Physics professor working with a student

Clubs and Organizations

The Coe College Chapter of the National Society of Physics Students (SPS) is consistently ranked as an Outstanding Chapter, an award reserved for only the top 10 percent of SPS chapters nationally.

Summer Researchers 2016
Summer Researchers 2016

Those chapters that are honored excel in physics areas such as research, public science outreach, tutoring programs, representation at physics meetings, and social interaction of chapter members.

The Coe Physics Department is known worldwide for its accomplishments in glass research and resulting discoveries. In the last decade, the department has received more than $2.1 million in external grant funding for equipment and programs. During that time, more than 80 articles have been published by Coe physics faculty and students in peer-reviewed publications, with over 250 student and faculty presentations at more than 70 scholarly conferences.

More than 20 Coe physics students participate in summer research each year, working on projects normally reserved for graduate students. Coe physics students have the opportunity to travel around the world for research and conferences. Recent destinations have included China, Japan, England, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, France, Italy, Canada, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida, Illinois and Maryland.

Coe physics graduates are sought-after candidates at graduate schools and in industry. The commitment of professors coupled with funding for equipment and research helps Coe physics students advance to highly regarded graduate programs and professional positions. About 80 percent of the graduates from the program have moved on to quality graduate schools in physics, materials science, and allied science or mathematics.

Social and Scientific Events

Dr. Robert Brown gives a talk at the 35th annual Physics Club Banquet.
Dr. Robert Brown gives a talk at the 35th annual Physics Club Banquet.
  • We host a weekly ice cream social on Fridays, open to all campus. In addition, a recent article related to physics, often taken from Physics Today, is presented during the minute of science
  • The Physics Club holds yearly winter and spring parties at the department faculty's homes. Jim Cottingham hosts the winter party, Ugur Akgun hosts the spring party, Steve Feller holds a dinner for all graduating physics majors, and SPS orientation barbeques are held at Professor Mario Affatigato's house for new and rejoining members.
  • The Physics club sponsors the annual Faculty Impersonation Contest, where students are free to impersonate any faculty member (without fear of repercussions). Last year, more than 50 students and faculty attended. Refreshments, as well as prizes for the most impressive impersonations, are provided.
  • We organize and participate in a number of social activities for summer researchers in the physics department, including: Professor Steve Feller's annual trip to the Field of Dreams, weekly movie series, a spaghetti dinner at Professor Mario Affatigato's house, and a steak dinner generously provided by the president of Coe College. Additionally, a number of guest speakers present talks on various topics of interest during our weekly Wednesday lunches, to which more than 80 students, faculty, and members of the public commonly attend. 
  • Professor Ugur Akgun hosts a science talk series throughout the year from local academics, spanning a wide variety of scientific disciplines.
  • Every spring, we hold the annual Physics Club Banquet at a local restaurant to recognize our current executive officers, elect officers for the following year, honor graduating students, and induct juniors into the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma. A keynote speaker is also invited to give a talk related to physics. 
  • The physics and math departments hold a yearly poker tournament.
  • In collaboration with the chemistry and biology clubs, we hold an annual science trivia contest for students and faculty to test their general science knowledge.