2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Engineering and Physics

Professors—Hyung Choi, David Probst (Department Chair)

Assistant Professors—Vlad Ivashyn, Dongxue Zhao

Physics attempts to develop a basic understanding of all forms of matter and energy. Today's society needs persons trained in physics in order to maintain a high level of technology in our society. Physics uses mathematical techniques to describe processes and develops new ideas that are given to engineers for implementation. The Physics and Engineering Department strives to give the student an understanding of the basic physical principles and show how these principles are adapted to many types of employment opportunities in our society.

For those majoring in physics, the department is prepared to meet the needs of three groups: students who plan to teach high school physics, students who plan to go on to graduate school in physics, and students who expect to go to work in a government or industrial laboratory following graduation. Students may choose to complete either a B.A. degree or a B.S. degree. Students qualifying for the B.A. degree must fulfill the foreign language and humanities requirements as outlined in the General Education guidelines. Students qualifying for the B.S. degree must complete four to eight credit hours of a practicum centered on a research experience.

Students planning to enter graduate school in physics should engage in independent study with the guidance of their professors. Part of this independent study should include laboratory investigation of a research nature. Currently the department offers research experience in atomic and nuclear physics. Students may engage in on-campus work with faculty using the department's ion accelerator and other major equipment. Students may also choose to become involved with the research Greenville University is doing in collaboration with the Gammasphere group at Argonne National Lab. Another option is to participate in the NSF-sponsored REU program which provides summer research experiences for undergraduates at various sites off-campus. Students who choose an REU for their practica credit should participate in this program the summer prior to their senior year.

Students interested in working in government or industrial laboratories should also complete an independent study. It will differ from the graduate school-bound student preparation in that their independent work will be less theoretical and shall include shop and laboratory techniques as well as special laboratory projects.

Greenville University offers an Engineering 3/2 program through a cooperative agreement with two top-notch engineering schools; the University of Illinois and Washington University in St. Louis. This five year program results in a bachelor of arts from Greenville and a bachelor of science in Engineering from the cooperating school. Successful completion of Greenville’s engineering program, with an appropriate GPA, guarantees admission to top quality engineering schools for the remaining two years. Check the index under Engineering 3/2 for curriculum information.

Graduates of the physics program have gone into one of the three careers as outlined above. About one-third have gone into high school and college teaching, and one-third have taken positions in government or industrial laboratories. Over half of the graduates have taken graduate work in physics and one-sixth have completed Ph.D. programs. A study of physics majors during the years 1974-2004 indicates 81 graduates, all of whom entered graduate school or obtained employment in their chosen field.

All three introductory courses are calculus based. Students may enroll in PHYS 200 and MATH 115 Calculus I concurrently. Concepts involving calculus are developed early in the PHYS 200 textbook and in the course so students can handle the topics that are discussed. Those students with high school physics as a background start the physics sequence with PHYS 200. Physics majors, pre-engineers, and prospective secondary school teachers should complete the entire three course physics sequence.