The Department of Physics and Astronomy

We provide students a complete and rigorous undergraduate education in physics culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree. Our curriculum provides the ideal preparation for physics or engineering graduate school, careers in scientific research, or professions as educators. We are a dedicated faculty that is passionate about teaching and we are committed to the meaningful involvement of undergraduates in research. With small class sizes and varied research opportunities, we offer a unique learning opportunity for students interested in the natural sciences. 


A rare and special event, a total solar eclipse, will occur on Monday, August 21st, 2017. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States since 1979, a wait of 38 years! The path of totality, the area where people will be able to see the entire Sun blocked, will be 67 miles wide and will pass through 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina and over the homes of 12 million people; 200 million people live within a one day drive of the path of totality. Depending where you are in the path, totality will last between two and three minutes. If you are not in the path of totality, you will see a partial eclipse where the Moon will block part of the Sun, making the Sun look like it has had a bite taken out of it. Where you are in the country will determine how much of the Sun is blocked; in Northern Colorado approximately 95% of the Sun will be blocked. The partial eclipse in Colorado will start at 10:23 am and last until 1:14 pm; the peak will be at 11:47 am.


Total Solar Eclipse - August 21 2017

The UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy will be holding a series of public talks about the eclipse. These talks will include information about what causes eclipses, why they are so rare, how to observe the upcoming eclipse safely, and science that is done with eclipses. Free eclipse glasses will also be available at these talks.

Wednesday, August 9th at 6:00pm – Erie Community Library
Tuesday, August 15th at 6:00pm – Centennial Park Library
Thursday, August 17th at 6:00pm – Carbon Valley Regional Library
Saturday, August 19th at 2:00pm – Loveland Aleworks

If you have additional questions, please feel free to email Dr. Charles Kuehn

Congratulations to the Physics & Astronomy Academic Scholar Award winners, seen here with Professor Matt Semak at the NHS College event. (top, L-R): Semak, William Mendoza, Ryan Fabian, Arick Sweitzer, (bottom, L-R): Alexandra Briggs, Kourteney Zadina, and Zachary Rossiter.

UNC Physics Academic Scholars 2017

UNC Physics presented their work on "Postural Control: A Study of One-Legged Stance" at the Dynamics Days 2017 conference held in Silver Spring, MD.

UNC Dynamics Days

Congrats to our Fall 2016 UNC Physics grads (L-R): Derek Bernard, Veronica Buchanan, Shelby Burns, Carolyn Shaw (Math), Stefan Lamb.

UNC Physics Grads Fall 2016

UNC Physics presented work on "Ionization dynamics in intense two-color circularly polarized laser fields" and "Surface profilometry using vortex beams" at the OSA Frontiers in Optics conference in Rochester, NY.

UNC Physics FiO 2016

UNC Physics teamed up with CU-Boulder, publishing their recent work on "Controlling Nonsequential Double Ionization in Two-Color Circularly Polarized Femtosecond Laser Fields" in Physical Review Letters.

UNC Physics PRL Fig1

UNC Physics presented their work on "Can a Nonverbal Intelligence Test Predict FCI Performance" at the AAPT Summer Meeting in Sacramento, CA.

UNC Physics AAPT 2016

UNC Physics presented their work on "RR Lyrae Stars in M4" at the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium Conference held in the Azores.

UNC Physics Kepler Poster


"Quantum" Drops

UNC Physics Movie Trailer


Grub Bot at the Sand Dunes


Physics Alumn on BattleBots