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We have about 10-11 people expressing interest, so there is still plenty of space available! The deadline for committing to the Program is January 1, 2018. Please e-mail Dr. Waite before that date if you want to reserve your spot in this program.

When you are ready to start the application process, follow the link at the bottom of the page called "Apply Now". BUT, do not formally apply and submit the $100 application fee until I give you the go-ahead. This fee is non-refundable, and we want to make sure we have enough particpants to allow the trip to happen before you make this payment.

Oh... and the picture galleries have been updated with pics from the 2011, 2015 and 2016 trips. Feel free to check them out!

"Modern physics" is the term usually used to refer to 20th. c. physics which includes an introductory study of quantum mechanics, atomic physics, relativity and nuclear physics. Many of the major advances in physics during the 20th c. happened in Europe and were greatly influenced by the social and political events of the times. For example, we would most definitely not have made such rapid advances in our ability to harness atomic energy if it were not for the "arms race" during the 2nd World War and our need to build the bomb before Germany. And the improvements in travel allowed for meetings of minds between the eminent scientists such as occurred at the Fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels Belgium in 1927. Seventeen of the 29 participants in this meeting went on to win the Nobel Prize. These meetings greatly enhanced the rate at which science was done during this tumultuous century.

This course is typically the first class beyond the introductory physics courses taken by physics majors and minors. Passing grades in PHY130/140 or PHY170/180 are a pre-requisite for participation in this course and program.

For this program, we will spend the first 2 weeks of the 5-week summer session at West Chester University completing the first 1/2+ of the course material and content. Then we will travel to London for the remaining 3 weeks of our course.

Why Europe?

In this class we will speak at length and learn about Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford and Edwin Schrödinger, amongst others. These scientists were primarily from various European countries, and they all worked in European countries. By going to Europe as we learn about these scientists, we will gain a better understanding of who they were, what they were doing, and what were the results of their work. The scientists, and their invaluable contributions to our present understanding of physics, will become more “real” and human as opposed to “someone I once read about in some textbook.” To be successful scientists is to intimately know the work that preceded us, and to use our understanding of that work to progress further. This program/course will provide you with this opportunity for further enlightenment in the physics done during the 20th c. in Europe.

We will visit a variety of sites of interest both to the physics and engineering student (related to science and technology) as well as sites of historical and cultural interest in the broader context of the multifaceted liberal arts education we seek at West Chester University.

For information about how to apply for a WCU Study Abroad Program, go to the WCU Center for International Programs info page here:

For more information, please contact the program leader:

Dr. Matthew M. Waite, Associate Professor
Department of Physics
133 Merion Science Center
West Chester University of PA
West Chester, PA 19383
610 436-2573

(Note: e-mails and/or office visits are the best ways to contact Dr. Waite.)

Links: (Will be posted as they become available)

Handbook / Class D2L Website / Costs / Testimonials from Past Trips / What to do Next / Schedule /

Apply NOW!! / Insurance / Deadlines & Dates / Scavenger Hunt / CIP Scholarship and Aid Info /

Accommodations / Travel (Flights) / Dining / Passports / The Tube /

Attractions / Map(Google) / Group (required class visits) / Other / Other Attractions / 2011 Pictures / 2014 Pictures / 2015 Pictures / 2016 Pictures /

WCU's Department of Public Safety: 610-436-3311

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Last Updated: 12/09/2017