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Physics

Questions?

  • Physics
    202-885-2741
    Fax: 202-885-2723
    physics@american.edu
    Sports Center Annex, Room 108

Mailing Address
Photo by Michel Hoch.


Full Speed Ahead

Physics and math major Travis Volz finds his
passion working on a Swiss particle collider.

The Department of Physics prepares majors for graduate education or careers in diverse fields such as astronomy, medicine, engineering, architecture, acoustics, science education, science policy, and physics. Courses focus on the physical phenomena and properties of the universe: gravitation, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear structure, fundamental particles, light and energy, and the properties of matter. Faculty research interests include atom and quantum optics, Bose-Einstein condensates, condensed matter (including superconducting qubits, ultracold matter in optical lattices, and nanomagnetism), particle physics, cosmology and general relativity, physics education, quantum information theory, quantum computing, and quantum teleportation.   

Educational facilities include introductory and advanced laboratories equipped with modern technology and multiple teaching spaces tailored to foster interactive learning. Although not a formal requirement of the major, most physics majors participate in undergraduate research experiences through paid internships and independent studies. 

Programs

Please see our degree pages for details about the BS in physics, the minor in physics or applied physics, and the undergraduate certificate in applied physics.

As a student in our department, you can:

  • Learn the analytical, quantitative, technical, and critical thinking skills sought by a vast array of employers.
  • Gain exposure to cutting-edge science, modern technology and prepare for grad school in diverse fields
  • Interact meaningfully with faculty members in small upper-level classes, paid teaching and research assistantships, and an active Society of Physics Students.
  • Obtain internships at national organizations including NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Academies of Science.

Catalyst

Cover of Catlyst, a student run science magazine at American University

AU’s science magazine, Catalyst is written by students, features student projects, and aims to spark the scientific imagination of the AU community.

Catalyst


Physics of Music

Physics of music

AU booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival drew thousands of fascinated visitors.

See Slideshow & Article