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University of Maryland Department of Physics 1117 John S. Toll Physics Building College Park , MD 20742



xxxxxxxxxxxxxSeptember 2006 - Issue 49


A Passion for Science
By Laura Moulding

Chris Osborne began his college career at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received a BS in both Physics and in Mathematical Sciences. After that he came back home to Silver Spring, Maryland where he attended the University of Maryland for graduate school. It was here that he got his MS in Physics.

Physics has always been an appropriate path for Chris. Since he was young, he dreamed about time travel, and about creating a time machine. He realized early on that this dream is most likely impossible to see in the near future.

“However,” Chris said, “the will to succeed in this vision got me passionately interested in science, with physics being the most relevant discipline.”

He also hopes to condense all of science to “one intuitive law, often dubbed the ‘theory of everything,'” as Chris describes it. Like time travel, it is not clear whether this is even possible, but the mystery of it is still very interesting.

Chris chose UMD because it was the best school for physics in the area. Living at home makes things easier for many college students, and Chris was no different. This way he did not have to be stressed over money, bills, and especially wondering if he would be paid at all. Going to UMD was a good transition for Chris, and made him realize that while he started out wanting to be a physics professor, maybe it is not the right path for him at this time.

Paying attention to professors can be a difficult feat for any college student, which is why finding a good one can leave a lasting impression. Chris's favorite professor while at UMD was Thomas Anotonsen.

“I'm much better at paying attention to a book than to someone at the board,” Chris explains, “so his ability to make me listen made the Mechanics class a positive experience for me.”

Life after UMD has been good to Chris. He is currently a systems analyst for DCS Corporation. He spends his days at the Naval Air Station, where fighter planes can be seen overhead. His job, most of which is confidential, includes creating and testing computer programs that help with fighter pilot safety. Over the next few years, he will become an expert in weapon fragmenting. Not a bad career choice for someone interested in physics.

His advice to current students is to just be honest about what is best for you. He says, “So even if you are thinking about quitting for other reasons (too tough, not enough time for family, etc.) there is no shame in doing so.”


If you are interested in contacting Chris Osborne, please send your messages to the Editor, who will be happy to forward your questions and comments.