• Why Physical Sciences

    • Students majoring in Physical Sciences will explore some of the fundamental processes in matter, space and time.

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    • Our People

    • Physical Sciences attracts a diverse set of students with a wide range of interests. Get to know them today!

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    • Our Curriculum

    • Physical Sciences is supported by a diverse set of faculty with expertise in a wide range of topics. See the structure of our multidisciplinary major.

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    • Our Research

    • Our students engage with Physical Sciences outside the classroom through research, study abroad, internships, and involvement in student organizations. Check out these exciting opportunities!

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  • Previous Month, 23 Oct 2020

    Next semester Prof. Ben Olsen is teaching a new course on Science Skills.

    Gain familiarity with the basic tools and methods for research across the scientific disciplines. Learn some core techniques to prepare you for summer research and equip you for more advanced methods courses in your major.

    Some of the skills include laser cutting, 3D printing, LaTeX, Raspberry pi, MATLAB, circuit design and experimental data analysis.

    YSC2251 Science Skills Workshop is a 2.5 MC course, and has no prerequisites.


  • Last Week, 03 Dec 2020

    Professor Shaffique Adam is running a fun 2.5 MC module YSC 1220: More is Different: Emergence in Physical Systems next semester!
    What  is life?  Think about it.  We take some unintelligent molecules, arrange them in information-encoding DNA, and voilà, we have intelligent life!  What is consciousness?  How do we get emotions and feelings from a bunch of connected neurons discharging electrical currents?  How do molecules of water form tsunamis and whirlpools?  The missing ingredient in these examples is called emergence — where the collective behaviour of a system is qualitatively different from the individual behaviours of the components
    Want to learn more?  Next semester take the module YSC 1220: More is Different: Emergence in Physical Systems
    This 2.5 MC fun Friday afternoon course will look at four concrete examples of emergence in physical systems: (1) cellular automata;  (2) chaos theory; (3) hydrodynamics; and (4)  superconductivity.  This module has no prerequisites, and no preclusions.  It is suitable for both science majors and non-science majors.  We will read some primary sources, and will occasionally get our hands dirty solving equations numerically.
    About the instructor.  Shaffique Adam is a theoretical physicist interested in the complex and surprising ways electrons behave when they are subject to the interplay of quantum mechanics, material imperfections, confined geometries and interactions with other electrons.  He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Singapore National Research Foundation Fellowship, NUS Young Investigator Award, Singapore Institute of Physics World Scientific medal and the Singapore National Research Foundation Investigator Award.

  • Today, 27 Jan 2021

    You can check all the Physical Sciences courses offered this semester and their syllabi (click on “Additional Info”) HERE.

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Latest Events

To be announced
Virtual Fireside Chat by NUS Chemistry Alumni
ACS Student Chapter at NUS has kindly extended an invitation to Yale-NUS students for a fireside chat with NUS Chemis...
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2 October 2020 (Fri) , 21:00-22:30
Mid-Autumn Festival 2020 Moon-gazing
On Friday October 2nd the Yale-NUS Astronomy Group, Ashen Light, is holding a Mid-Autumn Festival event with Yale-NUS...
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3D printed models of molecular structures on a table with students int he background.
14 July 2020 (Tue)
Organic Chemistry Teaching Innovation Grant
Prof. Presolski's Teaching Innovation Grant is to help students better understand molecular structures.
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Prof. Shaffique Adam sitting by plants at Yale-NUS.
19 June 2020 (Fri)
Prof. Shaffique Adam Wins NRF Investigatorship Grant
Physical Sciences Professor Shaffique Adam was recently awarded a prestigious National Research Foundation (NRF) Inve...
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  • Associate Professor from Sciences Division
  • Adam Shaffique

I think Physical Science is one of the most misunderstood majors. The Physical Science curriculum has its origins in Plato’s quadrivium and Newton’s natural philosophy. As a major it prepares its students broadly in empirical observation, mathematical modeling and computational simulation, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate these ideas orally, visually and in writing. The Physical Science experience is the quintessential liberal arts training giving graduates technical problem solving skills that can be applied to societal challenges both in the scientific and non-scientific domains. In the United States, roughly half of the physical science graduates go on graduate studies not only in physics, astronomy and chemistry, but also in engineering, law and medicine. The other half enters the workforce immediately after completion of the BS degree (with one of the highest starting salaries of any major), mostly employed in research and development, engineering or computer and information systems. Notable physical scientists are all around us from technologists like Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX) to entrepreneurs like Indra Nooyi (CEO of Pepsi), as well as politicians like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Singapore president Tony Tan Keng Yam. People in the news like former FBI director James Comey and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un also majored in Physical Science. Closer to home, both our inaugural Dean of faculty Charles Bailyn and his successor Steven Bernasek were both physical scientists, and several members of the Yale-NUS College faculty including Jan Gruber and Vinod Saranathan, (biologists) and Michael Gastner (mathematician) all had their first degrees in physical science. So come join our major for a world of opportunities. ”

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