About

For more than a century, the Department of Physics has attracted some of the nation's top scholars. Students build a strong foundation in nuclear physics, astrophysics and biophysics while studying advanced concepts, from quantum mechanics to optics. They also collaborate with faculty and partner institutions to understand the building blocks of life, observe exploding stars in distant galaxies and detect subatomic particles at the core of matter.

Study in the physical sciences at the George Washington University goes back to the founding of the Columbian College in 1821. Officially founded in 1912, the department has been a leader in scientific breakthroughs ever since, including hosting the historical 1939 conference at which Nobel Prize Winner Niels Bohr announced that Otto Hahn had successfully split the atom, thus ushering in the atomic age. Department faculty have included renowned scientists such as George Gamow, early developer and advocate of the big bang theory, and Edward Teller, famed for his work on the hydrogen bomb. 

Today, the department carries on the practice of excellent research at state-of-the-art labs in Corcoran Hall and Science and Engineering Hall on GW's Foggy Bottom Campus. Faculty regularly secure competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. In the lab and in the classroom, the department is applying physics solutions to everyday life.

 


Connect With Our Community


“GW has a diverse population. The student body comes from very different backgrounds. Even if your idea of fun is running computer modeling cell movement simulations, here you can find your tribe.”

George Sangiolo
BS '18, Biophysics

George Sangiolo

 

GW Physics News

Professor Guanyu Wang is Starting a New Laboratory

Professor Guanyu Wang is starting a new laboratory in September 2013 with both biological experiments and high performance computation as integral components (3/2013).

Tribute to Barry Berman

Professor Berman joined the Physics Department in the Fall of 1985

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The Legacy of George Gamow

 

 

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Getting a Bang Out of Gamow

by Professor Eamon Harper

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Tribute to Professor Herman Hedberg Hobbs

Professor Herman Hobbs as a Teacher

Our distinguished Professor of Physics, Herman Hedberg Hobbs, could give a highly technical lecture on astrophysics and...