Dear Physics Community,

We are looking forward to welcoming our students back to in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 31. We've all done a herculean job of overcoming the hardships of learning remotely, becoming experts on breakout rooms and raising virtual hands, but there is nothing like the face to face interactions in our classrooms, which we all miss so much. You may feel apprehensive, and that is perfectly understandable. We will do our best to support you.

Please review the important reminders shared by Chancellor Christ.

Employees (faculty, GSIs, staff, student assistants) are required to wear an N95, KN95, KF94 or surgical mask while working indoors. N95 masks are being distributed for free to employees at the Hazardous Materials Facility near the tennis courts on Frank Schlessinger Way. Hours are limited, so check the website

Students can pick up ten free surgical masks each week or two KN95 masks from the north side of Eshleman Hall off Lower Sproul Plaza, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. See this page for details. The Physics department has also used limited discretionary funds to purchase KN95/N95 for our community, available to be picked up from 151 Physics North. Supplies are limited, so please use other resources at your disposal.

To manage supply and reduce waste, face covers including N95s may be reused for multiple days in most settings on campus. Remove your face cover carefully by holding the straps without touching the inside or outside surfaces of the mask. Keep track of your face covers so you don't mistakenly use someone else's. Consider storing them in a small paper bag or other clean, dry location when not in use. Protect them from damage, contamination, extreme temperatures, damaging chemicals, and crushing or deforming the facepiece. Make sure to throw it out if it becomes wet, deformed, or simply fails to create a firm seal on the face.

If you are sick - stay home. We are asking our instructors to remain flexible and to not penalize students for absences due to sickness. In many classes, online lectures will be available, as well as online office hours. Tutoring is available if you fall behind or need help. Take advantage of these resources.  We respectfully ask that no one eat during class, as indoor transmission has been most prevalent when individuals are eating (of course, eating was not allowed in most classrooms even before the pandemic!). If you must eat in an indoor setting, keep your mask on between bites.

With these precautions in place, we can look forward to a productive semester ahead of us.

James Analytis,
Physics Chair


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