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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.  

Physics & Astronomy Seminar

Friday, April 20 @3:30pm (Ross 0220)
Mechanical Properties of Nanoparticles
Justin Morse, UNC Physics


Congratulations to the 2018 Physics & Astronomy Academic Scholar Award winners: Rydell Stottlemeyer, Caleb Dahlke, Clayton Orback, John Ringler, Joshua Fender, and Andrew Roth.

 2018 UNC ASA

Congratulations to Prof. Matt Semak!!

Dr. Semak was awarded the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year Award at the NHS Excellence Awards Ceremony held on February 1, 2018.

UNC Physics Semak Award

UNC Physics presented three talks and four posters at the APS Four Corners Section Annual Meeting held at CSU: 

Doing Research with Undergraduates in a Bachelor's-only Physics and Astronomy Department: Challenges and Successes (Dr. Semak), Ionization Dynamics in Intense Bicircular Laser Fields (Dr. Chaloupka), Thermodynamic Studies of Phase Transitions in Inflationary Cosmology  (Dr. Mallory), Measuring Atmospheric Muon Flux during the 2017 Solar Eclipse (Fender, Ringler, Morse), Electroencephalography and the Mechanical Operation of an Exoskeletal Arm (Helms, Zadina), Postural Control: A Sample Entropy Approach to One-Legged Stance (McMillan), Biomimicry: Designing and Building a Multilegged Robot (Sweitzer).

APS Physics

UNC Physics teamed up with CU-Boulder, publishing their recent work on "Observation of Ionization Enhancement in Two-Color Circularly Polarized Laser Fields" in Physical Review A.

counter rotating fields trajectories

UNC Physics was well represented at the Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting of the AAPT, where students presented FIVE posters:

Biomimicry: Design and Construction of a Mulitlegged Robot (Sweitzer), Investigating the Impact of a Solar Eclipse on Atmospheric Radiation (Fender, Ringler, Morse, Angstead), Postural Control: A Sample Entropy Approach to One-Legged Stance (McMillan, Semak, Heise), Electroencephalograpy and the Mechanical Operation of an Exoskeletal Arm (Helms, Zadina), Psychoacoustics: Understanding Sonic Intelligibility (Briggs)

 UNC Physics at 2017 CoWy AAPT

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


"Quantum" Drops

UNC Physics Movie Trailer


Grub Bot at the Sand Dunes


Physics Alumn on BattleBots