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Chair of the Department
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Physics is the most basic of the natural sciences. It is concerned with understanding the world on all scales of length, time, and energy. The methods of physics are diverse, but they share a common objective to develop and refine fundamental models that quantitatively explain observations and the results of experiments. The discoveries of physics rank among the most important achievements of human inquiry and have had an enormous impact on human culture and civilization. Members of the department conduct research in the fields of astrophysics, biophysics, cosmology, elementary particle physics, gravitation, hard and soft condensed matter physics, and statistical physics, carrying out experimental work in state-of-the art laboratories in the department and at such national and international facilities as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and large astronomical observatories.
The educational programs of the department are aimed at providing a range of courses to meet the needs of different student groups. For undergraduate physics majors, there is a rigorous core program, exposure to current frontiers, and opportunities for research. For science majors outside of physics, there are technical courses that emphasize the fundamental physical laws that underpin other sciences; and for other majors, nontechnical courses introduce some of the most important concepts of physics and their impact on the contemporary world.