TAKE THE CHALLENGE
As a physics major at ONU, you will have opportunities to study properties of two-dimensional crystals formed by charged particles in a dusty plasma, you will spend nights exploring the sky with modern telescopes, you will investigate the geometry of crystal surfaces by using powerful computers, and you will immortalize your favorite toy as a hologram.
Large universities just can’t provide the individualized attention and opportunities you will find here. Throughout your four years, you will explore classical and modern physics using experimental, mathematical and computational tools leading to a capstone experience where you will research a problem on the frontier of physics. You will work on independent projects, and assist professors on grant-funded research. Most physics students present their research at bi-annual conferences of the Ohio-region Section of the American Physical Society (OSAPS).
From the time you arrive on campus until you graduate, you will be steered by a faculty advisor. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and amazing friendships with your fellow physics majors. Our dedicated professors will get to know you. They will support you in your coursework, research at ONU and outside, post-graduate or career preparations. They will become personally invested in your success – in college and beyond.
From taking a field trip to a cyclotron lab to co-authoring an academic paper, from heading up a student organization to interning at a major research lab – the opportunities open to you are truly incredible!
Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to make important scientific contributions. You’ll be armed with the knowledge, hands-on experience, and critical-thinking skills needed for success – no matter where your path leads you.
A computer cluster is dedicated to the reduction and analysis of extragalactic astronomy data, including the subfields of supermassive black holes and clusters of galaxies. This data comes from both ground-based and orbiting telescopes. Additional hands-on training with telescopes and CCDs is given at our own ONU Observatory, which has three permanently mounted telescopes and a roll-off, translucent roof.
SCIENTISTS IN THE HOUSE
Every year, we bring renowned science scholars to campus to share their discoveries – and their journeys – with students. ONU Physics has had a good speaker-exchange relationship with other top physics departments from Denison University, Ohio Wesleyan University, College of Wooster and Oberlin College to share their research and discuss physics topics.
BS WITH A MAJOR IN PHYSICS ’07
Physics was a great major for me because I never outgrew the ‘why’ stage. It allowed me to challenge myself to understand the underpinnings of the world around me. There’s nothing more exciting than understanding how the world functions and brainstorming ideas for making it better. Today, my work has an immediate and direct impact on patients who come to us for cancer care. Every plan we generate is custom-designed to meet the specific needs that the patient’s doctor has laid out. It’s a lot of responsibility but also a joy to do.
Courtney Buckey majored in physics to explore the world and study what she describes as “very, very small and very, very big topics.” She also majored in Spanish and minored in applied mathematics and art. While at ONU, she participated in two summer research experiences at the Cleveland Clinic, working in therapeutic medical physics and diagnostic imaging physics, and one summer research experience sponsored by the National Science Foundation at Indiana University in Bloomington. She also served as president of the Society of Physics Students and was active in Amnesty International. Her final year at ONU, she studied abroad in Spain and Costa Rica. After graduation, she completed a Ph.D. in therapeutic medical physics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Today, she is a board-certified medical physicist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She also is an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Mayo Medical School.
OUTCOMES AND COURSES
- Over the past five years, 100 percent of our physics majors were employed full-time in their field or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduating.
- Our physics students consistently obtain impressive Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) for the summer – beating out their peers at other institutions for these coveted spots. Recent students have completed REUs at Louisiana State University, Argonne National Labs, Ohio State University, Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M, University of Akron and University of Toledo.
- Our graduates get accepted into top-notch graduate schools, including Ohio State University, Florida State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, West Virginia University, Pennsylvania State University Louisiana State University; and New Mexico State University.
Here are some courses you will take as a physics major:
- Modern physics
- Quantum mechanics
- Analytical mechanics
- Solid state physics
- Atomic and nuclear physics
- Statistical mechanics
- Advanced lab
WHERE COULD YOU END UP?
Studies show that physicists earn higher salaries than other types of scientists. A degree in physics is a launch pad for a successful career in many different fields, including:
- Space science
- Environment and climate
- Business and investment
Check out where some of our physics graduates have ended up: research scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute; medical physicist at ProMedica in Toledo, Ohio; business development manager at Koverse in Washington, D.C.; postdoctoral fellow at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C.
Erin B. Swick419-772-2320
Science Annex 107A
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810