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Welcome to Physics and Astronomy

Welcome to the website of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine.
Located in the town of Orono, along the banks of the Stillwater River, the University offers a strong traditional education at an affordable price. The state’s land grant and sea grant university and the flagship institution in the University of Maine System, UMaine is one of New England’s premier universities. Our students create success stories — with a wide variety of programs and opportunities — and we do so with world-class faculty members, internationally recognized research; first-rate facilities; a friendly, safe atmosphere; and easy access to some of the best year-round recreation sites in the nation. We are a department comprised of 15 faculty members, all dedicated to teaching and research in areas including, but not limited to, biophysics, nanophysics/surface science, physics and astronomy education research, statistical physics, spiral galaxies and galaxy clusters, and environmental/health physics; 30 Graduate students; and 80 undergraduate majors. We offer BA and BS degrees in physics and engineering physics and also offer minors in both physics and astronomy.


February 2015

Coming Soon!!

The first Maine Science Festival, sponsored in part by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will be held March 20-22, stretching across Bangor, from the library to the Cross Center. There will be several presentations and talks ranging from panels on climate change and alternative energy to sessions on forensics which include simulated crime scenes to be solved by you! The Maine State Science Fair will be held throughout the day on Saturday, the 22nd, followed that evening by headlining speaker, Academy Award winner, Tony DeRose, Senior Scientist and Lead of the Research Group at PIXAR animation studios. DeRose will take the audience behind the scenes of PIXAR animated films and explain what science and research goes into making them, from physics and liquid dynamics to computer science and engineering.

From forensics and robotics to the science of music and of home brewing, there’s something for everyone! Check out the Maine Science Festival website for more information on the festival and for events scheduling!

August 2014

Welcome, Dr. Andrej Favia! Favia recently completed his Ph.D in Physics at UMaine and has been hired as an Assistant Professor (2-year fixed length) in the Physics Department. Congratulations Dr. Favia!

July 2014

Professor Michael Wittmann has taken over as Physics Department Chair after Dr. David Batuski retired from the position. Dr. Batuski chaired the department for 10 years and will continue teaching courses. He is currently on a much deserved sabbatical. Thank you and congratulations to both Dr. Batuski and Dr. Wittmann!

March 2014

If, during your travels on campus, you see a small object flying through the sky – don’t worry! There are a few of these “drones” on campus, which are being piloted by remote control, flying around campus and filming scenes as part of an outreach project. Physics professor, Sam Hess, is running the project and has uploaded video clips, taken by the drones, to YouTube. Enjoy watching these videos below!

Winter scenes of UMaine Campus, featuring Fogler Library, Stevens Hall, the UMaine South Entrance, the Collins Center, Bennett Hall, the Mall and Memorial Union, West Campus and the Stillwater River, East Campus, Hitchner Hall, the Bear Statue, the Engineering Science Research Building, Alfond Arena, the Alumni House, and a campus panorama.

The Emera Astronomy Center at UMaine, currently under construction, featuring a new observatory and planetarium.



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