The Physics Department, along with the Faculty of Science, is committed to periodic evaluation of its programs opting for their enhancement, and development in the light of new international trends in the field of Physics. The vast new horizons opened by interdisciplinary areas of science present a challenge that must be met by educators. Young generations qualified to deal with modern issues and share the responsibility for the future must be prepared. The classical programs in basic sciences fall far short of meeting the demands of the new century. Hence, an overall review is not only a requirement for the survival of educational institutions; it is also a necessity for the advancement of our society. Toward this end, the programs offered by the Physics Department have undergone a thorough evaluation, identifying shortfalls and determining remedies. The new program structure offers two main tracks: one in pure physics and the other in what is termed Engineering Physics. Both tracks differ significantly from the existing Physics and Applied Physics programs.
1-1 The Physics Program
The changes introduced in the basic
Physics program include introduction of a new Computational Physics course,
restructuring of existing courses, rearrangement of compulsory versus elective
courses and reorganization of background courses in mathematics and the use of
computers. All changes are consistent
with the graduation requirements set forth in the bylaws of
1-2 The Engineering Physics Program
Our discoveries about the physical world have been a driving force behind much of our rapidly changing technology. To understand, initiate or press through such changes, an individual must have a strong grasp of the underlying physical principles. Engineering Physics (EP) offers an opportunity at the undergraduate level to develop a deep understanding of these fundamentals in an engineering context.
The undergraduate program in Engineering Physics covers the basic physics that underlies most developments in engineering and the mathematical tools that are important to all engineers and scientists. The courses offered focus on conceptual understanding, unlike traditional engineering programs, which stress applications. This enhanced knowledge of fundamentals is combined with the practical aspects of a conventional engineering discipline through a combination of electives as well as various laboratory courses. Hands-on experience involves computers, electronics and lasers.
It must be emphasized that, although
there is some overlap between courses offered in the Engineering Physics stream
of the Physics Department and similar courses offered by the
1-3 WHO SHOULD JOIN ENGINEERING PHYSICS?
Engineering Physics is designed primarily for the student with a strong interest in and aptitude for science and mathematics and the desire to apply these disciplines to technical problems without regard to formal or historical boundaries between various fields of engineering and physics.
It is usually easier for students to recognize their aptitudes than it is for them to determine the specialized area in which they will eventually want to work. The EP curriculum recognizes this fact and focuses on allowing students to extend themselves and to develop broad skills in the physical sciences. The primary emphasis in our curriculum is to foster mastery in areas of basic physics and related skills, which have in the past proven of universal importance. It is our opinion that excellence in physics, particularly developing the capability to do physics rather than just awareness and knowledge of physics, is of vital importance for a practicing scientist or engineer, in particular in pushing the forefront of an engineering area. An important aspect of this excellence is the development of experimental skills to complement the formal course work. Towards this end, the EP program offers five experimental courses in the areas of computers, lasers, optics and electronics. The basic EP program combined with properly chosen specialty courses in various areas enables students to choose their future directions wisely.
1-4 WHERE DOES IT LEAD TO?
Engineering Physics alumni should find the dual emphasis on fundamentals and engineering applications to be extremely valuable for wide-ranging careers in industry, government and academia. Most engineering physics graduates develop careers in industry as staff engineers or scientists or technical directors.