Department of Physics Records, 1915-1971
- State University of New York at Albany. Department of Physics
- Records from the Department of Physics from the State College for Tearchers to the University at Albany, SUNY.
- 2.0 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Department of Physics Records, 1915-1971. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Department of Physics Records).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this collection is restricted because it is unprocessed. Portions of the collection may contain recent administrative records and/or personally identifiable information. While it is likely that portions of the collection may be viewed, access must be managed by an archivist.
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The Department of Special Collections and Archives is eager to hear from any copyright owners who are not properly identified so that appropriate information may be provided in the future.
- Scope and Content:
The collection includes inventories, 1915-65; publications; and reports.
- Biographical / Historical:
The Department of Physics at the State University of New York at Albany has a long history, the first courses being taught in Natural Philosophy in 1845. The establishment of the school as a four year liberal arts college in 1905 lead to an expansion of offerings in Physics, now including a General Course in Physics, Heat, Light, and Sound, and Electricity and Magnetism, but still taught by a Professor of Natural Science, Professor Wetmore, and located in the Department of Physical Sciences. The first Professor of Physics, Dr. Clarence Frederick Hale, was appointed in May 1911. In 1913 a separate Department of Physics was formed. A Minor in Physics was made available in 1916.
Graduate education was introduced in 1913. In 1962 the Masters Program in Physics was opened for the first time to all students. A Ph.D. was first offered in the fall of 1965. David Peak received the first Ph.D. degree in 1970 with his dissertation titled Foundation of Gauge Theory. The honors program for Physics was first listed in the 1981-82 Undergraduate Bulletin. The combined B.S./M.S. program was first listed in the 1983-84 Undergraduate Bulletin. In 1988 the 3-2 program for engineering was introduced, allowing students to spend their first three years at the University at Albany, and spend the next two years at either RPI, Clarkson University, SUNY New Paltz, or Binghamton University. Students who complete this program are awarded B.S. degrees in Physics from Albany and Engineering from the engineering school of their choice.
Today the Department of Physics offers a variety of programs. Undergraduates can obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in physics or teacher education, while graduate students can receive a Master of Science degree in physics or teacher education. Prospective undergraduate students with plans of continuing their education can take the B.S./M.S. combination program. An honors program and a 3-2 program in which students can split their education between SUNY Albany and one of four other schools known for engineering are also available. A Doctor of Philosophy degree can be obtained as well. Undergraduate students are prepared either to undertake graduate study in physics, to apply physics principles and techniques successfully for advanced work in other disciplines, to enter industry usefully, or to teach in the secondary schools. Along with courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, atomic and nuclear physics, and thermal physics, students learn modern experimental techniques, principles of quantum mechanics, and applications. UAlbany physics grad students have the opportunity to do creative research in areas ranging from the forefront of particle physics to unexpected applications of condensed matter science.
- Acquisition information:
These records were deposited in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2004 October by Orson Kingsley, History 599 Intern.