Brief History of the Department

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a long and distinguished history of innovative research and outstanding teaching from its founding in 1867 and the work of its first chair Samuel Langley to the efforts in a wide range of topics by the current faculty.

Prominent Faculty

Norman Austern


John Brashear


Bernie Cohen


David Halliday


Cyril Hazard


Samuel Pierpont Langley


Irving Lowe


Ted Newman


Carlo Rovelli


Famous Graduates

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has various Famous and Distinguished Alumni. 


Past and Present Departmental Chairs

2015 to present: Adam Leibovich

2006 to 2015: David Turnshek  

2000-2006: David Jasnow

1994-2000: Frank Tabakin 

1991-1994: James V. Maher 

1985-1991: Eugene Engels 

1982-1985: Philip Stehle 

1976-1982:  Myron P. Garfunkel 

1970-1976: Philip Stehle

1962-1970: Frederick Keffer

1951-1962: David Halliday