Courses for Non-Majors
For students majoring in other sciences or wishing to enter medical school after Amherst, Physics 116 and 117 (Introductory Physics I and II) provide an introduction to mechanics and electromagnetism. They have one semester of calculus as a requisite, have laboratory sections, and satisfy the requirements of medical schools for physics.
We offer courses, such as Physics 109 (Energy) and 110 (Electronics), that take a quantitative look at the world without any prerequisites. These usually involve hands-on experiments as an integral part of the course.
Other courses designed for the general student body have included Relativity, Cosmology, and Quantum Physics; Physics for the 21st Century; Light, Color and Vision; Natural Philosophy: Understanding Space and Time; interdisciplinary colloquia co-taught with colleagues from the humanities, arts and social studies; and special topics seminars. We routinely contribute to the First Year Seminar program with courses such as Thought Experiments and Science and Music. In all these courses, we expect the discussion, readings and writing to be sophisticated conceptually, while the technical details are kept to the minimum necessary.