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Kreger Hall

The Department of Physics moved from Culler Hall — home to the department since Culler was built in 1961 — to Kreger Hall in 2014. Physics settled in Kreger and enjoys the newly renovated facility with state-of-the-art laboratory spaces, contemporary classrooms, and advanced teaching labs. Kreger Hall renovations included new instructional and research laboratories, up to date departmental offices and classrooms; modernized mechanical, electrical, data and fire-suppression systems; addition of accessible restrooms; a revamped elevator; and enhancements to the exterior. The project was supported with state capital funds. A small amount of local reserves were used in the design phase.

Kreger Hall


Since the Department of Physics moved to Kreger Hall, instructors are teaching introductory physics courses in an active, student-centered learning mode known as SCALE-UP (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs). This approach of teaching combines traditional lecture and lab classes, while students perform hands-on activities and problem solving under the guidance of a professor supported by teaching assistants. Each group has a computer and work can be projected from any station in the room to one of several white boards. The students work collaboratively on laboratory projects, computer modeling and paper-and-pencil problem solving. The activities are interspersed with short lectures.

Students gather around computers in a SCALE-Up classroom

Foucault Pendulum

Major funding for the remodel of Kreger Hall came from the state of Ohio, committing to use 1% of the total appropriation for art. Following a national call, 23 artists submitted their visions and three finalists presented their designs to a selection committee. The department art display is a Foucault pendulum — suitable for the redeveloped space in Kreger Hall — demonstrating simple, direct evidence of Earth’s rotation.
The winning depiction for the pendulum combines the forces of the universe with a sense of regularity; a keeper of time. The fixed point is an illuminated glass cone etched with images from the Hubble space telescope. At the end of the mass rod is a bob of brass weighing 230 pounds. At the end of the bob are three tiers of lit up and etched glass, each representing different and equally important ideas to physicists. The first layer you see is an astronomical clock reporting the time, date, and season based on a 365-day cycle. The middle layer is a map of Oxford from the 1800s with a square silhouette tracing the location of Miami University. The bottom layer depicts the constellation figures of the Northern Hemisphere. The base of the pendulum is a traditional compass rose, appropriately positioned by its location in the building and embedded in the floor with three colors of water-jet cut granite. The Foucault Pendulum is on the second floor of Kreger Hall, adjacent to a study area and across the hall from the physics office.