Study the big questions, like the universe.

  • Physics Research Image Credit: Melissa Hess

You’ll find abundant active research opportunities in this dynamic major. Our main research interests are in the areas of pulsar astronomy, gravitational wave astronomy, and cosmology. Our students regularly collaborate with F&M faculty using satellite data and ground-based observations, and our professors offer exciting research opportunities for students, including funded summer positions.

These kinds of opportunities lead to admission to select graduate schools that begin promising research careers. Recently we have had students admitted to the nation's finest graduate programs, including Columbia, Cornell, MIT and Caltech.

Our students regularly travel with faculty to remote locations to take advantage of national and international observing facilities; the National Undergraduate Research Observatory in Arizona, the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico, and the Parkes Telescope in Australia. High-performance computing is done on our very own Beowulf cluster. Students' work has been published in leading scholarly journals.

Students enjoy individualized instruction and a collegial atmosphere. Our Astronomical Imaging Laboratory enables students to work with computer-controlled telescopes and CCD cameras. Because of our facilities and our excellent track record with students, we were recently awarded a grant from the Clare Booth Luce foundation to award undergraduate tuition scholarships.

If you’re ready for some hands-on exploration of one of the hottest, fastest changing fields, our program would be an excellent match.