Jun 15, 2024  
2009-2010 Academic Catalog 
2009-2010 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Physics, Physical Sciences, and Geology

Ian M. Littlewood, Ph.D., Chair

Office: Naraghi Hall of Science — N164
Phone: (209) 667-3466

View Physics and Physical Sciences
View Geology

Physics and Physical Sciences

Ian M. Littlewood, Ph.D., Chair

Professors: Johnson, M., Littlewood, Zhang
Associate Professor: Mokhtari
Assistant Professor: DeVries, C.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Physics 
Bachelor of Arts in Physical Sciences  with concentrations in Applied Physics , Earth and Space Sciences , or Environmental Sciences 
Minor in Microelectronics 
Minor in Physics 
Minor in Physical Sciences 
Liberal Studies degree concentration in Physics and Physical Sciences 

Liberal Studies Concentration in Physics and Physical Sciences

Please refer to the Liberal Studies  section of the catalog.

Learning Objectives

Physics majors will:

  • Acquire a basic understanding of the core areas in physics, including classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics.
  • Be able to solve physical problems in a wide range of contexts of physics.
  • Have an understanding of scientific method and how to apply it.
  • Develop analytical skills and apply them to solve problems in physics.
  • Apply mathematical skills and reasoning to solve problems and to derive quantitative results on which their conclusions are based.
  • Develop basic laboratory skills and become familiar with measurements and data analysis techniques used in physics and other physical sciences.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the quality and usefulness of their data in reaching a conclusion.
  • Use scientific software to present and analyze their data scientifically.
  • Learn to participate and contribute effectively as a team member in an experiment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate scientific information orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate the ability to search and find information in the physics literature.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific communications (written or oral).
  • Learn to participate and contribute effectively in a team discussion on physics.


Horacio Ferriz, Ph.D., Program Coordinator

Professor: Giaramita
Associate Professors: Ferriz, Sankey
Assistant Professor: Rogers

Office: Naraghi Hall of Science — N163
Phone: (209) 667-3466

Bachelor of Science in Geology  with a concentration in Applied Geology
Minor in Geology 
Liberal Studies degree concentration in Earth Sciences 

Liberal Studies Concentration in Earth Sciences

Please refer to the Liberal Studies  section of the catalog.

Teaching Credentials

Students interested in a single subject teaching credential in the sciences must consult with their adviser about the subject matter competency requirements.

Learning Objectives

Geology majors will be able to:

  • Demonstrate literacy in Earth’s processes.
  • Classify, identify and interpret geologic materials.
  • Produce and interpret geologic maps and cross-sections.
  • Collect and interpret quantitative scientific data related to earth processes.
  • Apply fundamentals of chemistry, physics, math and computer science to solving geologic problems.
  • Effectively communicate scientific ideas and results verbally and in writing.
  • Retrieve, assimilate and evaluate factual data.
  • Use, formulate and test multiple working hypotheses based on the scientific method.
  • Use keen observational skills in the laboratory.
  • Use keen observational skills in the field.
  • Visualize subsurface structures and processes in 3 dimensions.
  • Demonstrate depth and breadth of knowledge in one or more advanced specialty fields (advanced electives).
  • Recognize, appreciate and communicate scientific uncertainty.
  • Conduct independent field work.
  • Understand geologic time, evolution, and global processes (e.g., plate tectonics).
  • Propose workable solutions to societal problems related to resource exploration and development, construction with the Earth, and environmental issues related to Earth processes.
  • Use up-to-date concepts when teaching Earth Science in the classroom.