The Physics and Astronomy Department provides outstanding instruction inside and outside the classroom on a variety of physics and astronomy topics—students learn how to create physical models and make predictions, apply scientific methods to solving theoretical and experimental problems, use new technologies to solve problems and clearly communicate technical principles, and more. Dedicated, highly educated faculty employ a wide variety of instructional techniques, including lectures, lab experiments, field trips, independent research projects and student-faculty collaborative projects for exciting, in-depth learning experiences. Students are required to participate in research and can choose from a variety of research programs in space physics, robotics, extragalactic, galactic, and solar system astrophysics, and physics education.
A hallmark of the department is its outstanding facilities, which include a nanotechnology and robotics lab, a student-built NMR machine, the Paul P. Feder Observatory Regional Science Center and the Planetarium. Students augment their studies by participating in the MSUM Society of Physics Students, which provides opportunities for networking and learning from guest lecturers and educational trips. The combination of advanced research opportunities and personalized faculty instruction provides students with outstanding preparation for additional graduate study or exciting careers in physics and related fields.
John Buncher, Matt Craig, Steve Lindaas and Ananda Shastri, all of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, attended the American Association of Physics Teachers conference last week. Matt Craig presented a poster titled “Agile Development of a Python-based Image Analysis Tool” on his work developing a collaborative tool using iPython notebooks. Ananda Shastri presented his [...]
The Horizon Middle School robotics team, “Spudnik, the Next Generation,” placed first for their project presentation at the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition in Grand Forks on February 1. This year’s challenge was Nature’s Fury. The team presented about preventing, reducing and recovering from the damages caused by volcanoes. Team members are Paul Sternhagen, Kaeden [...]
Three professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy presented at the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers held at Augsburg College in Minneapolis on April 26. John Buncher presented Why Elephants Really Are Big-Boned: Stress and Scaling in the IPLS Lab, Linda Winkler presented Rocket Science in Introductory Physics, and Ananda [...]
Please join the Physics and Astronomy Department in wishing Dave Weinrich well as he retires from 31 years at MSUM. A farewell open house will be held Friday, May 9 from 2-4 p.m. in the Langseth Hall Atrium.