Undergraduate Facilities

Allen Hall

Allen Hall is the central departmental building.

  • The ground floor consists of two experimental (NANO) labs, research space and faculty and graduate student offices for the groups associated with the labs.
  • The first floor houses the main office, three classrooms, the departmental copy center and mailboxes, and the Physics and Astronomy Majors Center.
  • The second (CM/Nano), third (Astro/Cosmo) and fourth floors (Particle Physics) contain the majority of offices for departmental faculty, researchers, and graduate students.
  • In addition to offices, the third floor houses the Astro computing lab, Departmental Seminar Room and the Faculty Center and the fourth floor will house PITT PACC.
  • The fifth floor consists of experimental (CM and Bio) labs, the Graduate Student Lounge, graduate student and emeritus faculty offices, and the Glass Shop.

Special Undergraduate Laboratories

Facilities in the undergraduate laboratories are continually updated in order to acquaint students with new devices and concepts. An honors-level laboratory is equipped with special instrumentation designed to acquaint students with modern techniques of making many types of physical measurements. As students follow the sequence of introductory, intermediate, and advanced laboratories, they will progress from equipment designed primarily for teaching purposes to equipment designed primarily for use in research.


The increased role of electronic computers in research has motivated the department to encourage computer training in the undergraduate program. Undergraduates may use the facilities of the University’s Computer Center, which maintains an access station in one of the buildings in the department’s complex, and, as appropriate, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. There are also numerous computers located in some of the department’s teaching and research laboratories.

Library Facilities

The physics collection is housed in Benedum Engineering Library. The collection of books and bound periodicals is supplemented continually by new acquisitions as well as subscriptions to hundreds of technical journals from many countries. The library also provides access to national information-retrieval networks. Undergraduates have regular access to this library as well as to several others within easy walking distance. An additional astronomy library is located at the Allegheny Observatory.

Physics and Astronomy Majors Center

A room is available for the exclusive use of the department’s undergraduate majors. The room is furnished with white boards, comfortable seating, and work tables. The door to this area is normally locked to provide privacy for studying or small meetings. Access Cards are available to undergraduate majors through the Undergraduate Coordinator, in 100 Allen Hall. Guests of this room will be the responsibility of those who invited them. Since undergraduates are the main users of this room, it is important that they inform the department of any needed repairs and/or general housekeeping concerns.