Dearborn Telescope Observatory

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University

Physics explains the natural world in the most universal manner possible. Physicists look for the hidden symmetries that underlie and govern the multitude of phenomena in the world around us. Our department has active research programs in areas ranging from theoretical astrophysics and observational astronomy to complex systems, condensed matter physics, atomic, molecular and optical physics, and high-energy physics.

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Vicky Kalogera Elected Trustee of Aspen Center for Physics

July 21, 2014 - Prof. Vicky Kalogera was elected as the astrophysics trustee, among only nine trustees, of the NSF-funded Aspen Center for Physics on July 9. The ACP is a center for physicists that offers long-term workshops, conferences, and research opportunities for those invited to attend. ACP Trustees provide overall scientific, financial, and administrative guidance; typically, only one or at most two astrophysics positions open up every decade.


Congratulations to our Undergraduate Award Winners!

June 24, 2014 - Congratulations to our many undergraduate award winners! This year's departmental award winners were:

Outstanding Senior Thesis: Jonathan Matthew Kernes (advisor: Frank Petriello) for "Calculation of Feynman Diagram Topologies via Differential Equations of Pure integrals."  Jonathan also received departmental honors for his thesis.

Outstanding Junior: Xiaowen Chen

Outstanding Sophomore: Rui Chen

In addition,  many of our sophomores and juniors received Undergraduate Research Grants from Weinberg College:

James Bueghly (advisor: Mayda Velasco), for "Measuring Higgs Boson Hccbar Coupling.”

Erik Johnson (advisor: Adilson Motter), for "Negative Compressibility & Fibrin.”

Find out more about undergraduate research grants, including how to apply, from the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Xiaowen Chen Wins Krieghbaum Award

June 23, 2014 - Undergraduate physics student Xiaowen Chen has received the Katherine L. Krieghbaum Scholarship Award as well as a Weinberg Summer Grant to work on a project on doubly transient chaos with Prof. Motter.  Xiaowen, who is also a major in Mathematics and ISP, has in addition been elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society, received the prize "Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics by a Junior" from the Math department, and was selected Best Junior in Physics and Astronomy.

Find more information about the Krieghbaum Scholarship here.


Congratulations from the Department of Physics and Astronomy!

June 20, 2014 - The department celebrated yesterday at our annual graduation ice cream social. We offer congratulations to all our graduates for their hard work and many acheivements here at Northwestern.



July 21, 2014