B Southern University-Physics department


Telephone: (225) 771-4130

Southern University at Baton Rouge is a historically Black, public, Land Grant institution of higher education whose mission comprises quality instruction, research, and service. Departments of the College of Sciences include those of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, and Speech Pathology and Audiology. Research centers in which the College faculty members are heavily involved include the Health Research Center, the Center for Molecular Biology, the Center for Social Research, and the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies.

The Department of Physics at Southern University offers the Bachelor's degree (B.S.) and Masters degree (M.S.) in Physics. Presently there are twelve (17) full-time two (4) part-time faculty members, all of whom have earned Ph.D. degrees in physics or related fields. The Department serves over two hundred fifty (250) science and engineering majors per semester, over sixty (60) of whom are physics majors, and about 200 general students.

The Department just completed a five year campaign to upgrade its instructional and research facilities. Over $900,000 of Federal and State grants have been acquired for this purpose. New acquisitions include: a variety of pieces of equipment for instructional laboratories; a departmental computer network of more than forty-five (45) Pentium multimedia workstations, 8 SiliconGraphics O2 workstations, and an Origin2000 Server. In addition, department owns variety of computing systems such as Sun Sparc20, SGI Indigo2, Digital Vax 4000 and Alpha200, and IBM RS6000. All the computers in the department are connected to the Internet through a T1 fiber optics connection. The High Performance Computing Lab (HPCL) provides video conferencing on two of the its O2s. The software library of the department includes the following applications although not limitted to these only;

C, C++, J++, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, Power C, Power C++, Power F77, and Power F90 compilers
MS Word, WordPro, Scientificword, ProfessionalWrite, and LATEX wordprocessors
IDL, GEANT, PAW, and other simulation and graphics packages
the complete version of Cosmo-3D
the comlete package of Numerical Recipes for Fortran and C
and several Web publishing packages.

Current departmental research projects are in the areas of electronic structure and related properties of materials, molecular dynamics simulation of high temperature superconductors, spectroscopy of rare earth elements and their alloys, properties of porous media, experimental investigations of electrical and dielectric properties of materials, particle physics and detector research, atomic scattering, stochastic processes, and cognition.

According to the figures of the American Institute of Physics (AIP Report on Enrollment and Degrees, AIP R-151.27, 1990), around fifty (50) Black students earned Ph.D. degrees in Physics from 1984-85 to 1988-89 academic years. No more than thirty of these scholars, from our estimation, are Americans. In the same period, Drs. Gary Riglin (1988), Doyle Temple (1988) and Gwendolyn Dixon (1987) earned their Ph.D. degrees in Physics. Hence, graduates of this Department account for at least ten per cent (10 %) of African-Americans who earned a Ph.D. degree in physics from 1984 to 1989. It should be noted that Dr. Ning Zhi Du, who earned her physics Ph.D. in 1987, is an alumnus not considered in the calculation of the above percentage. Also not included are our two (2) alumni, Dr. Rosalyn L. Slaughter and Dr. Kevin Stephens, and a former pre-medicine student who earned medical doctorate degrees during the same period from 1984 to 1989. Twenty (20) recent alumni of the Department are currently pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at universities around the country.

The Department continues to raise scholarship funds for current and prospective physics majors. The support of corporate and philanthropic America is being sought for these endeavors. The highly enhanced facilities and resources place the Department in an ideal position for recruiting purposeful and talented students. The Timbuktu Academy, an integral part of the Department, is an umbrella for honor students' research, advisement, and mentoring with an annual budget of $800,000. The track record of the Department and its outstanding status were recently confirmed by out-of-state consultants of the Louisiana Board of Regents. They wrote: "the undergraduate physics program at SUBR is among the best we have encountered anywhere...The vehicle for this has been the altogether remarkable organization, the Timbuktu Academy." (Page 27, 1994 Physics Review Report to the Louisiana Board of Regents).