The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a national organization for undergraduate physics students; membership is voluntary and open to all interested students. The TTU chapter typically sponsors several activities during the academic year, including social events, student research papers at meetings, seminars by visiting scientists, and various projects designed to increase public awareness of science. We also have a local chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honors society and invite qualified students to join each year.
Physics majors at Tennessee Technological University may be employed within the Department of Physics as research assistants and/or teaching assistants.
One of the strategic goals of the Department is to involve as many of its majors as possible in research. Most of this activity occurs during the summer months, and the students are paid a stipend for their work. In recent years, three of the professors specializing in experimental nuclear physics (Drs. Kozub, Shriner, and Robinson) have hired one or more students each summer. Work with Dr. Robinson has generally been on-campus. Dr. Kozub has had positions for work on-campus as well as off-campus at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Shriner's research has been performed at Duke University, and students employed on that project have spent the summer at Duke. In the past, students have also participated in projects at Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of Notre Dame, and the Insitut Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France. There are also numerous summer research programs around the country which are sponsored by the National Science Foundation and for which students can apply on a competitive basis; usually students will need to have taken upper-division physics courses to receive serious consideration for these opportunities.
Students who have completed their introductory physics courses are eligible to be employed during the academic year on a part-time basis as laboratory teaching assistants and homework graders.