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Capstone courses are the culminations of physics topics in the OSU undergraduate physics curriculum. These courses occur in the senior year of undergraduate study. Their purpose is to synthesize and extend relevant physics topics that have been covered in the lower-division and Paradigm courses.

The Capstone courses have more traditional distinctions that the Paradigms courses. While the Paradigms aim at helping students develop deep knowledge of canonical problems, Capstone courses aim at developing a breadth of skills in a physics topic area.

For example, in the Classical Mechanics Capstone, students are asked to solve problems that combine topics from their sophomore level physics courses (kinematics, Newton's laws, energy, angular momentum, etc). Students are also expected to use techniques that were introduced as derivations in these sophomore courses (like solving differential equations that arise from a Newtonian analysis of a system). Students are also introduced to advanced, alternative formulations of mechanics: Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods, and given opportunities to solve some problems using more than one method. This course expects students to be familiar with math methods learned in the Paradigms courses (i.e. solving differential equations)


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