|Students measuring the angular acceleration of a disk as it responds to the torque applied to it by a weight falling under the influence of gravity.|
Physics is the study of matter and energy, and is the most fundamental science. The study of physics encompasses the smallest particles to the largest bodies such as galaxies, and thus plays a significant role in the world around us. The principles of physics are found in nearly all technological applications including electrical circuitry, magnetic resonance imaging, aerodynamics, engines. Physics principles are also those that scientists need to understand a variety of contemporary human challenges such as climate change and developing renewable fuel sources.
Beyond its direct application to fundamental problems and an understanding of the physical world around us, the study of physics is important in gaining the ability to think critically and logically. Being a highly mathematical subject it develops a facility with abstract thinking, which is an important skill to have independent of the specific subject matter.Science is, and will continue to be, a key component of the quest to find solutions to problems of environmental degradation, disease, energy shortages, sustainable development, and food production. As such, scientific literacy is a necessary part of a modern education, but it is not sufficient in itself. At CMU, we aim to train budding scientists who are also literate in theology, history, peace and justice, and the arts, and also to train theologians, historians, and artists whose thinking is scientifically informed. Science is a core component of all our B.A. programs. Above all, given that scientific inquiry is driven by curiosity about the world around us – God’s creation – we see science as a source of wonder, awe and inspiration as we encounter our world in all its complexity.
Why study Physics at CMU?
CMU’s first-year physics courses provide our students with an opportunity to obtain a solid introduction to the physical world by studying in small classes that emphasize fundamental concepts, and participating in the process of scientific inquiry through hands-on lab experience that includes electronic data acquisition, reduction, and analysis. Our physics lab is equipped with brand new equipment. At CMU, you can take the courses you need in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to open doors into a variety of professional programs, in nursing, education, physiotherapy, music therapy, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and advanced programs in the life sciences.
PHYS-1010/3 Physics 1 – Mechanics:A calculus-based introduction to classical mechanics which includes vectors, translational kinematics and
dynamics, work and energy, linear momentum and collisions, rotational kinematics and dynamics, and oscillatory motion. Includes a laboratory
requirement. A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisite: Physics 40S. Corequisite: MATH-1020/3.
PHYS 1020/3 Physics 2 – Waves and Modern Physics: calculus-based introduction to waves and modern physics which includes: oscillations, waves, superposition, interference, relativity, photoelectric effect, quantisation, Rutherford atom, Bohr model, atomic spectra, deBroglie waves, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, nuclear reactions, fission, fusion, subatomic particles. Includes a laboratory requirement. A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisite: PHYS- 1010/3 with a minimum grade of “C”. Corequisite: MATH-1030/3.