Exploring Modern Physics  

Boston Campus Program—July 23- August 4, 2023 

Program Prerequisite: Students should understand the basic concepts of physics such as the topics of linear momentum and its conservation, and the conservation of energy in collisions. Students should also be aware of the basics of trigonometry, but calculus is not required. 

Messengers from space: cosmic rays as a window to modern physics

Cosmic rays are an entrance point for a great many important, but simple, concepts in modern physics. Students will be exposed to theoretical material that is rarely a part of AP Physics courses in high schools, but which interconnects well with such curricula. 

This program will instruct students through lectures, guest speakers, and laboratory experiments. Students will fabricate a cloud chamber which can be used to perform basic measurements of cosmic ray abundances. Lecture material will cover topics from radioactivity, particle physics, and cosmology. Students will leave well-equipped to articulate their interests in the language that will be most advantageous to chances of admission to top universities. 

Learning Outcomes


The discovery of anti-matter (if we’re lucky, we’ll find some in our cloud chamber!) 

Special Relativity 

Special relativity particularly the effect of time-dilation.

Particle Physics 

Simple concepts in elementary particle physics.

Big-Bang Neucleosynthesis 

The origin of heavy elements in the early universe – so called Big-Bang Neucleosynthesis.


Radiation safety and the effect of radiation on human tissue. SIDE BONUS: learn how cosmic rays make carbon dating possible! 

Sample Schedule

For an in-depth look at your day to day activities during the two-week Exploring Modern Physics program, click the link below to download our full sample schedule.

This is for informational purposes only and is subject to change.

The Accelerate Pre-College Programs at Northeastern opened my eyes to a world of new experiences that college offers. In the Exploring Modern Physics program, I discovered the beauty of muons and how they are detected, along with engaging topics in modern physics. This program also allowed me to form meaningful friendships with other students through various fun activities. Overall, the Exploring Modern Physics program provided me with valuable experiences that I could use to guide me through my college career.

Victoria C.

Boston Student Life

Learn about the Northeastern campus, housing, dining, and social activities for Accelerate students.  

Want to learn more?

To keep up to date with the latest program announcements, complete our inquiry form.

Program Tuition

The program tuition is $6,495. This includes: program tuition, course materials, housing, meals, and social activities.

About Northeastern

Northeastern is a top ranking experiential research university that prides itself on academic rigor, a diverse and talented population of students and faculty, and a powerful learning model that combines the classroom experience with hands-on work experience.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact us at (617) 373-2200 or precollegeprograms@northeastern.edu