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Department of Physics

Physics Matters at Otterbein

Are you curious about the physical universe? Do you want to know more about Physics and how it relates to every aspect of the world around us? Then you've got what we're looking for.

Majors & Minors

The Department offers three physics degree programs: a major in Physics; a major in Physics with a 3+2 Cooperative Engineering; and a major in Physics with Secondary Teaching Licensure. Learn more.

Student Research

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects during the academic year or in the summers. Many of these research projects are conducted as part of an Honors or Distinction project. Faculty members in the department have active research programs in experimental and theoretical particle physics, and experimental atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics. Experimental research is carried out in the Otterbein AMO Lab and at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Learn more.

Student Organizations and Activities

"Starry Mondays" Astronomy Lecture Series
Presented by Dr. Uwe Trittmann, "Starry Mondays" occur on the first Monday of each month during the academic term, and include an informal lecture followed by observing of the night sky from Weitkamp Observatory (weather permitting).

All sessions meet in room 237 of the Science Building. The 2013-2014 Starry Monday series will meet at 7:00 p.m. on October 7, November 4, December 2, February 3 and March 3, and at 8:00 p.m. on April 7 and May 5. Contact the department for directions and weather-related cancellations.

Physics Coffee Hour
Faculty and students discuss a physics-related topic each Monday during the academic year at 3:30 p.m. in room 205 of the Science Building.

Society of Physics Students
Most students participate in the activities of the Society of Physics Students, a national professional society for physics students. We meet regularly for social gatherings, tour nearby research facilities and observatories, and occasionally hold special contests or other events. A highlight from recent years was the rocket design contest, in which student teams tried to build the rocket that would fly the highest with a standard motor.

Student Opportunities

Arthur A. Wiese Engineering Scholarship
This scholarship is open to students with an interest in engineering. Scholarship amounts currently range from $5,000 to $10,000 per year for up to four years, in addition to the other financial aid you receive from Otterbein. Students selecting 3+2 Engineering or Physics as their desired major will be considered automatically for these awards. An interview with members of the physics faculty may be required.

Cardinal Science Scholarship
The Cardinal Science Scholar program provides scholarships and enhanced academic and career programming for students majoring in Physics and Engineering, in addition to other science fields. Students interested in this scholarship program should visit the Cardinal Science Scholar webpage.

Teaching Assistantships
As an undergraduate institution, the Department of Physics at Otterbein employs upper-level students to assist with laboratory preparation and astronomical observing sessions for classes and the general public. Students have found these opportunities to be enjoyable and valuable training.