Department of Physics
The Department of Physics at William & Mary is part of Arts and Sciences. It "consists of thirty members on the instructional faculty, together with approximately fifteen additional physicists in purely research positions. The research areas in the department include atomic, molecular, and optical physics, computational physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear and particle physics, and plasma and non-linear physics. Related research areas include accelerator physics (in cooperation with Jefferson Lab and material characterization (in cooperation with NASA-Langley Research Center). The department offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses of instruction. It also has strong links with the interdisciplinary Applied Science Department and Computational Science Cluster." 
Prior to its establishment as an individual department, Physics, as with the other sciences, was organized under the chair of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics since 1712. Created as a department in 1907, Professor W.H. Keeble served as the first chair of the Physics department, from 1907 to 1919.(Young) Professor Roscoe Young became department chair, in 1919, after Professor Keeble stepped down. Under Professor Young, enrollment in Physics increased, particularly due to the newly admitted women students. Under the presidential leadership of Alvin Duke Chandler and department chair Dr. Melvin A. Pittman, the department developed graduate studies in Physics. In the Fall of 1959, the Physics department welcomed its first graduate students.
Chairs of the Department
- W.H. Keeble, 1907-1919
- Roscoe Young, 1919-
- Melvin A. Pittman
Material in the Special Collections Research Center
- Dept. of Physics in the SCRC database.
- Department of Physics webpage, http://web.wm.edu/physics/about.php?svr=www, accessed 19 February 2009.
- Roscoe Conkling Young, "Physics at William and Mary," Alumni Gazette 10.2(1942): 12-13, 29-30.
- Physics folder, University Archives Subject File, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, William & Mary.
To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.
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