The Charles W. Brown Planetarium offers many opportunities to Ball State students and the community. The planetarium is an immersive theater where state-of-the-art technology transforms the 52-foot dome into a simulation of the night sky as seen from Earth and from space. For example, the audience can “fly” through Saturn’s rings, land on Mars, or travel to distant stars and galaxies. By combining real images from spacecraft and telescopes with advanced computer graphics, the possibilities become almost endless. The planetarium uses a GOTO CHRONOS II Hybrid projector with an RSA Cosmos digital system to display visualizations based on real scientific data.
Programs are open to the public, school groups, and Ball State University students. Over the past year, the Brown Planetarium has hosted over 396 events and has seen over 20,500 guests! Those numbers include 8,037 public group guests, and private events for 8,926 school group guests, 2,320 community group guests, and 1,217 BSU group guests. We take great pride in offering quality educational and entertaining programs to all visitors at no charge. Whether you give to the planetarium, volunteer your time, or receive a student internship, each and every contribution is essential in the continuation of these great programs. Fund No. 6803
Your gift to the Department of Physics and Astronomy provides financial support for the welfare, support, and advancement of physics and astronomy programs—and has a real impact on the lives of real students. Do you gaze up at the sky and wonder how it all works? Why is the sky blue? What makes up the stars in the night sky? These are questions that physics and astronomy can answer. Physics is the study of everything around us, from the smallest particle in an atom to the ever-expanding universe. It is in the lamp you turn on in the morning, the car you drive, your iPod, and cell phone. Physics is the reason a football soars down the field—and why it falls toward the ground. In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, we give students the basic principles on how it all works! Fund No. 6801
“The faculty in the physics and astronomy department were able to provide real world applications that gave me the confidence to be a successful teacher. The one-on-one, approachable faculty treated me the same way I strive to treat my own students. The close-knit community drove each other to become the finest, well-rounded scientists.” -Matt, Bachelor’s degree in Teaching Physics, 2017
“Ball State University was a great undergrad experience for physics. The professors in the department are always so focused on helping us learn throughout each course.
I think the Ball Sate physics program shines specifically in helping us develop problem solving skills, something that is way more important than reproducing notes for a test. I know I was trained well enough to be able to work through any problem that will show up in research, school, and eventually a career.” -Mason, Bachelor’s degree in Physics, 2017
“Upon arriving at Ball State, I was welcomed into the physics major by the department with a family-oriented feel in addition to a well-rounded curriculum. Not only do the faculty there want you to succeed, but they will also challenge you and enable you to perform at your best. What I enjoyed the most about studying physics at Ball State was the diverse range of research projects that could prepare me for life after graduation. Since my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees included valuable preparation, I felt implored to continue my education by starting a PhD physics program. Now, I’ll be starting my PhD at the University of California, Merced, knowing that a very bright future is ahead of me.” -Albert, Bachelor’s degree in Physics, 2015; Master’s degree in Physics, 2017