The ESC houses the departments of Physics and Astronomy, Geology, and Food Science and Nutrition. The Department of Chemistry has in the past been located at the ESC but is not currently headquartered there.
In 1968 an underground physics research lab was added to the north end of the building. Research on plasma, atomic processes, lasers, high-pressure physics, nanotechnology, acoustics, and cold fusion have been conducted here. It is the home of two modern TEMs.
The Royden G. Derrick Planetarium is also in the building. This 119-seat facility with a 39-foot (12 m) acoustically-treated dome was built in 2005 to replace the smaller, outdated Sarah Barrett Summerhays Planetarium. In the summer of 2006 a new dome was installed on the ESC's observatory to better allow for astronomical study on campus. The building also has several acoustics labs including two anechoic chambers and two reverberation chambers for performing acoustics research.
The main lobby of the building is noted for its Foucault pendulum. It also houses a student-run restaurant, the Pendulum Court, during the fall and winter semesters.
The ESC was the first building at BYU to have an elevator.