• Homegrown solution for a synchrotron light source
    Homegrown solution for a synchrotron light source
  • Iowa State astronomers investigate mysterious star
    Iowa State astronomers investigate mysterious star
  • ISU graduate creates adventure at MIT
    ISU graduate creates adventure at MIT
  • ISU Researchers Study "Everlasting Light"
    ISU Researchers Study "Everlasting Light"
  • ISU physicist John Lajoie helps the PHENIX experiment at RHIC "Zoom in on Gluons' Contribution to Proton Spin"
    ISU physicist John Lajoie helps the PHENIX experiment at RHIC "Zoom in on Gluons' Contribution to Proton Spin"
  • Iowa State, IBM astronomers explain why disk galaxies eventually look alike
    Iowa State, IBM astronomers explain why disk galaxies eventually look alike
  • 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.
  • Highly Efficient Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Metamaterials
    Highly Efficient Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Metamaterials
  • Catching relativistic electrons with your bare hands
    Catching relativistic electrons with your bare hands
  • Canfield awarded $1.7 million Moore Materials Synthesis Investigators award
    Canfield awarded $1.7 million Moore Materials Synthesis Investigators award
  • 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.
  • ISU researchers observe boosted hadronically decaying W/Z boson
    ISU researchers observe boosted hadronically decaying W/Z boson
  • NSF and DOE honors for Flint and Weinstein.
    NSF and DOE honors for Flint and Weinstein.
  • Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space
    Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space
  • Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with five Earth-size planets
    Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with five Earth-size planets
  • New window into growing metal nanostructures
    New window into growing metal nanostructures

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.