Our Department

Program

Curriculum

Courses

Faculty

Wendy R. Altman, Ph.D.

Edward Boyda, Ph.D.

Muhammed K. Gheith, Ph.D.

Brian R. Hill, Ph.D.

Anna Karelina, Ph.D.

Jessica Kintner, Ph.D.

Ronald P. Olowin, Ph.D.

Chris Ray, Ph.D.

Mari-Anne Rosario, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair


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


John Bockman
Laboratory Technician

Astronomy 

Geissberber Observatory



Incoming students: Apply for our Physics Departmental scholarship!

This scholarship is for physics majors and is renewable for up to four years.

Spring 2017 Courses

Course Number Course Title Instructor
PHYS 003 Introduction to Physics II Brian Hill
PHYS 004 Introduction to Physics II Laboratory Edward Boyda
PHYS 011 General Physics II Wendy Altman
PHYS 011L General Physics II Lab Chris Ray, Edward Boyda, Mari-Anne Rosario, Brian Hill
PHYS 040 Revolutions in Science Muhammed K. Gheith
PHYS 041 Revolutions in Science Laboratory Muhammed K. Gheith
PHYS 090 Introduction to Astronomy Brian Hill
PHYS 091 Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory Anna Karelina
PHYS 102 Computational Physics Chris Ray
PHYS 105 Analytical Mechanics Mari-Anne Rosario
PHYS 140 Special Topics — Questions of Reality Edward Boyda
PHYS 185 Observational Astronomy and Astrophysics Brian Hill

Selected Recent Courses

Course Number Course Title Instructor
PHYS 181 Electronics Jessica Kintner

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Modern physics is a complex endeavor building upon 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.

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