Work with world-class researchers

As a physics student, you’ll actively participate in groundbreaking scientific endeavors that fuel your curiosity and prepare you to excel in science. Learning together in small class sizes led by true teacher-scholars, you’ll help shape the future of physics and become part of the next generation of advanced scientific researchers.

Our research opportunities cover a wide range of topics, including experimental nuclear physics, materials science, laser physics and more. With grants from local and regional foundations, and national organizations like American Chemical Society, National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense, you’ll work in collaboration with top-notch institutions and colleagues in the region, as well as national partners like the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and other leading particle accelerators worldwide. 

Your work could make a lasting impact on the global community, and our faculty are enthusiastic about your future, walking alongside you as a vital part of that journey.

Work Toward Your Bigger Goals This Summer

Spend your summer getting paid to gain vital research experience in STEM fields. Join our 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Program that encompasses research, community engagement, seminars, ethics education and a research symposium.

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Atomic Physics

Immerse yourself in constructing versatile optical systems alongside our dedicated physics students, essential for sophisticated chemical analyses from fluorescence examinations to molecular breakdowns using light. Your pivotal role in our atomic physics research lab includes crafting vital equipment like vacuum systems, electronic devices and laser setups to exacting standards under expert guidance. This hands-on experience provides invaluable skill-building opportunities.

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Gravitational Physics

In our Gravitational Physics research, we're focusing on classical general relativity. We use a theoretical approach, with a focus on Einstein equations. Our main goal? Improving how we simulate gravitational waves using computational methods, also known as numerical relativity. Our work is already making waves in this field, pushing the limits of what we can do with gravitational wave data.

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Materials Science

In our state-of-the-art materials science lab, we utilize cutting-edge equipment to fabricate nanostructured magnetic materials employing advanced techniques such as mechanochemical activation and pulsed laser deposition. Complementing our fabrication efforts, we conduct thorough analyses of our materials utilizing sophisticated methods such as Mossbauer spectroscopy and simultaneous thermal analysis. Additionally, our colleagues in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provide support, granting us access to essential tools like x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy.

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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.