Physics and Astronomy


Are you interested in understanding how atoms can be cooled and trapped using lasers and magnetic fields, investigating fundamental symmetries in particle physics, or studying the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time? Want to perform experiments using X-ray diffraction, lasers, and a Michelson-Morley interferometer? At Colby, you can.

Students in the Physics and Astronomy Department are challenged to think analytically about the fundamental principles of physics, and they have opportunities to collaborate with professors on research in atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter physics, theoretical physics, and observational astronomy. By the end of the core curriculum in modern physics, students are able to solve Schrödinger’s equation—the fundamental equation in quantum mechanics—and understand the consequences of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

The expertise of faculty members further expands options for study, and students can choose from an array of upper-level courses in physics and astronomy including thermodynamics, cosmology, astrophysics, and nuclear and particle physics.