Loyola University Maryland

Department of Physics

News and Highlights


November 7, 2023: 2023 Grand Seminar Lecture

2023 Grand Seminar Flyer

The Division of Natural and Applied Sciences at Loyola University Maryland cordially invites you to the 2023 Grand Seminar Lecture and pre-lecture reception with Adam Phillippy (CS '02). The Grand Seminar Lecture is a signature lecture series on sciences that has been hosting world-renowned speakers since 2011, including Nobel Laureates, Shaw prize winners, McArthur (Genius) awardees, and distinguished scientists to Loyola University Maryland.

Join us for the upcoming lecture on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The pre-lecture will take place in McGuire East at the Andrew White Student Center, followed by the main lecture in McGuire Hall West. To RSVP, please contact Sciences@loyola.edu. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to expand your knowledge!

Adam Phillippy is a Human Genome Scientist and will present his work on the Human Genome Project.  DNA is commonly referred to as the code of life, and the Human Genome Project of the late 1990's was reported to have "cracked the code". However, it is more informative to think of DNA not as a cipher to be cracked but as a programming language to be learned, and in that regard, we are far from done. Each cell is like a tiny computer: reading inputs, executing its genomic code and producing outputs. Taken as a whole, these individual cells combine to form the extraordinarily complex and emergent biological systems that we often take for granted. In 2022, we finally finished reading the entire human genome, but the quest to understand it has only just begun. With a sufficient understanding of these systems, we will gain the ability to write and modify genomic code for the benefit of humanity. We are becoming programmers of our own biology.

April 2024: Eclipse Watch Party

Total EclipseTotal eclipse path

Credit: Karl Magnuson                                          Credit: Great American Eclipse

The Physics department is offering a chance to watch the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024, with the provided eclipse glasses. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Cohn Hall 133. The eclipse will begin over the South Pacific Ocean and pass over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It is a rare opportunity to experience the magic of astronomy. Come join us!


Recent News

Annular Solar Eclipse Experience at Loyola University Maryland

Eclispe week Banner

Two weeks ago, Eclipse Week began on Loyola University’s Maryland’s campus in celebration of the 2023 annular solar eclipse. Three events took place, all supported by the Astronomy Club, the Physics Club, and the Physics Department. The first event occurred on Monday, October 9th. Members of the Astronomy Club joined together to get a brief overview of solar eclipses and to create pinhole cameras to view the eclipse. Over 20 Loyola students attended this event. 

 Alex Young, a man wearing glasses, a suit, and a pink tie.

On Wednesday, October 11th, Dr. Alex Young, a heliophysicist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, came to Loyola’s campus to give a talk about the science behind solar eclipses. He discussed the differences between annular and total eclipses, when and where future eclipses will be seen, and many more exciting facts about our sun. Students, faculty, and people from the community came to listen to Dr. Young’s presentation. 

Annular Eclipse in TexasAnnular eclipse viewing from NASA Live feed.

Credit: NASA TV Live

On Saturday, October 14th, starting at 9:30 a.m., Knott Hall B03 was set up as a hub for solar eclipse viewing. Due to poor weather, the Loyola Campus could not view the eclipse directly, but people could watch live streams from different areas of North and South America, which played until 4 p.m. People floated in and out of the room, witnessing annularity multiple times. 

Group Picture at Eclipse Viewing Party
Loyola Maryland’s Eclipse Week demonstrated the interest the campus has in astronomy. The Astronomy Club, the Physics Club, and the Physics Department are looking forward to the total solar eclipse on April 8th, 2024! Watch for more planned eclipse activities during the week leading up to this event.


Rev. Frank Haig

Frank Haig, S.J.

A Jesuit priest and professor emeritus of physics at Loyola, Father Frank Haig's career is an amazing confluence of faith and science