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Department of


Discover the basic patterns of nature.

We have a vibrant department with faculty interests in plasma physics, computational physics, space and planetary science, mass spectrometry, theoretical physics, optics, and engineering.

Senior physics major Molly Flowers ('19) discusses her senior project in acoustics.



The Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Minor in Physics. Washington College’s Combined Plan Program with Columbia University allows students to obtain dual degrees in Physics and Engineering, with the opportunity to specialize in more than ten different engineering fields. Courses in subjects ranging from classical dynamics to electronics to quantum theory prepare students for careers in physics, engineering and entry into graduate school.  

Students in PHY 240 study impact cratering in granular material using slow motion video capture.  Here a plastic sphere impacts baking flour.






Liberal Learning

Studying physics at a liberal arts college can offer distinct advantages over programs at larger institutions. Our students receive rigorous training in theoretical physics, laboratory physics and mathematics while developing the broad habits of analytic thought, clear oral and written communication, aesthetic insight, ethical sensitivity and civic responsibility that are intrinsic to the Washington College Liberal Education.

Students learn about the science of light

Our Alumni 

Our alumni have experienced high degrees of career success in both science and non-science fields.  Many obtain advanced degrees in physics or engineering, while other alumni are employed in other areas, including computer and technology fields, education, law and business.  Some of our recent alumni are pursuing careers in such diverse fields as theoretical physics, astronomy, nuclear engineering, computer engineering, computer science, material science, medical physics, chemical physics, automation engineering and fire protection engineering.

Department News

  • Colin Campbell at work in the classroom.
    Peer review is a big part of advancing research, but who do you think does all that reviewing? The American Physical Society has named Assistant Professor of Physics Colin Campbell among 143 Outstanding Referees for 2019 for exceptional work assessing manuscripts published in the Physical Review journals.
  • 08/14/18 Teraherz Technology
    George Keiser, Assistant Professor of Physics, and his student Justine Yerkie ’19 are featured in this story on the Terahertz Technology blog about their collaboration this summer as part of the Summer Research program at the Toll Science Center. Keiser and Yerkie are working to create a system that’s able to generate terahertz frequency light.
  • Justin Yerkie ’19 and physics professor George Keiser work at the laser box in the optics lab.

    Working with Assistant Professor of Physics George Keiser in his optics lab, Justin Yerkie ’19 is helping to create a system that’s able to generate terahertz frequency light. 

Department Tour