Meet our Faculty: Dr. Rich Vallery
U2 has a concert that starts in 17 minutes and they must all cross a bridge to get there. All four men begin on the same side of the bridge. You must help them across to the other side. It is night. There is one flashlight. A maximum of two people can cross at one time. Any party who crosses, either 1 or 2 people, must have the flashlight with them.
The flashlight must be walked back and forth. It cannot be thrown and other tricks like that are not needed to solve the problem. The solution is simply a matter of allocating resources in a certain order. Each band member walks at a different speed. A pair must walk together at the rate of the slower man's pace:
Bono: 1 minute to cross
Edge: 2 minutes to cross
Adam: 5 minutes to cross
Larry: 10 minutes to cross
For example: if Bono and Larry walk across first, 10 minutes have elapsed when they get to the other side of the bridge. If Larry then returns with the flashlight, a total of 20 minutes have passed and you have failed the mission.
Physicists are explorers of the physical universe seeking to understand the fundamental behavior of nature from elementary particles to galaxies.
The Department of Physics offers a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) with a major in physics. This program engages students in observation, experimentation, and theoretical study of the various phenomena of nature. The department offers:
- B.S. in physics.
- A minor in physics.
- The option for secondary teacher certification.
- An M. Ed. with an emphasis in physics.
Need a prerequisite override to register for a PHY class? Download the form from this Link.
Why should you be a physics major at GVSU?
We are always looking for students who are interested, motivated, and enthusiastic about physics and who want to pursue an undergraduate degree in physics. If you are interested please check us out. Explore our physics program, our individual faculty pages and their research interests, get to know our physics majors and their activities, learn about physics outreach activities. Make sure to take the tour of our physics department and also look at our photo gallery.
- Dynamic group of Faculty: Our active, enthusiastic, caring, and dedicated faculty are engaged in excellent teaching, scholarly activities, and service.
- Cutting-edge research with Faculty: Faculty actively pursue academic research projects with the students. Research interests of our faculty include acoustics, astronomy, atomic physics, condensed matter physics, physics education, gravitation, cosmology, nuclear physics, and medical physics.
- Excellent teaching and laboratory facilities: Smaller size upper division physics classes provide personal attention to each student from our outstanding faculty.
- Growth of the Department: Our department continues to grow and we expect this growth to continue. The number of physics majors also have grown in recent years. Many of our recent physics graduates are pursuing advanced degrees (e.g. Ph.D) in physics. Recent AIP report cited physics department of GVSU as being one of the top five universities in Michigan in terms of number of physics graduates.
- Science education in Michigan: Faculty and students participate in a variety of physics outreach activities (e.g. Super Science Saturday, Michigan Science Olympiad) throughout the year to promote science education in Michigan and especially to create an interest in physics among high school students . Join us - let us build a better future for Michigan and our nation.
If you are interested contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.
“Being a part of the Grand Valley physics program has been an amazing experience. The challenging classes always kept me on my toes, and the close-knit department will always be like family to me. I would not trade my time with the physics department for anything!”
Lisa Genovese (Physics Major)
This web-site is created and maintained by Dr. Kingshuk Majumdar.