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Physics Experience

In this Section

Extracurricular activities
You probably already know about the various fun activities and sports events at Clarkson. In addition to these, the Physics Department offers a number of extracurricular activities. The Clarkson Physics Club is run entirely by students. It sponsors student projects and oversees operation of the Clarkson Observatory. This is a motorized, revolving dome on the outskirts of Potsdam, housing several telescopes for doing serious astrophotography. During the club meetings (where you often get pizza and soda) a professor may discuss a timely development in science or you may get to watch a science documentary movie. Recently the Physics Club has expanded its horizon by publishing its own Journal (and of course there is a club T-shirt). Participation in the Clarkson Chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma (the national Physics honor society) is also quite popular among the students. Apart from all these, the annual Physics picnic is always a lot of fun.

Some of the prizes and awards applicable to all Clarkson students are listed in the University Catalog. In addition, the Physics Department offers three annual awards:

  • Freshman Award, to the freshman student majoring in Physics who demonstrates the greatest proficiency in Physics.
  • Senior Award, to the senior Physics student showing the most promise for a successful professional career.
  • S. Arajs Award for outstanding performance in freshman Physics laboratories.

Employment in the Department

Physics seniors and juniors have opportunities to work as graders, teaching helpers, proctors, and lab instructors. Cooperative programs and similar, typically semester-long, employment options, including those at National Laboratories, are available to students with an excellent academic record. Sometimes you may find summer employment within the Physics department. Usually the job involves assisting a faculty member in his research and your task may very well be continuation of your own research project.

Michael Ramsdell

Physics Professor Michael Ramsdell
demonstrating mechanical advantage
with pulleys in the renovated
SC360 lecture hall.