Cutting-edge research is carried out in astrophysics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, condensed matter and biophysics, and atomic physics. Graduate and undergraduate students work with the faculty using local facilities as well as research facilities located in places such as Arizona (the Large Binocular Telescope on Mt. Graham), Illinois (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory), and Europe (CERN and Grenoble, France). Some of the facilities available on campus include the Nuclear Structure Laboratory with its three Van de Graaff accelerators, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Laboratory, and the Molecular Beam Epitaxy facility.
Undergraduate physics majors are trained to use the most modern equipment, learn about the most current and exciting topics for research, and, most of all, learn to be problem solvers. This training leads them to many fields of endeavor. Some (about one-third) go to graduate school in physics; others (another one-third) go on to further their education in professional schools such as medical school or law school; and the remainder enjoy opportunities in such wide-ranging fields as finance, the armed services, and scientific publishing. As the “liberal arts” of the sciences, physics is a training ground for the mind which opens many avenues.
Majors, Second Majors, and Concentrations
Science undergraduates may choose from three different physics majors which are designed to accommodate the academic and professional interests of the majority of physics majors.
- Physics Major
- Physics in Medicine - A program designed to accommodate the special interests of those students intending careers in medicine.
- Physics and Computing Program - Students interested in concentrating in computer science while obtaining a major in physics may choose the Physics and Computing Program.
- Physics Education Program - Majors in the physics education program complete 32 credit hours of education courses offered at Saint Mary's College.
Concentrations are not a requirement, but students are encouraged to add as many concentrations as their schedules and interests allow. Physics in Medicine majors are not allowed to add concentrations.
- Advanced Physics
- Applied Physics - Students can combine the physics major with a sequence of courses in a particular engineering discipline
Director of Undergraduate Studies & Academic Advisor
Research Centers, Institutes and Programs:
- Center for Astrophysics at Notre Dame University (CANDU)
- Center for Complex Network Research
- Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute (EMSI)
- Institute of Theoretical Sciences: Notre Dame/Argonne (ITS)
- Joint Institute of Nuclear Astrophysics
- Joint Nuclear Theory Institute (JINA Notre Dame/Argonne)
- Laboratory for Molecular Beam Epitaxy of Semiconductor Nanostructures (MBE)
- Nuclear Structure Laboratory: ISNAP (NSL)
- QuarkNet Center at Notre Dame