Physics is the fundamental natural science. At its simplest, it is the study of energy and matter, their interactions, and their motion through space and time. Our department mentors an average of 22 majors in each class year, with the aim of giving students the tools needed to study the nature of the universe. At Carleton, you can work with eight faculty members in a wide variety of courses and labs, exploring many different aspects of Physics, including Newtonian mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, thermodynamics, optics, and electricity & magnetism. Students can also work individually or in small groups doing research with faculty members to study specific areas of interest.

Astronomy, inseparably linked with Physics, can have particular appeal for those who wonder about the universe on a grand scale. Whether investigating elementary particles or surveying galactic superclusters, the broad scope of courses and research opportunities at Carleton gives Physics and Astronomy students a well-rounded understanding of the physical world and how things in it work.

We join with physicists and astronomers around the world in acknowledging the systemic racism that is limiting the participation of Black individuals and other individuals of color in our fields. As a department we commit to learning about racism, listening to our students, discussing with each other, and taking actions to become anti-racist. Stay tuned for updates on what the faculty, staff, and students in Physics and Astronomy will be doing throughout 2023-2024 and beyond.