The UNC Asheville Department of Physics excels in quality education featuring talented and experienced faculty devoted to guiding students through experiential learning. Majors benfit from laboratory research and daily one-on-one interaction with faculty mentors. Our majors regularly present at scholarly conferences such as the American Physical Society's Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics and the Society of Physics Students Conference. Physics is an excellent major that leads to many job opportunities with competitive salaries. Physics also serves as an excellent preparation for Medical or Law School. Check out the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics to learn about some of the cutting-edge areas of exploration in physics today.
The Department of Physics' historical commitment to undergraduate research helped lead UNC Asheville to found the annual National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). The first, second, tenth, and twentieth conferences were held at UNC Asheville. We have an active Society of Physics Students Chapter, consistantly recognized as "Outstanding," and we participate in the National Honors Society in Physics, Sigma Pi Sigma.
Our faculty offer a wide variety of expertise in the broad field of Physics. Dr. Brian Dennison, endowed Glaxo Wellcome Professor, conducts research at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) in Rosman, North Carolina. Dr. Bennett, author of Principles of Physical Optics (Wiley Publishing) has contributed research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Professor Judy Beck, author of instructor's resources for the Walker and Wilson/Buffa physics texts, directs the Western North Carolina Science Olympiad. Dr. James Perkins received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.
Dr. Michael J. Ruiz was featured as a top story on CNN in the area of science/technology for his innovative online e-texts, far ahead of their time. Dr. Randy Booker, with a research background in molecular physics, is a sought after consultant for quantum mechanics applications. Lecturer Lyubov Nichols, from the Ukraine, teaches introductory physics and astronomy labs. The Department also has a few specialized adjunct teachers. See the Faculty and Staff for more information.