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 & MinorCourses
Behrman Promo

History of Women in Physics Talks

Join us to hear from Dr. Joanna Behrman, Assistant Public Historian at the Center for History of Physics (CHP), as she presents talks about physics, gender, and science education, specifically the role of women in the history of physics.

Jan. 24, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., Robins School of Business Ukrop Auditorium - More than Marie Curie: Centering Women in the History of Physics, more information and registration below. Hosted by UR Dept. of Physics, Dept. of Education, Dept. of History, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.

Jan. 25, 4:35 - 5:35 p.m., Gottwald Auditorium A001, Junior/Senior Seminar class - When Physics was for Girls: Overturning Gender Stereotypes in the History of Physics Education.

For more information contact Stacy Hull at

Find information on Spring 2023 course offerings here!

Department News

Students registering for PHYS 131 and 132:

  • If you can’t register because Bannerweb says you have a missing prerequisite, you may need to register for Calculus 1 (or Calculus 2) in addition to PHYS 131 (or PHYS 132).  If you have already taken calculus but don’t have a formal AP or transfer credit to show for it, please contact the Physics Chair (Matt Trawick at for assistance.
  • If the section you are trying to register for is full, click here to add your name to the wait list.
Santi Messmacher Montes de Oca

A mind for Xs, Os, and aeronautics

Physics major and Spiders offensive lineman, Santi Messmacher Montes de Oca, hopes to become an aerospace engineer.
deep space

More than Meets the Eye

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

Molly Kate Kreider

Molly Kate Kreider Receives Multiple Awards

Molly Kate Kreider, 2022 graduating senior, was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the preeminent undergraduate award in science and math. She is researching optical physics, a branch of physics that studies the behavior and properties of light. She is also one of three A&S students to receive a David C. Evans Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship and the Creative Arts at the School of Arts & Sciences Honors Convocation and an award for the A&S Student Symposium Paper Competition. Molly Kate also received the Department of Physics 2022 Jackson J. Taylor Award.
Anna Shelton

Physics Anna Shelton Awarded and Headed to Harvard

Anna Shelton, Spring 2022 graduate, received the Department of Physics Robert Edward Loving Award and the Westhampton College Diamond Award. She will be attending the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the fall to pursue her Ph.D. in applied physics. She will work with Marko Loncar and the Loncar research group to engineer lithium niobate devices for applications in frequency combs, optical computing, and quantum computing.

Upcoming Physics Events

No events scheduled at this time.

Faculty Highlights

Dr. Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias
Dias Published

Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias, assistant professor of physics, and a former student co-author published "Refractory Metals and Oxides for High-Temperature Structural Color Filters" in Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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Dr. Christine C. Helms
Helms & Undergraduate Author Published

Christine Helms, associate professor of physics, and Najnin Rimi, UR undergraduate student, published the article "Labeling fibrin fibers with beads alter single fibrin fiber lysis, external clot lysis, and produce large fibrin aggregates upon lysis" in Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis.

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Dr. Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias
Dias Published

Mariama Rebello de Sousa Dias, assistant professor of physics, published an article entitled, "Leveraging Machine Learning to Harness Non-Parabolic Effects in Semiconductor Heterostructures," in Physica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures. This work was created in collaboration with the University of Alfenas in Brazil.

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Dr. Jack Singal
Singal Gives Profs & Pints Talk

Jack Singal, associate professor of physics, delivered a public talk "All the Light in the Universe” covering the James Webb Space Telescope and modern astrophysics as part of the Profs & Pints lecture series.

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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