Physics

Program Information

The physics curriculum at Kalamazoo College provides preparation for the potential physicist as well as a solid background for students in the other sciences. A student majoring in physics can pursue further study in physics, engineering, computer science, astronomy, medical physics, or environmental science. Other opportunities include teaching at the high school level and working in a business that involves modern technology, and other careers such as finance, patent law, and technical editing.

Students interested in majoring in one of the physical sciences should plan to take CHEM 110, MATH 112-113, and PHYS 150 during the first two quarters of the first year.

Students with an AP score of 4 or 5 on the Physics C-Mechanics exam will also be granted credit in PHYS 150 and should begin their sequence with PHYS 152. Students with the same score on the Physics C-E&M exam will also be granted credit in PHYS 152 and should begin their sequence with PHYS 220. Students may also receive credit for PHYS 152 by receiving a 5,6, or 7 on the IB Physics HL exam.

Students planning on a major in physics should achieve at least “B” level academic work in the department by the time they complete PHY 220.

Students interested in engineering should consider the combined curriculum in engineering. This typically follows the program of the physics major during the first three years. (See the 3/2 Engineering Program description.)

Faculty

Tom Askew, Professor of Physics. BA Gordon College MS, PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Arthur Cole (Chair), Associate Professor of Physics. BA Williams College MS, PhD Ohio State University

Peter Erdi, Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies. MSc L. Eotvos University, Budapest MSc Technical University of Budapest PhD, DSc Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Jan Tobochnik, Dow Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences. BA Amherst College PhD Cornell University

David Wilson, Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Assistant Professor of Physics. BS Michigan Technological University MS, PhD University of Michigan

News

  • Three employees and the Mary Jane Underwood Center for Civic Engagement received honors Friday at K’s Founders Day event, marking K’s 189th year. The post K Honors Three Employees at Founders Day Event appeared first on News and Events.
  • For his SIP, Sam Meyer ’21 applied gravity and physics to building an irrigation system in Tanzania that grows crops and conserves scarce water resources. The post SIP of Water Grows Crops in Tanzania appeared first on News and Events.
  • If we compiled a list that ranks the coolest things Kalamazoo College faculty members have achieved as authors, Péter Érdi’s latest accomplishment would be on it. Érdi, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies, wrote the 2019 book Ranking: The Hidden Rules of the Social Game We All Play. The book examines how […]
  • More than 250 students were recognized Friday during the annual Honors Day Convocation for excellence in academics and leadership. Students were recognized in six divisions: Fine Arts, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Physical Education. Recipients of prestigious scholarships were recognized, as were members of national honor […]
  • Kalamazoo College today awarded one faculty member and one staff member with two of the highest awards the College bestows on its employees. Professor of History James E. Lewis Jr. was named the recipient of the 2020-21 Lucasse Fellowship for Excellence in Scholarship, honoring his contributions in creative work, research and publication; and Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics Office Coordinator Kristen Eldred was granted the W. Haydn Ambrose Prize, recognizing her outstanding […]