Physics and Astronomy
The theoretical and experimental tools of physics are directly applied to research and development efforts, which have a high level of practical significance to society. Applied physics offers to the student the possibility of combining an advanced physics degree with any of a broad range of topics.
Astrophysics, the study of the universe and the laws that govern physical processes in it, have undergone several extraordinary developments in recent decades. Technological advances in instrumentation, detectors, and computing for both ground-based and orbiting observatories have led to a wealth of discoveries at wavelengths ranging from low energy radio waves to very high energy gamma-rays.
This group develops ab initio quantum mechanical methods to elucidate the electronic structure and magnetic properties of a variety of systems including biomolecules, magnetic materials and molecular nanostructures.
The goals of Condensed Matter Physics consist in understanding how atoms aggregate to form materials and how electrons ultimately determine and shape the vast assortment of possible states of matter.
All rocks contain mechanical discontinuities on many length scales. These discontinuities, such as grain contacts, cracks, fractures, or joints, are sources of anisotropy and inhomogeneity.
High Energy physics studies the properties and interactions of fundamental particles in nature to understand the fundamental physics and evolution of the Universe. These studies strongly overlap with Astrophysics and Cosmology.
Research in nuclear physics has a long and storied tradition at Purdue University, beginning in 1937, when one of the first cyclotrons in the United States was built by members of the Physics Department.