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From the Department Head

Nitin Samarth

Welcome to Physics@Penn State! I am proud to belong to a department of innovative scientists, inspiring teachers, creative students, and accomplished alumni. Whether you are an alumnus, friend, prospective student or a casual visitor, I invite you to browse our website and learn about the exciting discoveries Penn State physicists are making at the frontiers of knowledge. According to a multi-year study released by the National Research Council (NRC) in 2010, we are in the top echelon (10-15) of physics departments in the United States (see the website). We also invite you to visit the Eberly College of Science website for a comprehensive overview about the NRC rankings for all departments in our college.

We also seek to attract faculty, graduate students and postdocs to join our department. If you are interested in becoming part of our community, please consult the "Jobs" tab on our web page for current opportunities.

— Nitin Samarth, George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head

nsamarth [at] psu [dot] edu

Meet Our Faculty

Portrait of Nathan Gemelke

Nate Gemelke

My group studies fundamental many-body problems using the versatile tools of ultracold atomic physics. We cool atomic gases to a fraction of a microkelvin above absolute zero temperature and create novel structures of laser light with which to probe and manipulate them. By assembling new strongly correlated quantum systems from the ground up, we can engineer systems to shed light on the basic organizational principles of matter, to develop new methods of storing and manipulating information quantum mechanically, and to discover new behavior in complex systems.

Research experience for undergraduates

The department provides many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research. Direct research experience is exciting, and a great way to prepare for careers in science and engineering.

Wei Huang makes adjustments to a microwave-electronicassembly for a laser spectroscopy setup used in a Bose-Einstein condensationapparatus.

If you're interested in doing research, feel free to explore the research programs in the department and our Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program.

Welcome to new colleagues

We were delighted to welcome our new graduate students, postdocs and faculty at the department picnic! They join us from diverse countries, including the United States, Brazil, China, India, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom! New faculty include Dr. B. S. Sathyaprakash, Elsbach Professor of Physics, Dr. Randall Mcentaffer, Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Professor of Physics, and Dr. Michael Smitka, Lecturer in Physics. Three more faculty will join in January 2017: Dr. Carmen Carmona (UCSB), Dr. Luiz deViveiros (UCSB) and Dr. Cui-zu Chang (MIT). 


 (Photo credits: Brett Green)