Engineering physics

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Engineering physics is the study of the combined disciplines of physics, engineering and mathematics in order to develop an understanding of the interrelationships of these three disciplines. Fundamental physics is combined with problem solving and engineering skills, which then has broad applications. Career paths for Engineering physics is usually (broadly) "engineering, applied science or applied physics through research, teaching or entrepreneurial engineering". This interdisciplinary knowledge is designed for the continuous innovation occurring with technology.[1][2][3][4]


Unlike traditional engineering disciplines, engineering science/physics is not necessarily confined to a particular branch of science or physics. Instead, engineering science/physics is meant to provide a more thorough grounding in applied physics for a selected specialty such as optics, quantum physics, materials science, applied mechanics, nanotechnology, microfabrication, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, biophysics, control theory, aerodynamics, energy, solid-state physics, etc. It is the discipline devoted to creating and optimizing engineering solutions through enhanced understanding and integrated application of mathematical, scientific, statistical, and engineering principles. The discipline is also meant for cross-functionality and bridges the gap between theoretical science and practical engineering with emphasis in research and development, design, and analysis.

Engineering physics or engineering science degrees are respected academic degrees awarded in many countries. It is notable that in many languages the term for "engineering physics" would be directly translated into English as "technical physics". In some countries, both what would be translated as "engineering physics" and what would be translated as "technical physics" are disciplines leading to academic degrees, with the former specializes in nuclear power research, and the latter closer to engineering physics.[5] In some institutions, engineering (or applied) physics major is a discipline or specialization within the scope of engineering science, or applied science.[6][7][8]

In many universities, engineering science programs may be offered at the levels of B.Tech, B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. Usually, a core of basic and advanced courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology forms the foundation of the curriculum, while typical elective areas may include fluid dynamics, quantum physics, economics, plasma physics, relativity, solid mechanics, operations research, information technology and engineering, dynamical systems, bioengineering, environmental engineering, computational engineering, engineering mathematics and statistics, solid-state devices, materials science, electromagnetism, nanoscience, nanotechnology, energy, and optics. While typical undergraduate engineering programs generally focus on the application of established methods to the design and analysis of engineering solutions, undergraduate program in engineering science focuses on the creation and use of more advanced experimental or computational techniques where standard approaches are inadequate (i.e., development of engineering solutions to contemporary problems in the physical and life sciences by applying fundamental principles). Due to the rigorous nature of the academic curriculum, an undergraduate major in engineering science or engineering physics is considered an honors program at some universities. Some examples of universities that offer engineering physics or engineering science programs include: Stanford University,[9] Cornell University,[10] Polytechnique Montreal,[11] Virginia Tech,[12] University of British Columbia,[13] University of Toronto,[14] Simon Fraser University,[15] McMaster University,[16] Pennsylvania State University.,[17] and the University of Colorado.[18]

Areas of specialization[edit]

Professional Societies and Organizations[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Major: Engineering sciences". The Princeton Review. 2011. p. 01. Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Introduction" (online). Princeton University. Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ Khare, P. ,; A. Swarup (January 2009 and 2010). Engineering Physics: Fundamentals & Modern Applications (13th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. pp. xiii – Preface. ISBN 978-0-7637-7374-8. 
  4. ^ Engineering Physics (online). Google books. Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "2002 Applications for graduate study open in Shanghai Research Institute of Technical Physics (上海技术物理研究所2002年招生)". Chinese Academy of Sciences (中国科学院). 2001-10-07. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  6. ^ Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology
  7. ^ Engineering Physics, Division of Engineering Science, University of Toronto
  8. ^ Engineering Science and Mechanics program at Virginia Tech
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Engineering Physics Program at Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal
  12. ^ Engineering Science and Mechanics Program at Virginia Tech
  13. ^ Engineering Physics Program at the University of British Columbia
  14. ^ Engineering Science Honors Program at the University of Toronto
  15. ^ Engineering Physics Honors Program at the Simon Fraser University
  16. ^ Engineering Physics at McMaster University
  17. ^ Engineering Science Honors Program at Pennsylvania State University
  18. ^ "Engineering Physics: An Undergraduate Guide Academic Year (2013-2014)". University of Colorado. 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 
  19. ^ Program of Engineering physics, Laval University, Quebec

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