Departmental Program

Students who major in physics take the four courses in the Introductory Sequence to get an overview of the many topics and fields within physics. Physics majors then will take upper division courses including two semesters of Advanced Lab and at least two out of three of Phys 361 (Classical Mechanics), Phys 364 (Electricity and Magnetism), and Phys 411 (Quantum Mechanics). See the Requirements page for details.

A list of regularly-offered physics courses is given below.

Introductory Sequence

  • Phys 181: Classical Physics I (Mechanics)
  • Phys 182: Classical Physics II (Classical Thermal Physics, Electrostatics, Magnetism, Optics)
  • Phys 281: Modern Physics I (Relativity, Quantum Mechanics)
  • Phys 282: Modern Physics II (Modern Thermal Physics, Atomic Physics, Nuclear Physics, Solid State Physics)

Upper Division Courses

  • Phys 311,312: Advanced Laboratory I & II
  • Phys 354: Astrophysics
  • Phys 359: Thermal Physics
  • Phys 361: Classical Mechanics
  • Phys 364: Electricity and Magnetism
  • Phys 411: Quantum Mechanics

Advanced Special Topics

  • Phys 352: Mechanics of Materials
  • Phys 369: Numerical Physics
  • Phys 401: Nuclear and Particle Physics

 General Courses of Interest

  • Phys 114: Sound and Musical Acoustics
  • Phys 238: Statics
  • Sci 111: Physical Science
  • Sci 112: Energy and the Physical World
  • Sci 121: Introduction to Astronomy

Note that courses are taught once a year, once every other year, or on a more intermittent schedule. Note that while the frequency that a course is taught can change at any time, below is the typical scheduling of physics courses at Luther.

Courses typically offered once a year:
Sci 111 (currently taught by Chemistry department faculty)
Phys 181 (Fall), Phys 182 (Spr), Phys 281 (Fall), Phys 282 (Spring)
Phys 311 (Fall), Phys 312 (Spr), Phys 411 (Fall, although not to be offered 2014-2015)

Courses typically offered every other year:
Phys 114 (Spr), Phys 238 (Spring), Phys 352 (Fall), Phys 361 (Spr), Phys 364 (Spr)

Courses offered on a more intermittent schedule:
Sci 112, Sci 121 (Fall), Phys 354, Phys 359, Phys 369, Phys 401

We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.

Female scientist in goggles and white coat.

"By all means, let’s grow our STEM graduates as aggressively as possible. But let’s make sure they also have that all-important grounding in the liberal arts."

Read the article.