Explore the frontiers of Physics

We are committed to fostering a culture of curiosity, creativity, and scientific excellence, inspiring our students to pursue their passions. The departments' modest size belies the remarkable diversity of our research activity. From magnetic materials and ultracold atoms to quarks and gravitational waves, our research spans a diverse range of topics, reflecting the passion and dedication of our faculty and students. Through our collaborative efforts with nearby institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as national partners like the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, we are able to pursue ambitious research goals and drive innovation in the field.

By combining our passion for discovery with our commitment to education and training, we are helping to shape the future of Physics research and create a new generation of talented and dedicated researchers. We believe that through our work, we will make a significant contribution to the global scientific community in meaningful and lasting ways. 

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Particle Physics

Particle physics seeks to explore the fundamental nature of matter, from the particles that make up atoms to the exotic particles created in high-energy experiments. The department has a specific focus on experimental medium-energy particle physics, with a particular emphasis on nuclear physics. Our research is dedicated to studying the quarks and gluons in protons and neutrons, using advanced electromagnetic probes to uncover their properties and behavior. By focusing on these important building blocks of matter, we aim to make significant contributions to the field of particle physics, helping to deepen our understanding of the universe and the particles that make it up. With cutting-edge technology and dedicated faculty, we are confident that our work will have a significant impact on the field and help to shape the future of particle physics research.

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Atomic Physics

The collaboration between our atomic physics research program and the esteemed Duquesne University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is a testament to our commitment to interdisciplinary innovation. Our optical systems, which are constructed by our physics students, are highly versatile and utilized for diverse chemical analyses, including fluorometry and photodissociation. Moreover, we take great pride in providing a hands-on learning experience for our students, who play a significant role in constructing much of the equipment in our atomic physics research lab. This includes vacuum systems, electronic devices, and laser systems, all of which are built to exacting standards under the guidance of our experienced faculty. Our students' contributions not only enable innovative research but also provide them with invaluable experience and skill-building opportunities.

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Gravitational Physics

While there are many different aspects of gravitational physics research, including classical and quantum approaches, general relativity, and alternative methodologies, the focus of our research at Duquesne is on classical general relativity, using a theoretical methodology. Specifically, we center our work on the Einstein equations themselves, which represent a complex system of nonlinear partial differential equations. Through this approach, our research aims to advance computational methodology for the simulation of gravitational waves, a field otherwise known as numerical relativity. The immediate impact of our work is already being felt in this area, as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the simulation and interpretation of gravitational wave data.

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Materials Science

The Department of Physics has a particular focus on magnetic materials, which are important for a variety of technological applications. Our materials science lab is state-of-the-art and equipped with the latest technology for the synthesis of nanostructured magnetic materials, using both mechanochemical activation and pulsed laser deposition. We take great care to characterize our samples thoroughly, using advanced techniques such as Mossbauer spectroscopy and simultaneous thermal analysis. Additionally, our colleagues in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provide us with access to cutting-edge tools, such as x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy, which enable us to further explore the properties of these fascinating materials. We aim to make significant contributions to the field of materials science and develop new materials with the potential to revolutionize various industries.