The Department of Physical Sciences is Madison College's home for the study of physics, astronomy and earth sciences. We serve associate degree program students and those intending to transfer to four-year institutions. Our learners engage in scientific inquiry through theoretical and practical studies and will develop a deeper understanding of the physical world.

NASA's DART at the Didymos System

Featured Physical Science Courses

Check out these featured physical science courses and develop a deeper understanding of the physical world.

Earth Science

Earth Science introduces the physical nature of the earth. The course covers topics in geology, geography, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy. Physical processes and an understanding of their causes and effects are investigated.

Astronomy: The Solar System

An introductory astronomy course covering the sky and celestial motions, ancient astronomy, the Copernican revolution, gravity and orbits, light and astronomical instruments and the solar system.

University Physics 1

This course covers the basic properties of motion, force, energy, momentum, rotation, fluids, heat and relativity. It stresses developing good problem-solving strategies.

Physical Sciences


The most fundamental of all the sciences, physics is the precise description of the behavior of all matter and energy. Learners explore (among many other concepts) Newton's Laws of Motion, the nature of electromagnetic fields, the behavior of light and the fundamental structure of matter. 

Earth Sciences

The study of our planet from all scientific perspectives is known as earth science. Madison College offers courses in geology, weather and climate, climate change, oceanography and general earth science.


One of the oldest sciences, astronomy studies everything outside the Earth's atmosphere: solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe itself. 


Full-time Faculty

Dixie Burns | Astronomy
Office: C3444 | Truax

Ryan Doering | Physics
Office: C3448 | Truax

Matthew Lazzara | Department Chair, Weather and Climate
Office: B3223 | Truax



Archie Paulson | Physics
Office: B3221 | Truax

Elizabeth Reinke | Physics
Office: B3221 | Truax


Contact the School of Engineering, Science and Mathematics

Madison Truax Campus
Main Building, C2433

1701 Wright Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704