Concentration Requirements

  • Programming ability. This requirement can be met by taking Physics 256 or Computer Science 141 (strongly recommended) or taking a proficiency test within the Physics Department, administered by the course coordinator of Physics 451-52/495-96, together with members of the computing committee and the thesis advisor. The test shall involve a programming project of at least 100 lines of code using a modern language such as Java, C++, perl, etc. Examples: Write a routine that calculates Clebsch-Gordon coefficients; write a program that simulates the statistical decay of a hot nucleus; write a histogramming package; solve an ordinary differential equation, etc. Ideally, this would be a program useful for the specific senior thesis topic.
  • Electronic literacy. The student will be required to know how to do electronic searches of research materials and journals via the Web. This requirement shall be taught by the library staff and verified by the course coordinator.
  • Symbolic Mathematics. The undergraduate courses in Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics and Electromagnetism shall make use of Maple (the current university standard) in assignments so that all students develop a proficiency in symbolic mathematics programs.
  • Electronic publishing. The senior thesis shall be submitted to the course coordinator both on paper as required by the University, and electronically. An electronic archive of these theses will be kept in the Department. To meet this requirement, the student will need to use a modern word processor (MS Word, WordPerfect, TeX, etc.) that can typeset equations and include figures embedded within the document. The requirement shall be satisfied by the submission of the thesis as a single Postscript or PDF document that includes figures, tables, appendices, etc.