a black CCAS undergraduate physics student researching on a laptop. Department of Physics, Columbian College seal


innovative thinkers pushing the boundaries of discovery
Preparing the next generation of physicists in the classroom, the laboratory and the world beyond

Who We Are


GW CCAS Physics student working with a radioactive instrument inside a physics lab


At the GW Department of Physics, faculty and students are at the forefront of transformative, interdisciplinary scholarship, as they seek answers to fundamental questions about matter, motion and the mysteries of the universe.

The department engages in collaborative research with some of the Washington, D.C., area's world-renowned centers and institutes, including the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, NASA and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

Through in-depth research, faculty mentorship and unique learning environments, physics students are exploring the countless applications of physics to the working world.


COVID-19 Resources & Updates


Happening in the Physics Department

N253 Localization

NASA Missions Unmask Magnetar Eruptions in Nearby Galaxies

A team of GW magnetar experts was part of the international collaboration that analyzed data from space- and ground-based observatories.
Chandra X-ray Observatory

Graduate Students Presenting

Astrophysics graduate students (Steven Chen, Brendan O'Connor, Hui Yang) gave talks at the Chandra Frontiers in Time-Domain Science 2020.  

Aerial image of the Jefferson Lab's accelerator, a large machine surrounded by wires and scaffolding

Physics Collaboration Seeks to Shed Light on Particle Formation

GW researchers from the Physics Department are leading an international collaboration to expand capabilities at a U.S. Department of Energy national accelerator laboratory and provide opportunities for student researchers.

Research Areas

Graphic of a planet and stars


Astrophysics explores the evolution of stars, galaxies and the entire universe. Undergraduates can major or minor in the field, and graduate students can join the department's astro group in collaborations with NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory, the University of Amsterdam and more.

Graphic of a DNA double helix


The biophysics lab offers expertise in epigenetics, chromatin dynamics, bifurcation of diseases and more. The Physics Department offers a minor and a bachelor's degree in the field, as well as research opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Graphic of an atom

Nuclear Physics

GW hosts one of the largest university-based nuclear physics groups in the nation. The lab collaborates with top researchers in Virginia, Germany and Switzerland. Both undergraduate and graduate students can choose between Experimental, Theoretical and Nuclear Phenomenology research groups


Jason Starita

Jason Starita

BS '20, Astronomy and Astrophysics

"As a physics major, I’m realizing that you can relate what you learn to anything you want to do. You’re not just restricted to doing research, you’re not restricted to academia. The skills that you learn are skills that employers want."