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Department of Physics & 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 & Foam

The Physics of Santa Claus
Saturday, November 23 @ 2pm
Loveland Aleworks
We all know that Santa has a very busy night on Christmas Eve, delivering presents to good boys and girls all over the world.  Traditionally people turn to magic as the explanation for how Santa can do all this in one night but could physics provide an explanation?  Dr. Charles Kuehn and Dr. Mariana Lazarova from the UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy will talk about how Einstein’s Theory of Relativity works and how the strange effects of fast moving objects can make Santa’s job easier. Come get in the holiday spirit with cool science, fun demos, great beer, and trivia for prizes!
 UNC Physics & Foam Loveland Aleworks

Bears Football

UNC Physics major Jace Bobo poses with a proud mom and dad and an excited Prof. Chaloupka after a stunning Bears Football win. Jace stopped a fourth quarter Idaho drive with a play-of-the-game interception, setting up the Bears for the game-winning field goal. Go UNC Physics and Go Bears!!


UNC Physics Bears Football

New Publication!

Prof. Kuehn and collaborators recently published an article in the journal Acta Astronomica on Variable Stars in M13. III. The Cepheid Variables and their Relation to Evolutionary Changes in Metal-poor BL Her Stars.
 UNC Acta Astronomica

Astronomy Night

Profs. Charles Kuehn and Dick Dietz attended the Muscular Dystrophy summer camp at Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, CO. They helped campers look at some binary stars, a globular star cluster, and Jupiter through telescopes, and attendees even got to hold one of the department meteorites.
UNC Astronomy at MD summer camp


(left-right): Sergio Chacon, Jordan French, Robert Ensley, Tyler DeVerse, Rydell Stottlemyer, Juan Marcos Avina, Natthakan Koetchaeng, Alec Bennington, (not pictured): Daniel Herrera, Joseph Maletta, Tyler Onufrak, Clayton Orback, Andrew Roth, Quinton Snouffer
UNC Physics Grads 2019

May the Fourth

On Friday, May 3rd Dr. Charles Kuehn, Dr. Mariana Lazarova, and student Alec Bennington visited S. Christa McAuliffe STEM Academy in Greeley as part of their annual Star Wars Day festivities. Over 550 students learned about how we see far, far away galaxies as they were a long time ago, how black holes work, and the differences between asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteorites; students even got to hold a real meteorite.
UNC Physics & Astronomy May the Fourth


Graduating physics major Clayton Orback, who has successfully completed the upper-division honors program, was awarded the Becky R. Edgerton Memorial Honors Scholarship Award for oustanding honors thesis! Congratulations Clayton, this prestigious university-wide award is the result of your hard work, creativity, and committment to your research project.
UNC Physics Clayton Orback Edgerton Award

Space Research Symposium

Rydell Stottlemyer, Brian Smith, Robert Ensley, Quinton Snouffer, and Juan Marcos Avina presented their research at the 2019 Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium held at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Their work was sponsored by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, a NASA-funded and state-wide organization involving 21 colleges, universities and institutions around Colorado. Read more ....

APS April Meeting

UNC Physics & Astronomy was well represented at the American Physical Society April Meeting held in Denver April 13-16, with three poster presentations and an oral presentation. Pictured here, Juan Marcos Avina, Clayton Orback, and Noah Blair discuss their research with interested meeting participants.
UNC Physics at APS April Meeting

Demosat Launch!

Undergraduate students from UNC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy designed, constructed, and tested an experiment that was part of a balloon payload launched from Eaton Middle School in Eaton, CO on April 6th. Their work is a part of the DemoSat Program conducted by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.  Read more ...
UNC Physics DemoSat Launch 2019


Dr. Courtney Willis, Dr. Charles Kuehn, and UNC Physics students Quinton Snouffer and Sergio Chacon  astounded a packed house with several entertaining "magical" demonstrations at Physics & Foam. The event took place on Saturday, April 13th at 2:00pm at Loveland Aleworks. Also, check out the article on a previous Physics & Foam event in the UNC Mirror.
UNC Physics & Foam


Congratulations to the 2019 UNC Physics & Astronomy Academic Scholar Award winners! Awardees were honored at the NHS ceremony on Sunday, March 3. Pictured left to right: Juan Marcos Avina, Natthakan Koetchaeng, Alec Bennington, Noah Blair, Quinton Snouffer, and Sergio Chacon.


UNC Physics ASA 2019

Dynamics Days Conference

Prof. Semak presented a poster at the Dynamics Days conference held at Northwestern University January 4-6 2019 on Examining Human Unipedal Quiet Stance: Smoothness.
UNC Physics Dynamics Days Unipedal 2019

Total Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse was visible across the United States on Sunday, January 20th. This was the last total lunar eclipse anywhere in the world until 2021 and the last one visible in Colorado until September 2025. Members of the University of Northern Colorado Physics and Astronomy department held a special eclipse viewing session at the UNC Astronomy Lab.
Lunar Eclipse

Astronomy Outreach

Prof. Mariana Lazarova and her intrepid Astronomy 100 students held a massively successful outreach event for 100 local 4th grade students at the University Center. Students took part in fifteen activities on topics ranging from the sun, the moon, and the galaxy, to filtered light, rockets, dark matter, and climate change.
Lazarova UNC Astronomy Outreach

APS Four Corners Section

UNC Physics students Sergio Chacon, Maya Davidson, and Tyler Onufrak recently attended the APS Four Corners Section Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Maya served on the organizing committee, and Tyler presented his work on Imaging and Mapping of Quantum-Like Behavior in a Hydrodynamic System.
UNC Physics Tyler Onufrak at APS 4CS

Bears Go Big

UNC Bears go out into the world to do BIG and significant work. Meet Adam Wilson, Founder of Sphero and a 2010 UNC Physics Alum.

UNC helped me prepare for my success [and] gave me the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research.

See other Bears going big.