Good News! The Modern Physics Study Abroad Program for Summer 2022 has been approved
and we are moving ahead with plans!
The Application Portal will be opened soon, and I will add a link to it here once it is active.
If you want any other info, please get in touch with me (Dr. Waite) using the contact link in the upper right of this page. Or feel free to stop by and see me in SECC369.
Learn Physics and Explore London all at once!
WCU MODERN PHYSICS STUDY ABROAD
"Modern physics" is the term usually used to refer to 20th. c. physics which includes an introductory study of quantum mechanics, atomic physics, relativity and nuclear physics. Many of the major advances in physics during the 20th c. happened in Europe and were greatly influenced by the social and political events of the times. For example, we would most definitely not have made such rapid advances in our ability to harness atomic energy if it were not for the "arms race" during the 2nd World War and our need to build the bomb before Germany. And the improvements in travel allowed for meetings of minds between the eminent scientists such as occurred at the Fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels Belgium in 1927. Seventeen of the 29 participants in this meeting went on to win the Nobel Prize. These meetings greatly enhanced the rate at which science was done during this tumultuous century.
This course is typically the first class beyond the introductory physics courses taken by physics majors and minors. Passing grades in PHY130/140 or PHY170/180 are a pre-requisite for participation in this course and program.
For this program, we will spend the first 2 weeks of the 5-week summer session at West Chester University completing the first 1/2+ of the course material and content. Then we will travel to London for the remaining 3 weeks of our course.
"I had an absolute blast in London, this was directly due to the fact that I was learning an extremely interesting subject, as well as being able to make actual links to historical sites and people which we covered in class. Also, this opportunity gave me a chance to make connections and bond with my fellow class mates, some of whom I would not have done so had this trip not happened. ... It has been the highlight of my experience at West Chester so far!"
JL - 2011
"I really thought it was an amazing trip. From seeing all of the important sites to getting to know everyone outside the classroom, this trip was everything I could have hoped it would be. The only thing I would say is people should be ready to adventure over there. One of the days I had the most fun was when a group of us got lost on the way to the British Museum. We wandered everywhere and saw so many random ridiculous things that we wouldn't see anywhere else. I don't think you could structure it better between class time, group activities, and free time. Thanks so much for a great time!"
DL - 2014
"I just wanted to thank you for an amazing trip! It's definitely an experience I'll always remember. Quantum physics is so fascinating; couldn't have asked for a better teacher to study that abroad with."
JM - 2011
Before this trip I knew no one in the physics department, which meant no one going on the trip. I was a bit nervous, but by the end of the trip, I was close with every single person in the group. I formed a great bond with many, which helped me significantly when I struggled with Modern Physics and other classes down the line. These were the people I would study and do homework with everyday up until graduation. Physics is something you most likely cannot do on your own (homework is hard) and professors encourage you to work with your peers. Without the bonds I made in this class I honestly don’t know if I would’ve made it to graduation as a physics major. After graduating, I have stayed close with many of my classmates from the trip. This is a once in a lifetime experience, London is by far my favorite city after going on this trip! Dr. Waite is a wonderful professor to go with, the group excursions are awesome, and the organization and structure could not have been better! Thanks for an unforgettable time!"
JA - 2016
Sites & Sights
We will visit a number of sights as a group. The admission costs of these trips will be included in the overall costs, so you will need no additional money for these excursions (other than money for any souvenirs and/or food and drink at the locations.)
Below is a list of some London sights we will see and links to related websites:
- Tower of London Palace, Prison, Castle, the heart of ancient London.
- London Eye The Big Ferris Wheel on the River Thames
- Westminster Abbey Site of Coronations since 1066, and resting place of many Nobel Prize winners and other well known physicists! (Newton, Faraday, Dirac, Thomson, etc.)
- Hampton Court Palace Henry VIII's Palace outside central London.
- Stonehenge & Bath, England A stone henge... and the city of Bath with entrance to the Roman Baths
- Science Museum Lots of great exhibitions on science (James Watt & "power", plastics, etc.)
- British Museum Artifacts from the history of the British Empire
- Greenwich Observatory & Prime Meridian. 0 degrees Longitude and an excellent exhibit on time and clocks.
Get More Information
Add your name to our list if you are interested. There is no commitment necessary at this time, and I will keep you posted on any updates.”