Physicists work in a variety of professions in science, technology, and education. They can conduct basic research at a university or a national laboratory, or applied research in an industrial or commercial setting. Experimental physicists usually work in a lab and seek to test hypotheses and theories, to make discoveries of new phenomena, or to develop new applications of ideas. Theoretical physicists use math to develop explanations of experimental data, formulate new theories, and make new predictions hypotheses.
Recently, a third branch of physics has emerged, computational physics, in which high-performance computers are used to do calculations which can not be done analytically, or to simulate experiments that are difficult or impossible to perform in a laboratory. Physicists also communicate their ideas, either by presenting scientific papers, writing patents, developing software, or by teaching at the university and high school levels.
Graduates of the UA Little Rock Physics program can:
- Understand basic and advanced concepts of classical and modern physics.
- Understand and be able to use high-level mathematics to solve physics problems.
- Compete successfully for graduate schools and/or jobs, and perform well therein.
- Make careful and accurate measurements using many different kinds of equipment and correctly analyze and interpret experimental data.
- Use symbolic and numerical computer software to solve physics problems, and to acquire, plot, and analyze data.
- Effectively communicate their findings and thoughts in conventional scientific style, both in writing and orally.
- Communicate scientific and technical concepts to non-scientific audiences.
- Draw upon their math and physics experience to identify, formulate, analyze and solve a wide variety of real-world problems.
- Apply deductive reasoning, the scientific method, and other methods and principles of physics to a broad range of problems in other areas.