Physics & Astronomy Department
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.
Everyone knows you by name in the Physics and Astronomy Department. Courses average 13 students, ensuring you plenty of individual attention and mentoring from faculty members who are not only master teachers, but also respected scholars in their fields of expertise.
You have the opportunity to work with faculty to apply your knowledge and deepen your understanding. Learn how to run an atomic force microscope, do nuclear magnetic resonance research with a faculty member using our 2-Tesla machine to probe matter, work with medical physicists at Sanford Health, explore the universe using the Paul P. Feder Observatory or design a simulated tide pool for the Biosciences department. These are just a few examples of actual past MSUM student activities. What will you do?
MSU Moorhead received a NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant in 2015 with the objective of increasing new STEM teachers prepared to work with diverse students in high needs schools and giving them the resources to do so successfully through innovative coursework, targeted field experiences and mentorship support.
The Physics and Astronomy Department offers you the opportunity to be a Learning Assistant for courses you have already taken. It’s a competitive selection process and a privilege that not only deepens your topic knowledge but provides valuable experience communicating science.
The Physics curriculum teaches and reinforces skills critical to a variety of enterprises that will help you to be successful. Computational methods are integrated throughout our innovative curriculum to develop your expertise in three core areas:
Physics: Develop programming, instrumentation and quantification skills that are useful in science and industry.
Communication: Develop and practice communication skills in writing and oral presentation that teach you to present complex ideas clearly and effectively.
Teamwork: Develop effective collaboration skills in and out of the classroom through research groups or other student teams.
Planetarium hosts more than 600 people for Stars of PBSSaturday, January 28, the MSUM Planetarium partnered with Prairie Public to host its 6th annual Stars of PBS event. The event was a huge success, with more than 500 people attending planetarium shows throughout the day and many, many more participating in the activities and fun held in the Center for Business. This year added several community partners including the […]
Physics and Astronomy faculty member recognized for work with variable star organizationDr. Matt Craig, Department of Physics and Astronomy, was recognized for his work with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAAVSO) at its 111th Annual Meeting in early November. The citation recognized Dr. Craig for “his valuable volunteer contributions to the AAVSO and the variable star community through his work on re-writing and modernizing the AAVSO Variable Star Plotter […]
Student submits data to NASA projectPhysics and Astronomy student Emily Watson submitted measurements of an exoplanet, a planet around a star far from Earth, to NASA’s TESS mission as part of its ground-based follow-up observers program. Emily took the data using MSUM’s Paul P. Feder Observatory at the MSUM Regional Science Center, operating the observatory remotely over Thanksgiving break. She observed the star dimming briefly […]
Alex Ruff and Steve Lindaas attend MN Conference on Science EducationAlex Ruff, Physics Education major, and Steve Lindaas, Physics and Astronomy, attended the MN Conference on Science Education and presented a session titled “Sound and Resonant Motion” where they broke a plate of glass using sound. They were also co-presenters for the GO4ST8 Physics workshop that focused on sound and demonstration ideas. Alex was part of the large group of […]
Physics Teacher MentoringMSUM is a satellite host for GO4ST8 Physics, a physics teacher mentoring organization in Minnesota. Steve Lindaas, Physics and Astronomy, has been facilitating virtual connectivity between participants since Spring of 2020. There are now four in-person sites around the state that are virtually connected. Last Saturday the GO4ST8 Physics workshop was on PV=nRT, the ideal gas law. Steve was a […]
MSU Moorhead's Physics & Astronomy Department is committed to providing you exceptional field experience beginning at the start of your education and continuing until graduation.