What's faster than a speeding bullet, can change directions on a dime and travels millions of miles in a single day? It's light! Optics is the branch of physics that focuses on the properties and behavior of light.

Overview

Calvin's optics program offers career-oriented, hands-on training for students in physics and engineering. The six-course minor features classes in electromagnetism, mechanics and gravity, electricity and magnetism, and laboratory work.

Careers in Optics

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Join the department for seminars on cutting-edge research; gain valuable experience as a homework grader, lab assistant or observatory assistant (operating Calvin's telescopes); enjoy department gatherings at professors' homes.

Course Requirements 2013-14

Optics minor

(At least 21 semester hours)

  • PHYS-133 Introductory Physics: Mechanics and Gravity
  • PHYS-235 Introductory Physics: Electricity and Magnetism
  • PHYS-246 Waves, Optics, and Optical Technology
  • One course from:
  • PHYS-346 Advanced Optics
  • PHYS-386 Advanced Optics Laboratory

Students pursuing a physics major and optics minor must follow college guidelines for overlap between a major and a minor; this is facilitated by the option in the physics major of substituting upper-level courses for introductory ones.

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Calvin College Course CatalogCurrent students please download your course catalog for complete degree requirements.

Scholarships

New students are automatically considered for general academic scholarships ranging from $1,000-15,000 based on a careful review of their application materials.

For a complete listing of departmental scholarships available to first-year students, use the Scholarship Search ».

Faculty

Stanley Haan

Stanley Haan
Professor
Dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics
SC 325 | SB 180
haan@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6442

Deborah Haarsma

Deborah Haarsma
Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SB 181
dhaarsma@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6340

Loren Haarsma

Loren Haarsma
Associate Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SB 260
lhaarsma@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8517

Paul Harper

Paul Harper
Associate Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SB 161
pharper@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6408

Larry Molnar

Larry Molnar
Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SB 173
lmolnar@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6341

Steven Steenwyk

Steven Steenwyk
Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SB 175
ssteen@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8542

David Van Baak

David Van Baak
Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SB 150
dvanbaak@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6275

Matthew Walhout

Matthew Walhout
Professor, Dean for Research and Scholarship
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SC 327
mwalhout@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6566

Talk to us

Matthew Walhout Matthew Walhout
Department Chair
Department of Physics and Astronomy
SC 327
mwalhout@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6566

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