Physics

Why Physics? Physics can be thought of as the science of motion. From the smallest subatomic particles to the largest, most distant galaxies, motion in nature occurs over an incredible range of length and time scales. Physics encompasses this entire domain. As such, it is regarded by many as the most basic and fundamental of the sciences, crucial for understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us; and the basis of many other sciences, including chemistry, oceanography, seismology, and astro-

-nomy.The ideas that Physics has generated, such as relativity, quantum physics, string theory, etc., are incredibly beautiful and captivating, and challenge our imagination. Physics underlies many great inventions of modern technology, like computers, cell phones, lasers, the internet, etc., that have changed our lives, and is indespensable for many of the future technological challenges facing us.

What does the programme offer? During the first three semesters of the 4-year BS programme in IISc, all the students will be taught a rich mix of fundamental courses in the sciences, namely Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology, as well as a basic foundation in the principles of Engineering. This multi-disciplinary learning will be a tremendous asset for all the students, and especially so for those who would want to pursue advanced degrees in emerging interdisciplinary areas wherein major strides are expected in the coming decades. In addition, all the students will also be exposed to several courses in humanities that will provide them with a better appreciation of science and its societal implications, as well as sharpen their skills in communicating science both to experts in their fields and to society at large. In particular, the 3 Introductory level Physics courses that are part of this palette of compulsory courses are designed to impart a clear, hands-on understanding of basic physics that will more than adequately equip the students to handle the physics issues that are likely to arise in any of the 5 major streams other than Physics. After the successful completion of the first three semesters, students majoring in Physics will be required to

take a fixed number of core-courses in Physics that will give them the requisite foundation to pursue any specialized area in Physics. Students can then acquire additional expertise in special areas of their choice by crediting elective courses from among a wide range of special topics courses that will enable them fulfil their minimum credit requirements for majoring in Physics; additional elective courses in any of the other science/engineering disciplines could lead to a minor specialization, provided the minimum credit requirements for doing so are met. The course structure is designed to impart the students with the requisite theory background in addition to providing strong hands-on laboratory training in modern, currently active, areas of Physics. An important feature of the programme is also the opportunity that the students will have to carry out a small research project during their final year, in any of a wide range of contemporary topics under the supervision of any of the Physics faculty members in the the Physical Sciences Division. This provides an ideal environment for translating class room learning to cutting-edge research applications.

What after a BS in Physics? The programme design will ensure that graduating students majoring in Physics will have completed the standard pre-requisites for them to take up doctoral programmes in Physics as well as in many allied fields in graduate schools in India and abroad. The multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary skills they will have acquired will be of tremendous value to them especially if they choose to enter such cutting edge research areas as nano-scale physics or technology, physics of biomolecules or biomedical applications, etc., be it in Academia or in Industry. The physics components of the programme will be taught by the highly accompl-

-ished faculty of the Physics department, established in 1933 by the Nobel Laureate C.V. Raman, the Centre for High Energy Physics, and the Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics in IISc, which have been leading centres in India for advanced postgraduate education and cutting-edge research in physics and its applications for several decades. We believe that the graduates of the programme will go on to distinguished careers in science and occupy leading positions in research institutes and industrial laboratories in India and the world over.

To know more details about the curriculum and content of the courses, click here.

Office of the UG Programme, IISc