PHYSICS at AMU: Home    
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Think of colour, pitch, loudness, heaviness, and hotness. Each of these is the topic of a branch of physics.
Benoit Mandelbrot




  • Professor Rodriquez attended the CNMS (Center for Nuclear Matter Studies) Huada School and Symposium on QCD, hosted by the Institute for Particle Physics at Central China Normal University. The subject of these meetings, drawing scientists from around the world, is the current frontier of high energy nuclear physics. Prof. Rodriguez has returned with several promising research projects to work on.

  • This summer, John-Robert Griswold is participating in an REU experience sponsored by University of Southern Alabama. The study that he will contribute to has a number of linked objectives leading to the refinement of techniques for the detection and study of fluorescently tagged samples in a noisy "autofluorscent" background. These include: protein assay development, hardware optimisation, analysis algorithm improvment, and the extension of software modelling tools. Way to go, John-Robert!

  • Patrick Trebisacci is a research assistant working with Professor Daly. A corporate grant provides Patrick with a stipend. Congratulations to both of you, and good luck with the project!

  • Stephen Barr
  • Mark Henderson
  • At a recently-held honours colloquium, Professor Rodriguez presented a synopsis of the so-called Gallileo Affair. The slides for his talk are available here.

The Ave Herald has pictures from a recent local (AMHSA) homeschool science fair. Several of the physics majors generously volunteered their time and expertise as judges. The organisers and the children are most appreciative!

The Mathematics and Physics Department is especially pleased to congratulate Dan Sadasivan, BA Math (minor Physics), on his admission to graduate studies in Physics!
[Dan makes two! Mark Henderson (BA Math, minor Physics) is well on his way to a Physics Ph.D.]

Dan also was enrolled in the Spring 2012 Shakespeare in Performance class which mounted a very well received production of As You Like It.
Dan liked it nearly as much as his physics studies!


In the Fall of 2011, the Department of Mathematics and Physics proposed the initiation of a Physics Major. Institutional approval came swiftly, and the program of study commenced in Fall 2012.
Bunches of fun-loving [or perhaps problem-set-loving] students with a variety of career interests and aspirations have signed up to be physics majors.


Higgs Spotted!
The Higgs Boson, the final remaining piece of the minimal Standard Model of Particle Physics, has been discovered at the LHC at CERN (confirmation came in early 2013). Enquiring minds are eager to know its detailed properties.  Is it a composite of other particles? Does it have a twin? Is it the lightest member of a hierarchy of Higgses?


Physics lectures and laboratories are usually offered in The Saint Michael the Archangel Physics Laboratory located on the second-floor of the Henkels Academic Building. The undergraduate Physics labs are well-outfitted with basic equipment items. A workstation-server is primarily devoted to research in high-energy physics.


2013 Nobel Prize Awarded

This year's prize was awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for the discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles. [How this discovery was made, and the contributions of the many people involved, is recounted in Frank Close's recent book: The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe (Basic Books, 2011)]

Link: Nobel Prize 2013: Physics

The Physics program offers all students an introduction to the theoretical and experimental bases of natural science.

Introductory Physics courses fulfill the AMU Core Science requirement. Advice for students and faculty advisors is found here.

To get a sense of the depth and scope of the introductory sequence of courses, one can view (a portion of) the textbook for the first of the calculus-based physics courses, University Physics: Mechanics, here.

The students who opt for the Physics Major receive a deeper and richer exposition of theoretical, experimental, and computational science.

Students pursuing the Physics Minor, while majoring in another discipline, receive a more narrowly focussed presentation of the subject.

Students with a cognate interest in Physics are invited to elect courses for which they have satisfied the prerequisites.


The program faculty maintain scholarly interests in high-energy particle phenomenology, formal aspects of quantum field theories, and other related fields.

Opportunities for undergraduate participation in these research efforts and assistance in applying for Research Experience for Undergraduate participants, [REU], programs at other institutions are made available to interested students.

Should you have questions about the Physics program at Ave Maria University, please contact us at:

Patrick F. Kelly,
Dept. of Mathematics and Physics








Department of Mathematics and Physics
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Boulevard
Ave Maria,  FL  34142 - 9503