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Can the laws of physics untangle traffic jams, stock markets, and other complex systems?

In a series of papers, Rochester professor Gourab Ghoshal and members of his lab are using the fundamental laws of physics to untangle the complex systems behind human behavior, urban planning, and social networks.

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Combine physics with astronomy to understand the universe

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Explain and predict the behavior of the physical world

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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. 

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Imani West-Abdullah
Imani West-Abdallah,
APS Bridge student



Mehreen Sultana, a graduate student in the neutrino research group, recently helped to organize a conference for female high school students interested in STEM fields. The event took place at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where Mehreen works on the MINERvA experiment, studying how neutrinos lose energy in interactions with nuclei in inelastic interactions. More...

Congratulations to Sarah Henry, a PhD student working as a research assistant with Professor Kevin McFarland in the high energy physics group. Sarah has been awarded the 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. She is finishing up her second year with the department of physics and astronomy and also holds the position of VP of Outreach on our physics and astronomy student association (PASSAGE) e-board. More...

Congratulations to Elliot Connors, a second year research assistant in Professor John Nichol's quantum nanostructures research group, who has been awarded the 2018 QuaCGR Fellowship. The goal of the fellowship is to stimulate U.S. graduate student participation in research related to quantum computing and to assist in the training of graduate students to prepare them for careers in quantum information science.

Professor Dan Watson, chair of Rochester's Department of Physics and Astronomy, is a member of the team under the leadership of Dr. Harvey Moseley at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center that is developing the new HIRMES instrument and its mission on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). More...

Andrew Olivier has been awarded the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship! Andrew is a University of Rochester teaching assistant finishing his first year with the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He plans to pursue research in the field of High Energy Physics. More...

Robert Boyd Wins 2016 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science for his fundamental contributions to the field of nonlinear optics, including the development of approaches for controlling the velocity of light, of quantum imaging methods, and of composite nonlinear optical materials. More...

Rochester researchers have developed a new conceptual framework for understanding how stars similar to our Sun evolve. According to Eric Blackman, professor of physics and astronomy, the work could also “ultimately help to determine the age of stars more precisely than is currently possible.” More...

When most people think about pi, they associate the mathematical constant with arcs and circles. Mathematicians, however, are accustomed to seeing it in a variety of fields. But two University physicists were still surprised to find it lurking in a quantum mechanics formula for the energy states of the hydrogen atom. More...

A team led by professors Steven Manly and Kevin McFarland was honored “for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics.” More...

While damage to daguerreotype plates is often visible by eye, evidence of further deterioration may only be detected at the nano level. The University is leading groundbreaking research that bridges the gap between science, history, and the arts. More...


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.

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