The University of Utah
Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah

Research Opportunities

In Memoriam

Grant Fowles (1919 - 2018)


Dr. Fowles, joined the department faculty in 1950 and had a career spanning 40 years. He was a Utah native, having been a U.S. Navy veteran during WWII, an alumnus of the University of Utah ('41) and of the University of California, Berkeley ('50). When Grant joined the department in 1950, the staff consisted of five professors and one secretary, all occupying a portion of what is now the math building. At his retirement, Grant stated, "Over the years it has been most satisfying to have been a member of a vigorous department and to see it grow to its present size." He often remarked that one of his fondest experiences was working in the lab with graduate students during the early days of lasers. He was very excited to make a real contribution to the field, and even discovered many new metal vapor laser transitions, among his many other achievements. He also served as an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physics for a number of years prior to his retirement. He loved teaching undergraduate courses, especially mechanics. He also wrote several textbooks, including Introduction to Modem Optics, and Analytical Mechanics (that he wrote with Professor George Cassiday). Both are still in print and are still used in physics classrooms across the country.

Obituary & more information


XIAOLIN TANG (1985 - 2017)

Graduate Student

Tribute & More information

We are deeply saddened at the passing of our student, colleague, and friend, Xiaolin Tang. Her passing is a tragedy, and she will be missed by all of us in the Physics and Astronomy Department. She was bright, talented, and eager to make an impact on the world. Since joining our graduate program, she had an impressive research record in biophysics and biochemistry, and was an avid participant and award winner in our Student Research Symposium.

It is a great loss to the scientific community that we will never have the opportunity to see her work progress or know the contributions she would have made to advance our field. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family and friends at this very difficult time.


FRITZ LUTY (1928 - 2017)

Distinguished Professor

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HAVEN E. BERGESON (1933 - 2017)


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Staff: Lecture Demonstration Specialist (1979 - 2007)

U's Press Release


SAWYER GORDON (1995 - 2017)


More information available here.

Sawyer Gordon's Obituary.


MICAH LEE KOHUTEK (1980 - 2017)


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JAMES "JIM" W. CRONIN (1931 - 2016)


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OWEN JOHNSON (1931 - 2015)


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LYNN HIGGS (1946 - 2015)

Staff: Academic Advisor

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B. GALE DICK (1926 - 2014)


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JOHN VINER (1942 - 2013)

Staff: Research Specialist

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JAMES "JIM" S. BALL (1934 - 2013)


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ALAN B. LARSON (1938 - 2013)

Staff: Cosmic Ray Technician

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NORMA SWIGART (1913 - 2012)

Dept. Friend, Wife of J. Irvin Swigart

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WAYNE WINGERT (1961 - 2012)

Staff: Lab Scientist

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TYLER SOELBERG (1986 - 2011)


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HENRY BOWCUTT (1924 - 2011)

Staff: Machinist

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FRED SLOCK (1938 - 2010)

Staff: building maintenance & woodshop supervisor

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BETTY KEUFFEL (1917 - 2010)

Dept. Friend, Wife of Jack Keuffel

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VINCE FREDERICK (1920 - 2002)

Staff: Librarian (54 years)

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THOMAS PARMLEY (1897 - 1997)


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J. IRVIN SWIGART (1904 - 1987)


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JACK W. KEUFFEL (1919 - 1974)


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The Department of Physics & Astronomy is located on the north-west side of campus, on what was the original "Engineering Mall" on the University of Utah's main campus in the east bench of Salt Lake City. We are located just east of the Kingsbury Hall Performing Arts Center, and across the street from "Greek Row". Our main departmental office is located in room 201 of the James Fletcher Building. Our main phone number is (801) 581-6901. The Visiting Us page offers tips for visiting our campus, including directions and maps.

Our phone number is: (801) 581-6901
Our FAX number is: (801) 581-4801

Our mailing address is:
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
University of Utah
201 James Fletcher Bldg.
115 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830

Our Campus Address is: 201 James Fletcher Bldg.





Useful Contacts in the Department of Physics & Astronomy:

Department Chair

Peter Trapa
(801) 581-3538


Associate Chair

Pearl Sandick
(801) 581-8397

Chair's Assistant

Heidi Frank
(801) 581-5697



Mandi Peterson
(801) 581-6901

Graduate Director

Doug Bergman
(801) 585-5973


Graduate Secretary

Krista Perkins
(801) 581-6861

Undergraduate Director

John Belz
(801) 585-9620


Undergraduate Advisor

Tamara Young
(801) 581-7910

Undergraduate Honors Advising

Anil Seth
(801) 585-7793


Accounting, Payroll, & Financials

(801) 581-6374

Astronomy Outreach

Tabitha Buehler
(801) 585-0485


(Star Parties & Observatory Tours)

Tabitha Buehler & Paul Ricketts
(801) 58-SPACE (587-7223)


Julie Callahan
(801) 585-9331


Cosmic Ray

Frank Misak
(801) 581-6628

Society of Physics Students
(Lab Tours)




  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy • 201 James Fletcher Bldg. 115 S. 1400 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830
  • PHONE 801-581-6901
  • Fax 801-581-4801
  • ©2018 The University of Utah