The Department of Physics and Engineering Program at Bethel has a tradition of excellence that has led to a strong national reputation in both physics and engineering. We offer flexible degree programs, great opportunities for student research, outstanding alumni, and highly qualified faculty members who are committed to mentoring students.
Physics and engineering students start out with very similar course schedules before concentrating on their chosen specialty, and are all advised by the Physics Department faculty. Many students choose to double major in physics and a particular engineering field. Students studying in either field are welcome in our local chapter of the Society of Physics Students and the Sigma Pi Sigma honorary society. Such cohesiveness builds a sense of unity among the students and faculty, providing a strong, supportive community of mentors and peers.
Our students enjoy individual attention from faculty who are passionate about teaching. Classes are large enough to be competitive without being so big that a student feels lost. The faculty are involved in serious scientific research and love to include students in their work. The opportunity to learn by doing, particularly in our laboratory research, is truly valuable and unique for undergraduate students. Our current students are sought after for internships and our graduates are highly valued by industry and graduate programs.
Examples of research in Bethel’s Physics Department include modeling shock waves using the shock tube accelerator (ping-pong cannon), which was covered in a paper published in the American Journal of Physics, research being done in our Atomic and Molecular Optics lab, where students have recently achieved magneto-optical cooling down to thousandths of a degree above zero—the coldest spot in Minnesota, and professor Chad Hoyt’s National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant to develop fiber laser frequency combs.