Dr. Jessie A. Rodman, College Courses for Teachers Program 1912, Ph.D. 1923, established this fund in 1943 for the purchase of books for the Penn Math/Physics/Astronomy Library. Her Penn dissertation, Effect of temperature on the luminosity of radium compounds, is still available at the Penn Library.
Penn's Physicis Department believes that studying physics leads to understanding ideas that change our view of the universe. The mechanics of Kepler and Newton placed us in the solar system; Maxwell's unified theory of electricity, magnetism, and optics underlies much of our industrial civilization; relativity and quantum mechanics changed our view of space, time, and the nature of knowledge itself. Today physicists continue to ask the hard questions: what are the ultimate constituents of matter? how do these constituents interact via simple laws to produce the world that we see?
At Penn, the teaching of physics is linked to faculty research, and participation by undergraduates is strongly encouraged. The Math/Physics/Astronomy Library, strengthened through the Rodman fund and other endowments, supports the advancement of knowledge in this important field.