Physics and Astronomy

Physics is the field of science that studies matter and energy and their interactions by experimentation, computation, and mathematical modeling. There is a great deal of overlap of physics with all other sciences, and an undergraduate program in physics can be an excellent preparation for graduate study in a wide variety of sciences and engineering.

We are a department of three physicists and one astronomer/chemist and we award a major in physics and a minor in astronomy.

This program familiarizes students with basic principles of physics, experimental and measuring instruments, the math needed to apply physical principles, and the significance of physics in fields such as chemistry, biology, engineering, and medicine.

Physics majors have three options: an intensive major (for students who plan to pursue graduate work in the physical sciences), a broad major (for students who plan to pursue medicine, engineering, biophysics, environmental sciences, health physics, or teaching), and the 3/2 engineering program, for which students spend three years at Sewanee and two years at one of the following engineering schools: Columbia University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Physics majors have access to Sewanee’s Cordell-Lorenz Observatory, a facility for research and academic enrichment activities.


Physics Seminar Series
October 30, 2017
"The Importance of Defects in Energy Efficiency: Lighting and Power Electronics" presented by Dr. Mary Ellen Zvanut.
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Physics Seminar Series
April 3, 2017
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Spinning Star" presented by Elizabeth Tilly, C'18.
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MPEX schematic
Physics Seminar Series
March 26, 2017
"The Sun in Our Hands: ITER, MPEX, and the Future of Nuclear Fusion Reactors" presented by Davis Easley, C'18.
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