The Physics Department at Coe provides comprehensive and balanced training for a variety of students including those who want to prepare to do graduate work, enter industry, to teach, or to broaden their liberal arts education. As a Coe physics major, you'll be encouraged to do individual research, working one-on-one with a professor.

The Coe Physics Department has been nationally and internationally recognized many times in recent years.

Professor Mario Affatigato was named a PECASE Scholar, a $500,000 award given to promising new scientists by the President of the United States through the National Science Foundation in 1999. Affatigato was named Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (2012) and Fellow of the British Society of Glass Technology (2013). He received the Prize to a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution which was awarded by the American Physical Society in 2013.

Professor Steve Feller has been honored in a number of ways including being named Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (2003) and the British Society of Glass Technology (2003), and Physics Club Chapter Advisor of the Year by the national Society of Physics Students (2000). In 2002 he was elected the president of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, a position he was reelected to in 2004. He was the chair of the organizing committee of the 2008 and 2012 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congresses. Feller was given the Worth Seagondollar Service Award in 2012, by Sigma Pi Sigma. He was elected Chair of the Glass and Optical Materials Division of the American Ceramic Society in 2014. In April 2016, he was awarded one of three very special, and highly prestigious, Centenary Fellowships, which have been created to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Society of Glass Technology.

Professor Jim Cottingham is a leader in the Acoustical Society of America and was an invited lecturer at the Society's national meeting. He also serves on the board of the Center for the study of Free Reed Instruments at the City University of New York. The department is one of less than five liberal arts colleges that hosts a site for NSF research experience for undergraduates. This allows seven visiting undergraduates per summer to join us in research.

Why Physics at Coe?

Students at Coe do more than just attend classes. As a physics major you'll get a well-rounded education and a solid preparation for your life after college. At Coe you can:

  • Take a special May Term physics course and learn to do research.
  • Work alongside your professors in Coe's exceptional laboratory facilities on several research projects.
  • Spend a semester at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and get firsthand experience in professional research labs.
  • Spend a summer doing research at Coe or at an off-campus laboratory doing collaborative research with Coe. Several of these labs are in England, Canada, China, and Japan.
  • Join our nationally acclaimed Society of Physics Students chapter. Each year we invite numerous speakers and visit industrial, academic and national labs.

Many Coe students interested in careers in engineering major in physics, or general science at Coe. Please see the information sheets on the cooperative program in engineering available from the Office of Admission.