Department Strengths

Faculty Accessibility, Contact & Support
Labs, classrooms and faculty offices are all close together. Our all-day (and all-night) open-door policy means lots of regular formal and informal interaction between students and faculty. As an undergraduate institution, our focus and passion is preparing future physicists (and engineers).

Cooperative Learning Environment

Labs and other projects are done in small groups—students are encouraged to learn through these experiences and to learn how to work cooperatively in them and in homework. Discussions between students about concepts and approaches are an important part of the learning process, but individual responsibility for preparing and writing up one’s own work is also critical.

Students enjoy essentially 24-hour access to the two largest of our labs (the “Intro” lab and the “Engineering” lab). When not being used for instruction, students gather here to have access to 24 high-performance laptops running licensed applications such as MATLAB, LabVIEW, Mathematica and KeyCreator (a 3D CAD program), browse the hundreds of physics—and engineering—related textbooks in our departmental library, spread out and work on the large e-lift tables, and take advantage of gigabit wired/wireless networking and high-definition video/audio. Access to our machine shop comes only after taking our evening preparatory technical drawing & design and machining skills courses. Access to our fully outfitted handtools shop comes only after taking our handtools safety course. All of this open-access is to encourage students to work together and learn together.

Students Serve as Teaching Assistants
Because there are no graduate students, students majoring in physics are employed as teaching assistants in labs and upper level students serve as tutors and graders for homework. In these capacities, you will gain experience teaching and communicating about physics, while refreshing and reinforcing your own physics knowledge.

Sophisticated Equipment
Gordon is in the midst of building a cutting edge science facility that will significantly enhance the experience of science students and faculty. Read more about the Ken Olsen Science Center. Currently, the department maintains a range of equipment for advanced labs such as:

  • Scanning probe microscope (AFM, MFM, F–D, nanoindent, nanolithography modes)
  • Laser systems
  • X-ray diffractometer (theta-theta powder)
  • Digital oscilloscopes
  • Data acquisition systems
  • 8 and 12 inch reflecting telescopes
  • Fully equipped machining and prototyping shop, including a mill, a lathe, another CNC mill, a 3-d laser scanner and a 3-d printer from Z Corporation, along with drill presses, grinding machines, and more.
  • Fully equipped sample preparation lab in support of undergraduate research projects. Equipment includes a diamond wheel saw, a cold cutting saw, lapping and polishing equipment, and a Buehler arc-melter.

Curriculum Approach
Gordon's program provides a broad foundation in physics, allowing accommodation of students that elect to double major or minor in other disciplines. Physics majors have double majored in physics plus a variety of other majors including mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, philosophy, economics, sociology, biblical studies, English literature and German.

Gordon also offers a computational physics track that encompasses physics, mathematics, and computer science.

3-2 Engineering Program
Gordon's program combines the best of a Christian liberal arts education with focused engineering preparation. Upon completion, the graduate receives bachelor's degrees from both Gordon and the engineering school. Read more about the vision and details of this unique program here.

Preparation for Career in Secondary Education
The combination of a physics major and Gordon's teacher preparation program prepares students with a deep knowledge of physics and the pedagogical, classroom management and other skills necessary for teaching.

Boston
Gordon is a 30 minute drive/train ride to the cultural and academic resources of Boston.

Dr. Reczek addresses students