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General Information

About the Department

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has 12 full-time faculty, 10 Masters level graduate students, and about 30 undergraduate physics majors.

  • In 38 years of offering a graduate program, the Department has awarded over 160 graduate degrees.

  • Faculty have published over 30 refereed journal articles and papers in the past 3 years.

  • Teaching excellence in the Department is evidenced by nominations of two faculty members for the Outstanding Teacher Award several years running.

  • Operations of the BGSU Planetarium and Observatory extend the Department's and the University's outreach in science education - an average of 3,500 general public and 4,000 school children visit these facilities each year.

Computational Physics Program

  • The Computational Physics program reflects the ever-increasing use of computational methods in all areas of physics. Appropriate computational techniques are incorporated at all instructional levels, from introductory to masters level. Computational Physics also provides a unifying emphasis for much of the research in the Department.

  • The program has generated over $100,000 in external funding over the past 2 years.

  • The program has a strong link to the Ohio Supercomputer Center - G. C. Duncan is a member of several committees for the Center, and has served as chairman of the Allocations Committee and chairman of the State-Wide Users Group.

  • Research Challenge, other capital funding, and individual research grants have helped equip the Department with 8 Sun Microsystems and 15 Silicon Graphics workstations.

  • The Department houses a five-machine beowulf cluster providing powerful parallel computing capability plus access to similar clusters at the Ohio Supercomputer Center and around the state.

  • Our facilities and links with Ohio Supercomputer Center have served and continue to serve as a valuable resource for NW Ohio industry.


  • A number (5) of graduates of the program with earned doctorates currently hold faculty positions at well-known universities.

  • Two alumni of the program, Dr. John Swihart and Dr. Harold Davis, have been honored as outstanding alumni for their prominence in industry.

  • A total of 13 graduates of the graduate and the undergraduate programs have earned the doctorate (Ph.D, M.D.,D.V.M.), and at least 15 more are currently enrolled in doctoral programs.

  • Several incoming physics undergraduates earned National Merit Finalist or Semifinalist status.

Research and Instructional Facilities

  • Over $300,000 has been spent on upper and lower level instructional laboratory facilities in the past five years.

  • Every student in the introductory physics sequence receives hands-on experience with the techniques of physical measurement, including use of microcomputers for data acquisition.

  • The Department's Observatory houses a half-meter reflector telescope with CCD camera for enhanced electronic observation of the sky.

  • Research facilities include: femtosecond non-linear optics facility, a fully-equipped low-temperature laboratory, a CCD-based imaging system, Fast Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer for optical measurements on thin films, and a clean ultra-high vacuum evaporation system with resistive and electron-gun evaporation systems.

  • Computational facilities include: Sun and Silicon Graphics workstations; a five-machine beowulf cluster for parallel computing; a 1MB/sec link to the Ohio Supercomputer Center; 30 Apple Macintosh computers for laboratory-based instruction at both introductory and upper level; a wide variety of other microprocessors for specialized courses in interfacing, electronics and microcomputers.

Updated: 08/09/2018 02:05PM