For exactly 100 years the Department of Physics maintained a library that served as a source of books, journals, and intellectual activity for our faculty, staff, and students. On June 12, 2009, the Physics and Astronomy Library was officially closed and all of the materials were moved into the Grainger Engineering Library. The action was part of a coherent campus plan to consolidate services and resources to provide better and more cost-effective library services.
For the most part, this move enhanced the library services provided to our students and researchers, by enabling more sophisticated access to web-based scientific journals and books, and by providing an environment in which the books will be well preserved. Grainger is open 24 hours 5 days a week during the academic year, allowing more library access for our students.
The department saw a need to preserve the environment of interaction and intellectual activity that the library historically hosted within our department. In Physics, it is through informal discussions and chance meetings that many of the most significant ideas emerge.
To provide that environment, we converted the former Physics Library space into a modern interaction area. This space has developed as a hub of intellectual energy and now hosts many interactions where faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and upper-level undergraduate physics majors meet to study and discuss physics.
Contributions from friends and alumni to "The Physics Interaction Room Fund" helped us transform this space. We thank all of the contributors who helped make this possible. Future gifts to this fund will help provide enhanced technology in the group study rooms and a videoconferencing room. If you remember the Physics Library in Loomis Laboratory, and believe it had a positive impact on your educational experience here, please consider making a gift to support our Interaction Room.