Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Frederick Gray, Professor, Chairperson

Dr. Jordi Casanova, Assistant Professor

Jennifer Jarrell, Term Instructor

Christopher Knowles, Term Instructor

The Physics and Astronomy department educates the next generation of scientific and technology leaders within a moral, ethical and intellectually stimulating environment. Graduates are prepared not just for the technological challenges of the workplace but also for the exciting science that will drive the next generation of solutions. Physics and Astronomy address fundamental questions about the nature of the universe. How do conservation principles guide physical interactions? What is the structure of matter, space, energy, time, and information?  


Astronomy is the scientific study of the universe, which includes celestial objects, such as stars, planets, and galaxies, both near and far. While a major is not available in this field, students who are interested in further advanced study in astronomy may pursue it within the physics major program.


Physicists develop and test models that describe the behavior of matter and energy at scales ranging from the subatomic to the galactic. Students in this program will take a variety of courses in classical and modern physics that will prepare them to understand phenomena at many points along this continuum, as well as exciting topics at the boundaries between physics and other scientific disciplines. Students will develop hands-on experimental and computational abilities while also sharpening their mathematical reasoning skills.

Both a traditional physics degree and a hybrid program in computational physics are offered. The computational physics degree emphasizes the close connections between the disciplines of physics and computer science and prepares students for a wide variety of careers in science and technology.