Physicists are explorers of the physical universe seeking to understand the fundamental behavior of nature from elementary particles to galaxies. 

Physics, as a natural science, is a core component of a liberal education, and learning science requires the development and application of critical thinking skills to the natural and man-made world. The members of the physics department are devoted to learning and teaching about the ways in which the physical aspects of our existence can be understood and shaped by qualitative and quantitative reasoning within the framework of physics, the foundation of the natural sciences.

Why Study Physics?  Find out by clicking on the link: Why Physics?

The physics department provides an excellent liberal education experience for GVSU students with student tailored physics courses and programs, mentored research experiences with faculty, and outreach activities. 

Need help with physics?  Visit "Physics Help Corner" at NE Corner of Padnos (1st Floor)

Physics Program:

The Department of Physics offers a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) with a major in physics. Our robust program engages students in observation, experimentation, and theoretical study of the various phenomena of nature. The Physics Department offers:

GVSU Physicists Profile

Michael Dykstra (2015)

MD-PhD Student at Harvard Medical School.

Amy Mohr (2014)

User Experience/User Interaction Designer.

Bailey Groendyke (2017)

Music & Physics: Applications Engineer at Steelcase.

Dr. Kenneth B. Bader (2005)

Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, IL.

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Physics in your Teacup!

Flying Flies!

A bunch of flies are in a sealed glass container. You place the container on a scale. When will the scale registers the most weight? The flies are sitting

a. at the bottom of the container or b. flying around inside the container, or c. weight will be same in both cases 1 and 2. 


Physics Alum Michael Dykstra wins a prestigious award!

April 30, 2018

GVSU Alumnus (2015), Michael Dykstra has been awarded a prestigious Kennedy Knox and Sheldon Harvard Graduate School Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship.

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GVSU Faculty Spotlights

Dr. Karen Gipson

Professor of Physics. Research interest is the field of Acoustics.

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Why should you be a physics major at GVSU?

  • Dynamic group of Faculty: Our active, enthusiastic, caring, and dedicated faculty are engaged in excellent teaching, scholarly activities, and service. Faculty actively pursue cutting-edge academic research projects with the students. Research interests of our faculty include acoustics, astronomy and astrophysics, atomic physics, condensed matter physics, physics education, gravitation and cosmology, nuclear physics, biophysics, and medical physics. 
  • Excellent Facilities:  Smaller size upper division physics classes provide personal attention to each student from our outstanding faculty. We have NSF funded state-of-the-art computing cluster for computational work.
  • Department Growth: 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  physics graduates have found good paying jobs in both academia and industry. To learn more check out  our "GVSU Physicists Profile."
  • Outreach:  Faculty  and students participate in a variety of physics outreach activities throughout the year to promote science education in Michigan and especially to create an interest in physics among middle and high school students . 

We are always looking for interested and motivated students who are enthusiastic about physics and who want to pursue an undergraduate degree in physics. Explore our website for details.

If you are interested please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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Page last modified November 23, 2017