Physics Department

The Physics Department encourages curiosity about the physical universe.

The department strives to help students:

  • Gain an appreciation for the historical and philosophical context of theoretical and experimental science, and how scientific ideas develop over time
  • Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to perform both conceptual and quantitative analysis of physical phenomena
  • Understand the impact that physical science investigations have had on the global development of human society

Students majoring in scientific fields other than physics will:

  • Develop familiarity with essential physics concepts and the relationship between physics and other scientific fields
  • Gain an understanding of physics sufficient for admission to professional schools and graduate programs outside physics
  • Better understand the power and limits of physics as a mode of human understanding by engaging in laboratory experiences that encourage exploration

Students majoring in physics will:

  • Obtain a depth and breadth of understanding of both classical and modern physics sufficient for success in graduate programs in physics or engineering
  • Grow in technical skills and analytical ability so that upon graduation they are prepared to succeed in a variety of interesting and challenging work environments or academic settings
  • Develop the ability to design and perform experiments to investigate physical problems, and draw justifiable conclusions given the uncertainties inherent in all experiments
  • Better understand the practice of science and engineering by engaging in one or more experiences of extended applied learning, such as high-quality research experiences, team-oriented project-based learning, and/or an off-campus internship
  • Develop the ability to communicate scientific ideas effectively, in a way that is consistent with their understanding and that of their audience.
Minh smiles at the camera, and in the background is a waterfall.

Nguyen will receive $5,000 from the Thomas D. Rossing Fund for Physics Education for the 2023-24 academic year.


May 11 2023
Professor Pedlar stands next to two students, consulting with them over a computer

“At Luther, we have a long tradition of preparing students for a future in the various disciplines of engineering,” said Todd K. Pedlar, professor of physics. “In our new program, we’ll serve such students even more completely.”

June 21 2023

This grant will allow more students to actively contribute to research based in Japan aimed at understanding the building blocks of the universe.

September 23 2021