Wanek School of Natural Sciences

Department of Physics

Undergraduate research, public outreach, summer internships, publications, and R&D projects…there’s a lot going on in the Department of Physics at High Point University. We invite you to browse our website, blog, course materials, and photo galleries. But if you really want to know what we are about, we encourage you to come to campus and spend time with our faculty, our physics majors, and our alumni. We love to talk physics and astronomy, and we love to show you our results. So check out our annual reports.

2013-2014 Annual Report (79 MB, long download)

2014-2016 Annual Report (272 MB, long download)


Dr. Briana Fiser (
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Physics
(336) 841-9412

2017 Publications

A Multiwavelength Study of Nearby Millisecond Pulsar PSR J1400–1431: Improved Astrometry and an Optical Detection of Its Cool White Dwarf Companion (Swiggum, J. K. and Kaplan, D. L., McLaughlin, M. A. and Lorimer, D. R., Bogdanov, S. and Ray, P. S., Lynch, R. and Gentile, P., Rosen, R. and Heatherly, S. A., Barlow, B. N. and Hegedus, R. J., Vasquez Soto, A. and Clancy, P., Kondratiev, V. I. and Stovall, K. and Istrate, A. and Penprase, B.), In Astrophysical Journal, volume 847, 2017. [doi]
The fading of Cassiopeia A, and improved models for the absolute spectrum of primary radio calibration sources (Trotter, A. S. and Reichart, D. E., Egger, R. E. and Stýblová, J., Paggen, M. L. and Martin, J. R., Dutton, D. A. and Reichart, J. E., Kumar, N. D. and Maples, M. P., Barlow, B. N. and Berger, T. A., Foster, A. C. and Frank, N. R., Ghigo, F. D. and Haislip, J. B., Heatherly, S. A. and Kouprianov, V. V., LaCluyzé, A. P. and Moffett, D. A. and Moore, J. P. and Stanley, J. L.), In \mnras, volume 469, 2017. [doi]
A Search for Rapidly Pulsating Hot Subdwarf Stars in the GALEX Survey (Boudreaux, T. M. and Barlow, B. N., Fleming, S. W. and Vasquez Soto, A., Million, C. and Reichart, D. E. and Haislip, J. B. and Linder, T. R.), In Astrophysical Journal, volume 845, 2017. [doi]
The Solar Neighborhood. XXXIX. Parallax Results from the CTIOPI and NOFS Programs: 50 New Members of the 25 parsec White Dwarf Sample (Subasavage, J. P. and Jao, W.-C., Henry, T. J. and Harris, H. C., Dahn, C. C. and Bergeron, P., Dufour, P. and Dunlap, B. H., Barlow, B. N. and Ianna, P. A. and Lépine, S. and Margheim, S. J.), In Astronomical Journal, volume 154, 2017. [doi]
Two-site Photometry and Spectroscopy of the Rapidly Pulsating sdB Star EC 22221-3152 (Barlow, B. N. and Kilkenny, D., Geier, S. and Dunlap, B. H., Reichart, D. E. and LaCluyze, A. P. and Ivarsen, K. M. and Haislip, J. B.), In \pasp, volume 129, 2017. [doi]
Physical properties of seven binary and higher-order multiple OB systems (Mayer, P. and Harmanec, P., Chini, R. and Nasseri, A., Nemravová, J. A. and Drechsel, H., Catalan-Hurtado, R. and Barlow, B. N. and Frémat, Y. and Kotková, L.), In åp, volume 600, 2017. [doi]
Close Binary Progenitors and Ejected Companions of Thermonuclear Supernovae (Geier, S. and Kupfer, T., Heber, U. and Nemeth, P., Ziegerer, E. and Irrgang, A., Schindewolf, M. and Marsh, T. R. and Gänsicke, B. T. and Barlow, B. N.), In 20th European White Dwarf Workshop (Tremblay, P.-E., Gaensicke, B., Marsh, T., eds.), volume 509, 2017.

2016 Publications

Radial velocity variable, hot post-AGB stars from the MUCHFUSS project. Classification, atmospheric parameters, formation scenarios (Reindl, N. and Geier, S., Kupfer, T. and Bloemen, S., Schaffenroth, V. and Heber, U. and Barlow, B. N. and Østensen, R. H.), In Astronomy & Astrophysics, volume 587, 2016. [doi]
The motion of a spring released from uniform circular motion (Thomas Dooling, Jeff Regester, Matthew Carnaghi and Aaron Titus), In American Journal of Physics, volume 84, 2016. [doi]
Selected Papers from the 20th International Conference on Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning (Aaron Titus and Francisco Esquembre), In 20th International Conference on Multimedia in Physics Teaching and Learning (Lars-Jochen Thoms, Raimund Girwidz, eds.), 2016. [pdf]
Operation of AC Adapters Visualized Using Light-Emitting Diodes (Regester, Jeffrey), In The Physics Teacher, volume 54, 2016. [pdf] [doi]

2015 Publications

PSR J1930-1852: a Pulsar in the Widest Known Orbit around Another Neutron Star (J. K. Swiggum, R. Rosen, M. A. McLaughlin, D. R. Lorimer, S. Heatherly, R. Lynch, S. Scoles, T. Hockett, E. Filik, J. A. Marlowe, B. N. Barlow, M. Weaver, M. Hilzendeger, S. Ernst, R. Crowley, E. Stone, B. Miller, R. Nunez, G. Trevino, M. Doehler, A. Cramer, D. Yencsik, J. Thorley, R. Andrews, A. Laws, K. Wenger, L. Teter, T. Snyder, A. Dittmann, S. Gray, M. Carter, C. McGough, S. Dydiw, C. Pruett, J. Fink, A. Vanderhout), In The Astrophysical Journal, volume 805, 2015. [doi]
Discrete and Structurally Unique Proteins (Tapirins) Mediate Attachment of Extremely Thermophilic Caldicellulosiruptor Species to Cellulose (Sara E. Blumer-Schuette, Markus Alahuhta, Jonathan M. Conway, Laura L. Lee, Jeffrey V. Zurawski, Richard J. Giannone, Robert L. Hettich, Vladimir V. Lunin, Michael E. Himmel, Robert M. Kelly), In The Journal of Biological Chemistry, volume 290, 2015. [doi]
Highly responsive core-shell microactuator arrays for use in viscous and viscoelastic fluids (Briana L Fiser, Adam R Shields, M R Falvo, R Superfine), In Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, volume 25, 2015. [doi]
Matter and Interactions, Fourth Edition Student Solutions Manual (Aaron P. Titus, Paul J. Heafner), Wiley, 2015.
Improving the adhesion of Au thin films onto poly(methyl methacrylate) substrates using spun-cast organic solvents (Thomas C. DeVore Brian H. Augustine Vezekile P. Zungu Laura L. Lee Alan K. Mo, Wm. Christopher Hughes), In Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A, volume 29, 2011. [doi]

What can I do with this major?

With strong problem solving skills and theoretical understanding, experience in designing and carrying out experiments, and extensive application of computational modeling and computer programming, our graduates are prepared for a variety of careers and graduate programs in science that is as diverse as our students themselves.

Traditional areas: physics, engineering, atmospheric science, nanotechnology, microelectronics, computer programming and technology, instrumentation, materials science, astrophysics, biophysics and medical physics.

Non-traditional areas: teaching, medicine, finance or law.

Opportunities for experiential learning

In their first or second year, majors take a year-long, one credit course in undergraduate research where they complete an independent research project with a faculty member.

Every physics course includes at least two of the following experiential learning components in order for students to apply what they are learning, develop critical thinking skills, and demonstrate problem solving:

  • Experimental physics (laboratory)
  • Computational modeling
  • A culminating project that is theoretical, experimental, or computational.

Physics majors become proficient in using the programming language Python for computational modeling and numerical problem solving. Python and computational modeling are first taught using Matter & Interactions in our introductory, calculus-based physics course, typically taken by physics majors in the freshman year.

What are grads doing with this major?


Why Physics?

Upon graduation you will be well-prepared for a wide variety of pursuits. If you choose graduate school, an undergraduate degree in physics is excellent preparation for graduate studies in a number of fields including astronomy, earth and atmospheric science, biophysics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and nuclear engineering, to name just a few.

If you are looking to enter the workforce right after graduation, your degree will open up a range of possibilities. Physics graduates work in such diverse fields as engineering, computer or information systems, medical technology, technical writing, finance, and education.
Depending on your interests, you may want to consider double-majoring while at HPU. For example, if you want to go into biophysics, you should take courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and general biology, for example. If you want to go into high-performance computing or do computational physics, consider double-majoring in computer science. If theory is your thing, then double major in mathematics.

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Physics at HPU

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