Major Explorations: Physics & Astronomy


The tools that we employ to interrogate fundamental questions like what happens to matter as temperatures approach absolute zero, or how common or rare are earth-like planets include experimentation, observation, calculation and computation.

The Physics and Astronomy Department is located on the ground level and first floor of the Science Center. The ground floor holds faculty labs, the machine and electronics shops, and the student lounge. The first floor has classrooms, instructional labs, and faculty labs. Faculty and staff offices are spread throughout. The department office is C025.  

Physics instruction at Amherst began in 1821. Experimental physics focusing on low-temperature physics took off in 1952 and has expanded ever since.  Our current department faculty are engaged in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, Experimental Atomic Physics, Laser Spectroscopy, Laser Trapping and Cooling, Bose-Einstein Condensation, Precision Tests of Fundamental Symmetries, Particle Physics and High Energy Theory, Experimental Studies in Foundations of Physics, Physics on the Subway, and Experimental Biophysics.  For more information, please follow the links below, or feel free to contact one of our professors.