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Department of Physics & Astronomy

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What is physics? Physics is the foundation of science. It is the scientific study of matter and energy and how they interact with each other. But because everything around us is made up of matter and energy, then physics really explains how things work, from the smallest particles to the structure of the universe.

If you have to ask "why study physics," then you don't get science. But if you want to truly understand the world around you, then welcome to our universe. You'll enjoy it here.


Congratulations to Jackson-Milton High School for winning the 2015 edition of the YSU Physics Olympics! Way to go,  Blue Jays.

Go to the Physics Olympics page for complete results.

Ward Beecher Planetarium Logo-Link

James Andrews, Acting Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, OH  44555

© 2001-14 Department of Physics & Astronomy, Youngstown State University

Physics & Astronomy Webmaster: Sharon Shanks

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Congratulations to Dr. James Andrews for receiving one of this year's Distinguished Professor Awards for excellence in service.


watson award image

Physics major Mike Baker checks out the Maag Library bound holdings of PhysRevA.


Another physics major has joined the cadre of "published as an undergraduate."

Michael Baker was among departmental authors of the paper "Structure and symmetry in coherent perfect polarization rotation," which has been accepted for publication as a regular article in Physical Review A, one of the lead journals in the field. 

Known familiarly as PhysRevA, the journal disseminates developments in the area of atomic, molecular, and optic physics and related concepts, anything from quantum mechanics to Bose-Einstein condensation and more. (PhysRevB specializes in condensed matter and materials physics.)

Both are published by the American Physical Society.

Departmental co-authors include Drs. Michael Crescimanno, Chuanhong Zhou, and James Andrews.


Published as an undergraduate: life doesn't get much better

YSU physics majors and student researchers were co-authors of the paper "Chromatic Control in Coextruded Layered Polymer Microlenses," which has been published in Optics Express, the international online journal of optics. Included as co-authors are Cory Merlo, Cameron Bagheri, Connor Hetzel, and James Tancabel and recent graduate, Joshua B. Petrus. The lead author was Mike Crescimanno, with contributions by Tom Oder, Chuanhong Zhou, James Andrews, and CLiPS colleagues at Case Western Reserve.


Read more at YSU News Center and newsroom.ysu.edu/12634.

Did you know?
  • That 2015 is the International Year of Light?"
    In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society." 
    Learn more at the IYL webLinksite.
  • Why there's always a breeze when you open the doors to Ward Beecher Hall? It's because the building sucks. Literally. All departments in the building, expecially Chemistry, have fume hoods to limit exposure to hazardous or toxic fumes. The hoods pull the room's air in and exhaust it through a filter system on the roof of the building. As a result, there's always a slight negative pressure in the building, thus it pulls in outside air when the doors are open.

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