Physics is the science that investigates the fundamental nature of forces in the universe; namely, the forces between the smallest objects. To date, only four such forces are known. The two most familiar ones are the gravitational and electromagnetic forces. The two lesser known ones are the weak nuclear and strong nuclear forces. The electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces have been unified, so really, there are just three fundamental forces. Physics, of course, has a practical side that investigates, for example, the propagation of electrical energy, the construction of microscopes and telescopes, and the construction of rides at the amusement park (and the behavior of tippy tops). A knowledge of physics allows us to understand phenomena in the world around us.
At SUNY Brockport, the emphasis is on the teaching of all aspects of physics. In addition, all professors of physics have research projects in which students are encouraged to participate, including low temperature physics, the physics of thin films, computational physics and non-linear dynamics and chaos. Seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen alike, are encouraged to work on a research project under the guidance of a professor. Physics majors who have done research have presented their results at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research which is held every year at different locations across the country.
SUNY Brockport offers one course in astronomy, at the introductory level. The College has a planetarium and an observatory which support that course and are used for public shows. A research program is also being initiated with the observatory.