The mission of the Department of Physics is to help men and women develop competencies, commitments, and characteristics which have distinguished scientific inquiry at its best. An appreciation for the physical sciences is one cornerstone of the liberal arts tradition, the importance of which looms increasingly larger in a technologically changing world. Our department sees an understanding of the principles governing our physical universe as irreplaceable for a well-educated person.
We recognize that to maximally develop each person's capabilities, we must instill in our students, both majors and nonmajors:
- An understanding of the fundamental laws and behavior of the physical universe;
- An appreciation of the techniques used by scientists in acquiring such an understanding;
- A realization of the role of scientific inquiry in shaping the world we live in; and
- The skills and values that will enhance their ability to evaluate and react to technological advances.
The outcomes to be achieved by all Westminster College physics majors are:
- To acquire appropriate discipline-specific knowledge in the following general areas: classical physics, modern physics, and experimental physics;
- To use contemporary methods of physics to define and solve problems;
- To be capable of selecting from various models of physical problems successful approaches to solving those problems;
- To communicate effectively, using the language and concepts of physics and accepted professional standards; and
- To acquire relevant technical skills, including those in mathematics and computing.