Welcome to the Physics Department

The importance of physics in the intellectual and economic life of the 21st century is clear to thoughtful individuals.  The increased use of complex technologies in microelectronics, environmental physics, optics, space and renewable energies, defense, health care, nanotechnology, manufacturing and other industries provides ample evidence that the value of understanding physics will continue to increase for individuals and society.



Are you considering going to medical or law school? A physics degree is a great way to prepare for these professional schools. Click here to see how physics students did on the MCAT and LSAT exams!

Welcome to the new faculty in the department this Fall 2015:


Dr. Jason Haraldsen, Assistant Professor of Physics (Postdocs, Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Labs and PhD, University of Tennessee) is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who uses computational tools to study the properties of new and novel materials.


Dr. Jack Hewitt, Assistant Professor of Physics (Postdoc, NASA Goddard and PhD, Northwestern University) is an experimental astrophysicist who studies high energy particles such as cosmic rays and gamma rays. He is affiliated with the NASA Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope.


Dr. Gregory Wurtz, Associate Professor of Physics (Postdoc, Argonne National Lab and Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland, and PhD, University of Technology of Troyes, France) is an experimental condensed matter physicist who studies plasmonics and nanoscale optics using scanning probe microscopy. 

A new Helium liquefier facility is being installed. We anticipate the facility will be operational Fall 2015.



The Physics Department at UNF endeavors to create learning opportunities for our students, as evidenced by the launch of these initiatives


For the Physics Internship Program, see the Chair of the Department of Physics. Also, note that the host internship and student internship application forms are linked on this page to the top right under "Helfpul Links".






Many UNF physics graduates have continued their studies in graduate or professional schools, including the likes of Rice University, Stanford University, Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, University of California-Berkeley, Cologne University in Germany, University of Florida, Florida State University, Mayo Clinic Medical College, and the American University of Beirut. Other graduates have taken positions in national laboratories (Los Alamos, NASA), the military, private industry (e.g., Saft, Vistakon, Saft Battery, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, etc.) and secondary teaching (e.g., Stanton College Preparatory School, Paxon School of Advanced Studies, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, etc.).




Our faculty are noted researchers and contribute regularly to the community at large. 

  • Our faculty have secured research grant sponsorship from national research granting agencies, including NASA, Department of Defense (DOD), Research Corporation, and the National Science Foundation (NSF.)
  • Drs. Thomas Pekarek and Lev Gasparov are Terry Presidential Professors. 



The department has an extraordinary array of major research instruments for a comprehensive university of UNF’s size. The equipment is valued at well over $3 million dollars:

  • Multi-Node PC Cluster (coming soon)
  • Helium liquefier
  • SQUID Magnetometer
  • Two MBE chambers for thin film fabrication
  • Physical Properties Measurement System (PPMS)
  • Raman Spectrometer
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with EDAX and (coming soon) electron beam lithography capabilities
  • Femtosecond Pulsed Laser
  • Two Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM)
  • Thermal and Electron Beam Thin Film Deposition Systems