Research at the Cutting Edge of Discovery

Our department includes about thirty research faculty, and twenty research staff, working at the forefront of their respective subdisciplines. Our faculty, as well as many research staff, are highly productive measured by publications, research dollars, and grants and contracts. Research in the department is themed in six research areas, as well as four interdisciplinary areas. Our department has a unique history in Space Physics, and there are synergies between Space Physics, Plasma Physics, and Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Nuclear and Particle Physics. We have additional strong programs in Condensed Matter Physics, and a growing effort in Quantum Information.

A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Our department is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and fostering a welcoming research environment for all.

We have been a leader in campus partnerships with groups that support early research
opportunities, especially for students from underrepresented groups, such as through the Iowa Biosciences Academy, and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Additionally, our faculty are closely connected with the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU).

Students in the College Physics II course working on a laser project.

Undergraduate Student Research

The majority of our undergraduate majors get a research experience with one of our faculty or through a research internship at a national laboratory or observatory. Often these experiences result in students co-authoring papers with their faculty advisers.

Read about some of our undergraduate student projects and meet some of our past undergraduates.

Graduate student Josh Larson with the plasma tube he built.

Graduate Student Research

All our faculty advise graduate students in research, and our talented and ambitious graduate students are very important in each group in carrying out research. We invite students to join our tight knit community and do research with our internationally renowned faculty.

View our recent graduates and meet some of our past graduates here.