Physics

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The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA or BS in Physics. Physics deals with the properties of matter and energy and includes: acoustics, atomic physics, cryogenics, electromagnetism, elementary particle physics, and thermodynamics. It is the branch of science concerned with the study of properties and interactions of space, time, matter, and energy.

The Department of Physics website

 

Sample of Related Skills

  • Demonstrate understanding of scientific literature, such as journal articles and textbooks 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the general principles in physics and patterns in nature 
  • Integrate the scientific method in to problem solving and experimentation 
  • Apply the basic laws of physics in the areas of classical mechanics, Newtonian gravitation, special relativity, electromagnetism, geometrical and physical optics, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics 
  • Apply basic mathematical tools commonly used in physics, including elementary probability theory, differential and integral calculus, vector calculus, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, and linear algebra 
  • Use basic laboratory data analysis techniques, including distinguishing statistical and systematic errors, propagating errors, and representing data graphically 
  • Communicate verbally, graphically, and/or in writing the results of theoretical calculations and laboratory experiments in a clear and concise manner that incorporates stylistic conventions used by physicists worldwide 

Popular Career Paths

Acoustics: Involves the study of the physical properties of sounds. This includes applying the skills obtained from degree in physics to the noise control of objects like vehicle tires as well as the architectural design of concert halls.

Cyrogenics: Includes the study of matter at temperatures much colder than those found on earth. Low temperature physicists are concerned with phenomena such as superfluidity and superconductivity.

Optics: Involves the study of light and electromagnetic radiation. This can be applied to life in many ways such as laser technology and fiber-optics.

Particle Physics: Entails the study of the most fundamental particles of which matter is made and is also referred to as high-energy physics. It is often considered the new frontier of theoretical physics and has many opportunities of study.

Rheology: Involves the application of physics to the study of the deformation and flow of matter.

Robotics: Includes the science and technology of robots, and their design, manufacture, and application. It also involves a daily focus in electronics, mechanics, and software.


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Jobs to Consider

Engineer

Professor

Physicist

Astrophysicist

Geophysicist

Laboratory Technician

Oceanographer

Radiographer

Patent Examiner

Air Traffic Controller

Audio Engineer

 

Environmental Scientist

Cartographer

Naval Architect

Climatologist

Scientific Officer

 


Places to Seek Employment

Federal Agencies

Government Laboratories

Observatories

The United States Military

Private Sector

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Hospitals

Universities

High Schools

Architectural Firms

News Stations

State and Local Governments

Pharmacies

Computer Companies

Manufacturing Firm

Museums

Patent Law Firms

Oil Fields

Power Plants

Product Design Firms

 

View specific employers by state.


Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest in physics so you can focus your academics and experiences towards these fields.
  2. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e. advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
  3. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  4. Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  5. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in physics, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  6. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  7. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
  8. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest, such as: Physics & Engineering Student Organization (PESO), Society of Physics Students, and the University of Kansas Geophysical Society.  
  9. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf), sample resume-physics/astronomy (pdf).

Job and Internship Search Resources

The quick link for this page is career.ku.edu/physics.

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