Student Activities

A student majoring in physics at Fairfield has excellent opportunities for learning and maturing intellectually and professionally. Among the most important aspects of these opportunities are:

  • A close-knit relation with other physics majors and with faculty who are routinely available to students in class, in their offices and in research laboratories.
  • The opportunity to participate in the student-organized Physics Club, which arranges for various hands-on projects, guest speakers, and field trips.
  • The opportunity to join the Society of Physics Students and the Physics Honor Society (Sigma Pi Sigma). These two organizations are student sections of the American Physical Society which numbers more than 40,000 members nationally and internationally.
  • For qualified students, the opportunity to participate in the Honor's Program at Fairfield University and, for students with an exceptional academic record of achievement, the opportunity to be elected to the country's premier honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Opportunities for summer research as paid research assistants on campus or in NSF sponsored summer intern programs at other institutions throughout the country.

It is possible for physics majors to be involved in research activities after completion of the sophomore year as research assistants during the academic year or during the summer months. During the summer, these research assistants also receive a salary for their intern work as well as gaining invaluable experience in the laboratory. These students make worthwhile contributions to the ongoing research activities of the faculty.

Over the last few years, students have participated in studies of:

  • The physical properties of diamond films
  • The construction of calorimeter models for elementary particle detection systems
  • Photoluminescence of porous silicon and other advanced materials
  • Transport phenomena in semiconductors
  • Neutron activation analysis and gamma-ray analysis applications in environmental science studies.

In some instances, this research work results in publications of papers in various journals and attendance and presentations at conferences on undergraduate research.