Independent Minds, Working Together
Optics Demo at Scot Spirit Day

Optics Demo at Scot Spirit Day

 

History

  • Since 1994, our department has had a summer research program for undergraduates. Through the National Science Foundation and other grants, we employ eight to ten undergraduates each summer to conduct original research under the supervision of our faculty.
  • In a recent ten-year period, members of the department received individual research and instrumentation grants totaling more than half a million dollars from sources including the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Navy, the Petroleum Research Fund, and Research Corporation.
  • In a recent ten year period, forty Wooster physics majors and student researchers co-authored papers in refereed journals; thirteen of these student co-authors were women. These journals included American Journal of Physics, Scientific American, Journal of Statistical Physics, Journal of Chemical Physics, Physics Letters A, Physical Review E, International Journal of Thermophysics, and Physical Review Letters. This recognition is not uncommon at Wooster where every senior in every department completes a yearlong senior thesis project.
  • In the last decade, our majors have had summer research experiences (.jpg) at colleges and universities like Cornell, Georgia Tech, and Rennsselaer, and spent academic semesters at Oak Ridge National Lab, Argonne National Lab, and Caltech's Jet Propulsion Lab. Recently, one of our majors spent a summer at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, while another of our majors spent a summer at Fermilab.
  • Most of our majors continue in graduate programs, and Wooster's Physics Department ranks highly in the number of its graduates who obtain the Ph.D. One study of 867 undergraduate institutions nationwide ranked our natural science department graduates 6th in the number of Ph.D.'s annually, with Physics in the top 3% nationally.
  • Our recent majors have succeeded in graduate school (.jpg) at places like Duke, Case Western, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Cornell, The University of Michigan, The University of Maryland at College Park, The University of Southern California, and the University of California at Berkeley.
  • We have taught the hardware and software of computer interfacing since they first appeared in the 1970s. Today, Macintosh computers are commonly used to control experiments, to acquire and analyze data, and to perform simulations.
  • Taylor Hall, the renovated home of Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science, contains a state-of-the-art, computer-based laboratory for introductory physics.
  • A collegial atmosphere encourages frequent, informal discussion between students and faculty members outside of the classroom.