Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Physics Teaching Innovation at the new STEM Teaching Building


Michigan State University's Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the top-ranked departments in the country. It offers many diverse courses in physics and astronomy. Undergraduate programs are available with different emphases and mixes with other branches of science and engineering. It also offers graduate (M.S. & Ph.D.) degree programs with specializations in many sub-fields.

Upcoming Events



May 2, 2022 Mohammad Maghrebi and Johannes Pollanen win prestigious NSF CAREER Awards

Department of Physics and Asrtonomy faculty members Mohammad Maghrebi and Johannes Pollanen have received 2022 NSF Early CAREER Faculty Awards. Their cutting-edge research is pushing the limits of theoretical and experimental quantum science, while their devotion to education is preparing the next generation of scientists to propel their field even further. The Early CAREER Faculty Award is one of NSF’s most prestigious grants and is given to faculty members who demonstrate leadership in research and education and have a passion for integrating the two.

March 18, 2022 MSU Alumnus and World Renowned Solar Physicist Eugene Parker Passes Away

It is with sadness that we pass on the news that MSU undergraduate alumnus and renowned solar physicist Eugene Parker has died at the age of 94. Dr. Parker received numerous accolades over an incredibly distinguished career as a solar physicist, among them having NASA’s Parker Solar Probe named after him. Dr. Parker and his family have also supported the department in many ways over the years, and we are very grateful to have known him and for their support.


March 18, 2022 New PRL Paper on Quantum Hair from Gravity

In a paper in Physical Reviews Letters, MSU Physics and Astronomy faculty member Stephen Hsu along with colleagues at the University of Sussex and the University of Pisa have shown that quantum gravitational effects allow black holes to have "quantum hair", that is to effect the properties of the universe outside of the event horizon. This overcomes No Hair theorems in classical general relativity, and may help resolve may resolve Hawking’s Black Hole Information Paradox, which has challenged physicists since 1976. 

January 20, 2022 Department Receives Undergraduate Education Award from APS

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has been selected by the American Physical Society for its 2022 Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education. This award recognizes a physics department at a U.S. university for its outstanding work in undergraduate physics education. At Michigan State we are grateful that the APS has recognized our work across the curriculum to deliver high quality physics education. This work follows a long history of physics and astronomy at MSU carrying out its land grant mission of excellence in research and teaching.

November 11, 2021 New Program in High Energy Physics Instrumentation

Beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, MSU will host a new traineeship in the development of high-energy physics instrumentation, including coursework, a certificate program, and student support for instrumentation development work at MSU and at a DOE national-lab or other facility. Students enrolled in the program, available to MSU PhD students, will work with MSU faculty on topics including the ATLAS detector on the LHC, CMB-S4, DUNE, and at FRIB. The program includes dedicated mentoring and career opportunities, to help all students succeed in this exciting new frontier.

November 5, 2021 Michigan State hosts major research conference on quantum materials

Michigan State University is hosting a major research conference—the 7th Conference on Photoinduced Phase Transitions and Cooperative Phenomena (PIPT7) this month. The conference is an international meeting bringing together leading experimentalists and theorists in the field of photoinduced phase transitions of quantum materials mediated by ultrashort laser pulses.