What You’ll Study

Our physics minor is taught with an emphasis on physics within chemistry and the natural sciences. You will be encouraged to think about how physics and chemistry can be applied in addressing the world’s human health and sustainability issues. With the help of the faculty, the chemistry crew, and the friendly atmosphere of the lounge, you will thoroughly enjoy your exploration of the chemical and physical basis of our world.

Your capstone undergraduate research project will serve as the culmination of your exploration. You will propose and design a project and independently conduct the investigation under the guidance of one of our faculty members. You will immerse yourself in a project of your own choosing and you will present your results to the community. Opportunities to attend conferences are plentiful and our students have been quite successful obtaining graduate fellowships based on their research experiences.

Explore Classes in This Program

PHY 1180

Contemporary Astronomy

Does the night sky fill your eyes with awe and wonder? Learn how to find and identify celestial objects by observing the night sky with and without a telescope. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn how to capture your findings with cameras and learn how to use computer imaging equipment. While in the classroom you’ll explore topics such as the solar system, stars and measurements of stars, galaxies, black holes, stellar composition, and stellar evolution. Other topics you’ll learn include the properties of light, color, gravity, Newton’s laws, and Einstein’s principles.

PHY 221

Physics I

This course offers an introduction to physics provided through the study of Newtonian physics, energy, thermodynamics, and statistical thermodynamics. Special emphasis is given to contemporary physics–physics developed during the 20th century. You’ll learn skills useful in other disciplines as well as physics: laboratory record-keeping, problem solving, and computer simulation. This course is centered around laboratory experience and the importance of learning physics through the observations and measurements in the laboratory.

CHM 3320

Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy

Interested in quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and spectroscopy? In this you’ll learn to interpret and explain the fundamental principles governing the observed spectroscopic behavior of a quantum mechanical system as predicted by statistical mechanics. Translation, vibration, rotation, and nuclear states will be thoroughly explored and then applied

Meet Our Faculty

I appreciate how the small class sizes at Wilson allow me to break a class from a physics problem and have a full class discussion on the beauty or application in our world.

David Coffey, Ph.D.
David Coffey teaching
David Coffey, Ph.D.

Warren Wilson students are curious and engaging. I am inspired by their questions and enthusiasm during class discussions. I love to teach them and learn with them.

Yuemei Zhang, Ph.D.
Yuemei Zhang, Ph.D.
David Coffey teaching