History

peter white hallBetween 1899 and 1962, physics was taught under the label "physical sciences." Classes were taught in the Peter White Hall of Science (pictured right), which was remodeled in the 1950s. By the early '60s, it was obvious that a new facility was needed and the West Science Building was constructed and opened in 1966.

The physics faculty has remained around five members since the 1960s. The introduction of computer courses, which occurred during the mid-1970s, was a significant change for the department. In 1972, a Sprinkle telescope was donated to the university and an observatory was placed in operation three years later. The addition of an astronomy class had drawn non-majors to lectures of 50-80 students. One change that has occurred in recent years is the shift from lecture-style courses to lab courses.

The Physics Department offers courses for majors and minors in other curricula: engineering, allied health sciences, biology, chemistry and education. It also offers courses that meet the natural sciences/mathematics liberal studies requirements.

Source: Pages 318-19 of A Sense of Time by Russell Magnaghi.