Nathaniel Cunningham

Assistant Professor of Physics
(402) 465-2494
ncunning [at]
104 Olin Hall of Science
Office hours: 

Tuesday 4 - 5pm
Wednesday 11am - noon
Thursday 1:30 - 2:30pm

Please email me if you want to find a different time to meet.


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 European Space Agency's Rosetta mission currently orbiting 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

Course schedule: 

Courses I'm currently teaching (Spring 2016):
PHYS-1700: Principles of Physics II / PHYS 2100: General Physics II
PHYS-2400: Introduction to Modern Physics
PHYS-4000: Quantum & Atomic Physics