Physics B.Sc.

 

Key Info

Basic Information

Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
6 semesters
ECTS Credits:
180Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.

Language:
German

Admission Requirements

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), subject specific university entrance qualification, or an equally recognized university entrance qualification (HZB)

  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester

restricted
NC for WS 2019

Admission to Higher Semesters

Open
No NC

Enrollment Requirements

  • SelfAssessment --- Mehr Informationen ---

    SelfAssessment

    RWTH Aachen self assessments are online advising processes for deciding what to study. You must complete the subject-specific Self Assessment "Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften". You are also required to participate in a Physics Studies Information Day. You will need to show proof of participation in both the Self Assessment and information day at the time on enrollment. You can find additional information and the corresponding links on this page under Prerequisites.

Dates and Deadlines

 

From Newton's apple to black holes – in physics we try to understand the world using systematic experiments and observations. The focus of investigations in physics are not just bodies and the forces effecting them, but also other parameters, which cannot be directly perceived, such as the relationship between time and space.

The development of physical theory always uses mathematical methods, whether it be simple proportional relationships such as Ohm's Law or the solutions to a multidimensional complex differential equation such as that describing the wave function of a hydrogen atom. Thus, the treatment of these topics requires an immense degree of abstraction and mathematical thinking ability.

The course of study at RWTH encompasses all the different subareas of physics. While an elective minor allows insights into different areas of application, the bachelor thesis offers a first glance into the uniquely varied focus of the research in physics:

  • In elementary particle physics the building blocks of matter and any interactions between them are examined. A renowned success in this area of research, for instance, is the discovery of the Higgs Bosons at the European Organization for Nuclear Research facility, known as CERN, in collaboration with several RWTH physics departments.
  • Astroparticle physics and physical cosmology illuminate the origination and development of the universe. Dark matter is one of the topics of research, for instance, on the International Space Station, where, again in collaboration with RWTH, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiments help examine questions regarding the existence or essence of dark matter.
  • Condensed matter physics deals with the the complete range of physical properties from solid bodies down to atomic particles in order to reveal new perspectives for the application of research findings. As part of an EU-flagship program, RWTH physicists examine with other European partners, how the properties of graphs can be of use.
  • New materials and concepts for information processing are the topic of nanoelectronics. Here, quickly reacting, non-elusive storage media for energy efficient computer architectures are developed.
  • In the field of quantum information, research focuses on a new way of information processing, which pointedly uses the lack of definition found in quantum mechanics.
  • Quantum technology investigates the properties of quantum systems and explores how to utilize them, for example in novel quantum information processing applications.
  • Biophysics examines physical properties of biological systems or establishes physical methods to be used in the life sciences.
  • In the field of medical physics researchers attempt to optimize methods of medical diagnosis and therapy, for instance with regard to imaging techniques or radiation and laser therapy.
  • The focus of optics and laser physics lies in the development of new optical technologies, such as nano-optics.
 

Mandatory! Physics Information Day

  1. The Institutes of Physics provide information about the physics course of study at RWTH during multiple Study Information Days each year. Proof of participation in one of these dates must be provided during enrollment.
 

Degree Content

In this course of study there is particular emphasis on good and direct mentoring for the students.

This is true not only with regard to practical experience, but it also applies to lectures. These are accompanied by exercise courses, in which small groups meet to discuss exercises as well as lecture topics.

Within the scope of the bachelor thesis students can benefit from the interdisciplinary profile of RWTH.

The thematic proximity to the engineering sciences allows for a choice between uniquely varied nature sciences topics in combination with technology. RWTH's collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich as part of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance of JARA also offers many starting points for bachelor theses.

Curriculum

Semester Experimental Physics Theoretical Physics Mathematics Minor
1 Mechanics, Relativity Introduction Higher Mathematics I

Chemie
Computer Science
Electronics
Medicine
Linear Algebra

2 Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism Classical Mechanics Higher Mathematics II
3 Optics, Quantum Physics Electrodynamics Higher Mathematics III
Basic Internship I
4 Atoms, Molecules, Nuclei Quantum Mechanics Higher Mathematics IV
Basic Internship II
5 Solid-State Physics, Particles/Astrophysics Statistical Physics
Advanced Internship
6 Specialization Subject, Bachelor Thesis (3 months), Bachelor Presentation Colloquium

A detailled course of study layout can be found on the department of physics website.

Programs Abroad

The department of physics highly recommends that students gain international experience during their course of studies. It is possible to complete a semester studying or conducting research abroad at one of our numerous European partner universities as part of the EU mobility program ERASMUS.

The faculty maintains research and teaching collaborations with a number of non-European universities as well. Advanced students, for example, have the opportunity to apply for study or research abroad at the renowned Tokyo Institue of Technology or at the University of California in Davis.

An extraordinary experience is guaranteed with the summer program at the European Research Centre CERN in Switzerland. There, several RWTH physics institutes conduct research on the Large Hadron Collider and have, among others, played a part in the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. Students of RWTH are given the opportunity to actively participate in ongoing scientific projects for the duration of a few weeks.

Another possibility for gaining international experience is given by participating in research activities as part of the RWTH program UROP Abroad, which supports stays at partner universites in Northamerica, or as part of an IDEA League Research Grant at IDEA League universities. This collaboration exists between RWTH and TU Delft, ETH Zürich, and Chalmers Göteborg.

All of RWTH's collaborative programs are presented on the websites for studies abroad. Subject specific offers as well as experience reports from students participating in the ERASMUS program are published on the department website for study abroad.

 

Prerequisites

Personal Prerequisites

A great interest in physical problems is certainly a necessity; however, very good math skills are absolutely indispensable for a student of physics. Systematic description of physical phenomena is not possible without mathematical formulations. Abstraction abilities, spacial thinking, and the ability to think and work logical are also helpful. Prospective students can refresh and advance their knowledge not only in physics, but particularly in mathematics, before their studies by taking bridge courses.

Enrollment Prerequisites

1.RWTH "Mathematics and Natural Sciences" Self Assessment

2. Participation in a Prospective Student Day organized by the Institutes of Physics. This information day also includes another subject-specfic aptitude test, the result of which does not affect the admission process, however. Furthermore, the content, structure, and focuses of studies at RWTH Aachen are presented.

 

Decision Aids

The subject physics, which students are taught at school, does not only prepare them for physics studies but for all technical subjects, particularly engineering. Thus, physics studies cannot be seen as a direct continuation of the type of physics learned in school. In experimental physics, physics is taught beginning with Galileo, Newton, and from classical mechanics to modern physics as an entire field. However, these topics are taught in greater depth and more complex problems are discussed. Abstract and mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena, particularly in theoretical physics, are a new side to physics and a particular challenge.

Those interested in a more direct, tangible application of physical laws, should consider engineering as an alternative to physics studies. Those interested in complex problems and the fundamental search for causes and relationships, will find physics to be an extremely exciting and fascinating subject. School students can gather initial impressions by attending lectures, or going to Schüleruni or the taster studies.

 

Media Library

Do you want more information and impressions? Use our diverse information available! You can find our recommendations in the media library.

 

Career Prospects

After receiving a solid foundation in the fundamental principles of physics along with a broad spectrum of topics during their studies, Physicists are active in a manner of diverse careers and have good chances in the job market. They are appreciated not only for their expert knowledge, but also for their problem solving abilities. They can grasp complex quantitative interrelations and develop systematic strategies for the solution of problems. They are also well experienced in working as part of a team and on projects.

Graduates of RWTH profit in particular from the international aspects of the physics course of study as well as from the overall concept of the university with regard to interdisciplinary research and teaching.

Physicists who decide to embark on an academic career can work at universities or other research facilities. RWTH offers them a challenging research environment, in which they can further solidify their scientific expertise to a high degree while at the same time achieving a doctoral degree. This especially serves to develop additional skills for their future professional careers.

In private enterprise, physicists work in the areas of research, development, strategic leadership, and business consulting. This encompasses all branches of industry – from software, semiconductor, medicine, and automobile to astronautics and space technology or laser technology and the optical goods industry.

The German Physics Society website and the article Physiker - Die Zukunftsspezialisten offer detailed information about career prospects.

 

Master's Degree Prospects

In the English language Master's course of study in physics at RWTH, students choose one specialization:

  • Experimental Particle Physics
  • Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology
  • Quantum Field Theory and Gauge Theories
  • Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Quantum Technology
  • Condensed Matter Theory

The research oriented profile of the program fosters excellent opportunities for contact with ongoing research at RWTH's Institutes of Physics. Students also profit from the intensive cooperation with renowned research facilities, such as Forschungszentrum Jülich or the European Research Centre CERN in Geneva, or from the regional closeness to engineering institutes, such as the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Technology or the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology.

 

Examinations Regulations

Regulations that apply for all Bachelor and Master courses of study as well as detailed information about the necessary documentation of required language skills can be found in RWTH’s Comprehensive Examination Regulation. Examination regulations are only published in German as they are legally binding.

Subject Specific Exam Regulations regulate academic goals, the course of study layout, and exam procedures. The appendix to the regulations contains the description of the modules, from which the course of study is composed.

 

Faculty

The Bachelor course of study in Physics is offered by the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences.