Department of Physics & Astronomy

The fields of physics & astronomy use the scientific method to investigate the fundamental laws that govern the cosmos and all its contents, from subatomic particles to the cosmic web of galaxies on the largest observable scales in the universe and beyond. The pursuit of science is a human endeavor, and our department welcomes the full spectrum of humanity to contribute their perspectives, passions, and skills to scientific exploration.

The mission of San Francisco State University’s Department of Physics & Astronomy is to equip students from all backgrounds with foundational content knowledge in classical mechanics, electricity & magnetism, special and general relativity, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and astronomy and astrophysics; to provide “hands-on” training in theoretical, experimental, observational, and computational techniques for pure research and industrial and “real-world” applications; to mentor students to embrace an empirical, scientific framework to expand the boundaries of knowledge through novel research, and, ultimately, to create diverse STEM leaders, teachers, and policy-makers ready to tackle the most challenging problems facing society locally and globally.

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