2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Apr 13, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Physics

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Douglas Raynie, Department Head
Department of Physics
Daktronics Engineering Hall 255



Larry Browning, Yung Huh, Robert McTaggart

Associate Professor

Parashu Kharel


Geoffrey Bonvallet, W. Robert Matson, Rajendra Pokharel, Judy Vondruska


George Duffey, Hans Graetzer, Ora Leisure, Oren Quist, Joel Rauber


The mission of the SDSU Physics Department is to serve the public good by preparing students for the future as professionals and citizens. This mission is accomplished by providing high quality physics instruction for majors, non-majors and the community-at-large, conducting and disseminating scientific research to advance the frontiers of knowledge in Physics and Astronomy, and serving the community through education, technical expertise, and outreach activities.

The program and course offerings provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge, skills and abilities to enter graduate school or employment within the STEM fields. Students develop an understanding of the mathematical and theoretical foundations of the physical sciences and develop capabilities in laboratory experimental design and analysis. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, nationwide internship programs, and other resources and opportunities that complement the coursework provided in the physics programs. The faculty members are recognized as experts in their field and are dedicated to student success.

Department Objectives

  • to serve students with an interest in a professional future in physics or its allied disciplines;
  • to serve students interested in professional careers in allied physics fields such as engineering, medical/health physics and many other possibilities;
  • to serve students from various colleges within the University who need a basic understanding of physics;
  • add to the knowledge base of humanity through research and scholarship
  • provide educational support to the citizens of South Dakota and surrounding region through outreach activities.




Facilities & Services

The Physics department is located in Daktronics Engineering Hall and Crothers Engineering Hall. The department often hosts teacher workshops each summer. The focus of these workshops is to increase student interest and ability in math and science. Several camps are also offered for students through the College of Engineering which focus on a wide variety of engineering careers, including physics. In addition to these outreach activities, faculty members provide astronomy star parties for local schools, serve as judges for local and regional science fairs and act as a resource for students and teachers statewide.

Student Support & Engagement Opportunities

The department offers opportunities for academic student engagement through coursework, research, and internships. Other avenues for student engagement through the department are provided by student organizations. The Physics Department sponsors local chapters of The Society of Physics Students (SPS – the primary physics student organization) and The Sigma Pi Sigma (the Physics honor society).

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