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.
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.
Congratulations to the #NobelPrize2017 physics winners! AU’s College of Arts & Sciences and Prof Gregg Harry are proud to be part of #LIGO. . . . #americanuniversity #americanu #physics #nobelprizeinphysics #gravitationalwaves 📷Credit: SXS The collision of two black holes—an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO—is seen in this still from a computer simulation. LIGO detected gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time, generated as the black holes merged. The simulation shows what the merger would look like if we could somehow get a closer look. Time has been slowed by a factor of 100. The stars appear warped due to the strong gravity of the black holes.
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