Club Spotlight: Society of Physics Students

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Physics is amazing—and complex. And with a team as enthusiastic about it as you are, it’s also a lot of fun.

Students working together in a physics lab.
A student writing down notes during class.

 

No one ever said college would be easy, and for Physics majors, it can be especially challenging. It turns out that answering the fundamental questions of our world (or at least offering thoughtful observations that lead to hypotheses) is tough. But for those who love physics, it’s worth it. Plus, they have NYU’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students to support them.

“The truth is that the Physics major is hard, and it can be intimidating. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that physics is fun and cool and beautiful,” says Mitchell Karmen. He is one of the former copresidents of the Society of Physics Students and a Physics major. “A lot of people come to NYU loving physics, but some of them get discouraged. It’s a lot of work. The Society of Physics Students is all about keeping the end in sight and staying connected to physics beyond the classwork.”

An Equation for Everyone

Many professional associations have rigorous requirements for membership. But to join this society, one need only be interested in physics. In addition to Physics majors, Society of Physics Students chapters across the country count geology, mathematics, computer science, and astronomy students amongst their members. What’s more, all members have access to the mentorship program. Here, new members partner with an upper-level Physics major, who helps them with professional development, research, networking, and more.

Two students working together with a professor on a project.
A student entering equations into a calculator.

The Structure of Success

In addition to the supportive, committed community, the Society of Physics Students offers abundant resources and events for its members. The group has a dedicated study space, library, and offices, and members attend lectures, events, and outings throughout the year. The club stays busy with weekly meetings, an undergraduate lecture series, and interdisciplinary opportunities. Members recently sat down alongside philosophy students to discuss the philosophy of physics.

The Society of Physics Students also provides many opportunities to get out into the city and see physics in action. This winter, members visited the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. There, they got an inside look at the National Synchrotron. They also participated in a live interview session with Neil deGrasse Tyson, among other famous physicists.

A student smiling and using a piece of equipment while two other students watch.

Matter + Energy = Community

“I’ve made some of my best friends in this club. It’s a great way to get involved in NYU activities, whether you’re a Physics major, find physics interesting, or don’t know anything about it and would like to learn more,” attests Lauren Chiriboga, one of the Society of Physics Students 2020 copresidents. “I was originally on the fence about whether to be a Physics major, but this community made physics feel like a family. It’s ultimately why I chose to major in Physics at NYU.”