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Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a rich and long history dating back to the latter part of the 19th century. Our faculty and students are exploring nature at all length scales, from the subatomic (quarks and gluons) to the macroscopic (black holes and dark energy), and everything in between (atomic and biological systems).

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Underdog technologies gain ground in quantum-computing race

NATURE — The race to quantum computing is underway and novel technologies may prove crucial. The work at Microsoft Quantum and the research team of Dr. Michael Manfra is cited in this article by Nature.

Birth of the Transistor: Bell Labs, Purdue, and the Second World War — On Friday, December 16, 2022, Purdue University celebrated the 75th anniversary of the transistor. The College of Engineering and College of Science invited the public to celebrate Purdue's role in one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century. The event, hosted at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, featured a talk, "Birth of the Transistor: Bell Labs, Purdue, and the Second World War," given by Dr. Michael Manfra. He is the Bill and Dee O’Brien Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Materials Engineering, and Scientific Director of Microsoft Quantum Lab Purdue. His talk is now available for viewing on

How to Start Your Journey Towards a Purdue Semiconductor Credential

The Changing the World with Chips - Introduction to Semiconductors is an interactive, seminar based, one-credit hour course to introduce semiconductor technology, its role in our life, impact, and career opportunities to science and engineering students. Purdue has developed opportunities for students interested to learn more about the microelectronics industry and pursue a semiconductor concentration, minor, or certificate.

Beyond the average cell

Molecular biologists want to know what’s really happening inside individual living cells, not just how the mythical 'average' cell lives. Now it is possible to peer into the lives of individual cells. In a new paper in PLOS Genetics, a team of biologists and physicists from Washington University in St. Louis and Purdue University (Dr. Srividya Iyer-Biswas) used actual single-cell data to create an updated framework for understanding the relationship between cell growth, DNA replication and division in a bacterial system.

2022 In Purdue Research

Combining brilliance with persistence, Purdue University researchers spent 2022 working toward answers to myriad critical questions, taking on challenges facing our national defense, the battle against cancer, and our global food and water supply, among many others. To celebrate the innovative milestones marked during 2022, we offer this small sampling of the year in research. Researchers from Purdue Physics and Astronomy made the 2022 Purdue research highlight list twice: Dr. Tongcang Li and Dr. Danny Milisavljevic.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2036 • Phone: (765) 494-3000 • Fax: (765) 494-0706

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