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undergraduate Physics


BSc undergraduate program

Physics has developed fundamental concepts of space, time, and matter which have shaped our view of the universe. It not only lays the foundation for other natural sciences, but physics is also a fundamental part of modern technology as it can be found in solar cells, computers, and airplanes. The program covers an introduction to classical and modern physics followed by advanced courses in electrodynamics, relativity, quantum physics, and solid state physics, to name but a few. Students get the opportunity to participate in current faculty research projects.  The Jacobs Physics program was highly ranked in the recent CHE RANKING 2015

Program Structure and Content

Modul Physics
Year 1
Take two mandatory modules listed below and select one further CHOICE module from a different study area.
Physics of Natural Systems (CH05-PhysNatSys)
Physics of Natural Systems provides an introduction to the physical description of natural phenomena and covers fundamental topics in physics and earth and environmental sciences (EES). Important concepts from mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, atoms and nuclei are introduced and applied to essential processes in Earth, marine, and planetary sciences. Structure and dynamics of natural systems are studied with moderate use of mathematics. Practical sessions will cover important experimental techniques and tools. This module provides a foundation for the higher level EES and Physics modules Earth, Ocean, and Environmental Physics, Statistical Physics and Fields, Applied Physics, Classical and Quantum Dynamics.
Physics and Applied Mathematics (CH06-PhysAppMath)
Physics and Applied Mathematics is an introduction to the mathematical description of natural phenomena. Mathematics is the language and physics is the foundation of all other natural sciences and many engineering disciplines. In this module, we will study fundamental laws of physics and the underlying mathematical concepts and applications. Topics include vector calculus, differential equations, complex analysis; mechanics of systems of particles, oscillations, waves, relativity, electrodynamics, and quantum physics. Lectures are complemented by practical sessions that provide training in computational and experimental skills, including a quantitative analysis of measurements.
Year 2
Take all three modules or replace one with a CORE module from a different study program.

Classical and Quantum Dynamics (CO15-ClassDyn)
This module provides a thorough introduction to the theoretical foundations of physics. We will study the physics of particles in the macroscopic world and that of quanta in the atomic realm, while exploring the mathematical structure of nature. The module covers several core topics of physics: Analytical mechanics, special relativity, quantum mechanics and applications. It is complemented by the module on statistical physics and fields, which covers further fundamental topics. Accompanying lab courses give deeper insights into the systems discussed in the lectures and provide instructive examples in advanced physics.

Statistical Physics and Fields (CO13-StatPhys)
This module provides an introduction to the physics of systems of large numbers of particles and to their continuum field theory limit. All fundamental forces of nature can be formulated in terms of field theories in a way that reconciles classical mechanics with Einstein's relativity theories. In this module we focus on electromagnetic fields, related phenomena and applications. Statistical physics deals with complex systems of large numbers of particles. In this module, we review classical thermodynamics and extended it to a microscopic statistical description of many particle systems. This module complements the module on classical and quantum dynamics. Together they provide a solid foundation for more advanced courses. Accompanying lab courses give deeper insights into the systems discussed in the lectures and provide instructive examples in advanced physics.

Applied Physics (CO14-ApplPhys)
The module discusses advanced applications of physics in modern technology using a descriptive and experimental approach. It builds on the general concepts and methods developed in the Physics of Natural Sciences Module. The first part focuses on energy sources and energy storage technology. It includes the pertinent concepts of thermodynamics and physical chemistry. The second part introduces computational simulation methods as an important tool, useful for the understanding and investigation of physical systems and for a speed-up of the development of new technologies. Additional lab courses give deeper insights into the systems discussed in the lectures and provide instructive examples of experiments in advanced physics.

Year 3
Take CAREER Modules, choose between World and Campus Track
1. World Track
5th Semester:
  • Program-specific Internship / study abroad
6th Semester:
  • Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
  • Program-specific Specialisation Module
  • Exemplary course offering:
    Particles and Fields
    Solid-State Electronic Devices
    Advanced Optics
    Advanced Quantum Physics
    Theoretical and Computational Biophysics
2. Campus Track
Students who do not enter the World Track follow the Campus Track
5th and 6th Semester:
  • Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
  • Program-specific Specialization Module (please see World Track for exemplary course offering)
  • Additional CORE Module

For further information, please see the program website: