Chair: Paul Oxley
Physics is the study of the behavior of the universe, especially the fundamental laws underlying natural phenomena. The major in physics at Holy Cross is intended to provide a thorough foundation in the principles of physics with a firm grounding in the liberal arts. For students interested in the exploration of physics in conjunction with a major in another field of study, the department also offers a minor.
The department, which consists of eight tenured faculty members and around 10 to 20 physics majors and minors per class year, ensures students receive highly personalized attention.
Higher Number of Physics Majors Than National Average
On average, 15 students become physics majors or minors each year, putting Holy Cross in the top 15 percent of all baccalaureate physics programs in the country in terms of numbers of majors.
Haberlin Hall, which houses the physics department, was fully renovated in 2010. The teaching classrooms and labs are designed to allow students to be fully engaged in the scientific process. From their first science course at Holy Cross to their most sophisticated senior research projects, students work in an environment that is specially designed to encourage hands-on, discovery-based exploration.
The Holy Cross Physics Department condemns all forms of discrimination, racism, sexism, and intolerance of any kind. We stand in solidarity with those who oppose systemic racism and discrimination. All of us have a role and a responsibility to enact change and ensure that every individual has equal access to our society’s benefits.
We are committed to building an inclusive Holy Cross physics community that fosters mutual respect and celebrates our differences. Our department recognizes that physics has a long history of over representation by white males. Despite efforts in our department and elsewhere, very little has changed. Therefore, we must modify our approach and make a greater attempt to create a safe and welcoming community for all.
To achieve our goal, we must identify the problems that lead to marginalization and alienation, and take immediate steps to eliminate the causes. We want to know the concerns of our students, staff, and colleagues. The Chair will be reaching out to our current physics students and alumni to learn about how their relationships with faculty, staff, and other students affected them in a positive or negative way. The feedback will help us understand our failures, as well as our successes, and help us determine an action plan.
Until every student has equal access to academic opportunities, we will fall short of our full potential as a department, as a college and as a country.