• Highly Efficient Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Metamaterials
    Highly Efficient Broadband Terahertz Radiation from Metamaterials
  • Canfield awarded $1.7 million Moore Materials Synthesis Investigators award
    Canfield awarded $1.7 million Moore Materials Synthesis Investigators award
  • Soukoulis wins 2014 Max Born Award
    Soukoulis wins 2014 Max Born Award
  • THOMSON REUTERS named Sergey Bud'ko, Paul Canfield and Costas Soukoulis of Iowa State University  among the world's most influential scientists in 2014!
    THOMSON REUTERS named Sergey Bud'ko, Paul Canfield and Costas Soukoulis of Iowa State University among the world's most influential scientists in 2014!
  • ISU researchers observe boosted hadronically decaying W/Z boson
    ISU researchers observe boosted hadronically decaying W/Z boson
  • ISU Researchers Study "Everlasting Light"
    ISU Researchers Study "Everlasting Light"
  • Iowa State nuclear physicist makes the case for studying the strong nuclear force
    Iowa State nuclear physicist makes the case for studying the strong nuclear force
  • NGC 6334 - A Mini Starburst Region
    NGC 6334 - A Mini Starburst Region
  • Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space
    Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space
  • Iowa State, IBM astronomers explain why disk galaxies eventually look alike
    Iowa State, IBM astronomers explain why disk galaxies eventually look alike
  • Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with five Earth-size planets
    Kepler astronomers discover ancient star with five Earth-size planets
  • Paul Canfield recieves David Adler Lectureship Award
    Paul Canfield recieves David Adler Lectureship Award
  • Quantum tricks drive magnetic switching into the fast lane
    Quantum tricks drive magnetic switching into the fast lane
  • Iowa State astronomer helps research team see misaligned planets in distant system
    Iowa State astronomer helps research team see misaligned planets in distant system

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 new faculty joining us in 2015.

 

Dr. Zhe Fei

Dr. Zhe Fei will join the department in Fall 2015 and develop an experimental research program based on Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy. This approach exploits light-matter interactions to study diverse systems with a spatial resolution of down to 10 nm, and also with high temporal resolution. Dr. Fei received is PhD in Physics from the University of California, San Diego with Dimitri Basov in 2014 and moved directly to his current staff research scientist position in the Center for Nanomaterials at Argonne National Laboratory.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Xuefeng Wang

Dr. Xuefeng Wang received his Ph.D. in 2009 from Purdue University where he developed optical sensors to detect biological molecules. He then trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Taekjip Ha at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and pioneered the use of molecular sensors to optically read forces exerted by living cells with single molecule resolution. As a faculty member at ISU, Dr. Wang plans to combine molecular force sensors and cellular imaging to study how mechanical signals are sensed and exerted by cells.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Matt Wetstein

Dr. Matt Wetstein obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland in 2009. He worked as a postdoc at Argonne National Laboratory until 2011 where he became a leader in the characterization of a new kind of photodetector devices called LAPPDs. He possesses unique expertise in this area and has made significant contributions with 10 related publications. Wetstein is currently a Grainger fellow at the University of Chicago and has recently won the Lee Grodzins award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This award was created to recognize the importance of original and unique work by postdoctoral fellows within the experimental nuclear and particle community. He is also co-spokesperson on a new neutrino experiment (ANNIE), recently approved to run at Fermilab, based on the novel photodetectors. Matt will join Iowa State as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2015.