Physics 2011-2012

Department of Physics

Location: 121 Chemistry Building, Phone: 409.880.2226 Archer Building, Phone: 409.880.7391

Chair: TBD

Physics is concerned with the basic principles of the universe and is the foundation upon which the other physical sciences—astronomy, chemistry and geology—are based. At the most fundamental level, the study of physics is subdivided into several basic areas of interest, including: mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, optics, quantum effects, elementary particles and relativity.

The study of physics offers a great variety of opportunities. A good foundation in physics can prepare a student for specialization in some area of research, or it can provide an excellent background for entering such varied fields as engineering, computer science, mathematics, communications, meteorology, oceanography, law, medicine and teaching.

The emphasis of the Lamar University physics program is on quality instruction at the undergraduate level. Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to participate in research activities directed by faculty members. The program of study in physics is one of the most flexible in the University. It offers many options and electives that make it possible to get a good foundation in physics as well as the necessary background to go into many other fields. The undergraduate degree offered is the Bachelor of Science (B.S.).

Degrees Offered

Physics Degree Plan

Bachelor of Science in Physics -121 hrs

Bachelor of Science – Physics Major

This degree plan places a strong emphasis on physics and mathematics. It can be tailored to meet the needs of students preparing for graduate school or employment in a variety of fields. Many students with B.S. degrees in physics from Lamar University have been highly successful graduate students in physics at some of the best universities in the U.S. Others have succeeded as engineers, mathematicians, physicians, medical researchers, lawyers, teachers, etc. Faculty advisors help plan programs to satisfy the needs of individual students.

The degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics will be awarded upon completion of the following requirements:

A. General Requirements:

See core curriculum, see Section 6.1 of this catalog: Philosophy of Knowledge Core and Section 11 the Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.

B. Science and Mathematics: CHEM 1411, 1412 MATH 2413, 2414, 2415, 3301

C. Physics Core: (Most students will take PHYS 1370, Mathematical Methods in Physics, as a preparation for PHYS 2425 and 2426) PHYS 2425, 2426 Introductory General Physics PHYS 3430 Analytical Mechanics PHYS 3350 Waves and Modern Physics PHYS 3380 Electricity and Magnetism PHYS 3390 Statistical Physics PHYS 4320 Quantum Physics

D. Concentration Area

A concentration in either chemistry, engineering or mathematics to include:

1. Chemistry: CHEM 1411, CHEM 1412, CHEM 3401, and CHEM 4311.

  1. Engineering: ENGR 2301, ENGR 2302, ENGR 2311, and ENGR 2374 (replaces CHEM 1412).
  2. Mathematics: MATH 2318, MATH 2413, MATH 2414, MATH 2415, MATH 3380, and MATH 3301.

E. Electives: Additional physics electives to attain at least 32 semester hours of physics. Additional general electives to attain a total of 120 semester hours (not including

the required semester of PEGA). 3000-4000-level courses to total 45 hours.

Bachelor of Science in Physics – Total Min. Hours: 121

Suggested Program of Study

First Year
Fall Spring
PHYS 1370 Math Methods 3 PHYS 2425 Calc. Based Phys 4
MATH 2413 Calc. and Analytical Geo. I. 4 MATH 2414 Calc. and Analytical Geo. II 4
CHEM 1411 General Chemistry 4 CHEM 1412 General Chemistry 4
English Comp 1 3 English Comp 2 3
PHIL 1370 3 PEGA 1
TOTAL 17 16
Second Year
Fall Spring
PHYS 2426 Calc. Based Phy. II 4 PHYS 3350 Waves and Mod. Phys 3
MATH 2415 Calc. and Analytical Geo. III 4 MATH 3301 Ord. Diff. Equations 3
Concentration courses and/or electives. 4 Concentration courses and/or electives 4
English Lit.* 3 English Lit* 3
Fine Art* 3
TOTAL 18 13
Third Year
Fall Spring
PHYS 3430 Analytical Mechanics 4 PHYS 3380 Elec. and Magnetism 3
Advanced Physics. PHYS 3390 4 POLS 2302 Intro. American Gov. II 3
POLS 2301 Intro. American Gov. I... 3 Concentration courses and/or Physics 9
Social Science* 3
TOTAL 14 15
Fourth Year
Fall Spring
PHYS 4320 3 Advanced Physics 4
HIST 1301 American 3 HIST 1302 American. 3
Comm* 3 Concentration courses and/or Physics 6
Concentration courses and/or Physics 6
TOTAL 15 13

*See a Physics Advisor about allowed options.

Physics as a Second Major

Physics may be selected as a second major for students wishing to broaden their education. The most popular options are to combine Physics with Engineering or Chemistry. Combinations are also available with Computer Science and Mathematics. A student may choose one degree with a double major or two separate degrees. While a second degree usually requires an additional semester of course work, the double major can be accomplished very efficiently. A Physics advisor can give you specific details on your choice of the field combinations.

Minor in Physics

A physics minor consists of (PHYS 1401 and PHYS 1402) or (PHYS 2425 and PHYS 2426), PHYS 3350, and nine additional hours of PHYS 3000/4000 level courses to total 20 credits with no grade less than “C”.