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Physics

Featured Research Initiative

Air-Sea Interaction Lab

The primary area of research is air-sea interaction, including the topics of surface wave dynamics, air-sea fluxes, upper ocean turbulence, including Langmuir circulations, and the remote sensing of ocean surface phenomena using electromagnetic and acoustic techniques.

Research Areas

Mathematical and Theoretical Geophysics

Quantitative descriptions of processes fundamental to the Earth, often focusing on modeling and inverse theory.

Nonlinear and Surface Waves

Propagation and dynamics of waves in the ocean, including the effects of stratification, rotation, topography, wind and nonlinearity.

Physical Oceanography

Mechanisms of energy transfer through the sea and across its boundaries, and with the physical interactions of the sea with its surroundings, especially including the influence of the seas on the climate of the atmosphere.

Seismology and Earthquake Physics

The study of earthquakes, the propagation of seismic waves and Earth's internal structure.

Labs, Projects, Programs and Collaborations

Giddings Lab

The Giddings Lab specializes in estuarine and coastal processes with an interest in interdisciplinary projects that address how physics impacts essential biological and chemical processes in the coastal environment.

Featured Researchers and Professors

Thomas Murphy

Professor, Physics; Associate Director, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS)

Astrophysicist Tom Murphy applies his knowledge of mass and energy to understand Earth’s finite resources and how humanity can experience growth and long-term sustainability in harmony with natural ecosystems.

Videos

Academic Degree Programs

Undergraduate Major

Undergraduate Minor

Featured Courses

PHYS 12. Energy and the Environment 

A course covering energy fundamentals, energy use in an industrial society and the impact of large-scale energy consumption. It addresses topics on fossil fuel, heat engines, solar energy, nuclear energy, energy conservation, transportation, air pollution and global effects.

SIO 117. The Physical Basis of Global Warming 

Introduction to the processes behind global warming, including the physics of the greenhouse effect, controls on greenhouse gases, atmospheric and oceanic circulation, climate feedbacks, relationship to natural climate variability, and global environmental issues related to global warming.