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About the Physics Department

In this Section

Physics combines abstract concepts of mathematics and philosophy with applied aspects of instrumentation and engineering. It deals with the behavior and interaction of matter, energy, space and time, and also provides the basis for the development of technology.  The physics program at Clarkson encompasses these broad facets of this unique subject.

Our undergraduate and graduate curricula are focused on developing critical thinking skills and the mathematical techniques necessary to solve a broad range of problems, including those of highly interdisciplinary nature.

The coursework is designed to provide in-depth training in the fundamental areas of physics, utilizing the most current education strategies and technologies. At the same time, through graduate and undergraduate research, students gain firsthand experience in various modern technological applications of their physics knowledge.

The department provides a vigorous research environment that spans over a wide range of areas including biological physics, cosmology, foundations of quantum mechanics, nanomaterials, optics, physics education, physics of fluids, quantum computing, statistical physics and surfaces physics.

Faculty research of highest eminence is the key to the quality of the education, undergraduate as well as graduate that is offered in physics at Clarkson. It is the unique symbiosis between graduate and undergraduate research and learning that distinguishes our program from many others.

Physics Department News

Forgacs Named Karel K. Czanderna '77 and W. Dan Shirkey '80 Professor in Physics at Clarkson University
Gabor Forgacs has been named the Karel K. Czanderna '77 and W. Dan Shirkey '80 Professor in Physics. Forgacs is distinguished university professor and executive and scientific director of Clarkson's Shipley Center for Innovation. Read More...

Clarkson University Science Cafe Returns to Downtown Potsdam September 12th, 2012 with Red Fish, Blue Fish, Round Fish...Flatfish?
second location in Canton has been added to the Science Cafe Venue beginning September 18th, 2012 Brain Computer Interfacing.
Local professionals and university professors will again take to the stage starting September 12th, 2012, for the "Science Cafe." Science Cafes bring together local professors, other professionals and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion. Read More...

Gift from Clarkson University Alumni Couple Creates New Physics Professorship
A generous gift from a Clarkson University alumni couple has enabled the University to create the Karel K. Czanderna ’77 and W. Dan Shirkey ’80 Professorship in Physics. Read More…

Clarkson University Hosts Sixth Annual Roller Coaster Camp
Clarkson University hosted its sixth annual roller coaster camp this summer as part of the IMPETUS outreach program. Read More…

Chemical & Engineering News Features Clarkson University Work on New Cancer Detection Method
An article in the May 23 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, a major news journal of the American Chemical Society, features work on cervical cancer cells done by Clarkson University Physics Professor Igor Sokolov’s group with collaboration by Biology Professor Craig D. Woodworth. Read More…

Professor Maria Gracheva Receives NSF EAGER Award to Develop Nanoporous Semiconductor Membranes for Tunable Filtering of Biomolecules
Professor Maria Gracheva received an NSF EAGER award to develop a comprehensive multi-scale model to demonstrate the feasibility of using nanoporous semiconductor membranes for tunable ion and protein separation and filtering. Read More…

Clarkson University's Privman Elected IARIA Fellow
Vladimir Privman, the Robert A. Plane Professor of Chemistry at Clarkson University, has been elected a fellow of the International Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA). Read More...


Clarkson University is a nationally ranked research university and the institution of choice for more than 3,500 enterprising, high-ability undergraduate and graduate students.  Through 50+ programs, we educate remarkably effective engineers, scientists, health professionals, business people, and creative leaders who easily defy convention and engage “What’s next.”  Above, Physics Professor Michael Ramsdell utilizing the updated lecture hall (SC360) for the Freshman Physics program.