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About the Physics Department

In this Section

Physics combines abstract concepts of mathematics and philosophy with applied aspects of instrumentation and engineering. It deals with the behavior and interaction of matter, energy, space and time, and also provides the basis for the development of technology.  The physics program at Clarkson encompasses these broad facets of this unique subject.

Our undergraduate and graduate curricula are focused on developing critical thinking skills and the mathematical techniques necessary to solve a broad range of problems, including those of highly interdisciplinary nature.

The coursework is designed to provide in-depth training in the fundamental areas of physics, utilizing the most current education strategies and technologies. At the same time, through graduate and undergraduate research, students gain firsthand experience in various modern technological applications of their physics knowledge.

The department provides a vigorous research environment that spans over a wide range of areas including biological physics, cosmology, foundations of quantum mechanics, nanomaterials, optics, physics education, physics of fluids, quantum computing, statistical physics and surfaces physics.

Faculty research of highest eminence is the key to the quality of the education, undergraduate as well as graduate that is offered in physics at Clarkson. It is the unique symbiosis between graduate and undergraduate research and learning that distinguishes our program from many others.

Physics Department News

Clarkson University Sets Science Cafes for Spring in Potsdam & Canton

Local university professors will once again take to the stage starting Feb. 16 for the "Science Café."

Science Cafes bring together local university and college professors and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion. Read More…

Clarkson University Assistant Professor Maria Gracheva Receives CAREER Award from National Science Foundation

Assistant Professor Maria Gracheva, Clarkson University Department of Physics, has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to perform research on computational models of solid-state devices for biomolecular sensing and detection. Read More…

Prestigious Physical Chemistry Journal Features Clarkson University Research on Cover

A leading physical chemistry research publication featured the work of a Clarkson University research team on a cover of a spring issue. Read More…

Clarkson University Professor Helps Develop New Poster Series for the Optical Society

Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Physics Jan Scrimgeour has helped write the Optical Society's new educational poster series in celebration of the 2015 International Year of Light. Read More…

Clarkson University Awarded $1.3 Million by New York State Education Department for Grade 7-12 STEM Outreach

Clarkson University has been awarded $1,306,910 by the New York State Education Department for continuation of Clarkson's grade 7-12 educational outreach program, IMPETUS for Career Success. IMPETUS stands for Integrated Math and Physics for Entry to Undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Read More…


Clarkson University is a nationally ranked research university and the institution of choice for more than 3,500 enterprising, high-ability undergraduate and graduate students.  Through 50+ programs, we educate remarkably effective engineers, scientists, health professionals, business people, and creative leaders who easily defy convention and engage “What’s next.”  Above, Physics Professor Michael Ramsdell utilizing the updated lecture hall (SC360) for the Freshman Physics program.