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Department of Physics

Physics at Otterbein

Physics: the study of matter, energy, and the fundamental laws of the universe. Are you curious about the physical universe? Want to know about subatomic particles?  Want to see how atoms behaved when cooled down almost to absolute zero?  Then come study with us!

Majors & Minors

The Department offers several physics degree programs. Click each to see more. 

We also offer a Minor in Physics.

Student Research

Students are encouraged to participate in research projects during the academic year or in the summers. Many of these research projects are conducted as part of an Honors or Distinction project. Faculty members in the department have active research programs in experimental and theoretical particle physics, and experimental atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics. Experimental research is carried out in the Otterbein AMO Lab and at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Learn more.

Student Organizations and Activities

Physics Coffee Hour
Faculty and students discuss a physics-related topic each Monday during the academic year at 3:30 p.m. in room 205 of the Science Building.

Physics Problem Solving
Problem solving sessions (with snacks!) take place each Monday evening and feature a physics faculty member in attendance along with students at all levels.

Society of Physics Students
Most students participate in the activities of the Society of Physics Students, a national professional society for physics students. We meet regularly for social gatherings, tour nearby research facilities and observatories, and occasionally hold special contests or other events. A highlight from recent years was the rocket design contest, in which student teams tried to build the rocket that would fly the highest with a standard motor.

Student Opportunities

Arthur A. Wiese Engineering Scholarship
This scholarship is open to students with an interest in engineering. Scholarship amounts currently range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year for up to four years, in addition to the other financial aid you receive from Otterbein. Students selecting 3+2 Engineering or Systems Engineering as their desired major will be considered automatically for these awards. An interview with members of the physics faculty may be required.

Cardinal Science Scholarship
The Cardinal Science Scholar program provides scholarships and enhanced academic and career programming for students majoring in Physics and Engineering, in addition to other science fields. Students interested in this scholarship program should visit the Cardinal Science Scholar webpage.

Teaching Assistantships
As an undergraduate institution, the Department of Physics at Otterbein employs upper-level students to assist with laboratory preparation and astronomical observing sessions for classes and the general public. Students have found these opportunities to be enjoyable and valuable training.