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Physics Minor

If you have an interest in stuff like subatomic particles, gravitational waves, and dark matter, but plan to pursue a career in another major, consider a minor in Physics and Astronomy. You’ll better understand the physical behaviors of the world around us. You’ll explore the theories that describe physical reality. And you’ll uncover surprising and satisfying insights into the beauty of Creation. All while supplementing whatever major you choose with practical skills and insights gained from a physics and astronomy minor.

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Program Overview

Dordt’s physics and astronomy program focuses heavily on the connection between the fundamental laws of physics and God’s handiwork throughout all of creation. Students do more than simply learn from a textbook. They conduct tests and research in Dordt’s top-of-the-line facilities, which include multiple labs, a dome observatory, experimental equipment, and more. They also find unique internship opportunities and learn how to apply their love of physics to whatever career path they pursue.

Our physics and astronomy faculty is committed to high-quality teaching and the department’s student-to-faculty ratio is excellent. That means you get more focused and individualized teaching and instruction throughout your time at Dordt. To put it simply, Dordt physics and astronomy minors leave school better prepared to succeed personally and professionally.

Student and faculty member work in the bio-physics lab

What You'll Learn

As a physics and astronomy minor, you’ll choose from courses in classic and modern physics, thermodynamics, electromagnetic fields, and more. You’ll also learn how to apply the skills and knowledge you’re learning to your major.

What You Can Do With A Physics Minor

A physics and astronomy minor is great for supplementing careers in the fields of environmental science, human biology, education, and research management for tech companies.

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To earn a physics minor, students will need to complete two introductory physics courses and two upper level physics electives. This coursework includes at least two credit hours of lab work.

  • Introductory Physics I: An introduction to the study of the physical aspect of reality for students intending to continue in the physical sciences and engineering. Linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics, statics, and gravitation will be covered. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week.
  • Introductory Physics II: Continuation of Physics 231. Topics covered include fluid, oscillations, waves, heat and thermodynamics, and electricity. Three lectures and one laboratory per week.
  • Introduction to Light, Energy, and Matter: Advanced classical and introduction to modern physics topics. Optics, advanced waves, semiconductors, and modern physics topics in particle, nuclear, and quantum physics are covered.
  • Classical Mechanics: Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, general rigid body motion, theory of vibrations and waves, planetary motion, and chaos are studied.
  • Electromagnetic Fields: Review of vector calculus; divergence, curl, Gauss’ and Stoke’s theorems; electro- and magneto-statics; polarization; boundary conditions; Laplace and Poisson equations; magnetic vector potential; energy; Maxwell’s equations for time varying fields; wave propagation; and Poynting’s theorem.
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics: The study of heat, the laws of thermodynamics, thermodynamic generating functions, Maxwell’s relations, kinetic theory, partition functions, and classical and quantum statistics. Three lectures per week.
  • Modern Physics: Developments in modern physics: special relativity, atomic nature of matter and electricity, wave and particle aspects of electrons and light, quantum theory and applications to the study of atomic and molecular structure, condensed matter physics, particle and nuclear physics. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week.

See the course catalog for more information.

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Science and Technology Center

As a Physics Minor, you'll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt's Science and Technology Center. Informally known as the "Science Building," the Science and Technology Center is home to large and small laboratories for organic and physical chemistry and two physics laboratories.

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Student Stories

Dordt students and alumni use their gifts to make a difference in the world. Check out their stories to see how Defender Nation lives out our mission to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

A picture of Aidan Bender

Empathy and Mystery

Aidan Bender

Dealing with the constant uncertainty of what he wanted to do with his future, Aidan was able to lean on Dordt professors and mentors to help him become more open-minded and flexible, eventually finding a place where he fit in.

Aidan Bender

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A picture of Dordt's clocktower and campus center

More than Facts and Formulas

Barry Vis

Through his Physics education at Dordt, Barry developed a deep appreciation for the beauty that underlies God's creation that continues to guide him in his career and life.

Barry Vis

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