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Major Areas of Study: PHYSICSphys

The physics curriculum begins by exposing students to a spectrum of topics ranging from Newton’s laws of motion to the foundations of quantum mechanics and ends by refining these topics conceptually and mathematically.  Since physicists eventually become preferentially oriented towards experimental, computational, or theoretical endeavors, the curriculum is designed to give students an opportunity to explore each of these orientations.  The major in physics is designed to meet the needs of students that intend on teaching physics, continuing their study of physics in graduate school, or pursuing a physics-related career.

Student Opportunities

Off-Campus Internships and Research Experiences

Recent examples include:

  • Annotation of the Genome of Physarum Polycephalum - Biophysics Research at the Department of Physics at Ohio State University
  • Image Analysis of a Carbon Composite 747 Brake Pad - Engineering Internship at the Goodrich Corporation in Akron, OH
  • Electrical and Chemical Characterization of Proton Conducting Ceramic Materials - Condensed Matter Physics Research at the Department of Physics at Montana State University
  • Explicit Vapor Pressure Prediction from the PRSV Equation of State – Engineering Research at the Department of Engineering at Hope College

Camelia Petre participated in Purdue University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program in the School of Engineering Education. She worked on a project entitled “400,000 People Who Landed on the Moon: Life Stories of Engineers Involved in the Moon Landing”. This involved conducting interviews with engineers that worked for NASA on the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury projects. The ultimate goal is to assemble an online library of these discussions in audio and text formats, links to other resources treating the subject, and conclusions drawn from analyzing the data.

On-Campus Design and Research Projects

Recent examples include:

  • Developing Physics Demonstrations with Limited Materials – Senior Capstone Project
  • Simulating the Hidden Markov Model with LabVIEW – Senior Capstone Project
  • Assembling a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM) - Muskingum University Summer Fellows Program
  • Observing and Characterizing Gravity Waves via Airglow Imaging – Senior Capstone Project
  • An Acoustical Study of a Road Cone and the Soprano Saxophone: Testing the On-Axis Pressure and Phase Dependencies – Senior Capstone Project
  • Restoration of a Vacuum System for Deposition of Ferromagnetic Materials – Senior Capstone Project
  • Designing a Total Home Protection System – Introduction to Physics & Engineering Design Project

Physics and Engineering Club

Recent activities include:

  • Performing physics demonstrations for a local church’s youth group
  • Assisting with the Wonders of the World (WOW) program, which is an interactive science education program targeting elementary school children
  • Hosting external speakers
  • Building a hovercraft
  • Giving out liquid nitrogen cooled marshmallows and giving hovercraft rides to area children during the Halloween Festival
  • Visiting COSI in Columbus, OH
  • Clocking the speed of baseball throws during the Activities Fair

Financial Support For Physics Students

Typical examples include:

  • Hiring students to serve as tutors and assistants
  • Awarding the Robert Ellis Smith Scholarship to outstanding students in Physics and Engineering
  • Sponsoring on-campus research through the Muskingum University Summer Fellows program, which provides a stipend and free on-campus housing

After Graduation

Recent examples of jobs held by physics majors from Muskingum:

  • Exhibition Areas Facilitator/Performer at COSI in Columbus, OH
  • Chemist for Nestle Quality Assurance Center in Dublin, OH
  • Skunk Works Architect for Resource Systems in New Concord, OH
  • Physics and Mathematics Teacher for Tri-Valley High School in Dresden, Ohio

Graduate Programs

Recent examples include:

  • Ph.D. in Physics at Ohio State University
  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Ohio University
  • Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at University of Texas at Dallas

phys2Mission Statement

Courses; Major/Minor Requirements


Dept. Web Site

Science Division Web Site

List of All Majors


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