Department Contact Information

Physics Department

Location: 180-204
Phone: (805) 619-5106
Fax: (805) 756-2435
Email: physics@calpoly.edu
Chair: Karl Saunders

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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Astronomy & Astrophysics


Astronomy Minor

Cal Poly Physics offers a minor program in astronomy for interested students. For more information, see this page.

Astronomy Research

Several of our faculty actively pursue research in astronomy and astrophysics (see list below). For more information, please visit the webpages of individual faculty and contact them directly.

Astronomical Society

The Cal Poly Astronomical Society is an on-campus student club, offering various social and leisure activities on and off campus related to astronomy. During the academic year, the club meets every other week. Anyone is welcome, regardless of their major. For more information, contact the club directly via email to cpastroclub@gmail.com. Dr. David Mitchell is the current faculty advisor.

Cal Poly Observatory - CLOSED until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Physics Department offers public viewing of objects in the night sky through the on-campus Cal Poly Observatory, staffed by student observatory assistants. Cal Poly Observatory is open twice a week during the school year, weather permitting (excluding week 1, finals week, and breaks). Exact times vary by quarter. The observatory can be found on the campus map where it is marked as 52B, Science Observatory. It is located between the wings of building 52. Please refer to the Cal Poly Observatory Facebook page for more information and to see if the observatory will be open (updated 30 minutes before start time on any given night). Cal Poly Observatory Facebook Page

 

Vardha N. Bennert

Associate Professor

Email: vbennert@calpoly.edu
Office: 180-622
Phone: 805.756.7317

Research Interests

Astrophysics
Active Galactic Nuclei
Black Hole mass Scaling Relations and Their Evolution
Galaxy Interactions and Mergers

Jodi Christiansen

Jodi Christiansen

Professor

Email: jlchrist@calpoly.edu
Office: 180-617
Phone: 805.756.2778

Research Interests

Astroparticle Physics
Cosmology

Louise Edwards

Louise Edwards

Assistant Professor

Email: ledwar04@calpoly.edu
Office: 180-619
Phone: 805.756.7674

 

Research Interests

The formation and Evolution of Brightest Cluster Galaxies
Galaxies in Cluster Cores and in Filaments

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser

Senior Lecturer

Email: scfraser@calpoly.edu
Office: 25-206
Phone: 805.756.2800

Research Interests

General Relativity
Black Holes
Extra Dimensions

Astrophysics

Elizabeth Jeffery

Elizabeth Jeffery

Assistant Professor

Email: ejjeffer@calpoly.edu
Office: 180-604
Phone: 805.756.2019

Research Interests

White Dwarf stars

 

David Mitchell

David Mitchell

Professor

Email: dsmitche@calpoly.edu
Office: 180-614
Phone: 805.756.5290

Research Interests

Observational Astronomy: Extrasolar Planets

Benjamin Shlaer

Lecturer

Email:  bshlaer@calpoly.edu
Office: 180-111
Phone: 805.756.1663

 

Research Interests

Early universe cosmology
The measure problem of eternal inflation
The problem of time in quantum gravity
Cosmic strings
Dark energy

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