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Minors

 

The Physics Department offers minors in physics, nanotechnology and sustainable science.

Physics

This minor is open to students, who seek to understand the physical world at greater depth.  Generally speaking, the minor is completed by taking three courses in physics beyond the first-year sequence.  By adding physics to your toolbox, you demonstrate to future employers and graduate schools that you enjoy intellectual challenge and excel at applied mathematics and creative problem solving.

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology seeks to understand and manipulate materials down to the nanometer scale  (one billionth of a meter). Materials of this size display unusual physical and chemical properties caused by factors such as increased surface area and quantum confinement compared to their bulk counterpart. Nanotechnology has the potential to change every part of our lives. Scientists are currently working to develop products in electronics, environment and energy, health care and medicine.  The nanotechnology minor will give you the knowledge base and skills necessary to contribute to this exciting and rapidly expanding field. The nanotechnology minor will give you the knowledge base and skills necessary to contribute to this exciting and rapidly expanding field. At Clarion University the nanotechnology minor consists of three phases:

Phase 1: You will take introductory courses in physics and nanotechnology at Clarion University.

Phase 2: You will spend a summer semester at Penn State with full access to the state-of-the-art National Nanofabrication Facility. Think of it as a full semester of laboratory with all the latest high-tech equipment.

Phase 3: You will put it all together in upper-level physics courses with the opportunity to work independently on a research project.  

For more information, also see the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) and the Penn State NanoFab.

Sustainable Science

There is a growing consensus in the scientific community that the most urgent need of modern society is the transition to sustainability. The negative social, health and environmental impacts of society's current unsustainable patterns of resource exploitation and waste disposal are now well documented.

Sustainability can be defined as the ability to ensure that society meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. The application of the concept of sustainability impacts virtually every part of human existence.

This interdisciplinary minor will provide Clarion University students the opportunity to add a vital skill set and knowledge base to their present baccalaureate degree. This program also gives students added incentive to pursue undergraduate research by providing them with opportunities to work with cutting-edge technology in an applied science and an opportunity to affect the real world in contemporary policy implementation. 

The sustainability science and policy minor also compliments the work of the Pennsylvania Consortium For Interdisciplinary Environmental Policy, an organization comprised of environmental policy makers and universities and colleges devoted to improving environmental policy and understanding through government and academic cooperation that encourages interdisciplinary analysis and discourse.

The minor is built around environmentally focused courses consisting of five parts:

  1. An introductory course in physics of energy and the environment
  2. An introductory course in ecology
  3. Elective course(s) in sustainable policy
  4. An upper level course in applied ecology