About the Department of Physics and Materials Science
Physics and Materials Science is a broad, beautiful, and complex field that relies upon observation, experimentation, theoretical and mathematical modeling, and logical reasoning to explain the nature and behavior of all manner of physical systems from the smallest particles inside the nucleus to the entire universe in which we live.
The Department of Physics and Materials Science has faculty expertise that reflects the diversity of opportunities available within the discipline. The bachelor's degree in Physics offered in the department includes the following four concentrations:
- General Physics – for students interested in fundamental research and academia
- Astronomy – for students interested in astronomy
- Materials Science – for students interested in industry and research
- Physics for Medical Science – for students interested in medical school, medical industry, and health professions
Undergraduate research is a vital part of our curriculum. We encourage early participation beginning in the freshman year through our three unique undergraduate research courses. Students have the ample opportunity to participate in all stages of cutting-edge research using our state-of-the-art facilities. This may include planning the experiments or calculations, developing the instruments and methods, carrying out the investigation, participation in the analysis of the results, presentation of the results at domestic and international conferences, and authorship in peer-reviewed publications.
The department has active research in the areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology, photonics, computational physics, biomaterials, biophysics and soft materials, and astrophysics.