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  • Courses/Requirements
A Sampling:

PHY-051. Seeing the Light: Concepts of Vision (Same as BIO-051)
An introduction to the biology and physics of vision, from the workings of the eye and brain to recent advances in the development of robotic vision

PHY-054. Laser Technology and Modern Optics
An introduction to lasers and their applications in today's technological society; lab provides hands-on experiences with lasers

PHY-100. First-Year Seminar
Team-taught course introducing a variety of topics, including astronomy, astrophysics, computational physics, quantum measurement, nuclear and particle physics, statistical physics and more

PHY-120. Matter in Motion
Calculus-based introduction to classical mechanics, Newtonian dynamics and energetics of a single particle and of systems of particles. (Integrated class and lab)

PHY-210. The Physics of Modern Medicine: Applications in Imaging, Surgery and Therapy
A look at the technologies used in medicine today and the basic underlying physical principles. Topics range from laser surgery, ultrasound imaging and laparoscopic surgery to nuclear medicine, CAT and MRI scans, and radiation therapy. Covers safety issues and societal implications of the growing use of technology in medicine

PHY-350. Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Includes applications to selected problems in atomic, nuclear and solid state physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Science & Engineering 308
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 388-6254
The Particle Accelerator Laboratory
The Particle Accelerator Laboratory


See where Union takes you:
  • Program Manager, Bose Corp.
  • Physics Teacher, Westwood High School, and Apple Distinguished Educator
  • Applications Engineer, EBM–PAPST
  • Quality Analyst, Pfizer Inc.
  • Electrical Engineer, Advanced Energy Conversion
  • Building Energy Consultant, Serious Materials
  • IT Specialist, University at Albany
  • Coordinator for Education and Outreach, College of Engineering, Drexel University
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Medical Student, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
  • Ph.D. Student, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D. Student in Biophysics, University of Michigan
  • Graduate Student, School of Electrical Engineering, Boston University
  • Senior Reservoir Engineer, Shell Appalachia
  • Resident, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Kenyon College

As a Union Physics major, you will explore the general laws that govern force, matter, motion, energy, time and space.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers Bachelor of Science degrees in both Physics and Astronomy, as well as minors in Physics, Astrophysics and Astronomy.

In small classes, you will learn about the wide spectrum of modern physics, with courses in relativity, string theory, black holes, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and other physical states and relationships that make us see the universe in very different ways.

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Faculty and student research seeks to increase energy storage efficiency.

Our faculty members are the recipients of numerous prestigious grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, NASA and other premiere funding agencies. They (not graduate students) teach all labs, and you will be able to take advantage of instrumentation that is comparable to that of a much larger institution.

Independent research with a faculty colleague is required for the degree in Physics, and this work has often led to meaningful contact in the wider scientific community.

Many of our students spend their summers at Union or at national laboratories doing research. They present their results at regional and national conferences on undergraduate research, at Union's own Steinmetz Symposium each spring and in co-authored articles in scientific journals.

Union is home to local chapters of the Society of Physics Students (SPS); the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma; and the scientific research society, Sigma Xi. The Department of Physics and Astronomy also maintains an active colloquium series to help keep students and faculty in touch with exciting developments elsewhere.

Physics opens doors to a broad range of careers in science, engineering, technology, government, education and the military.