The Department of Physics at Rhodes College is housed in a six story building called Rhodes Tower. It is distinguished by the two large silver observatory domes on the roof. Rhodes Tower houses state of the art facilities for student and faculty research and classroom instruction.
Classroom facilities include a large 70 seat lecture hall equipped with a modern AV system and a wireless classroom response system. The classroom response system facilitates a highly interactive classroom environment by allowing every student in class to respond to questions from the instructor. This classroom is also supported by a demonstration preparation room that contains a large collection of equipment for classroom demonstrations. Demonstrations are used heavily in our physics courses. Other classrooms include an 18 seat “physics studio.” Many of our upper level courses are taught in this room. Students are seated in pairs at tables, and each table has a computer with internet access and scientific software installed. The room also has a modern AV system that allows instructors to use electronic materials for lectures. Students can display these materials on the computers at their table and work together on projects that use the computers to simulate physical systems.
Instructional Laboratory Facilities
The physics department houses five instructional laboratories that support courses ranging from astronomy to electronics. Students in our 100-level laboratories work in pairs at tables equipped with computers and computer-interfaced laboratory equipment. This allows students to perform precision measurements of physical systems in the same way that practicing scientists and engineers do. Upper level instructional laboratories provide students with modern research grade equipment to perform in depth studies of physical systems including atomic, nuclear and optical phenomena as well as measurements of the properties of fundamental particles.
Research Laboratory Facilities
Student engagement in faculty research is a hallmark of our physics department. Faculty in our department carry out both theoretical and experimental research in the fields of solid state, nuclear, materials and medical physics. Each of our five physics faculty has a dedicated research laboratory equipped with apparatus that allows them and their students to carry out cutting-edge research in their fields.
The observatory domes on the roof of Rhodes Tower contain two large telescopes, a 14 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and 31.5 inch Newtonian telescope. These telescopes are used to support our astronomy courses and student research in astronomy. The physics department also houses a well equipped machine shop staffed by a part time technician with over 30 years of fabrication experience. Many of our students receive formal instruction in the use of this equipment and make use of the facility to fabricate precision components for their research projects. The physics department also offers students a large 900 square foot common area where physics majors can gather to study and socialize. This room is available to our students 24 hours a day 7 days a week.