Physics is concerned with describing and predicting natural phenomena. Applied physics is concerned with applying physics in technical solutions. Design and construction are important aspects of this.
Applied physics is at the heart of society. It forms the basis
for many of the products we use in daily life. The programme has a
strong interdisciplinary orientation, with an emphasis on
combinations of subjects: physics with design studies,
nanotechnology, new materials and systems and control
Applied physics involves studying not only how phenomena come about, but also how to use them for technical solutions. The programme focuses on theory and practice.
Critical appraisal skills
Applied physics is an academic subject, which means that you acquire not only knowledge, but also skills such as presentation, working in a team and setting up and conducting research. We teach you critical appraisal skills, which you will learn to apply to your own and other's work.
Applied physics can certainly be described as a 'tough' subject. In order to study it you need to have an affinity for sciences and you need to have an enquiring and creative mind that wonders how things work.
Listen to the podcast!
Want to know more about this Bachelor's programme? Listen to the podcast with one of our students and the programme director. You can listen to the podcast here. (Please note: podcast is in Dutch).
The study for me has been challenging, although incredibly rewarding
I chose to study Applied Physics because the programme includes both theoretical and engineering aspects. During high school, I enjoyed math and physics but was not sure what I wanted as a future career and the Applied Physics bachelor gives a wide range of options for master's degrees and career paths. The study for me has been challenging, although incredibly rewarding. The courses at the beginning of the study cover the basics of physics and therefore they felt a bit more theoretical than I had expected. However, throughout the second and especially third year, the programme becomes more 'applied' by introducing courses such as 'Material sciences', 'Physics of Fluids', and 'Device Physics'. The courses consist of lectures and tutorials, and oftentimes there will be assignments to hand in or a long-term project which is done with peers. The group projects have significantly helped me with the understanding of the material and in addition, have taught me other important skills such as working in groups and writing reports.
Recently, I completed the course Physics Lab 4 where I, with a partner, conducted different experiments, processed the results, wrote an extensive report on our findings and gave a presentation on one of the experiments. During this lab course, I was introduced to various topics which helped me develop my academic skills and my interests in the applied physics field. Next to my studies, I do various sports and I am active in different associations, including the study association T.F.V 'Professor Francken' where I have done different committees including the foreign excursion committee.
Physics is learning about everything around you
My name is Mare and I chose to study Physics since I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. In secondary school, I enjoyed many subjects, making my choice even more difficult.
I knew that I wanted to study something that involved maths but not Mathematics itself, since that is too abstract for my liking. That is why, in the end, I chose Physics. For me, physics is learning about everything around you and trying to understand it by linking it to mathematics.
Along the way, I realized that I wanted to get into the technological side of things and put the physics that I know to use. I’d rather try to find new applications or develop some new device using physics than invest my time into the more abstract side of physics. This is the reason why I switched to Applied Physics in my second year.
I just finished a project in Cambodia involving solar cells and I am now starting my Bachelor’s project on the degradation of perovskite LEDs. In the future, I hope to do more research, possibly on (perovskite) solar cells. What is certain is that I want to do something that contributes to our future with clean energy.
I am also a member of the lacrosse association; I play lacrosse and enjoy all the activities connected to my student association.
I'm interested in science and I love technology
Ever since I was a little boy, I was very interested in science and had an insatiable curiosity about how the world works. I also love technology and that is why I chose to study Applied Physics.
You learn about topics ranging from how electricity and magnetism are related, for example, to what the structure of matter entails and, moreover, how these subjects are related through quantum mechanics. Furthermore, you learn how to solve equations analytically in the numerous Calculus course units as well as numerically through programming.
What I struggled with during my degree programme was the huge difference in solving equations compared to what was taught in secondary school, but that can surely be overcome if you invest enough time and effort.
Besides studying Applied Physics, I also have an active social life. Most often you can find me at my study association, T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’, where I can just have a quick chat with my friends and play a round of cards. I also play squash at the UG’s sports facility, ACLO, and I train there once a week.