About the Physics & Astronomy Department

Exterior of the Science Center at Amherst College

The Amherst College Physics and Astronomy Department has as its main missions the teaching of physics and astronomy to the undergraduates at the College and research exploring the frontiers of our disciplines. Our program provides a foundation in theory and experimentation/observation for physics and astronomy majors. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive departmental climate in which all students feel capable of succeeding, are comfortable being their authentic selves in departmental spaces, and have access to the full curriculum. Our commitment to physics and astronomy as liberal arts subjects leads us to stress the conceptual, historical and philosophical context in which the important ideas of contemporary physics and astronomy arose.  At the same time, we aim to provide our majors with a strong technical basis (mathematical, statistical, and computational) for further study of physics, astronomy, or a range of related careers in fields such as teaching, journalism, data science, medicine, and other physical sciences (including planetary science, biophysics, engineering, and materials science).