Majors & Minors
We offer degrees in physics and in physics and astronomy, as well as many research opportunities for undergraduates.
Our PhD programs rank in the top twenty nationwide, according to the National Research Council.
From subatomic particles to the structure of the Universe itself, our award-winning faculty study nature on every scale.
In the News
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.
Natalie Allen '20 has been awarded the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Distinguished Undergraduate Award.
Congratulations to Ryan Howell! Ryan was awarded the DOE SCGSR Fellowship this year for his work in experimental neutrino physics. The goal of the SCGSR program is to prepare U.S. graduate students for STEM careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at a DOE laboratory. In the coming year Ryan will aid in the construction of the ICARUS neutrino detector at Fermilab, which will aid in the search for the existence of sterile neutrinos. Once that is complete, Ryan will perform a new analysis on electron-neutrino cross-sections in the detector.
UR Physics Graduate students J.J. Ruby and Esteban Wright use physics to investigate 'juiced' baseballs and their effect on the homerun averages for the Rochester Red Wings. Read More
Congratulations to Carla Watson, a PhD student working as a condensed matter physics research assistant with Professor Stephen Wu. Carla has been awarded the 2019 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. She is finishing up her second year with the department of Physics and Astronomy and also serves on the executive board of our physics and astronomy student association (PASSAGE).
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...
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...
Satya Gontcho A Gontcho recognized with the Giuseppe Sciacca International Award
The University of Rochester cosmologist Satya Gontcho A Gontcho has been given the 2019 Guiseppe Sciacca Prize for Astronomy and Physics. This award recognizes young scientists and artists from all over the world who have excelled in their field of expertise while distinguishing themselves by their human qualities and outstanding dedication to others.Read 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.Learn More
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