Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a strong program in theoretical and experimental space physics ( Faculty members Jim LaBelle, Kristina Lynch, and Robyn Millan have a long history of rocket and balloon studies of the solar wind and its interactions with the Earth's magnetosphere. In the Arctic, these interactions appear as the aurora borealis or "northern lights." Instrument packages have been sent into the upper atmosphere from many northern locations including Alaska, Sweden, and Canada. Similar work has also been conducted in Antarctica.