You are here: Home

Penn State Department of Physics

Main Content

Two dimensional crystals of tungsten disulfide show enhanced light emission from their edges (Nano Letters, November 2012) Penn State physicists develop a new paradigm for understanding the earliest eras in the history of the universe (Physical Review Letters, December 2012). Crystallites of magnetic charges in artificial spin ice Topological Spintronics IceCube discovers PeV neutrinos
Two dimensional crystals of tungsten disulfide show enhanced light emission from their edges (Nano Letters, November 2012)
Crystallites of magnetic charges in artificial spin ice (Nature, August 2013)
Cornell-Penn State collaboration demonstrates room temperature 'topological spintronics' (Nature, 2014)
IceCube discovers extraterrestrial PeV neutrinos (Science, Nov. 2013, PRL, Sep. 2014).

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.

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

Marcos Rigol

Marcos Rigol

My research interest is in many-body quantum systems in and out of equilibrium, with a focus on systems whose constituents interact strongly. Strong interactions play an important role in materials with intriguing properties, such as high-Tc superconductors, and in ultracold atomic gases in optical lattices. We utilize theoretical approaches that combine computational and analytical tools. The beauty and challenges of this area of research rely on the fact that, even though the systems' constituents and their interactions are well known, their collective behavior leads to the emergence of unexpected and fascinating properties. Far from equilibrium, we are interested in understanding how unitary quantum dynamics leads to equilibration and thermalization.

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.

Physics@PennState among very best in the United States

According to a multi-year study released by the National Research Council (NRC) in 2010, we are in the top echelon of physics departments in the United States. The NRC used a broad range of measurements to rank the performance of graduate programs across hundreds of universities — its first such rankings in 15 years. A conservative interpretation of the study places us in the top 10-15 in the country. A detailed exploration of rankings using different criteria is available at 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.