Artist David Grigg's rendering of the new version of the Foucault pendulum that will be installed in Kreger Hall. Thousands of students and alumni remember the Foucault pendulum in Culler Hall, the old home of the physics department (image courtesy the artist).
Artist David Grigg's rendering of the new version of the Foucault pendulum that will be installed in Kreger Hall. Thousands of students and alumni remember the Foucault pendulum in Culler Hall, the old home of the physics department (image courtesy the artist).

Kreger Proclamation Week: A physics celebration

kreger -unpack

Moving into a new physics lab

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications,

The physics department moved out of Culler Hall and into its new home in the completely renovated Kreger Hall just before classes started in the fall.  

Now that all the boxes have been unpacked, the physics department invites the Miami community to celebrate "Kreger Hall Proclamation Week" April 7-11. 

The week includes events for alumni, students and the entire Miami community.

Highlights include:

April 7:


NASA space biologist Jeffrey Smith (Miami '91)

George C. Benson Memorial Lecture: 7:30 p.m., 319 Kreger Hall

Jeffrey Smith (Miami ’91), chief of the Space Biosciences Research Branch at NASA Ames Research Center, will present “Space Biophysics: Accomplishments, Trends, Challenges.”

Smith, who has degrees in both physics and zoology from Miami, leads a team of NASA scientists who conduct research in the space biosciences, including the areas of fundamental space biology and gravitational biology and research toward the development of countermeasures to preserve human health in space.

April 10:

Proclamation and Ribbon-Cutting: 2-2:30 p.m.

At the Spring Street entrance to Kreger, with remarks by President David Hodge and local and state government representatives.

Open House: 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Self-guided tour brochures available at several entrances. See the new state-of-the-art classrooms and research facilities. Light refreshments provided.

Student Research Poster Session: 3-4:30 p.m.

In the Level 1 Research Area; poster session presented by physics students. 

From Culler Hall to Kreger Hall


A newly renovated lecture hall (photo by Scott Kissell)

The physics department moved from Culler Hall  — home to the department since Culler was built in 1961 — to Kreger Hall last August. "We only had three weeks to do the move and be ready for the start of fall classes," Herbert Jaeger, chair and professor of physics, said.  "Geology and geography were on our heels as they had to vacate Shideler Hall which is next on the renovation schedule."

The departments of geography and geology are now temporarily housed in Culler while Shideler Hall undergoes renovations. 

Culler Hall will eventually be renovated and become part of the Armstrong Student Center during the center's Phase Two construction.

"In the meantime we are settled in Kreger and enjoy our new digs with modern state-of-the-art laboratory spaces and modern classrooms and teaching labs," Jaeger said.

"Since we moved to Kreger Hall we are teaching introductory physics courses in an active, student-centered learning mode known as SCALE-UP. This mode of teaching combines traditional lecture and lab classes, and students perform hands-on actives and problem-solving under the guidance of a professor supported by teaching assistants." (Read more about SCALE-UP at Miami). 

Kreger Hall renovations included new instructional and research laboratories, departmental offices and classrooms; new mechanical, electrical, data and fire-suppression systems; accessible restrooms; a new elevator; and improvements to the exterior.

The project was paid for with state capital funds. A small amount of local funds was used in the design phase. 


Kreger Hall's entry was redesigned with a new portico.

About Kreger Hall

Kreger Hall was the only academic building constructed with state appropriations on Miami's campus in the 1930s. The central portion of the building was completed in 1931 for use as a chemistry building. The east wing was finished in 1937 and the west wing in 1939.

The building was originally named Hughes Hall after Raymond M. Hughes, professor of chemistry 1898-1911 and university president 1911-1927.

In 1968 the building was renamed in honor of Clarence W. Kreger, a professor of chemistry who developed many of the technical programs that led to the creation of the School of Applied Science.

Most recently Kreger housed the School of Engineering and Applied Science (now College of Engineering and Computing) until their move in 2006 to the new engineering building and the renovated Benton Hall.  

The new Foucault pendulum


Artist's rendering of the new pendulum installation

Many have expressed concern about the fate of Culler Hall’s Foucault pendulum, Jaeger said.

"As major funding for the remodeling of Kreger Hall comes from the state of Ohio, we are committed to use 1 percent of the total appropriation from the state for art. Our art project will be a new version of the Foucault pendulum, appropriate for the renovated space in Kreger Hall."

Following a national call, 23 artists submitted their visions. Three finalists presented their designs to a selection committee, and a winning design was selected last summer.  

David Griggs’ winning vision for the pendulum combines the forces of the universe with a sense of regularity, a keeper of time.  "The design has artistic elements of time and space underneath the pendulum in the form of a lit up glass dial and a glass cone with an etched Hubble space telescope image," Jaeger said.  

The pendulum will be finished and delivered sometime in the fall.