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    University of Houston
  Nov 23, 2017
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Department of Physics

Colleges  > College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  > Department of Physics


Who’s Who in the Department of Physics

Chair: Gemunu Gunaratne

Kevin Bassler, Rene Bellwied, Edgar A. Bering III, Eric Bittner, Ching-Wu Chu, Wei-Kan Chu, Seamus Curran, Gemunu Gunaratne, Ed V. Hungerford, Alex Ignatiev, Donald J. Kouri, Kwong Hon Lau, John Miller, Shuheng Pan, Lawrence Pinsky, George Reiter, Zhifeng Ren, Venkat Selvamanickam, Wu-Pei Su, Chin-Sen Ting, Arthur B. Weglein, Lowell Wood

Associate Professors:
Margaret Cheung-Wynker, Pei-Herng Hor, Vassily Lubchenko, Carlos Ordonez, Pradeep Sharma, Donna W. Stokes, Oomman Varghese

Assistant Professors:
Dong Cai, Shuo Chen, Mini Das, Liming Li, Claudia Ratti, Andrew Renshaw, Anthony Timmins, Lisa Whitehead


Physicists formulate mathematical descriptions of nature that constitute a set of theories to provide the best and most detailed predictive capability in all situations. Physicists also devise and carry out experiments designed to probe the unknown and test these theories. When confronted with experimental evidence that contradicts these theories or are beyond their reach, physicists either revise them to accommodate the new data or else abandon them in favor of better models. Students majoring in physics must have a strong foundation in mathematics and an overwhelming curiosity about how nature works. Generally, physicists tend either to be more primarily focused on doing experiments or to concentrate on making the mathematical models.

The Department of Physics offers the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in physics and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in physics.

The demand for trained physicists is strong. Graduates with the B.S. in physics are prepared to enter physics graduate programs leading to the master’s or doctoral degrees in physics. They also find entry level positions in the aerospace industry, the high-tech materials and electronics industries, and in fields as diverse as commodities or stock brokerage, health care, and the energy industry. Graduates with a B.A. in physics are generally prepared to teach physics at the high school level once they have obtained appropriate teacher certification.

The department’s teaching and research fields of specialization include atmospheric and space physics, biological and medical physics, statistical physics, physics of finance, radiation science, superconductivity, surface physics, signal and image processing, high energy, medium energy, and heavy ion physics, high-performance distributed computing, and seismic physics. Research opportunities are available for highly motivated undergraduate students in faculty laboratories and such participation is strongly encouraged.