The Department of Physics & Astronomy is an acknowledged national leader in physics education for developing the Workshop Physics program, an innovative activity-based method for learning introductory physics. In classes, from the most basic to the most advanced, students engage in activities and projects complemented by interactive lectures.

All upper-level students do research in a state-of-the-art building with facilities for projects in optics, nonlinear dynamics of complex systems, plasma physics, pattern formation in magnetic fluids, material science, environmental physics and astronomy.

Students interested in astronomy help run the Kanev Planetarium and conduct research on the 24-inch telescope of the college’s Michael Britton Observatory.

Contact Info

Chair

David JacksonProfessor of Physics

Department Coordinator

Tonya Miller

Phone

717-245-1413

Fax

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Location

Tome Hall - Rector Science Complex Mailing Address

Department Features




Student Outcomes

Where Our Students Go From Here

Jobs:

  • Bank of America
  • NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Teach for America
  • Tesla
  • Owens & Minor, Inc.
  • Revenue Solutions, Inc.
  • U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
  • Raytheon Technologies
  • Quintiq
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Decisive Analytics Corporation

Graduate Schools:

  • University of Illinois
  • Dartmouth College
  • University of Colorado
  • Arizona State University
  • University of Florida, Gainesville
  • University of Michigan
  • Harvard
  • MIT
  • Columbia University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Wesleyan University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Clemson University
Where Our Students Have Done Research
  • Coherent, Inc. 
  • Vassar College 
  • University of Monash (Australia)
  • Princeton University 
  • Lehigh University 
  • Wellesley College 
  • Oak Ridge National Lab 
  • Fermi National Accelerator Lab
  • University of Maryland
  • Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education
  • Kanazawa University
  • NASA/JPL

Student Perspective

"During my first semester I took Astrophysics 208 with Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy Windsor Morgan. The other four students in the class were juniors, but they and Dr. Morgan made me feel like an equal member of the class. I was surprised to be included in the conversations, but now that I've gotten to know Dickinson, I know to expect it.”

 —Gavin Frueh ’24

"I love the people in my major that I have met. They have so much passion for physics. The professors are equally passionate, and they are committed to their students. I also really like the Majors’ Room, a dedicated space for the physics majors to hang out and get work done, either collaboratively or independently."

—Lia Gilmore ’25


Physics & Astronomy

YouTube, Chatbots & Physics Research

YouTube, Chatbots & Physics Research

“Nowhere else could I get as many opportunities as a freshman." Out of the gate, Noah Lape ’26 co-published a paper, contributed to a physics YouTube channel and coded chatbots.

Depth, Breadth and Belonging

Depth, Breadth and Belonging

“My goal is to return to my home country and share the knowledge and expertise I have gained." Meet Sebastian Valdez '26, an accomplished soccer player and aspiring civil engineer.

Dickinson to Host Senior Scientist From the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Dickinson to Host Senior Scientist From the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Linda Mearns, senior scientist in the Research Applications Lab of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, will discuss the uncertainties of climate change research.

Lars English Honored by the American Physical Society

Lars English Honored by the American Physical Society

Dickinson professor of physics earns 2024 Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution recognition.

NASA

NASA's John Mather Delivers 71st Priestley Award Lecture

Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist meets with students and discusses his nearly 30 years of work as the senior project scientist on the groundbreaking James Webb Space Telescope.

Astrophysicist for NASA

Astrophysicist for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to Give Talk at Dickinson

John Mather will receive Dickinson’s annual Joseph Priestley Award.