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Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a rich and long history dating back to the latter part of the 19th century. Our faculty and students are exploring nature at all length scales, from the subatomic (quarks and gluons) to the macroscopic (black holes and dark energy), and everything in between (atomic and biological systems).

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Painting a clearer picture of black holes

Black holes are everywhere right now – at the middle of every galaxy, of course, as well as all over the news — thanks to the recent picture taken of the black hole at the center of Earth’s own galaxy. Matthew Lister, professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Science at Purdue University, explains the significance of the image, only the second one ever taken of a black hole.

Purdue physics and astronomy professor named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Laura Pyrak-Nolte, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science, has been elected to one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Pyrak-Nolte, who is recognized as the world’s leading expert on the acoustic, mechanical and transport characteristics of porous and fractured media, is one of 261 members of the newest academy class. Her work in this field leads to innovation in the availability of fresh water to drink, the power of geothermal resources to heat and cool our homes, and aids the modern energy economy that relies on the injection and withdrawal of fluids through fracture networks in rock.

Presentation Ceremony for Members Elected in 2019

In honor of his contributions to few-body quantum mechanics, Chris H. Greene of Purdue University and Purdue Physics and Astronomy, is being inducted to the National Academy of Sciences following his election in 2019. Live stream available.

2022 Physics and Astronomy Awards Celebration

This year's Department of Physics and Astronomy awards celebration occurred April 28th. Congratulations to the faculty, staff, and students who were awarded for 2022!

Laughlin’s Charge Pump Realized

Using atomic spin to represent a synthetic dimension, researchers have experimentally verified the predictions of a long-unrealized thought experiment. Dr. Qi Zhou, of Purdue Physics and Astronomy has authored this article for APS Physics Magazine.

All Departmental News

Department of Physics and Astronomy, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2036 • Phone: (765) 494-3000 • Fax: (765) 494-0706

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