Welcome to the Physics Department
Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, exploring the universe from its smallest to grandest scales. In other words, physics attempts to understand nature in both its greatest simplicity and its most uncontrollable complexity. Physicists are model-builders of everything from the architecture of the cosmos, to the substructure of the nuclei, the complexity of life, and even the hidden patterns of the stock market.
Courses in physics allow you to explore the interactions of matter and energy from the simplest swinging pendulum to the complex scenarios of biological systems, the plasmas of nuclear fusion, and energy and its impact on the environment. A deep understanding of physics involves problem solving, reasoning and experimental skills that are valuable not only to scientists, but also to every member of society as we move towards a more technological world.
Although it’s the oldest of the modern sciences, physics continues to surprise even as we move through the 21st century. Recent discoveries and ideas such as dark matter and dark energy, possible variations of the ‘constants’ of the universe, and new interactions between physics and the other sciences will keep physics exciting and vibrant for decades to come.
Our five permanent faculty do research in a variety of areas including astrophysics, plasma physics, the foundations of thermodynamics, chemical physics, biophysics and physics education. USD physics faculty pride themselves on including undergraduate researchers and assistants at every level of their work. Our graduates include not only research scientists, but also medical students, theologians, computer programmers and engineers. Physics truly provides the foundations for a wide variety of experiences and careers.
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October 8, 2012
October 22, 2009