• Physics 222 Online
  • Physicists use light waves to accelerate supercurrents, enable ultrafast quantum computing
    Physicists use light waves to accelerate supercurrents, enable ultrafast quantum computing
  • Physicists use light flashes to discover, control new quantum states of matter
    Physicists use light flashes to discover, control new quantum states of matter
  • Data flows from NASA’s TESS Mission, leads to discovery of Saturn-sized planet
    Data flows from NASA’s TESS Mission, leads to discovery of Saturn-sized planet
  • 2D insulators with ferromagnetic properties are rare; researchers just identified a new one
    2D insulators with ferromagnetic properties are rare; researchers just identified a new one
  • Astronomers confirm that nearby star a good model of our early solar system
    Astronomers confirm that nearby star a good model of our early solar system
  • Researchers image quasiparticles that could lead to faster circuits, higher bandwidths
    Researchers image quasiparticles that could lead to faster circuits, higher bandwidths
  • A first sighting of the Higgs boson decay to quarks with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider
    A first sighting of the Higgs boson decay to quarks with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy Professor and UConn discover superconductor with bounce
    Department of Physics and Astronomy Professor and UConn discover superconductor with bounce
  • Synthesis and exotic physics of novel quantum materials - August 1-3, 2018
  • Costas Soukoulis elected to National Academy of Inventors
    Costas Soukoulis elected to National Academy of Inventors
  • Iowa State astronomers investigate mysterious star
    Iowa State astronomers investigate mysterious star
  • ISU physicists help demonstrate existence of new subatomic structure
    ISU physicists help demonstrate existence of new subatomic structure
  • ISU graduate creates adventure at MIT
    ISU graduate creates adventure at MIT
  • Tringides receives the 2017 Theodore E. Madey Award from the American Vacuum Society
    Tringides receives the 2017 Theodore E. Madey Award from the American Vacuum Society
  • RHIC helps answer the question, "How did the proton get its spin?"
    RHIC helps answer the question, "How did the proton get its spin?"
  • New detector technology for neutrino experiments. ISU postdoc Carrie McGivern inspects part of the ANNIE detector.
    New detector technology for neutrino experiments. ISU postdoc Carrie McGivern inspects part of the ANNIE detector.
  • Catching relativistic electrons with your bare hands
    Catching relativistic electrons with your bare hands
  • ISU physicist Mayly Sanchez analyzes the first neutrino detections from the NOvA experiment.
    ISU physicist Mayly Sanchez analyzes the first neutrino detections from the NOvA experiment.
  • NSF and DOE honors for Flint and Weinstein.
    NSF and DOE honors for Flint and Weinstein.
  • Canfield awarded James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials by the American Physical Society
    Canfield awarded James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials by the American Physical Society
  • Iowa State researchers describe copper-induced misfolding of prion proteins
    Iowa State researchers describe copper-induced misfolding of prion proteins
  • Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space
    Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space
  • Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity
    Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity
  • Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with five Earth-size planets
    Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with five Earth-size planets
  • New material discovery allows study of elusive Weyl fermion
    New material discovery allows study of elusive Weyl fermion
  • New window into growing metal nanostructures
    New window into growing metal nanostructures
  • Iowa State physicists win W.M. Keck Foundation grant to develop nanoscope
    Iowa State physicists win W.M. Keck Foundation grant to develop nanoscope

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Welcome to the Department of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and astronomy explores the behavior and structure of matter and energy at all levels to help describe our world and the universe. Physics has helped us contemplate the origins of the universe and develop new products and technologies that meet human needs. The fundamental laws of physics find application in almost every branch of science, engineering and technology.

The Department has active research programs in Astronomy/Astrophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, High-energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, and Biophysics. Our high-energy physics, particle astrophysics and nuclear physics groups are involved in experiments which recreate the conditions of the early universe and help explain how it has evolved. In providing instruction in classical and modern physics, we cover such areas as mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, introductory modern physics, and quantum mechanics.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is pleased to announce the Faculty Cluster in Computational and Theoretical Physics.

 

Dr. Thomas IadecolaWe are excited to welcome Dr. Thomas Iadecola to our department.  He received his PhD from Boston University under the supervision of Prof. Claudio Chamon in 2017.  He has been a JQI Theoretical Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2017 - present.  Tom works on a variety of topics in quantum condensed matter theory, with special emphasis on out-of-equilibrium quantum systems and topological states of matter. On the nonequilibrium side, he studies properties of highly-excited many-body states and the surprising phenomena they harbor that challenge deeply ingrained intuition based on quantum statistical mechanics. On the topological side, he focuses on states of matter whose properties cannot be understood within the traditional paradigm of spontaneous symmetry breaking, and which could enable the robust storage and manipulation of quantum information.

Dr. Srimoyee SenWe are excited to welcome Dr. Srimoyee Sen in our department. She received her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park under the supervision of Prof. Paulo Bedaque in 2015. She was a postdoctoral research associate at University of Arizona in 2015-2017 and is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington. Srimoyee is exploring quantum phase transitions in dense QCD. Her research ties together modern ideas of topological phase transitions in condensed matter physics with that of nuclear and particle physics. She has expertise in lattice QCD, effective field theory, neutrino and nuclear astrophysics and the QCD phase diagram.

We are excited to welcome Dr. Jacob Simon to the Physics and Astronomy Department. He received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville under the supervision of Prof. John Hawley in 2010. He then became a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) from 2010 to 2013, a NASA Sagan Fellow at the Southwest Research Institute from 2013 to 2016, and he is currently a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Simon is a computational astrophysicist applying high performance computing techniques to the problems of turbulence and accretion in protoplanetary disks, to understand how the Solar System and planetary systems around other stars form and evolve.

Dr. Jacob Simon