Don't be fooled by our size: we offer all the benefits of a major research university bundled into a program only available at a small liberal-arts institution.  All the professors are active in exciting and cutting-edge research, in which students can become involved as early as their first summer here.  Yet our class sizes are small and there are no graduate students nor graduate teaching assistants.  This ensures that all classes are taught by faculty, students receive individualized attention and mentoring, and faculty have the time and resources to ensure that high-quality teaching remains our highest priority.  Across our entire range of courses, our program rivals those of the best colleges, preparing students for any academic or professional pursuit.  To prove it, consider this: 94% of our majors have been accepted into the graduate program of their choice, or have secured a competative job in research or industry.  To learn more, please download our Departmental Brochure, browse further in this website, or contact the Department Chair below.  You can also join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/goucher.physics.

Ben Sugerman | 410.337.6555 | ben.sugerman@goucher.edu


News & Announcements

Goucher SPS chapter wins AIP grant to build a cloud chamber

Goucher's SPS (Society of Physics Students) chapter has won a $1,230 research award from the Sigma Pi Sigma honors branch of the American Institute of Physics.  The grant funding will support the construction and use of Goucher's first Cloud Chamber.  Congratulations to the whole chapter, the Physics and Astronomy Club, and in particular, Phoebe Yeoh, Alissa Murray, Chloe Gooditis, and Cody Nelson.

As explained in the grant proposal, "The purpose of this project is to design and build a usable cloud chamber, which is a piece of equipment (Fig 1) that allows viewers to see the tracks made by subatomic particles (Fig 2).  By measuring these tracks, viewers can use physics principles to determine what particles made the tracks, as well as other properties such as the particle's mass and momentum.  We will design our cloud chamber to be compact, and will optimize viewing conditions for proper particle track study and measurement.  Our ultimate goal is for the cloud chamber to be put to academic use in our Modern Physics classroom, as well as in demonstrations and scientific outreach programs.  We plan to both lead and involve multiple Goucher students, including freshman and sophomores, in the design and building process.  Our hope is to give them the experience of collaborating on a long-term scientific research project, develop hands-on skills in equipment design and testing, and practice scientific communication skills.  Once computed, the cloud chamber will remain a permanent piece of equipment for use in Goucher's Physics and Astronomy classes."

Fig 1. A sample cloud chamber (from wikipedia.com)Fig 2. Sample cloud-chamber tracks (from discovery.com).

As of today, most of the equipment has been purchased and our students have been hard at work in our machine shop and Dr. Ali Bakhshai's research lab to construct the components.  We congratulate our students on an excellent proposal (click here for the full text) and look forward to announcing the chamber's first tracks next semester!

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Goucher Physics Students prepare for University research.

Three Goucher Physics majors are preparing to head off to research universities for the 2014 Summer.

Phoebe Yeoh ('15) was accepted into summer-research programs at Penn State, Rutgers, University of Connecticut, and Duke University.  She has chosen to spend her summer at Penn State, working in Materials Science with Dr. Susan Trolier-Mckinstry on adjustable optics for the SMART-X X-ray telescope.  Phoebe will be depositing piezoelectric thin films onto glass substrates and then characterizing them for structure and electrical/electromechanical properties.  More about the project can be found here

Taryn Bailey ('16) was accepted at both Georgetown and the University of Florida.  She will be spending her summer in Florida, working with Prof. James Hamlin on "High-pressure studies of unconventional superconductors." 

Ashlee Benge ('16) was awarded an all-expenses-paid summer research fellowship in astrochemistry at the University of Leiden in Holland.  She will be working with Dr. Catherine Walsh, studying molecular anions in photon-dominated regions.  

Congrats to all of our students.  We wish you very successful and fun-filled summer experiences!

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