SUNY Oneonta

Physics and Astronomy

Associate Professors: Faux, French, Gallagher (Chair), Labroo, Mahanta; Assistant Professor: Smolinski

Web address: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/physics

Purpose

The Physics and Astronomy Department strives to develop students’ understanding of the principles, applications, analysis, and experimental/observational/computational techniques of physics and astronomy. Students in the programs acquire a strong foundation for further study, as well as learn to appreciate physics and astronomy as significant components of our culture.

Degrees

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science

Majors

Physics, Option A

Physics, Option B

Minors

Physics

Astronomy

Energy

Concentration/Track

In Astronomy as part of Physics, Option A Major

Requirements for the Majors

Prerequisites: a strong background in high school physics and chemistry, and sufficient high school mathematics to enter the College’s calculus sequence are normally assumed in order to complete the requirements for graduation within four years.

Physics, Option A: for students anticipating graduate study or careers in physics or astronomy. Requires 38 s.h. of physics courses, including general physics, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum physics, electronics or optics and lasers, and 9 s.h. of selected courses in physics or astronomy. Related course requirements include 18 s.h. in mathematics and 8 s.h. in chemistry. An astronomy track, which prepares students for graduate work in Astronomy or Astrophysics, is available under this option.

Physics, Option B: intended for students who desire a strong background in physics coordinated with course work from other academic areas, leading to a career or graduate work in a field other than physics. Physics and engineering is the most common combination. The 29 s.h. of required physics courses include general physics, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, choice of electronics or optics and lasers, and 3 s.h. of selected physics courses. The unique feature of Physics, Option B, is the selection of 18 s.h. of upper-level courses in any other academic area, subject to approval of a faculty committee. There are also 15 s.h. in mathematics required.

Requirements for Minors

Prerequisites: sufficient high school mathematics to enter the College’s calculus sequence is strongly recommended.

Physics Minor: 18 s.h., including PHYS 203, 204, 205, and 287 plus 6 s.h. of selected physics courses.

Astronomy Minor: 12 s.h. of astronomy courses and 6-8 s.h. of general physics. One semester of calculus is recommended.

Energy Minor: 18-20 s.h., including GEOL 230 and PHYS 308 (required), plus four courses chosen from the following list: PHYS 320, PHYS 205/287, PHYS 318, CHEM 214, CHEM 221 or 226, CHEM 351, ESCI 290, GEOL 382, and GEOL 380. The four courses must be from departments other than your own major department. Two different departments must be represented. Special Topics courses offered in the sciences may be substituted for one of the electives, if the content is appropriate, and with the permission of the Physics and Astronomy Department Chair

Facilities and Special Offerings

Astronomy: an astronomy track is available under the Option A Physics Major for students with a strong interest in Astronomy. This track prepares students for graduate work in Astronomy or Astrophysics. Facilities include two major telescopes housed in observatory domes, seven separately-housed telescopes, computer-imaging equipment, complete darkroom facilities, and a planetarium.

3-2 Engineering Program: see the chapter, "Academic Programs and Degrees" for information.

Facilities: The department has well-equipped physics laboratories and excellent astronomy observational facilities. Our facilities include three laboratories for introductory physics and astronomy courses, one computer-based laboratory for introductory and upper-level courses, four laboratories for upper-level courses which include specialized capabilities in optics, atomic and nuclear physics, electronics, and photonics/holography. In addition, our research facilities include a magnetic observatory, infrared laser lab, magnetism and magnetic materials lab, advanced mechanics lab, and a thin films/high vacuum lab. These facilities are supported by a darkroom, a machine shop, and a planetarium. There is a strong research and related-program emphasis and support structure within the department. Physics and Astronomy majors are encouraged to seek out research areas of interest early in their careers while at Oneonta.

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