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Dr. Peter Ehni
Associate Professor of Physics
Email: pehni@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-2433

What is Physics?

Physics is the study of matter, motion, energy and the interaction of the three at all size scales ranging from the universe itself down to subatomic sizes. The goal of much of physics is to find laws and principles of the natural world. These laws form the basis for understanding the world and also for making devices and machines that we see every day. Physics is based on the notion that nature obeys mathematics. Through this understanding, physicists are empowered to find new and better ways to solve real-life problems.

How can you tell if physics is for you?

If you like to find out how mechanical or electrical things work, you have some interest and ability in mathematics, and you are eager to learn new things, then there is a good chance you will enjoy physics AND be successful in one of WJU's program options.

What do physicists do?

They often are trying to measure, calculate, or model something. The goal is often to lay a basis for doing something. This might be to produce computers--such as physicists in the 1950's who developed the forerunning technology leading up to today's computers. Physicists are more likely to start the ball rolling in a new field rather than make the latest flashy gadget. Someone else will often make the work pay economic dividends.

A WJU Physics Degree can lead to Many Places:

Traditional Physics Areas:

  • Astrophysics
  • Biophysics
  • Laser Physics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Optics
  • Plasma Physics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Applied Physics

Other Technical Areas:

  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Geophysics
  • Materials Science
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Industrial, and Civil Engineering
  • Medical Physics

Other Occupations:

  • Business Law
  • Medicine
  • Teaching
  • Physical Therapy

What do I need to prepare for a degree in Physics?

Students may best prepare themselves for a major in physics by completing a college preparatory curriculum. They should be interested in mathematics and science and take advantage of course offerings in these areas while in high school. Studies have shown that the best preparation for a physics or astronomy student is a good background in mathematics. We recommend that students interested in a physics major complete a minimum of three years of high school mathematics. A study of calculus and computer programming are also very beneficial. We also recommend that students try to take a high school physics course if possible.

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