David Moffett is Furman's astronomer and oversees the operation of the Timmons Planetarium. He teaches introductory physics courses, astronomy, and mechanics, and he serves as the dual-degree advisor in engineering. In addition to teaching at Furman, Moffett collaborates with faculty from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to host the annual Educational Research In Radio Astronomy (ERIRA) workshop at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank, WV.

Moffett continues to perform radio astronomical observations of supernova remnants, and is currently working with Furman students to study the expansion and polarization properties of the remnant of the historical supernova of 1006 AD.​​​​

Name Title Description


Physics for Non-Science Majors

A philosophic and conceptual examination of selected fundamental principles of physics. No prior knowledge of physics is assumed. Some historical and biographical material is included.


Descriptive Astronomy

Apparent motion of the Sun, Moon and planets; the birth of modern astronomy; properties of light and its detection; the Sun and the Solar System; the structure, properties and evolution of stars; galaxies and cosmology. PHY-105 may not be enrolled after successful completion of either PHY-106 or 107.


The Solar System

The Celestial Sphere; apparent motion of the Sun, Moon, and planets; the birth of modern astronomy; properties of light and its detection, the Sun, Solar System, and its exploration; formation of the Solar System and the discovery of exoplanets. PHY-106 may not be enrolled after successful completion of either PHY-105.


Stars & Galaxies

Star Formation and the properties of stars; the evolution of low and high mass stars; the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy; normal and active galaxies; dark matter; the Big Bang, cosmology and dark energy. PHY-107 may not be enrolled after successful completion of either PHY-105.


General Physics I

The basic concepts and laws of classical mechanics. Measurement and units, vectors, kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, work and energy, systems of particles, collisions, rotational kinematics, torque and angular momentum, rigid body statics and dynamics, simple harmonic motion, gravitation, and mechanics of solids and fluids.


General Physics II

The basic concepts and laws of classical electricity and magnetism. Electrostatic and magnetostatic forces and fields. Gauss' law, electric circuits, Amperee's law, Faraday's law, electric and magnetic properties of matter, time-varying fields, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves, and geometrical optics.


Classical Mechanics I

Kinematics and dynamics of particles and systems of particles, oscillations, introduction to Lagrangian and Hamiltonian dynamics, central force motion, motion in non-inertial reference frames, and dynamics of rigid bodies.


Classical Mechanics II

An advanced treatment of topics studied in PHY-311, plus gravitation, coupled oscillations, mechanics of continuous media, the one-dimensional wave equation, and relativistic kinematics and dynamics.


Electromagnetic Theory II

A continuation of the first course on electromagnetic theory. Application of Maxwell?s equations to radiating systems, systems and properties of electromagnetic waves in vacuum and matter. Radiation theory and relativistic electrodynamics.



Laws of heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, introduction to statistical mechanics.


Teaching Methods & Materials


  • ​​Henry Keith and Ellen Hard Townes Professor of Physics (2008 - 2010)
  • Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society

Professional Memberships

  • American Astronomical Society
  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • American Association of Variable Star Observers
  • International Astronomical Union

New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
North Carolina State University
B.S. - Magna Cum Laude
North Carolina State University

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