Nathaniel Cunningham, Ph.D.

Faculty/Staff profile

Contact information

Nathaniel Cunningham, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics
ncunning [at]

104 Olin Hall of Science

Spring 2019:
Tuesday noon-1pm

Wednesday 3-4pm

Friday 2-3pm

My door is often open at other times!

(402) 465-2494

I fell in love with Physics in high school, and pursued it in college, where I also discovered philosophy. After agonizing about whether to continue my studies in physics or philosophy after graduation, physics won out, and I chose to specialize in astrophysics.

In my graduate work, I developed astronomical instruments, and used them to study the births and deaths of stars. I have since worked on detector systems for the high-power Diocles laser system the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and I currently study the surfaces and atmospheres of small bodies in the Solar System using ultraviolet light observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Since 2007, I have contributed to NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto (and beyond!) and the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission that orbited a comet.

I joined the Physics faculty at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010.

Ph.D., Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder

M.S., Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder

B.S., Physics, University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude
Minor: philosophy

Introduction to Meteorology
Principles of Physics I & II / General Physics I & II
Introduction to Modern Physics
Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering
Electromagnetism & Optics
Classical Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics
Thermal and Statistical Physics

Introduction to Meteorology:
MWF 9-10am,
Tu 2-4pm

Introduction to Modern Physics:
MWF 11am-noon,
Th 1-4pm

Advanced Lab / Independent Study:
Tu Th 9am-noon