Letter from the Department Chair

Welcome to the Physics Department web page.  We have recently updated the entire site and we hope it is both helpful and informative for you.  It has been my extraordinary privilege, beginning June 1, 2009, to serve as Chair of the Physics Department.  It is indeed an honor to do so, as this Department possesses an extraordinarily collegial and collaborative atmosphere.  It is a place I have felt professionally at home now nearly 20 years.  The Department is, despite great financial difficulties within the State and the University, in excellent shape, due to the dedication and enthusiasm of the faculty, staff, the student body.  I look forward to the challenges of leadership and appreciate the support of the faculty, administration, staff, and students as we work together to make the EIU Physics Department continue to stand out.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy provides professional training at the undergraduate level in a variety of concentrations, to serve as a foundation for a career in Physics and Astronomy.  Beyond that scope, it is also an ideal preparation for a broad range of interdisciplinary areas for which a quantitative training is crucial. This range extends from the traditional fields in Science and Engineering to Weather to Computers to Business and Finance.

In addition, our Department provides some Pre-Engineering options where students take basic Physics, Math, and Chemistry courses at EIU and complete an Engineering degree at another institution.  And last but not least, our award winning faculty teach popular General Education courses in Physics and Astronomy. We place great emphasis on the quality of our programs and our teaching. We pride ourselves on the small class size that leads to a small college atmosphere within the Department.  The University is also large enough to offer opportunities in the arts, sports, student organizations, and a variety of other areas that are Division I level.  Our Physics students are taught by faculty whether it is a lecture class or a laboratory.  Our faculty get to know our students through small classes, labs, and mentoring that give us direct interactions with each student.  Furthermore, we have an active Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Astronomy Club that add to the camaraderie of our students.  Overall, we make every effort to integrate the excellent education we offer with professional and personal growth of our students to fully prepare our students to succeed in the global economy.

It is an exciting time for Physics and Astronomy. There are exciting developments being made in sustainable energy sources, controlling collective resonances in nanoscale clusters, the anticipation of finding the so-called "Higgs particles" in the world's largest particle colliders, and even the search for Earth-like planets outside of our solar system.  Our Department is working to push the frontiers of Physics with active research programs in several different areas.   Our faculty are active in research and bring this perspective to the classroom to ensure students receive appropriate training for this rapidly changing world.

I invite you to explore this web site and discover what the EIU Physics Department is about and what we have to offer.  I hope this web site can answer some of your questions, but if not, please do not hesitate to contact me directly and I shall direct you to the appropriate person in the Department who can help.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven Daniels, Chair