United States Air Force Academy

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Basic Sciences Division


Cadets with weather balloon

The students, faculty, and researchers in the Department of Physics and Meteorology apply the principles of physics and meteorology to better enable our modern technological society and enhance the capabilities of the Air Force and the Department of Defense.

About Us

The Department of the Air Force has a long history of technological innovation. Some of the Department of Defense’s most brilliant minds helped pioneer inventions such as nuclear energy, GPS, the internet, and virtual reality. Our modern society owes much to these great government scientists.

The laws and equations behind every device which empowers our modern society were first discovered in a physics laboratory. And although the pace of scientific discovery over the past two centuries has been nothing short of amazing, there remains a plethora of fundamental “unknowns” for future physicists to discover—dark energy, dark matter, quantum gravity, Grand Unification Theory and more. Meanwhile, both military operations and the daily lives of millions of Americans depend on meteorologists to design and interpret sensors, models, algorithms, etc., and provide accurate weather forecasting.

The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Department of Physics and Meteorology offers the opportunity for cadets to graduate with an accredited Bachelor of Science in either Physics or Meteorology, as well as a minor in Nuclear Weapons & Strategy. Graduates from these programs will go on to serve in the Air and Space Forces as weather officers, physicists, pilots, nuclear research officers, space operators, flight test engineers, acquisition managers, engineers, intelligence officers, and other career fields.

The department is home to four research centers and a research observatory that enable cadets and faculty to work alongside Department of Defense and national-level organizations. This research develops real-world solutions to enhance the capabilities of the Air and Space Forces. The knowledge and experience our graduates gain from the research they perform prepares them for their future roles as military officers. Information on the six research centers can be found at the Research Centers homepage.

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Physics and Meteorology Faculty & Staff

2354 Fairchild Drive
United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840
(719) 333-3510 | DSN 333-3510