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 Institute 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.


Onward GW: COVID-19 Updates


Happening in the Physics Department

A mother holding her baby while looking at her computer

Online Parenting Communities Pulled Closer to Extreme Groups

Previous research has shown that social media feeds the spread of misinformation. But exactly how that occurs has been unclear, leaving social media platforms struggling under the deluge of new material posted each day. Led by Professor of Physics  Neil Johnson, the research team set out to better understand how the Facebook machinery helps misinformation thrive and spread through the platform’s network of online communities.

A gamma-ray burst’s jet emanating from a collapsing hyper-massive star

NASA Pact Rockets Astrophysics Impact

The GW Astrophysics Group within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) is expanding its reach into space exploration with a new agreement with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The milestone partnership will open doors to a greater imprint for the CCAS Physics Department in space science.

Diagram of three hadrons interacting in spacetime

Excited states of strongly interacting matter predicted from first principles

The George Washington Lattice QCD collaboration has determined for the first time the existence and properties of strongly interacting three-body resonances from first principles.

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."