Physics and Astronomy


Dr. Harvey LeffStarting in 1983, Dr. Harvey Leff has been a member of the Cal Poly Pomona Physics Department, serving as department chair from 1983 to 1995. During his tenure as chair, he hired seven new faculty and worked with hundreds of students. In 2007 he served as President of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and during 2006-2008 he has served as a member of the governing board of the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

Our Physics Department culture, centered on student success and support for faculty-student research, is a tribute to Harvey’s leadership. Faculty and staff in the Physics Department are a team, continually supporting, encouraging, and challenging one other to be innovative.

Harvey has written two books on Maxwell’s Demon and is the author of over fifty articles as well as numerous essay letters and reviews. He is also the lead drummer for the "Out-Laws of Physics", a country rock band comprised of members from our Department. Proceeds from band gigs are donated to a scholarship fund for outstanding physics students.

We can’t replace Harvey, but we can work together to ensure that the high standards of student centered teaching and research he established will continue. To do so, the Physics Department established the Leff Fund to help provide scholarships, lab and lecture facilities for current and future Cal Poly students who take physics courses.

For more information on how you can support Cal Poly Pomona physics teaching and research through the Leff Fund, you may contact Brandon Raphael at or call 909-869-4963, or else contact the Physics and Astronomy department office at