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Physics

Program Overview

 Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences that systematically explores the role of matter — the primary constituent of the observable universe, and energy — the capacity of this matter to act in different ways. Through the application of mathematical theory and experimental methods, physics investigates how matter and energy interact. A degree in physics can be applied to a variety of different pathways, including education, research, engineering, industry, and medical and biological sciences.

The mission of the physics program is to develop knowledgeable and competent physicists who exemplify the humanistic, Catholic and Jesuit traditions of commitment to social justice, service to others, life-long learning, ethical and moral responsibility, and concern for the environment.  

Exploring Interests

Physicists help us understand our world, from the stars to elementary particles. They explore cosmology to understand the universe, and they are responsible for the discovery of the basic building blocks of matter.

Astrophysics explores the origin and evolution of our Universe. Condense matter studies the fundamental properties of matter and its phases supporting the discovery and creation of new materials used in the electronics industry. Atomic and molecular physics explore the interaction between light and matter at the level of atoms and molecules. X-rays and lasers are typically used to examine the components of what the Universe is made of. Nuclear and particle physics study the atomic nuclei and is the basis for applications in nuclear power, nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, etc.

At Scranton, you will have the opportunity to explore your interests with the support of dedicated faculty, access to advanced equipment, and a range of challenging courses — from basic physics to quantum mechanics — with continuous connections and applications to real-world problems.

The faculty here cover a diverse range of expertise: acoustics, optics, solid state (theoretical and experimental), spectroscopy, photovoltaics, mathematical physics, quantum optics, computational physics and nuclear physics.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

Students have access to state-of-the-art lab equipment, including:
  • State-of-the-art optics
  • Diode and CW lasers
  • Photon counter units
  • Atomic force microscope
  • Radio telescope
  • Scanning tunneling microscope 
  • 2-Axis Meade telescope

The integration of The University of Scranton core curriculum is an essential part of the physics curriculum.  The University core curriculum includes a structured program in theology, philosophy, ethics, and written and oral communication. Roughly half of the credits in the physics program is devoted to physics topics.  

View Physics Curriculum