The department is housed within the remodeled Darwin Hall and has excellent classroom and laboratory resources, including:

High Magnetic Field Laboratory with a focus on the electronic and magnetic properties of materials. The laboratory hosts a 17 Tesla superconducting magnet system.

Adaptive Optics Laboratory for the study of advanced imaging techniques, including the sensing and correction of optical distortions in real-time through the use of microelectromechanical deformable mirrors.

Applied Nuclear Laboratory that includes an intrinsic germanium detector, an alpha particle detector, and a liquid scintillation counter.

Hall Measurement Laboratory that characterizes semiconducters at room temperature and liquid nitrogen temperature.


Students and faculty within the department routinely use the facilities of the Cerent Engineering Science Complex in Salazar Hall:

The Keck Microanalysis Laboratory includes a scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscopes, an automated X-Ray diffractometer and other materials analysis instrumentation.

The Photonics Laboratory features extensive laser instrumentation as well as fiber optics analysis equipment.


Galbreath Wildlands Preserve Observatory: The observatory is currently in the development phase. When completed, it will be used for advanced research in astronomy and astrophysics undergraduate instruction, and science and technology outreach at the K-12 level.

A distinguished program in undergraduate astronomy is supported by a teaching observatory on the SSU campus, a NASA funded research observatory at a darker site in northern Sonoma County and the development of a remote dark site in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in southern Mendocino county.

SSU's Education and Public Outreach Group (E/PO), led by Prof. Lynn Cominsky, develops STEM curricula, trains teachers and maintains several different educational web sites. The group is funded by NASA and the U.S. Department of Education.