laboratory work give specific attention to experimental design, laboratory techniques, computer data acquisition and analysis, and error propagation and analysis. Also serves as preparation for possible subsequent experimental research such as might be undertaken in PHYS 300.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAWriting in the Major
Offered: spring semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, PHYS 255, PHYS 250 and MATH 250.
 PHYS 321  Mathematical Physics(Same as: MATH 325.)
An introduction to methods used in solving problems in physics and other sciences. Calculus of variations and extremum principles. Orthogonal functions and SturmLiouville problems. Fourier series. Series solutions of differential equations. The partial differential equations of physics. Transform and Green's function methods of solution. Nonlinear equations and chaos theory.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLA Breadth: Interdisciplinary
Offered: fall semester.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150 or permission of instructor; and MATH 315.
 PHYS 400  Physics Seminar
A juniorsenior seminar meeting weekly to discuss current and/or historical topics in physics. Oral presentations by students on selected readings from such areas as experimental or theoretical research, government science policy, pseudoscience, and physics education.
Credits: 2
Offered: spring semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: Physics major with junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor.
 MATH 315  Differential Equations
Ordinary differential equations: basic existence and uniqueness theory, analytic and qualitative solution techniques for different classes of equations, using technology to visualize and compute solutions to equations and systems of equations, modeling and applications; additional topics chosen from systems of differential equations, physical and biological models, nonlinear systems, numerical methods for solution, transorm methods, and partial differential equations.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester.
Prerequisite: C or better in MATH 250.
II. Electives (12 credits):
 PHYS 366  Computational Modeling of Neural Systems(Same as: NEUR 366.)
Computational neuroscience is the study of the brain as a computational and informationprocessing organ. It is a highly interdisciplinary field that employs various ideas and techniques from physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, psychology, and (of course) neuroscience. In this course, we cover the following topics: biophysics of a single neuron; dynamics of neural networks; models of associative memory and object recognition; and numerical methods and tools for analyzing and simulating a dynamical system. We study the fundamental biophysical properties and processes of the neurons and their networks, while also learning to use several analytical and numerical methods for studying a complex dynamical system. The goal of the course is to develop an interdisciplinary approach for analyzing a biological system.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLABreadth/Interdisciplinary
Prerequisite: Prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 160 , MATH 151.
 PHYS 329  Special Topics in Physics
Topics chosen on the basis of instructor and student interest from areas such as condensed matter, atomic physics, particle physics; astrophysics, nonlinear phenomena, laser physics, and relativity.
Signature of instructor required for registration.
Course may be repeated.
Credits: 24
Offered: Offering to be determined.
 PHYS 330  Electrodynamics
A classical treatment of electrodynamics in vacuum and matter. Electrostatic and magnetostatic fields. Maxwell's equations. Electromagnetic waves in conductors and nonconducting media. An introduction to the mathematics of vector calculus.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250 .
 PHYS 331  Optics
A study of the wave equation, properties of wave motion, and electromagnetic waves. The propagation of light, dispersion, and absorption. Geometrical optics, lenses, optical systems. Superposition, interference, and Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction. Topics in modern optics.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250.
 PHYS 332  Thermal Physics
A study of the fundamental concepts of classical thermodynamics and the thermal behavior of gases, liquids, and solids. The kinetic theory of gases. Statistical thermodynamics, including MaxwellBoltzmann, BoseEinstein, and FermiDirac statistics. Applications to an ideal diatomic gas, electrons in metals and monatomic crystals. Connection between statistical thermodynamics and information theory.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250.
 PHYS 360  Quantum Mechanics
A study of the formalism and applications of quantum theory. Wave mechanics, interpretation of the quantum wave function, onedimensional bound states, scattering and tunneling. Quantum mechanics in three dimensions. Twoparticle systems, bosons and fermions, exchange forces. Approximation methods. Applications to atomic and molecular configurations.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 315.
Corequisite: Corequisite: PHYS 360R.
 PHYS 305  Advanced Physics Laboratory II
Experimental physics at an advanced undergraduate level. Includes working in an increasingly independent format on a series of selected projects from a variety of physics areas. Lectures and laboratory work give specific attention to experimental design, laboratory techniques, computer data acquisition and analysis, and error propagation and analysis. Also serves as preparation for possible subsequent experimental research such as might be undertaken in PHYS 300.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 304.
III. Optional
 PHYS 300  Independent Study/Research in Physics
An opportunity for independent work by upperclass students. Individual projects in experimental, theoretical, or computational physics selected in advance of registration and after conferral with and approval by the instructor. Available projects are often related to faculty research interests or to the development of coursesupport materials, such as new laboratory experiments.
Signature of instructor required for registration.
May be repeated for at most eight credits.
Credits: 24
Offered: every semester.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and the department.
Notes
For students also majoring in Mathematics,PHYS 150,MATH 150,MATH 151,MATH 250, and eight additional intermediate or upperlevel credits may count for both majors.
PHYS 330 and PHYS 360 are essential for students intending to attend graduate school. Additional physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and independent study are recommended after consultation with the academic advisor.
Minor
Requirements for the Minor (24 credits)
I. Core (16 credits)
 PHYS 150  University Physics I
PHYS 150 is required for physics majors and 3/2 engineering students; it is also the normal introductory physics course recommended for most science majors. Because many students take calculus and PHYS 150 in the same semester, calculus is introduced gradually and discussed as needed. Offers topics in mechanics: motion, Newton's laws, energy, conservation laws, collisions, gravitation, oscillations, and waves.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLABreadth/Natural Science, CLAQuantitative
Offered: fall semester.
Corequisite: PHYS 113. Corequisite or Prerequisite: Calculus (MATH 150, or equivalent).
 PHYS 160  University Physics II
PHYS 160 is required for physics majors and 3/2 engineering students; it is also the normal second semester introductory physics course recommended for most science majors. This course includes electricity, magnetism, electrical circuits and an introduction to Maxwell's equations. In addition topics in optics such as lenses, mirrors, diffraction and interference of light.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLABreadth/Natural Science, CLAQuantitative
Offered: spring semester.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150.MATH 150
Corequisite: PHYS 114; Prerequisite OR corequisite: MATH 151.
 PHYS 250  Modern Physics(Same as: MAT 848.) or
A descriptive and mathematical introduction to topics in contemporary physics. Topics include special relativity, early quantum theory, the Schroedinger equation and its applications, and additional selected topics from general relativity, atomic, nuclear, solid state, and elementary particle physics.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAWriting Intensive
Offered: fall semester.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 151.
Corequisite: Prerequisite or Corequisite: MATH 250.
 PHYS 360  Quantum Mechanics
A study of the formalism and applications of quantum theory. Wave mechanics, interpretation of the quantum wave function, onedimensional bound states, scattering and tunneling. Quantum mechanics in three dimensions. Twoparticle systems, bosons and fermions, exchange forces. Approximation methods. Applications to atomic and molecular configurations.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 315.
Corequisite: Corequisite: PHYS 360R.
 MATH 250  Calculus and Analytic Geometry III
Extending the concepts of calculus from two to three or more dimensions: partial differentiation, multiple integration; analytic geometry in three dimensions, vectors, line and surface integrals, applications.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAQuantitative
Offered: fall semester.
Prerequisite: C or better in MATH 151.
II. Electives (8 credits)
Two or more courses (8 credits) at the intermediate or upper level in physics, at least one of which must be from the following list:
 PHYS 255  Electronics
A laboratory course introducing electronic and instrumental techniques important in modern scientific experimentation. Includes DC and AC circuits, test instruments, power supplies, transducers, operational amplifiers, basic digital devices, and circuit simulation with computers. Extensive use of integrated circuits with strong emphasis on applications. Intended to provide background for advanced laboratory work in the sciences.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 160 and MATH 151.
 PHYS 301  Mechanics
A study of Newton's laws applied to the motion of particles and systems of particles. Forced and damped harmonic oscillators. Centralfield motion, collisions, conservation laws, Lagrangian mechanics, and Hamilton's equations. Also rigid body dynamics and topics in computational physics.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250.
 PHYS 304  Advanced Physics Laboratory I
Experimental physics at an advanced undergraduate level. Includes working in an increasingly independent format on a series of selected projects from a variety of physics areas. Lectures and laboratory work give specific attention to experimental design, laboratory techniques, computer data acquisition and analysis, and error propagation and analysis. Also serves as preparation for possible subsequent experimental research such as might be undertaken in PHYS 300.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLAWriting in the Major
Offered: spring semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, PHYS 255, PHYS 250 and MATH 250.
 PHYS 321  Mathematical Physics(Same as: MATH 325.)
An introduction to methods used in solving problems in physics and other sciences. Calculus of variations and extremum principles. Orthogonal functions and SturmLiouville problems. Fourier series. Series solutions of differential equations. The partial differential equations of physics. Transform and Green's function methods of solution. Nonlinear equations and chaos theory.
Credits: 4
Attributes: CLA Breadth: Interdisciplinary
Offered: fall semester.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150 or permission of instructor; and MATH 315.
 PHYS 329  Special Topics in Physics
Topics chosen on the basis of instructor and student interest from areas such as condensed matter, atomic physics, particle physics; astrophysics, nonlinear phenomena, laser physics, and relativity.
Signature of instructor required for registration.
Course may be repeated.
Credits: 24
Offered: Offering to be determined.
 PHYS 330  Electrodynamics
A classical treatment of electrodynamics in vacuum and matter. Electrostatic and magnetostatic fields. Maxwell's equations. Electromagnetic waves in conductors and nonconducting media. An introduction to the mathematics of vector calculus.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250 .
 PHYS 331  Optics
A study of the wave equation, properties of wave motion, and electromagnetic waves. The propagation of light, dispersion, and absorption. Geometrical optics, lenses, optical systems. Superposition, interference, and Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction. Topics in modern optics.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250.
 PHYS 332  Thermal Physics
A study of the fundamental concepts of classical thermodynamics and the thermal behavior of gases, liquids, and solids. The kinetic theory of gases. Statistical thermodynamics, including MaxwellBoltzmann, BoseEinstein, and FermiDirac statistics. Applications to an ideal diatomic gas, electrons in metals and monatomic crystals. Connection between statistical thermodynamics and information theory.
Credits: 4
Offered: fall semester in evennumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 250.
 PHYS 360  Quantum Mechanics
A study of the formalism and applications of quantum theory. Wave mechanics, interpretation of the quantum wave function, onedimensional bound states, scattering and tunneling. Quantum mechanics in three dimensions. Twoparticle systems, bosons and fermions, exchange forces. Approximation methods. Applications to atomic and molecular configurations.
Credits: 4
Offered: spring semester in oddnumbered years.
Prerequisite: PHYS 150, PHYS 160, and MATH 315.
Corequisite: Corequisite: PHYS 360R.