Students curious about how the world works will find that the physics curriculum offers them the opportunity to learn not only about the principal phenomena of the physical world but also how physical theory helps us understand these phenomena. The major program may serve as a basis for further study in physics and allied sciences, and in engineering, and for study leading to professions in education, health sciences and law.
The curriculum emphasizes laboratory work in which students become independent workers formulating and solving their own problems. Students gain the intellectual skill of moving freely to and fro between the concrete and the abstract. Students assess evidence and follow complex arguments to their logical conclusions, as well as practice speaking and writing clearly and effectively.
Many careers are open to those who understand some physics. Graduates work as astronomers, engineers, material scientists, and physicists in government, industry, and universities as well as in geophysics, oceanography, computer science, medical and health physics, and patent law.
Congrats to the 2014 Physics Seniors! Here are their senior thesis titles and where they are going next:
Dylan Angell: Characteristic Analysis of V829 Aquila: Sub-classification of Triple-Mode δ-Scuti Stars. Dylan will be attending the University of Virginia to pursue a PhD in Astronomy.
Rebekah Daniel: Elucidating the Role of Myosin VI in Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell Phagocytosis. Rebekah will be attending the University of Colorado, Boulder to pursue a Masters in Environmental Engineering.
Jay Howard: Investigating the Force-Dependent Function of Acanthamoeba Myosin 1c Activity. Jay will be attending Oregon State University to pursue a PhD in Physics.
Cameron Jones: Single Photon Interference and Weak Quantum Measurements. Cameron will be looking for a job in Industry.
Anders Koll: Detecting Acanthamoeba Myosin 1C In Vitro with Shifting Optical Trapping Assays. Anders will return to Willamette in the fall to complete his degree.
Jordon Loos: Electrolyte Variation in Purpurin Based Organic Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes. Jordon will be attending Columbia University to pursue a Masters in Chemical Engineering.
Christopher Luetjen: Constructing a System of Lasers to Generate RbCa Molecules from Ultracold Rubidium and Calcium. Christopher will be attending the University of Oregon to pursue a Masters of Industrial Engineering.
Daniel McCulley: Modeling Pulsating Stars as Springs: Constructing a Nonlinear System of Coupled Oscillators to Understand Amplitudes of Stellar Pulsation Modes. Daniel will be attending Oregon State University to pursue a PhD in Physics.
Alexandria Parsagian: A Permanent Magnet Zeeman Slower for Calcium: Improving Ultracold Calcium Trapping Efficiency for Creation of RbCa Molecules. Alexandria will be attending the University of Maryland to pursue a PhD in Physics.
Connor Pogue: Laser Ablation with an Ultrafast Pulsed Laser. Connor will be attending the University of Oregon to pursue a Masters of Industrial Engineering.
Erik Reinhart: Examining the Small Scale Structure of the Universe to Explain Discrepancies in the Expansion of the Universe. Erik will be attending the University of Chicago to pursue a PhD in Chemistry.