Department of Physics

Department of Physics

The Department of Physics offers students the opportunity to pursue some of nature’s deepest secrets. 

Physics students discover the structures and interactions that constitute the Universe, from the smallest components inside atoms to the largest galaxies, and from living cells to new materials. The University of Richmond physics department is committed to developing a diverse student body and an inclusive community of learners. As a member of the physics department, students can take part in exciting coursework and unparalleled opportunities for research and experiential learning that reinforce the material they are learning in the classroom. This dual emphasis on classical learning and research is what makes University of Richmond physics majors so successful after graduation.

Majors & MinorCourses2-Year Course Projection Plan

Calendar of Future Courses 

Louis Strigari

Physics Seminar Talk

The Physics Department will welcome Louis Strigari, Professor of Physics from Texas A&M to campus. He will share his talk, Detecting neutrinos (for sure) and dark matter (maybe) on Wednesday, April 17th in the Gottwald Center for the Sciences D209 from 4:30 - 5:30pm.

Science of Sports: How do you perform the perfect dive?

Christine Helms, associate professor of physics, unpacks the perfect dive using science as demonstrated by diver Sally Harrington, '26.

Science of Sports: How do you throw the perfect spiral?

In less than two minutes, you can learn how to throw the perfect spiral with associate professor of physics Christine Helms and quarterback Kyle Wickersham.

Physics Major Paige Delsa Finds Power in Physics & the Gym

In this behind-the-scenes video, physics major Paige Delsa, ’25, speaks to what she loves about her Richmond experience, emphasizing the liberal arts approach that enables her to explore and grow in all her interests. 

Paige highlights her physics research saying, “I was really curious what I could do with experimental physics 'cause that wasn’t a space that I had really learned about before. I’ve been doing it for two years now [and] we’re in the process of writing a paper…. I’ve really enjoyed working with Dr. Dias in this lab on such a cool project.”

The Universe: All the Light We Cannot See

Professor Singal Presents at TEDx Event

In this Ted Talk, Dr. Jack Singal says the beauty of our universe is largely unobservable to the naked eye. To understand what is happening, we need to harness all the light we cannot see. Dr. Singal shows us how utilizing wavelengths from radio to gamma-rays will change how we see the universe.

cuwip Jan 23 promo

UR Students Travel to Princeton Conference

Five students representing the University of Richmond attended the January American Physical Society Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP). Princeton University hosted one of the 3-day regional conferences for physics majors. It included research talks, panel discussions about graduate schools and careers in physics, workshops and discussions about women in physics, student research talks and poster sessions, and laboratory tours.

UR attendees included Lily Dickson, Brianna Cantrell, Christine Gyure, Mariona Giner Mascarell, and Landry Kimball. The UR Department of Physics coordinated and sponsored round-trip train travel for the First-year to Senior students.

“I really enjoyed Princeton. It was a life-changing experience! I learned a lot about physics and graduate school, but more importantly, I spent time with my physics friends!” – Mariona Giner Mascarell

“I really enjoyed this conference because I felt like I could really connect with the speakers and attendees!” – Brianna Cantrall

AAS Jan 23 promo

UR Physics Majors Present Research at AAS Conference

In January, University of Richmond students Nicolas Ferree, Santi Messmacher Montes de Oca, and Elijah Estoll participated in the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that was held in Seattle, Washington.

The AAS is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its mission is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community. All students presented in-person or virtually for their work with Dr. Ted Bunn’s research group.

The Science Of Sports
The perfect free throw shot
In the first in a video series on the Science of Sports, physics professor Christine Helms explains how to shoot a better free throw, featuring Spider basketball star Andre Gustavson.
deep space
July 26, 2022
More than meets the eye

UR physics professor Jack Singal explains what we’re seeing in stunning new images from the James Webb Space Telescope.

Upcoming Physics Events

Faculty Highlights

Dr. Jack Singal
Singal Published

Jack Singal, associate professor of physics, published "Constraints on the Origin of the Radio Synchrotron Background via Angular Correlations" in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

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Dr. Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias
Dias Published

Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias, associate professor of physics, published "Photonics Roadmap for Ultra-High-Temperature Thermophotovoltaics" in Joule.

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Dr. Emory (Ted) F. Bunn
Bunn Awarded

Ted Bunn, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts and professor of physics, received the 2023 Distinguished Scholarship Award from the University of Richmond at Colloquy.

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Dr. Jack Singal
Singal Awarded

Jack Singal, associate professor of physics, received a nearly $600K National Science Foundation grant for a groundbreaking radio sky astronomy project. Learn more

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Contact Information

Mailing address:
Department of Physics
Gottwald Center for the Sciences
138 UR Drive
University of Richmond, VA 23173

(804) 289-8252
Fax: (804) 484-1542

Administrative coordinator: Stacy Hull
Chair: Matt Trawick