Observatory hero
Physics & Astronomy


The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Valparaiso University is dedicated to your quest to explore the fundamental nature of the physical universe. 

Due to the cloudy weather, tonight’s observatory open house will move to Neils Science Center for a brief planetarium show and a slide show tour of the Universe from 8:30-9:30 pm.

Following the open house we will have a public demonstration of the SARA Telescope in Chile from 9:30-10:30 pm in Neils Science Center room 234.

Please note: the boiler in Neils is currently not operating so internal temperatures are in the 50s. If you attend tonight please dress warmly!


Accepting Applications for a Visiting Assistant Professorship Position

New scholarship available for African-American Astronomy majors, up to $10,000 per year

Nuclear Physics Group Awarded $362,000 Grant Renewal

Dr. Hillwig Awarded $217,400 NSF Grant for Binary Star Studies


With eight professors, the department has an intimate student-faculty ratio, allowing students to benefit from personal relationships and one-on-one advising.

All faculty members also conduct research, and they use those projects as opportunities to mentor students in the lab. Their research and expertise includes:

  • Nuclear & Particle Physics
  • Observational Astronomy
  • Computational Condensed Matter
  • Nanoscience


Valpo students have access to research-grade laboratories and multiple astronomical observatories.

With the help of the physics and astronomy faculty, students learn how to use these tools to probe the smallest particles and the widest reaches of space.

Mission Statement

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Valparaiso University is dedicated to the study, research, and instruction of the most fundamental structures of our physical universe, seeking to find and characterize orderliness in a seemingly complex environment ranging from the most elementary constituents of matter to objects of the astronomical realm.

This study and research is motivated by a conviction that there is an underlying order, symmetry, and beauty in nature, which are God’s manifestations.

We enthusiastically strive to communicate this knowledge and its limitations; to motivate students to achieve a greater understanding, appreciation, and support of scientific inquiry; to overcome widespread scientific illiteracy; and to promote the development of morally responsible citizens, concerned about our environment and our society.