Physics Department


Map Locates Student Summer Projects From the Cook Islands to Brunswick

When Senior Interactive Developer David Francis looks at the Bowdoin Summer 2016 map he built, he says it’s obvious the “Bowdoin bubble” is a myth. The interactive map allows students to post their summer location and a brief description of what they’re doing.

what matters mtg

‘What Matters’ Campus Conversations: Diversity in the Science Classroom

‘What Matters’ campus conversation discusses diversity in the physics classroom.

ligo lab

Alexa Staley ’11 Involved in LIGO’s Detection of Gravitational Waves

Once upon a time, an indescribably long distance away, two black holes collided and merged. 1.3 billion years later, scientists in two different observatories — one on the West coast, the other in Louisiana — picked up the “ripples” caused by that cataclysmic event: the first time these types of gravitational waves have been detected. […]

Physics chairs

Two Physics Professors Appointed to Endowed Chairs

Two Bowdoin physics professors – Thomas Baumgarte and Stephen Naculich – are honored for their “significant contributions to scholarship at the college.” Baumgarte has been appointed the William R. Kenan Professors of Physics, while Naculich is now the LaCasce Family Professor of Natural Sciences.


Remembering Professor of Physics Emeritus Roy LaCasce (1923-2015)

“Roy’s lifelong devotion to the College is evidence to us all that he was a teacher and a scholar who believed deeply in what we do here and in the power of education to shape and sustain society. Our community says farewell with sadness, but also with a deep sense of gratitude for Roy, for his high standards and many contributions, and for his dedication to Bowdoin.”

Karen Topp

Physics Department Creates New Major for Future High School Teachers

In response to a national shortage of qualified high school physics teachers, Bowdoin’s physics department has teamed up with the education department to create a new major that prepares students to teach physics in secondary schools.


On Course: A Sampling of Bowdoin’s Newest Classes

This semester faculty members are offering many classes new to Bowdoin — 27 in all.

weather vane 350

A Year of Faculty Grants, Fellowships and Honors

Over the past year, Bowdoin faculty from every corner of campus received grants and fellowships to support new and ongoing research projects. Others were honored for their work.


Physics Majors Help Explore Frontiers of Space

Two physics majors from Bowdoin are interning with NASA this summer. Davis Unruh ’16 is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Roya Moussapour ’17 is at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Syphers feat

Syphers Talks with Fox Sports about Deflategate Report’s ‘Glaring Omission’

While Patriots Nation and football fans around the country take in the 243-page report detailing the investigation into Deflategate and its conclusion that it’s “more probable than not” that the New England Patriots deliberately released air from game balls, Professor of Physics Dale Syphers tells Fox Sports there’s a “glaring omission” in the research.

stephen naculich

With New Grant, Bowdoin Physicist Plans High-Energy Research Year

In the four years that the Simons Foundation has been awarding fellowships to theoretical physicists to support their sabbatical research, it has only given one such grant to a physicist at a liberal arts college. Stephen Naculich, professor of physics at Bowdoin, became that first awardee this year.

thomas baumgarte

Physics Professor Baumgarte Describes 100 Years of Gravity

This year is the 100th anniversary of general relativity. In recognition of this anniversary, Thomas Baumgarte, a professor of physics and astronomy, spoke recently to an audience of Bowdoin faculty and staff about the history of our understanding of gravity.

Naculich feat

Naculich Awarded Simons Fellowship

Professor of Physics Stephen Naculich has been awarded a 2015 Simons Foundation Fellowship in Theoretical Physics.

Dale Syphers_football

Bowdoin Physics Prof Runs ‘Deflategate’ Experiment (WCSH, Chronicle of Higher Education)

In response to the National Football League’s “Ballghazi” or “Deflategate” scandal, Professor of Physics Dale Syphers demonstrated for a local TV reporter how footballs can change pressure over the course of a game.


Bowdoin Professors Win Honors and Grants

Bowdoin faculty members across the sciences and humanities continue to garner awards for their work – including research grants, scholarly accolades, and fellowships abroad – from institutions such as the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Fulbright Program.

“Investigation of UV Reflectance Patterns off the Scales of Carrasius auratus as an Important Factor for Female Mate Choice,” by Varun Wadia '15 and mentors Richmond Thompson and Madeleine Msall (photo by Catherine Yochum ’15)

Elgin Encourages Young Scientists at Annual President’s Science Symposium

As keynote speaker for the 2014 President’s Science Symposium, biologist Sarah Elgin offered an inspiring example for the 100-plus Bowdoin research students in the audience, who then presented the fruits of their own research labors through speeches and a poster session.

davis unruh

Off-Campus Scholars: Studying Cosmic Rays and Fisheries Bycatch

Two off-campus researchers, Davis Unruh ’16 and Karl Reinhardt ’15, are, respectively, investigating the skies and the seas this summer.

Bowdoin's Dube lab investigates disease-causing bacteria and develops therapeutics. From left: Sunnie Kuna ’14, Emily Clark ’15, Danielle Dube, Ian Kline ’15, Hallie Carol ’14, Van Tra ’13, and Jen Helble ’14

Insider Views of Science Research at Bowdoin

In the most recent issue of Bowdoin Magazine, “Bring on the Science” offers a taste of what it means to do science research at Bowdoin. Here, students and recent graduates give us the inside scoop.


Bring on the Science (Bowdoin Magazine)

Grab your lab coat and goggles. At Bowdoin, scientific research has a central place in the liberal arts.

Illustration credit: Abby McBride

Tracing the Formation of Massive Galaxies in the Early Universe

Elizabeth McGrath of Colby College presented a lecture on ‘Tracing the Formation of Massive Galaxies in the Early Universe’ in Searles Science Building.