Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy!
The Department of Physics and Astronomy seeks to train student to think analytically in
terms of the fundamental principles of physics. We seek to provide meaningful and welcoming
courses to a diverse group of students who are majors in physics and astronomy, majors in other sciences,
and majors from outside the sciences. Special emphasis is placed upon
independent work and cooperative research with the faculty in atomic and molecular physics,
condensed matter physics, theoretical physics, and infrared astronomy.
Have you ever wondered...
- How do lasers work? How are they used to cool and control atoms?
- How is the quantum world described? How can electrons tunnel through barriers?
- What does it mean that the universe is accelerating?
- How do stars form? How do astronomers capture and process images in the infrared?
- Why does ketchup not like to flow out of a bottle? How do patterns arise in nonlinear interactions?
Study physics and you can learn about these things!
Shown above are students in Colby's sophomore-level Modern Physics course,
working on a lab with their professor.
The photo on the left shows a dye laser used in one of the atomic physics research labs.
To the right, projected on an image of the Colby College seal, is a mode pattern produced in a laser resonance cavity.