Physics

Physics and Astronomy Department

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Amherst College! The Amherst Physics and Astronomy program's main mission is to teach physics and astronomy to the full range of undergraduates at the College. This includes the program for physics majors, in which we provide the students with a solid foundation in both theoretical and experimental physics. Our commitment to physics as a liberal arts subject leads us to stress the conceptual, historical and philosophical context in which the important ideas of contemporary physics arose.  At the same time, we aim to provide our majors with a strong technical and mathematical basis for further study of physics or closely related fields such as astrophysics, biophysics, materials science, nanoscience and engineering.  The study of physics also provides excellent preparation for many other professional careers from medicine to science writing to secondary-school teaching.

We are located on the first and second floors of the Merrill Science Center. The main Department office is 214 Merrill. We can be contacted at 413-542-2251.  You may also reach the department by sending an email to the Physics/Astonomy Chair.

 

Use the links to the left to explore the site. You can return here by clicking on the banner at the top of each page. If you would like any more information about the Physics and Astronomy Department, ask Ellen Feld and she will pass your query on to the appropriate person.

Department News

Congratulations to Professor Larry Hunter on his paper in Science on a possible "Fifth Force of Nature."   You can learn more about the paper, Using the Earth as a Polarized Electron Source to Search for Long-Range Spin-Spin Interactions, via this Amherst College press release.
 

 
Congratulations to Professor David Hall! Recipient of the APS 2012 Prize for a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution.

Citation:
"For his ground breaking experimental investigations of Bose-Einstein condensates and the dynamics of quantum vortices and for his enthusiastic inclusion of undergraduates in his research."
 
APS President Robert Byer (left); DSH; Research Corporation Program Director Richard Wiener
 APS President Robert Byer (left); DSH; Research Corporation Program Director Richard Wiener
 Photo provided by the American Physical Society
 
Professor David Hall
Professor David Hall
Photo provided by the American Physical Society
 
 
 

Physics and Astronomy Department

AC# 2244
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
413-542-2251
Larry Hunter, Chair

Particle Paths