SCSU Physics Department: An Introduction


The Physics Department offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Physics, a B.S. in Physics for Secondary Education & State Certification, a B.S. in Physics with Engineering Concentration, and a Master's of Science (M.S.) degree in Applied Physics with a concentration in either Materials Science/Nanotechnology or Optics/Optical Instrumentation.  Students may also select a physics concentration for the M.S. in Science Education.

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As an added service to students and local industry, we are building collaborative ties with technology-oriented companies in Connecticut to complement our interactions with physics and engineering faculty at nearby Yale and other universities.  We also participate very actively in projects to enhance pre-college science education.

Our seven full-time tenure-track faculty all have Ph.D.s from established research universities.  Our degree programs all include extensive opportunities for undergraduate and master's-level student research participation and guided independent study.  Including elementary courses, the department's total annual enrollment is the largest of all physics departments in Connecticut institutions of higher education.  With all of our students, we seek to build active curiosity, investigative skills, intellectual independence and confidence.  We teach for understanding and assess for long-term mastery.

Faculty carry out scholarly work leading to publication or presentation at professional meetings, commensurate with the primary teaching mission of the institution. Physics faculty scholarship very much involves students, and encourages them to see themselves as part of the larger community of scientists. Within the past two years, six of our undergraduate students co-authored peer-reviewed papers that were accepted for publication in the proceedings of major research conferences.

The past several years have been a time of rapid progress for the department.  Course enrollments have risen annually at every level for the past five years.  A recent major development was the award of $1.5 million over six years to Prof. Broadbridge of our department by the NSF, as part of a joint Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Grant with Yale.  Two other NSF grants support Prof. Cummings' research in physics education.  Prof. Enjalran is the recent recipient of a Cottrell College Science grant for his work in theoretical condensed matter physics.  Our chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has received numerous awards from the national SPS organization and hosted a regional conference that brought well-known physicists S. James Gates and Michio Kaku to Southern as guest speakers.

We have five laboratories equipped with research-grade apparatus dedicated to:

- nano-materials synthesis
- materials characterization by atomic force scanning probe and electron microscopy, spectrophotometry,
   custom apparatus for measurement of electrical and thermal transport properties (superconductors) at low
   temperatures
- advanced sample preparation techniques for transmission and scanning electron microscopy
- laser spectroscopy, interferometric, fiber optic and other photonics studies
- astronomical imaging instrument development
- computational modelling of exotic magnetic systems and other many body events

We also have separate wood and metal-working shops with an array of industrial-grade machine tools.

The Physics Department is presently located in Jennings Hall, Southern's second major science facility, which was constructed in 1981 to supplement Morrill Hall.  Advanced physics research facilities and offices will soon be expanded once again with the new state-of-the-art science building opening in 2014.  Please contact us with questions or to arrange a tour.  Telephone:  1-203-392-6450, email:  physicsinfo@southernct.edu