The Department of Physics and Astronomy serves the citizens of Indiana, the United States and the world through discovery that expands knowledge in the field of physics and closely related sciences, through conveyance of this knowledge to our students in an excellent learning environment, and through engagement in which we share our skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm with diverse communities beyond the University.
At present we have 58 faculty members, 62 postdocs and research scientists, 146 graduate students, and 196 undergraduate physics majors. These individuals conduct research across a broad spectrum of physics:
- Accelerator mass spectrometry
- Applied physics, experimental
- Astrophysics, experimental and theoretical
- Atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, experimental and theoretical
- Biophysics, experimental and theoretical
- Condensed matter physics, experimental and theoretical
- Geophysics, experimental
- High energy nuclear physics, experimental and theoretical
- High energy particle physics, experimental and theoretical
- Physics education
- Planetary physics
Our faculty members are recognized as world leaders in their respective fields. Included in our ranks are a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a winner of the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics, the immediate past president of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 3 AAAS fellows, and 10 APS fellows.
On campus, the department occupies two buildings, the "Physics Building" (originally named the Charles Benedict Stuart Laboratory of Applied Physics) and an attached two-story subterranean laboratory complex containing offices, work rooms, and laboratories dedicated to accelerator mass spectrometry, the Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory (PRIME Lab). We also make use of campus facilities in Purdue’s Discovery Park, particularly the Birck Nanotechnology Center and the Bindley Bioscience Center. Off campus, we participate in research that occurs at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermilab, the Stanford Linear Accelerator, and several observatories around the globe.
Our department has undergraduate programs in Physics, Honors Physics, Applied Physics, Applied Honors Physics, and Physics Teaching. We also have undergraduate minors in both Astronomy and Physics. Our graduate program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees with a wide variety of specializations.
Through our outreach programs we bring our love of physics to thousands of elementary and high school students and their teachers every year. Classroom visits are complete with demonstrations hands-on learning activities. Teachers receive high-quality, content-based professional development in our workshops and through summer research opportunities.