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Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Physics Department
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The goal of the Department of Physics here at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology(KAIST) is to instill into her students deep physical insight and the ability to use such insights in creative way through a thorough and wide-ranging education in both theoretical and experimental subjects. In 1971, a time when Korean graduate education in physics was far behind the world standards, the groundwork was laid for foundation of Korea Advanced Institute of Science(KAIS), a special graduate institute of science and technology whose purpose was to produce manpower with higher education in science and technology. And in 1971, under the leadership of Dr. Sangsoo Lee, KAIS started with 106 graduate students of whom 10 were in the Department of Mathematics and Physics. The students were given special exemption from the military drafts and awarded with full scholarships. Physics is an academic field that searches for beautiful and pervasive patterns in nature and began with the inherent curiosity of mankind. In the 1600s, before any other academic discipline was solidly established, physics was able to explain the motions of celestial bodies using simple and coherent laws that govern the physical world. The formation of the theory that integrated various electromagnetic phenomena in the 1800s led to the flowering of 20th-century industry. In the 1920s, quantum theory created the basis for the current semiconductor industry and is also expected to contribute greatly to the welfare of humanity in the near future with the development of nanotechnology. The physics of today studies previously impossible concepts by examining the natural phenomena in the microscopic world, such as single electrons and single photons, and those under extreme conditions such as temperatures approaching absolute zero. Physics is also expanding its reach by applying established physical theories to complicated social phenomena such as networks of interpersonal relationships. The Department of Physics at KAIST offers lectures that harmonize the essential basics of science and the swift progress of modern physics. The curriculum for sophomores is centered on classical physics, such as mechanics and electromagnetism, with advanced physics such as quantum theory and statistical mechanics offered to juniors. Modern topics such as elementary particle physics, solid state physics, and plasma physics are offered to seniors. The Department of Physics at KAIST, through its graduate program emphasizing research, has also awarded the greatest number of doctorate degrees for physics in Korea over the past 35 years. Currently, it aims to nurture internationally competitive talent through the Brain Korea 21 (Institute of Frontier Physics Education) program. An education in physics is not only for those who plan on becoming physicists: rather, the skills of systematic and analytic thinking developed by studying physics cultivate the ability for students to adapt confidently to other fields and increase the chances of success in those fields. In this regard, it is worth noting that the development of the Internet, the foundation of the information society, was made in a physics laboratory

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