Astronomy Minor Approved

The Astronomy minor has been approved and will be available starting in the 2014-15 academic year.  Students interested will now be able to minor in Astronomy.


We are very excited to announce the official approval of our Astronomy Minor, beginning with the 2013-14 academic year. This minor is targeted at students who wish to learn more about the way our universe works in exciting upper division Astrophysics classes we offer. Like the Physics Minor, the Astronomy Minor requires the first two years of basic physics courses (without the lab in the second year), Physics 131-133 and Physics 234-235, followed by a year-long sequence of Astrophysics courses, Physics 424-426 (which can be taken in any order). The minor is especially well suited to students from engineering or non-physics science majors who may be interested in working at JPL, NASA, or in other Space or Planetary Science institutions.

For more information about the Astronomy minor, contact Professors Alex Rudolph or Matt Povich, or visit the Astronomy minor web page at:


New Physics and Astronomy Website launches

Our new website has just launched. The new website is a great improvement both in design and functionality.

Menu are redesigned for better accesibility. We also have new research pages to show various research activities in our department. 

One of the best parts of the new website is Student Highlights, which appear both on the home page and other pages as featured students. It is great to see the statements and pictures by our students showing on the website.

Finally, for those of you who still need to access the old website, we have a new URL:



Prof. Ertan Salik receives Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Grant

Read more: Prof. Ertan Salik receives Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Grant
Ertan Salik
Prof. Ertan Salik in collaboration with Dr. Shelton Murinda (Animal and Veterinary Science) and Dr. Wei-Jen Lin (Biological Sciences) received the the Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Grant (SIRG) funding for their project entitled "Rapid Detection of Foodborne Pathogen E.coli 0157:H7 with Tapered Fiber Optic Biosensors within Microfluidic Channels".

All three professors and their students will work on developing a fiber optic biosensor to attract more funding for their research from federal and state funding agencies.

Prof. Alex Rudolph to serve on the boards of two national Astronomy Organizations

Read more: Prof. Alex Rudolph to serve on the boards of two national Astronomy Organizations
Alex Rudolph
Prof. Alex Rudolph of the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy has recently been selected to join boards of the two most important national astronomical organizations in the U.S.

First, Prof. Rudolph was selected by the Council of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the major organization of professional astronomers in North America, to serve on the Astronomy Education Board for a three-year term.  This board is charged with oversight of the educational activities of the AAS, including advising the Education Officer and Council of the AAS on education policy for the organization.

Second, he was elected by the membership to a three-year term on the Board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), the oldest organization of astronomers in the U.S. (founded in 1889). The ASP is a partnership of professional and amateur astronomers, plus education and public outreach professionals, with the mission of promoting astronomy education and public outreach, and increasing science literacy through the science of astronomy.

Prof. Rudolph indicated that he is very excited to be involved in guiding the direction of national policy in astronomy education by his membership on these two boards.