Department Chair: Alex Drees
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a diverse program and consistently ranks amongst the best and largest in the country. The US News and World listed the department as 23rd out of 145 programs in the United States, with the Nuclear Physics program ranked 4th. The 2010 NRC ranking, which is the most prestigious ranking in the US, ranks the Graduate Program among the top 15 programs in the country. The department shares faculty with the CN Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, a leading center for high energy physics, string theory and statistical mechanics; the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, a research center devoted to furthering fundamental knowledge in geometry and theoretical physics, especially knowledge at the interface of these two disciplines; and the Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, with an aim to advance biology and medicine through discoveries in physics, mathematics and computational science. Current and past faculty members have received numerous top honors in the field, including the Nobel Prize, National Medal of Science, Niels Bohr Institute Prize, Dirac Prize, CAREER Awards, Humboldt Awards, PECASE Awards, Asahi Prize, Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, Guggenheim, Sloan, AAAS, IEEE, American Physical Society and Royal Danish Academy Fellowships, and more.