Best Online Degrees in: Quantum Physics
Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Quantum Physics
At the undergraduate level, most schools offer general physics degrees with course work in quantum mechanics or quantum physics, and the mathematics and physics prerequisites necessary to pursue quantum physics at the graduate level. Quantum mechanics courses cover the Schrodinger wave equation, bound states of simple systems, collision theory, representation and expansion theory, matrix formulation and perturbation theory. Quantum mechanics requires a background in classical mechanics and electrodynamics as well as a proficiency in vector algebra and differential equations.
Course work in quantum physics covers uncertainty principle, Schrodinger wave equation and applications, operators, hermitian operators and unitary transformations, harmonic oscillator, angular momentum and spin, time dependence, magnetic resonance, parity and identity, and exclusion principle. However, most programs offer the bulk of quantum mechanics course work at the graduate level. A bachelor’s degree in physics may offer a focus toward quantum physics course work in classes like relativity, classical mechanics, differential equations, introductory physics courses, and statistical physics.
- Linear algebra. Linear algebra covers matrix theory and linear algebra, applicable to physics, economics, and social sciences. Topics also include block matrices, diagonalization of a matrix, and subspaces and bases and dimensions.
- Electromagnetic Theory. This course covers the basic principles of electromagnetism, including experimental basis, electrostatics, magnetic fields of steady currents, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s equation, propagation and radiation of electromagnetic waves, and conservation laws.
- Quantum Theory. Quantum theory covers uncertainty relations, connections between classical and quantum mechanics, path integrals, quantum mechanics in electromagnetic fields, angular momentum, time-independent perturbation theory, density operators, and quantum measurement.
Most physics classes will require lab work, and assign reading and problem sets for lectures. Research opportunities are available in multiple areas depending on the program and department.
Building a Career
A bachelor’s degree in physics may lead to entry-level positions as technicians or research assistants. Most bachelor’s degree programs serve as preparation for graduate and Ph.D. programs, where students take the majority of quantum physics course work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physicists was $106,730 in May 2010, and employment for physicists and astronomers is expected to increase by 17% between 2010 and 2020. Most physicist positions require a Ph.D. Employment and wage figures are not guaranteed, and vary by employer, area, experience, and other factors.