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2017 GW CCAS Department of Physics Newsletter

Meet the Department

The George Washington University Physics Department is made up of a faculty of scholars who are among the nation's top scientists and researchers. The Physics Department is involved with several different centers and institutes, which bring together the expertise and equipment to present faculty and students with a wide array of opportunities for collaboration.

These endeavors are further facilitated through competitive research grant awards from sources such as the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and Naval Research Laboratories. Together we are working to provide the guidance necessary for intellectual development and success in the classroom, the laboratories, and the world beyond.

Department Chair: Prof. W. J. Briscoe


Department of Physics

Study in the physical sciences at the George Washington University has a long history, going back to the founding of the Columbian College in 1821. The Physics Department grew from the Department of Arts and Sciences shortly after the Columbian College moved to its present campus west of the White House in 1912. Our offices have been concentrated in Corcoran and Samson Halls since 1924, with additional research and teaching labs in various annexes, including the new facilities at the Virginia Campus. We invite you to find a place for yourself here!

Each semester, faculty members conduct classes in introductory physics and topical courses for all undergraduates; advanced physics courses for engineers and undergraduate majors; and graduate courses while we oversee programs and advise students working toward doctorates. Faculty members also conduct research in many areas including:

Undergraduates and graduate students have an opportunity to engage in research supported on campus and at many of the nearby research centers such as the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the Naval Research Laboratories, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Thomas Jefferson Electron Accelerator Facility. These activities carry on a long tradition of fundamental research in the department, firmly established by George Gamow with a little help from his friend and colleague Edward Teller beginning in the mid 1930s. (Gamow is best known for developing the hot 'big-bang' model of our universe.)