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Physics & Astronomy

Videos from the Physics Department

The Physics of Lightning

Brant Carlson studies atmospheric electricity and lightning. New to the Carthage faculty in Fall 2012, he earned his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 2009. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2005.


Carthage students witness final shuttle launch

Members of the Carthage Microgravity Team were invited to Kennedy Space Center in July 2011 to watch the historic launch of Atlantis STS-135, the final mission of the American space shuttle program.


Carthage Flies with NASA 2012

Carthage’s Microgravity Team has conducted research aboard NASA’s Weightless Wonder six years in a row. Learn about the 2012 project by watching the above video.


Carthage Flies with NASA 2012 - Flight Day

See video from the Carthage students flight on G-Force One, NASA’s “Weightless Wonder.”


Carthage Microgravity Team explains their project at NASA

Danielle Weiland ’14, explains this year’s Carthage Microgravity Team’s experiment, a zero-gravity fuel gauge.


Carthage Microgravity Trip 2011

The 2011 Carthage Microgravity Team’s trip to Houston to perform experiments for NASA in zero-g.


The Carthage Experiment: A Zero Gravity Fuel Gauge

Carthage Microgravity Team leader Kim Schultz ’12, walks you through this year’s NASA experiment.


Carthage Microgravity Team at NASA Day 1

The Carthage College Microgravity Team talks about their first day at the Johnson NASA Center in Houston working on their zero-gravity fuel gauge that may change the way propellant is measured in space. This video was produced by Carthage student Erika Share for the Kenosha News. It is included on this site with permission.


NASA 2011: Fitted for Flight

In this video, Carthage Microgravity Team member Stephanie Finnvik talks about getting her official NASA flight suit.


Carthage Microgravity Team completes TRR at NASA

Members of the Carthage Microgravity Team must pass a Test Readiness Review with NASA engineers before being approved for flight on the zero-gravity aircraft.


Floating in Zero Gravity

The Carthage Microgravity Team was selected to participate in NASA’s Systems Engineering Educational Discovery program for the fourth consecutive year. On April 5-6, 2011, students flew aboard NASA’s zero gravity aircraft conducting their experiments. Watch the students as they float, flip and spin — all in the name of science.


A Tour of Rocket Park with Steven Mathe ’13

2012 Carthage Microgravity Team member Steve Mathe ’13, gives a tour of Rocket Park at Johnson Space Center in Houston.


NASA 2011: First Day at Ellington Field

The Carthage Microgravity Team is conducting research for NASA as part of the 2011 Systems Engineering Educational Discovery program, or SEED.


NASA 2011: Getting Ready for TRR

The students will meet with NASA scientists on Monday, April 4, 2011, for a Test Readiness Review, or TRR, to make sure their experiment is ready for flight.


  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Computer science students watch Prof. Mark Mahoney’s recorded lecturers in their free time, so he can nearby “when they do their real learning,” he says. He has company: Physics professor Brant Carlson’s quantum mechanics video playlist has been viewed more than 170,000 times. 

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …