At Carroll, the Physics program is designed to acquaint students with topics like relativity, quantum physics, and optics—topics you don't generally see in the introductory courses for engineering and natural science majors. The focus of the major is on introducing you to the basic ideas of modern physics: along the way, you'll hone your mathematical problem-solving skills, create computer simulations, and do labs with lenses, lasers, and holography.
The physics major program is intended to help students develop into successful and creative thinkers, who are able to analyze a wide variety of problems, apply appropriate models to them, and derive quantitative predictions from those models. These problem-solving skills are developed in the context of a curriculum which provides a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts of mathematics and physics, while still allowing students the freedom to explore diverse interests in other areas of the liberal arts. Innovative and engaging entry-level courses for freshmen, together with a close linkage to Carroll's strong program in applied mathematics, are distinctive features of the physics major program. Students completing this program should be well-prepared for either employment or graduate study in physics or related technical areas.
Physics majors can go on to careers in fields such as computer science, engineering, and research and development. Others have referred to physics as the “Swiss Army Knife” degree because of all the skills that students acquire from a major in physics. Physics majors have a reputation for solid mathematical skills, strong problem solving ability, and good work ethic. It is these fundamental skills that allow them to work successfully in so many different areas.