Location: Building, 50, Room 2600Phone: (904) 620-2729Fax: (904) 620-1989 Web Address: www.unf.edu/coas/physics
Dr. James L. Garner, Chair
The mission of the Department of Physics is to serve the people of the State of Florida and beyond by providing excellent educational experiences in physics, astronomy and earth science, advancing knowledge in physics through research, and service to the university, public and our profession. As a primary constituent of a liberal arts education, we seek to foster an appreciation of the physical world and an understanding of the scientific method of inquiry. We aspire to install in our students the principles, motivations, comprehension, and vision to prepare them for careers in physics and related fields, for physics teaching careers, and for intellectual growth throughout their lives.
The Department of Physics offers the Bachelor of Science degree in physics with eight concentrations: traditional physics, astrophysics, engineering physics with civil or electrical or mechanical engineering emphases, and computing emphasis, physics: materials science and premedical physics for those students who desire to matriculate to a medical school or a graduate program in medical physics. A minor is also offered in physics. Interested students may decide to major in physics while choosing the physics teaching option which combines the physics baccalaureate degree with an education minor. The department offers honors-in-the physics major. The department encourages the more applied-oriented physics majors to take part in industrial internships, a teaching apprenticeship program, and an exchange programs at the University of Technology of Troyes, France for our majors. Finally, planning is under consideration to develop a Masters in Materials Physics in collaboration with the UNF Chemistry 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 be important for individuals and society. The department faculty are committed to excellence in undergraduate instruction and have the two-fold objectives of teaching physics, astronomy and earth science to students from all programs of the university while also educating competent baccalaureate physicist who engage in active and productive funded research on topics of current interest to society at large.
Students in the physics program often participate in the research of our faculty. Currently, physics students can participate in research on the experimental and theoretical properties of magnetic semiconductors and high -Tc superconductors, magnetic materials, optical studies of correlated electron systems, non-linear optical and electrical transport properties of metallic and semiconducting nanocrystals, theoretical astrophysics of black holes, experimental and computational nuclear physics, physics history, and experimental membrane, interface, and sensor physics. The department has an extraordinary array of major research instruments for a comprehensive university of UNF’s size: two atomic force microscopes, pulsed laser, scanning electron microscope, Raman spectrometer, SQUID magnetometer, physical properties measurement system and thermal and electron vacuum deposition systems for thin films. In addition, the department is in the process of installing a Helium liquefication facility that will put UNF physics at the forefront of research at primarily undergraduate universities in the nation. By a judicious choice of courses, students in research programs can obtain credit toward graduation.
Many physics students receive financial support from faculty research grants (national science foundation, research corporation, and the department of defense), and university grants and scholarships to support their research activities under the mentorship of the faculty. Students are often times employed by the university and department as tutors and graders. The department supports students via scholarships (e.g., Hercules and the Shacter). The department supports an active Society of Physics Students on campus.
Two-thirds of the physics graduates at UNF over the past decade have continued their studies in graduate or professional schools around the nation and the world.
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