Physics underlies many other disciplines and provides a basis for understanding the fundamental laws of the physical universe. The study of physics at the University of Mary Washington has as its principal goal the dissemination of the concepts and techniques, theoretically and empirically, of a wide range of physical phenomena. The courses we offer are intended to meet the needs of those students who will become specialists in the field, as well as, the needs of the general students. Students who have an interest in science, as an important part of their general education, will enhance those skills that aid in the understanding of physics as it relates to the contemporary world. The specialist, will not only have an understanding of contemporary physics, but will be able to contribute to its use in the development of future technologies. The long-range vision and plan for the physics program to contribute to and participate in the national and local efforts of reform in science education for the 21st Century will raise the level of science literacy for all students.
Physics majors will be equipped to pursue successful careers not only in physics, but in engineering, medicine, astronomy, astrophysics, applied mathematics, biophysics, chemical physics, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography or secondary school teaching.
In the News:
Congratulations to William Henry Mills on his selection for a Barry Goldwater Scholarship! This year 1,256 students applied for this prestigious scholarship. Henry was one of 410 new scholarship recipients for the 2020 competition. Henry, a physics major, plans to pursue a Ph.D. to become a professor. He is Vice-President of the UMW Society of Physics Students and is passionate about teaching others about physics. Along with his faculty advisor, Dr. Varun Makija, Henry collaborates with physicists at the National Research Council of Canada, SUNY Stony Brook, and Stanford University to study molecular motions, particular rotations, using lasers and computation. Gaining an understanding of molecular rotations will expand understanding of processes like vision and photosynthesis. Henry will continue this research during the 2021-2022 academic year.
The research of Dr. Rasha Makkia and senior Shannon Brindle is highlighted in an article by Katherine Wright in Physics on the APS website. Shannon and Clark Saban are working with Dr. Makkia to develop computational methods for analysis of brain images.