Physics and Astronomy

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at BGSU! Here we explore how the universe works – from the vastness of the cosmos to the nature of subatomic particles. We do that by studying the properties of matter and energy and the laws that govern them. It’s not surprising, then, that physics and astronomy have helped us to understand our place in space-time and led the way to new technologies. With society’s ever-increasing pace, the need for discovery accelerates the demand for trained physicists. Physicists and astronomers are exceptional problem solvers with skills that are in high demand in a wide range of scientific and engineering careers in industry, academia, and government.

Students actively participate with our faculty on cutting-edge scientific research in the fields of astrophysics, materials science, nano-science, solid-state physics, and computational physics. In addition, our Planetarium and Observatory offer opportunities for astronomy research, education, and community engagement activities. These experiences are crucial for developing the credentials that graduate programs and employers seek.


Is Physics for you?

What can you do with a physics degree?

A degree in physics opens the door to a wide array of exciting and challenging careers.

News and Stories


Madie Martin and Hannah Means Attend CUWiP 2023

Third-year undergraduate students Madie Martin and Hannah Means attended the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) at Brown University  in mid-January. The three-day conference entailed inspirational research discussions from women in Physics, including a presentation from keynote speaker Dr. Nadya Mason. Women from all walks of life spoke about their highs and lows in their careers, and offered practical and thoughtful advice for all future physicists. Madie and Hannah both had the opportunity to attend workshops conducted by students and faculty at Brown, which provided them with the tools to encourage more women to pursue Physics and Astronomy.  --HHM


Faculty Awards

Three faculty were recognized at the recent faculty awards ceremony. Dr. Lewis Fulcher received the 2019 Lifetime Achievement award for his accomplishments in teaching, research, and service over an illustrious 46-year (so far) career at BGSU.

Dr. Mikhail Zamkov was named Professor of Research Excellence, a three-year designation in recognition of his outstanding research in nanocrystals and productivity in both published papers and external funding.

Dr. Farida Selim received the 2019 Outstanding Early Career Award for her innovative research developing and characterizing new semiconductor materials.


Graduate Students Intern at LANL

Dr. Selim’s research stretches across several aspects of Physics, including the study of dielectrics and semiconductors. Her research group is currently building a pair of positron beams, one at BGSU and one at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which will be used to study the defects in crystalline materials. This collaboration has enabled three of her MS students to do paid internships at LANL over the past year.

Thaihang Chung has been involved in Dr. Selim’s lab since January 2022. His research involves using anti-matter to study atomic-scale defects in materials that can be used in the next generation of nuclear reactors. He enjoys particle and accelerator Physics and how the technology involved connects to large scale research at the Large Hadron Collider. Thai graduates this summer and is planning to pursue a PhD.  

Samikshya Prasai is working on her thesis, which involves characterizing deposit layers of gallium oxide in semiconductors using the positron beam. She has a background in studying metal oxide particles and nanoparticles and has been involved in her current research since January 2022. She loves the technical process of her work and is excited to see the applications of the results in places like LANL. She plans to work in the semi-conductor industry upon completion of her thesis.  

Riley Ferguson is currently at Los Alamos helping the construct the positron beam to match the one built here in BG. He has been rotating between completing course work here and conducting research in Los Alamos since Fall 2021. He loves how his research is able to track radiation damage atom by atom, which is a unique aspect of working with the positron beam. He plans to pursue a PhD in Physics after he returns from Los Alamos in Summer 2023.  

Dr. Selim’s extensive range of work has opened doors for these students, among many others, to explore Physics in exciting and innovative ways. Her ongoing relationship with LANL will provide student research opportunities for years to come.     -HHM


Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Physics are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate thorough conceptual understanding of the basic field of physics;
  • Describe and manipulate fundamental physical constructs and solve problems with mathematics and computational methods;
  • Use basic experimental apparatus common to the study of physical phenomena;
  • Communicate scientific ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Physics program will undergo Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2019-20.

Updated: 03/07/2023 04:38PM