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Department of Physics
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Tomanek Hall 255
Phone: 785-628-4271
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Physics: Hands-on Learning

Physics is naturally interactive, so it stands to reason that classroom lectures alone don’t show you how science can change the world. As a physics major at many other schools, you would only have the opportunity to observe faculty research, but at FHSU you get to conduct your own research projects with our state-of-the-art equipment at your disposal.  Although your opportunities for hands-on learning in the Department of Physics are almost too numerous to mention, here’s a look into what your experience might include.

Interactive Classes
While some lectures are inevitable in college, most of your physics classes pair theoretical discussion with lab experiences where you immediately apply the principles you have just learned.  From practicing basic data gathering techniques to building line-following robots, these structured laboratory experiences occur under the guidance of a seasoned professor ready to address questions as they come up. These labs give you the tools you need to develop your own unique project later on, following an idea from conception to execution.

Research Groups
During the school year, Tomanek Hall buzzes with undergraduate students working on research projects. Ranging from laser bioeffect research for Northrop Grumman to experimental atomic physics to observational astronomy, you are sure to find a project that fits your interests. Gain experience using specialized equipment to conduct experiments and gather data. At FHSU, you don’t compete with graduate students for lab time or faculty attention. Instead, work closely with other undergraduate students and faculty members to see what discoveries you will make.

Summer Research Experiences
Make the most of your summer months with a unique research experience. FHSU faculty help you find a research site where you can work with leading scientists in your field and contribute to projects that make a difference. In the past students have worked at labs like Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories, and have traveled as far away as the Center for European Nuclear Research outside of Geneva, Switzerland. Our students have even worked with Nobel-Prize-winning scientists! Where will your Summer Research Experience take you?

Community Interaction
Unlike many other programs, you will not be isolated from the community when you become a part of the Department of Physics. Students regularly help with science-related competitions, like the Science Olympiad, hosted on-campus every spring. The Physics and Engineering Club also assists with science events in the community like bottle rocket launches, and they take science-related programs to area schools in order to increase students’ interest in physics early on.

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