Department of Physics
West Chester University
Chair: Anthony J. Nicastro
127 Merion Science Center
West Chester, PA 19383
Brittany Johnstone (B.S. Physics ’12) is now a first year Astronomy doctoral student at the University of West Virginia. She is working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory with the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope.
Those students wishing to make a career out of astronomy will generally major in Physics as undergraduate, and then enter a graduate program in Physics or Astronomy. Most professional astronomers find employment at universities or research institutions.
In addition to the traditional physics courses comprising the Physics B.S. curriculum, the Department of Physics offers several courses which focus on astronomy and astrophysics. Undergraduate research is also strongly encouraged - a number of students engage in astronomy research in solar physics, stellar variability, exoplanetary studies, and astronomical instrumentation with faculty in the department.
The College of Arts and Sciences operates an observatory on top of the Schmucker Science Center. The facility serves mostly as an introduction to astronomy research for interested students, but it is also used for public outreach and is available for use in astronomy courses. The observatory webpage is here. Please contact Dr. Thornton if you are interested.
Students recently started an Astronomy Club at West Chester. Although the club was formed by physics students, any current West Chester Student is welcome to join. The club hosts regular star parties, public outreach activities, and field trips. Click here to go the Astronomy Club webpage for more details.