May 19, 2022  
2020-21 Graduate Bulletin 
2020-21 Graduate Bulletin Archived

Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy

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Michael A. Janusa, interim chair
Cole STEM Building, Room 207A
Phone: (936) 468-3001
Fax: (936) 468-4448

C.J. Aul, graduate program advisor
Cole STEM Building, Room 207
Phone: (936) 468-3001
Fax: (936) 468-4448


The Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science in Natural Science (see College of Sciences and Mathematics website) with an emphasis/concentration in physics. The department has a well-established graduate program designed for students who wish to pursue physics as a profession with industry or to continue study leading to the Ph.D.

This curriculum provides a firm foundation in the principles of classical and quantum physics and their application in atomic, molecular, nuclear and solid-state physics. Research activity is strongly encouraged. Admission requirements are the same as the general admission requirements for Research and Graduate Studies.

Graduate Faculty


  • W. Dan Bruton, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Atmospheric Optics and Astronomy
  • Harry D. Downing, Ph.D., Florida State University, Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Norman L. Markworth, Ph.D., University of Florida, Astronomy
  • Joseph A. Musser, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Optically Based Environmental Sensing and Quantum Optics
  • Walter L. Trikosko, Ph.D., Clemson University, Low Temperature Physics, Superconductivity

Associate Professor

  • Robert B. Friedfeld, Ph.D., Florida Institute of Technology, Thin Films, Solid State

Assistant Professors

  • James T. Adams, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Optical Polarimetry
  • Christopher J. Aul, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, Gas Dynamics and Combustion Chemistry
  • Hector Ochoa, Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso, Radar Signal Processing and Compressive Radar

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are awarded each year in the department. For information and applications, contact the chair of the department.

Facilities and Research Opportunities

The Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy is located in a well-designed science, technology, engineering and mathematics building with adequate laboratory space, a well-equipped machine shop, and other facilities that provide an excellent study environment. A full-time scientific machinist is employed in the department. Major equipment/laboratories include a cryogenics laboratory, a laser physics laboratory, atomic force microscope, scanning electron microscope, high vacuum equipment, and excellent supporting electronic instrumentation and apparatuses.

The Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy operates an astronomical observatory at a site 11 miles from the main campus with instructional viewing facilities with 12 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors; a 10-, 12- and 16-inch Meade LX-200 telescopes; an 18-inch Cassegrain Lincoln Laboratories telescope; and a 41-inch Cassegrain custom telescope. Also at the site are four 10-foot diameter radio telescopes, an automated weather station and a second-generation seismic station.

Both experimental and theoretical research are being conducted in the areas of solid state physics, low temperature physics, laser physics and quantum optics, and astronomy.



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