Our internationally recognized faculty explore the universe on every scale - from investigating carbon nanotubes used in solar energy, to reenvisioning the gamma-ray bursts generated in black hole formation, to employing artificial intelligence to understand cancer invasion. Our department is also host to the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center, which was awarded $17 million from the National Science Foundation in 2021.
Physics research stories
Faculty Research Areas
AstrophysicsThe branch of astronomy concerned with the physical nature of stars and other celestial bodies, and the application of the laws and theories of physics to the interpretation of astronomical observations.
Condensed Matter Experiment and Condensed Matter TheoryThe field of physics that explores the macroscopic and microscopic properties of matter.
High Energy PhysicsThe branch of physics that deals with the properties, relationships, and interactions of subatomic particles.
Optical PhysicsThe branch of physics that studies the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it.
Physics Education ResearchA form of discipline-based education research specifically related to the study of the teaching and learning of physics, often with the aim of improving the effectiveness of student learning.
Quantum Mechanics and Quantum CosmologyThe theory that uses quantum mechanics to extend gravitational physics beyond Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Undergraduate students are invaluable team members in nearly all of the physics research underway in our department. Most physics students will complete a senior research project, which offers the opportunity to build important mentoring relationships while engaging in stimulating research.
Learn more about undergraduate research
Outreach and engagement
Our faculty believe that access to quality physics education benefits the world as a whole. We hope to encourage widespread engagement and understanding of science by showing students that science is fun! Some of our outreach activities include night sky and sun viewing and family science nights at local elementary schools.
Learn about research outreach and engagement
Performing research on OSU physicists?
We receive many requests to study physics students, faculty or classrooms in student or faculty research projects. To help facilitate this process, we request that anyone interested in researching our community members first submit an application and read our department policy for physics education research.