I have heard it stated by renowned scientists, for example Stephen Hawking, that the macroscopic world is completely deterministic from a theoretical if not practical perspective, while the quantum realm is probabilistic. My question concerns the interaction of atomic radiation with the macroscopic world. The emission of a particle from a particular nucleus at a particular time is, as I understand it, purely probabilistic. If that particle hits a DNA molecule and causes a mutation resulting in cancer how can that cancer be said to be theoretically deterministic?
The undergraduate program in engineering physics at Illinois is currently ranked #1 in the country. Our program at Illinois was rated higher in 2013 than undergraduate physics programs at MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley by U.S. News and World Report.
Illinois is committed to undergraduate education. In the last 10 years, we have completely recreated the way we teach, incorporating innovative educational technologies and drawing on the results of our nationally recognized physics education research group. We believe we are establishing a paradigm for science education for the 21st century—one that develops higher-order thinking competencies, promotes collaborative learning, and improves communication skills. Our approach to teaching benefits not only our undergraduate students, but it also gives our graduate teaching assistants excellent training in best practices for their own career development.
We have one of the biggest physics departments in the country. We value that size not for size itself, but for the wide range of opportunities it offers our students. Our undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is about 4 to 1 (same for graduate students). In a typical semester, we offer more than 50 courses in physics, and we host more than a dozen special seminars.
The breadth and diversity of our research programs offer an outstanding range of research options. We enjoy outstanding research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment for everything from the latest materials characterization and fabrication facilities to biological physics to quantum information to massively parallel computing.
We provide many opportunities for undergraduates to tackle independent, hands-on research, which is becoming increasingly important for admission to the nation's premier graduate programs. To prepare undergraduates for research, we have developed a unique three-semester course sequence combining classroom learning with research group experience.
U.S. News & World Report undergraduate program rankings:
Engineering Physics: ranked #1
One of many rewarding, challenging careers open to people with physics degrees is teaching. Hear, in their own words, why these physicists chose teaching...
Explore our teaching option for physics majors in our Curricula/Programs section.
Department of Physics 1110 West Green Street Urbana, IL 61801-3080Physics Library | Contact Us | My.Physics | Privacy Statement | Copyright Statement