Department of Physics

Upcoming Events


  • 2016 Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Congress, November 3, 2016 to November 6, 2016, in San Francisco
  • Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, Friday, January 13, 2017 to Sunday, January 15, 2017, UCLA
  • American Physical Society March Meeting, Monday, March 5, 2018 to Friday, March 9, 2018 in Los Angeles


Physics Department News

Department Newsletters

Older News



"A Grand Tour of the Universe"

Andrew Fraknoi
Mon, Oct 22, 2007 at 10:00am

Location: Samuelson Chapel

In this non-technical program, astronomer Andrew Fraknoi will take participants on a "tourist's tour" of the universe as astronomers understand it today, starting with the planets and moons of our own solar system and then out into the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. Fraknoi will illustrate his presentation with the latest color images from the Hubble Space Telescope, probes that flew by or orbited the planets, and the world's largest telescopes on the ground.

As an educator, Fraknoi is known for his skill in interpreting astronomical discoveries and ideas in everyday language. He is Chair of the Astronomy Program at Foothill College near San Francisco, where he teaches courses on "astronomy and physics for poets."

A prolific author, Fraknoi has edited two collections of science articles and science fiction stories for Bantam Books, and is the lead author of Voyages through the Universe, which has become one of the leading astronomy textbooks in the world. He also is a frequent guest and commentator on radio and television. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 'Asteroid Fraknoi' to honor his work in sharing the excitement of modern astronomy with students, teachers and the public.

Summer 2007:

Caltech Road Trip:

Student Researchers:

Swenson Scholars

  • Terri Kimmel
    • Analysis of Square Patterns in Rotating Rayleigh-Benard Convection
  • Patricia Lorraine Mutyaba
    • The Effect of the Centrifugal Force on the Formation of Square Patterns in High Rotation Rate Rayleigh-Benard Convection
  • Sam Walton
    • Pattern Defects within Rotating Rayleigh-Benard Convection


  • Katie White
    • Lyapunov Exponents for Turbulent Rayleigh-Benard Convection

Fall 2006: