Department of Physics
The Department of Physics is dedicated to teaching and scholarship, with an emphasis on achieving close student-faculty relationships. With a versatile degree program and interdisciplinary research, we prepare students for advanced study or employment in physics, biological physics, applied physics, and related fields.
Spring Student-Faculty Retreat Details
Join the retreat on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. in the Research Commons, 114 Kreger Hall. This is a chance to talk directly to the faculty about any departmental topic. Do you have a complaint, a question, or maybe want to mention something good they are doing? Do you want to know why something is done a certain way? Do you want to know when a particular course is offered? They want to hear from you. Submit topics of discussion to the physics student representatives: Undergraduates - Hannah McDougall, mcdoughn@MiamiOH.edu; Grad Students - Stone Oliver, oliversb@MiamiOH.edu. Or, it is okay to bring up a topic during the retreat. Pizza and refreshments will be provided. Hope to see you there!Sign Up to Attend
Faculty Bayram Mentioned in President's Update
President Crawford delivered a recent presentation, "Spring Update: Celebrating our Excellence", where he acknowledged the Department of Physics' molecular physics research, including the valuable contributions of our faculty and students (starts at 43:15). Dr. Burçin Bayram's group secured a $300,000.00 new grant from the NSF Experimental AMO Program. Their mission? To delve into the mysterious radiative properties of lithium and LiNa heteronuclear molecules, armed with cutting-edge time-resolved spectroscopy and photon counting techniques.
Congratulations on your success, Burçin!View full talk
16th Annual Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off Results
There was a fantastic turn-out for the chili cook-off with a total of six chili entries. After 30+ department affiliates made their careful decisions, the results are in! It was an extremely close match between the first-place winner and the runner-up for this years’ competition, with only a single taste-and-rate deciding vote, and there was a tie for third place. The chilis were rated on appearance, texture, flavor, and spiciness. 1st Place — Administrative Assistant Mandy Pettit, spicy chicken taco chili. 2nd Place — Associate Professor Mahmud Khan, spicy chicken and bean chili. 3rd Place — Women in Physics members Mallory Campbell, Emily Kolesar, Leeanne Krabbe & Hannah McDougall, vegetarian chipotle squash chili and graduate student Shawn Hower, classic hearty beef chili. Honorable mention to the remaining participant, Associate Teaching Professor Carol Fabby with two entries, a Cincinnati style beef chili and a vegan Cincinnati style chili. Thank you to all for the participation!
Faculty Corbett Receives Creativity and Innovation Award
Dr. Perry Corbett was honored for his creative and innovative work at Miami University. Presented by Miami University President Gregory Crawford, the Creativity and Innovation Award celebrates honorees exemplifying "wonder, zeal, focus, curiosity, fortitude, and resourcefulness applied to advance the University and the Miami community."
Astronomy Club Presents: Build Your Own Eclipse Viewer
Students from the Miami University Astronomy Club will be teaching how to build your own projector. Demonstration on how to safely view the eclipse and a Q&A session to follow.
Bring lots of questions with you to this lecture! Ages 8-17. Registration is required for this event.City of Oxford — Total Eclipse of the Parks info
Faculty Bali's Apprentices Give Insights on AEOP Experience
The AEOP (Army Education Outreach Program) sat down with two student apprentices, undergraduate Reese Tyra, and Talawanda high schooler Muhammed Khan, who conducted research under Dr. Samir Bali. They spoke to them about their experiences, research projects, and favorite AEOP memories.
Want to know what's next in Muhammed and Reese's STEM journey?Read more
Alumna Ghose Publishes New Book
Former student, Dr. Shohini Ghose, elucidates the stories of women scientists who contributed to and led some of the biggest breakthroughs in astronomy and physics. Shohini's advisor was Dr. Perry Rice while at Miami and she studied under Dr. Ivan Deutsch, who presented the 2023 Priest Lecture. We are honored to have Dr. Ghose presenting our upcoming Benson Lecture in fall 2024.Read more
Faculty Bali Receives Continued Funding from U.S. Army
Dr. Samir Bali received notification from the U.S. Army of continued support in the amount of $90,282.00 for a project entitled "Velocity-sorting and stochastic resonances in cold atom optical lattices: Path toward efficient nano-devices."
Congratulations, Samir, for securing continued funding!
Faculty Blue Announced as APS Fellow
Dr. Jennifer Blue has been elected as an American Physical Society Fellow for conducting pioneering investigations into gender dynamics in physics and providing highly effective advocacy for marginalized communities in physics and astronomy.
Congratulations for an incredible, well-earned honor, Jennifer!Read more
Faculty Corbett Awarded NSF Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Perry Corbett for the funding of his NSF proposal, "ExpandQISE: Track 1: A Deep-Dive into the Materials Science of Alpha-Ta Growth on Oxides for Superconducting Resonator Development." The ExpandQISE program aims to increase research capacity and broaden participation in Quantum Information Science and Engineering (QISE) and related disciplines through the creation of a diversified investment portfolio in research and education that will lead to scientific and engineering breakthroughs, while securing a talent pipeline in a field where workforce needs of industry, government and academia continue to outgrow the available talent.
Dr. Corbett was awarded $800,000.00, amazing news!
Graduate Student Wade Wins Poster Award
Carter Wade won the master student poster presentation award at the Ohio AVS (American Vacuum Society) conference held at University of Dayton for presenting the best poster. The event included 30 attendees from industry, academia and government from across the state of Ohio. Carter continues to research under Dr. Perry Corbett.
Congratulations for your excellence, Carter!Read more
Faculty Alexander Reflects on 65 Years of NASA
Associate professor of physics, Dr. Stephen Alexander, was published in The Conversation for his article, "65 years of NASA - an astrophysicist reflects on the agency's legacy". We thank Dr. Alexander for sharing his expertise with a far-reaching audience. This article, in connection with NASA's anniversary, has gained much attention from those interested not only in science, but also in the history of NASA.Read article
The Department of Physics is dedicated to teaching and scholarship, with an emphasis on achieving close student-faculty relationships. Our goals are to provide a rigorous grounding in the scientific process and a firm scientific understanding of the world, to foster critical thinking and to provide scientifically literate, liberally educated citizens through service and liberal education courses. We provide undergraduate and graduate majors with solid preparation in the discipline for advanced study or employment. Our scholarship should be inclusive, bringing faculty, graduate students, and especially undergraduates into participation in the joy of learning at the frontiers of human intellectual endeavor.
The primary functional aspects of our mission can be classified as:
- Educating and preparing students in our undergraduate majors programs for advanced study and/or employment following their graduation from Miami University.
- Serving as a major contributor to the scientific and technological literacy of students through participation in the implementation of the Miami Plan.
- Providing the knowledge, laboratory experience, and training in analytical reasoning and critical thinking required as the basis for advanced study for students majoring in other fields of science, mathematics, and engineering.
- Developing the skills in basic physical science of present and future teachers in elementary and secondary schools, and providing opportunities for continuing education of the public of our region and nation.
- Extending the expertise and competence in physics of our graduate students to prepare them for advanced study in the physical sciences and/or engineering or for employment.
- Engaging in scholarly activity that will extend the base of human knowledge through research and enhance the educational aspects of the Department's mission.
Miami Physics has its origins in the departments of natural philosophy (1832-45) and natural science (1845-73). The Physics and Chemistry Department was formed in 1885 under the leadership of Henry Snyder, and from 1898 to 1902, Raymond Hughes led the department, after which he went on to become Miami’s 15th president and Iowa State University’s 8th president. In 1903, the Physics Department was formed with Joseph Culler as chairman and the only full-time faculty member.
In 1926, Ray L. Edwards was named chair of physics, a position he held until 1956. During his 30-year tenure, the department grew with the addition of professors Dave Griffing, John Snider, George Arfken, Phil Macklin, Don Kelly, Joe Priest, Jim Poth, and Glenn Julian. Our Master’s program preceded the establishment of Miami’s Society of Physics Students Chapter in 1932, with several physics graduate students among the inaugural inductees.
During Dr. Edwards tenure, the department was located in Hughes Hall (which was renamed Kreger Hall in 1968). In 1961, Culler Hall was built specifically for the Physics Department, although it shared some of the space with Math, and later, Aeronautics. In 2014, the department moved back to a totally renovated Kreger Hall, complete with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, and common spaces for study and collaboration.
Miami Physics has a history of excellence in teaching, scholarship and leadership in physics education. In 1945, the prestigious Oersted Medal was awarded to Ray Edwards for notable contributions to the teaching of physics. Our faculty have published numerous texts, including Arfken’s world-renowned “Mathematical Methods for Physicists”; Priest’s “Energy: Principles, Problems and Alternatives”; Griffing’s “The Dynamics of Sports”; Kelly’s “Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics”; Arfken, Griffing, Kelly and Priest’s “University Physics”; and Paul DeVries’ “A First Course in Computational Physics”. The late Jim Poth and Beverley Taylor have been leaders at the state and national levels in physics education. Taylor was named both an APS Fellow and an AAPT Fellow in recognition of her contributions in that area.
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