Mission Statement

The Department of Physics and Astronomy pursues two main goals:  the advancement of science through world-class research activities in a wide variety of fields, and the education of undergraduate and graduate students who eventually will continue such activity.

The first goal is achieved by a two-prong approach based on traditional areas of strength in the department and on newer, more inter-disciplinary efforts which often involve scientists in other departments and institutions in the Chicago area.  The dual character of our research effort allows us to approach the future of physics and astronomy along lines of inquiry that are very mature and also in directions that are unexplored and difficult to predict.

The second goal defines some of the most important recipients of our research – the future generations of scientists.  Undergraduates majoring in physics and astronomy often build careers outside these fields yet retain the analytical and abstract methods of thought they learn through our mentoring.  Graduate students arrive with an enthusiasm and curiosity for physics or astronomy and are further educated and thoroughly trained, departing as true scientists ready to conduct their own scientific investigations.

The future of the department is bright, with junior faculty bringing enthusiasm and senior faculty retaining perspective and wisdom in the affairs of the department.  The quality of the research continues to improve, academic success is broader as time goes by, and the students who arrive are talented and well motivated.

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September 12, 2013