Northern Michigan University Department of Physics What is Physics? Physics is the most basic of sciences and involves the study of phenomena from the microscopic (atoms/molecules) to the macroscopic (e.g. the motion of a ball) to the megamacrosopic (stars and galaxies). Physics topics include: motion, force, energy, momentum, heat and thermodynamics, waves, electricity and magnetism, optics, relativity, modern physics, quantum mechanics, materials…….and on and on. What Can You Do With a Physics Degree? Physicist/Material Scientist Engineer (Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Nuclear, etc.) Astronomer/Astrophysicist Teacher (high school/college/university) Computer Programmer Financial Analyst/Lawyer/Physician Meteorologist Technical Writer/Editor MANY OTHERS Where Do Physicists Work? Industry Government Laboratories Academia Job Qualifications Ability for original and creative thinking. Problem solving ability. Ability to break complex ideas down into simpler, solvable problems. Mathematical ability. Ability to invent, build, and work with experimental apparatus. Ability to clearly express ones ideas in verbal or written form. Academic Preparation High School: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and writing, and all the mathematics you can take. Undergraduate: Introductory through advanced physics courses and all the mathematics you can take. Computer programming is very important. Graduate: Specialization with graduate courses and a lot of research (theoretical or experimental), mathematics, and computer programming. KNOWING HOW TO WRITE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!! Internship Experiences For undergraduates, beside the research opportunities available in their university’s department, summer REU’s (research experience for undergraduates) are widely available throughout the U.S. Study abroad may be possible. Scientific or technically oriented companies may provide opportunities. Opportunities exist as interns in government. Degree Programs Bachelor’s Degree candidates would work as technical aides to PhD physicists or engineers or, with teaching certification, could teach in high schools. Master’s Degree candidates could work as team leaders or engineers, or work for PhD physicists. Can also teach in two or four year colleges. Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) would be project research leaders, or could also do research and teach at universities. Demand/Growth/Salaries As the U.S. economy rebounds and focuses on science and technology to bring us back on track, demand will grow, especially for women. Academic positions are competitive and can be hard to match well to as they often require specific expertise and previous experience. Starting salaries depend on degree and industry vs academia. Salaries can range from $35,000 to $100,000 depending on location, degree, and experience. NMU Information Located in Marquette, Michigan (Upper Peninsula) on Lake Superior….beautiful, natural environment. Approximately 9000 students. Outstanding teaching and research facilities, much of it new within the past 10 years. High quality academic programs. Easy faculty accessibility. Opportunities for undergraduate researc h. Relatively small campus….easy to get to classes. Physics at NMU Outstanding teaching faculty. All physics major courses are taught by PhD faculty with degrees from Stanford, Indiana, Penn State, Kent State, and Michigan Tech. Small major…students get to know faculty well. Easy to meet with faculty. Full complement of physics courses. Research areas include low energy nuclear spectroscopy, theoretical particle/field, introductory astronomy. Physics at NMU (cont.) Two observatories with 16” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. Majors have a great office facility. Active physics club involved in outreach activities. Annual trip to Argonne National Lab for research presentations. Student success in obtaining summer REU’s. NMU Physics Students Typically between 2 and 6 graduates each year. Most go onto graduate school. Schools include: Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Texas Tech, Stanford, Michigan Tech, Minnesota. Some students go to graduate school in engineering or work with their Bachelor’s degree in a technical field. Physics (science in general) is a good major for students interested in law school. Physics Club Mackinac Bridge Tour NMU Physics Tests Speed Skating Pads for the USOEC NMU Observatory Neutron Detectors for J-lab (left) Department museum display (right) NMU Physics Major Office Contact Information Highly recommend a campus visit. NMU Admissions (906-227-2650) NMU Physics Dr. David Lucas 906-227-2191 email@example.com QUESTIONS?????