Our Department



Edward Boyda, Ph.D.

Anna Karelina, Ph.D.

Jessica Kintner, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

Ronald P. Olowin, Ph.D.

Chris Ray, Ph.D.

Mari-Anne Rosario, Ph.D.

Roy Wensley, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean of Science

John Bockman, Laboratory Technician.


Astronomy Program
Geissberger Observatory

Fall 2014 COURSES

Course Number Course Title Instructor
PHYS 001 Introduction to Physics I Chris Ray
PHYS 010 General Physics I Jessica Kintner
PHYS 060 Modern Physics Mari-Anne Rosario
PHYS 090 Introduction to Astronomy Ron Olowin
PHYS 091 Introduction to Astronomy Lab Ron Olowin
PHYS 140 Questions of Reality Edward Boyda
PHYS 181 Electronics and Instrumentation Mari-Anne Rosario

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Physics in this century has become a complex endeavor reflecting many centuries of experimentation and theory. It is an enterprise conducted by men and women who are stimulated by hopes and purposes that are universal: to understand and describe nature in its most elementary form. Physics can inspire greater reverence, wonder, and awe of the natural world. It also provides a continuous stream of remarkable insights into the nature of reality across a wide range of domains, giving rise to astonishing transformations that can change both our world and our worldviews. Physics and astronomy courses train students to carefully observe physical phenomena and to interpret the phenomena using synthesis, mathematical modeling and analysis. These methods represent a way of knowing that is central to the scientific method. The department is dedicated to teaching students with majors in science as well as general science education in the liberal arts tradition. The physics major is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study or gain employment in industry or government service. In addition to offering a bachelor of science degree in physics, the Department of Physics and Astronomy also offers an optional degree concentration in astrophysics and a physics minor.

As the pace of scientific discovery and innovation accelerates, there is an urgent cultural need to reflect thoughtfully about these epic changes and challenges in a constructive dialogue involving all of our traditions. One of the greatest challenges of our age is to bridge the compartmentalized departments of the modern university, engaging in an integrative dialogue among all of the Sciences and Liberal Arts disciplines.

This endeavor must honor the details and complexities of each discipline. At the same time, we must not shrink from the task of building exploratory and substantive connections on issues of broad and enduring significance between the variegated cultures of the sciences and the humanities. While such rigorous interdisciplinarity is extremely difficult, the Department of Physics and Astronomy seek to foster significant new insights and discoveries that may lie beyond the horizons of traditional academic disciplines. The culture of the university flourishes when such great issues and topics are deliberated in open forums across disciplines.


Saint Mary's College of California
Department of Physics and Astronomy
1928 St. Mary's Road, Galileo Hall, Moraga, CA 94575
Voice: + 1 925.631.4191 Fax: +1 925.631.7961