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 integral part of the development of students in our programs, emphasized by its incorporation into the undergraduate curriculum. Our unique, three-course Research in Physics series (PHYS 2990, PHYS 3990, and PHYS 4990) provide essential background and information into the skills, techniques and topics of research. Our faculty encourage early participation of students in their research projects, beginning as early as the student's freshman year. Students have ample opportunities to participate in all stages of cutting-edge research using our state-of-the-art facilities. These may include involvement in planning the experiments or calculations, developing the instruments and methods, carrying out the investigation, actively participating in the analysis of the results, presenting research results at domestic and international conferences, and authoring publications in peer-reviewed journals.
The department offers two graduate programs: PhD in Applied Physics and MS in Physics.
The department has active research in the areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology, photonics, computational physics, biomaterials, biophysics and soft materials, and astrophysics.