Dec 08, 2023  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics (PHY)

207 William R. Murchie Science Building
(810) 762-3131
Fax: (810) 766-6780

Chair (Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics): Michael E. Farmer

Associate Chair: Rajib Ganguly

Administrative Support Staff:

Public Relations and Advising: Pat Slackta
Personnel/Course Scheduling: Laura Bender
Financial/Budget: Mary Poletti

Supervisor of Science Laboratories: David Fekel

Professors: Christopher A. Pearson, Mojtaba Vaziri; Associate Professors: James Alsup, Rajib Ganguly; Assistant Professors: Biplob Barman, Katherine Eaton; Lecturer: Alan Grafe

Professors Emeritus: Mary E. Cox, Donald E. DeGraaf; Associate Professors Emeritus: Donald W. Boys, Frank E. Rose

Astronomy course offerings appear in the Astronomy (AST)  section of this Catalog.

Physics examines universal properties of inanimate nature. While some aspects of nature are not permanent–the shape of Cape Cod or even a spiral arm of a galaxy, the forces that created both Cape Cod and the spiral arm obey universal laws.

Physics is concerned with questions whose answers and ideas must be sought and tested by experiment. In fact, questions are often generated by experimental discovery. There is every reason to believe that answers, once found, have a permanent and universal validity as all evidence indicates that the laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe.

Introductory physics courses are designed to serve students majoring in many different areas. The algebra-based sequence is designed for students in biology and the health professions, while the calculus-based sequence is designed for students in physics, chemistry, engineering, or math.

The advanced physics courses are designed to provide fundamental training for professional work in physics and for teaching physics in secondary schools.

Note that completion of PHY 143, or PHY 143 and 145, or PHY 243 and 245, is prerequisite to certain concentration programs.

Department Mission and Program Assessment

The mission of the Physics program is to prepare students to succeed in their chosen careers after graduation from the University of Michigan-Flint. Recognizing that students will elect many career paths, ranging from elementary teaching, to industry, to graduate education, and others, the Physics program believes its mission is to help students gain a knowledge foundation based upon fundamental principles of classical and modern physics. This foundation stresses the creative application of physics principles to solving newly posed problems and creative thinking. The program participates in the University-wide effort to assess its academic programs. Information on assessment plans, including goals, methods and outcomes is available at

Note: The Physics Teacher’s Certificate Program (BA) and the Physics Teacher’s Certificate Minor have been placed in moratorium.  This means that for an unspecified length of time the department is not accepting new students.