‘Ghostly’ neutrinos provide new path to study protons
In groundbreaking research, scientists from the international collaboration MINERvA, including Kevin McFarland, Dr. Steven Chu Professor in Physics, have used a beam of neutrinos at Fermilab to investigate the structure of protons.Continue Reading
Women in the Physics and Astronomy Department
In honor of International Women's day, in a series of videos and articles, members of our department reflect on their experiences as women in Physics. We also include perspectives from male faculty on the women who most inspired them in their professional careers.Continue Reading
Viable superconducting material created in Rochester lab
In a historic achievement, University of Rochester researchers, including Professor Ranga Dias, have created a superconducting material at both a temperature and pressure low enough for practical applications.Continue Reading
New method to control electron spin paves the way for efficient quantum computers
The method, developed by researchers including John Nichol, an associate professor of physics, overcomes the limitations of electron spin resonance.Continue Reading
Lasers usher in a new era of astronomy
Large-scale, laser-based experiments have recently revolutionized astrophysics, writes Rochester professor Adam Frank, allowing scientists to recreate the cosmos in science labs.Continue Reading
Cities on asteroids? It could work—in theory
A popular science fiction idea in TV shows like Amazon’s The Expanse, Rochester scientists are using physics and engineering principles to show how asteroids could be future viable space habitats.Continue Reading
Majors & Minors
We offer degrees in physics and in physics and astronomy, as well as many research opportunities for undergraduates.
Our PhD programs rank in the top twenty nationwide, according to the National Research Council.
From subatomic particles to the structure of the Universe itself, our award-winning faculty study nature on every scale.
In the News
The Department of Physics and Astronomy is committed to increasing the diversity of its student body, faculty, and staff. We are a partner institution in the APS Bridge, CAMPARE, and Cal-Bridge programs.
Women in the Physics & Astronomy Department
In honor of International Womens day, in a series of videos and articles, members of our department reflect on their experiences as women in Physics. We also include perspectives from male faculty on the women who most inspired them in their professional careers.
Life of a Cosmology Graduate Student
Growing up, I never imagined that I’d become a physicist. I always enjoyed my physics classes, but was convinced that I’d study engineering in college. Yet as a high school senior, I took an electricity and magnetism course that really caught my attention. And as it happened, I attended a small liberal arts college without an engineering program. I made the decision to major in physics instead.
USRA Establishes the Judith L. Pipher Memorial Scholarship Award
Columbia, MD—June 27, 2022. Universities Space Research Association (USRA) proudly announces the addition of a new award—the Judith L. Pipher Memorial Scholarship Award—to honor the memory of Dr. Judith L. Pipher. With the establishment of this new award, USRA will now routinely offer five Distinguished Undergraduate Award scholarships.
University of Rochester scientists Judith Pipher, William Forrest & Craig McMurty have developed the infrared sensors that are expected to be deployed as part of this mission, which uses a space-based telescope to search for hazardous asteroids and comets within Earth's vicinity.
Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Rygg, Assistant Professor (Research) of Mechanical Engineering and Physics, on being elected as a Fellow by the American Physical Society (APS)!
Congratulations to our 2020-21 Graduate Fellowship Winners!
- Fatima Min-Rivas has been awarded the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (Advisor: Doug Kelley)
- Christian Cammarota has been awareded the Barnard Fellowship (Advisor: Dan Bergstralh)
- Tejin Cai has been awarded the Messermith Fellowship (Advisor: Kevin McFarland)
Physics, Optics, and Astronomy (POA) Library
The POA library houses a comprehensive collection of journals, monographs and online data bases, supporting the research and teaching activities of the department.Learn More