Physics Undergraduate Programs

A versatile degree with a broad spectrum of rewarding careers.



 

COSAM: The Proven Path for Physics

 

Physics, the most fundamental science, tries to explain how the physical universe behaves. Physicists study the nature of the universe at every level--from sub-atomic to cosmological. Physics provides a versatile degree and essential problem-solving skills for a broad spectrum of rewarding careers in scientific research, academics, business, medicine, law, education, engineering, and computer science.

  • Accelerator Operator
  • Applications Engineer
  • Astronomer
  • Biophysicist
  • Computational Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Energy Policy Analyst
  • Forensic Firearms Examiner
  • Health Physicist
  • IT Consultant
  • Lab Technician
  • Laser Engineer
  • Materials Scientist
  • Medical Physicist
  • Meteorologist
  • Optical Engineer
  • Patent Agent
  • Process Engineer
  • Research Associate
  • Quantitative Research Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Specialist
  • Web Developer

COSAM has a low ratio of faculty members to physics majors which means each student receives individual attention usually only available at much smaller schools. As an undergraduate student, you can take classes on sub-atomic particles, the origins of the universe, superconductivity, and superheated plasmas.

Physics majors interact with faculty performing world-class research using world-class instrumentation. Department research focuses on five major areas including Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (AMO), Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Plasma Physics, and Space Physics.

The AMO group has finished construction of an attosecond laser facility, and the Condensed Matter group is finishing the installation of a state-of-the-art molecular beam epitaxy system. Our Plasma group operates the Magnetized Dusty Plasma and Compact Toroidal Hybrid experiments at Auburn, and collaborates on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator in Germany and the DII-D tokamak in San Diego. Our Space physics group is continuing development of magnetospheric and satellite observing modeling codes to deepen our understanding of the solar system environment.

Through the Auburn University Small Satellite Program, physics majors design, build, and operate satellites which have been launched into orbit. Their first satellite, “AubieSat 1,” which was placed into orbit through NASA’s Educational Launch program, transmitted “War Eagle” in Morse Code from Earth to space. The program is working toward student-built projects for planetary exploration.

The new Leach Science Center opened in June 2019 and includes a 62,500 square-foot, $24 million expansion. The entire building is student-centric with vibrant study spaces and numerous places for students to collaborate with classmates and faculty.

 

 

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Physics is one of the most versatile majors out there. Not only do you get to learn problem-solving and how the world around you works, it also opens up doors to research, industry, medicine, and even seemingly unrelated fields such as business. During my time in the physics program, I have been able to conduct and present research, work on a space satellite, and even teach physics to other students.

Pierce Jackson '20

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I chose physics my freshman year mostly because I really enjoyed it in high school—I had a great AP teacher and I loved thinking through tough problems. Although I had no idea what to do with my career, physics seemed like a great choice because I wanted a versatile degree that would allow me to continue studying math and reasoning quantitatively.

Will Pennington '20

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As an undergraduate in physics, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in meaningful lab work in class as well as computational research in ultrafast science. My experiences in the Auburn Physics Department also helped me earn an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, studying applications of quantum cryptography.

Davis Arthur