A device that emits light through 3 focused glasses arranged in a straight line


In the Physics Department, students gain hands-on research experience with department faculty, innovative equipment and scientists from some of the world's top institutions. For more than a century, the department has spearheaded important discoveries in our labs and fostered generations of researchers, systems engineers, environmental scientists and biomedical engineers. Outside the department, our faculty hold leadership roles with partner institutes around the world, offering students unparalleled research and employment opportunities. 

With lab groups across many interest areas, undergraduate and graduate students can build their research experience and present, publish and win awards for their work. Research is ongoing in experimental and theoretical nuclear physics, experimental and theoretical biophysics, and high-energy astrophysics.



Chryssa Kouveliotou

Chryssa Kouveliotou

Professor of Astrophysics

“[The university] combines the academic environment and also the research environment because GW is located in a hub of educational institutions and research centers. … The people that exist at and near the university are such fantastic scientists and personalities.”


Faculty by Research Area


Research Facilities

TA Raju Timsina talks with Mark Reeves in the SEH biophysics lab, surrounded by laboratory equipment and computers

The biophysics lab in Science and Engineering Hall


The Physics Department operates out of historic Corcoran Hall and state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Hall (SEH). Labs are outfitted with cutting-edge equipment. The department also partners with researchers from other sciences at SEH, and faculty collaborate with many of the country's top research institutions located in the Washington, D.C., area.


Our Researchers Making Headlines

Neil Johnson sitting at a desk with papers in front of him

Cross-Disciplinary Research to Quantify Evolution, Spread of Misinformation

Physics professor Neil Johnson and his collaborator Yonatan Lupu have been awarded a three-year, $1.86 million grant from the Department of Defense to study how misinformation spreads between groups and across social media platforms.
Senior physics major Ujwal Kumar (right) and biology major Alison Pagalilauan

Getting Creative: Student Research in the Virtual Learning Environment

For physics major Ujwal Kumar, the COVID pandemic turned everything upside down — including his astrophysics research on gamma ray bursts. But thanks in part to CCAS' STEM Summer Research Program, Kumar found creative ways to continue his research remotely.
A diagram showing red and blue lines indicating hate speech patterns from Facebook, VKontakte (VK), and White Genocide SA

Novel Mapping Model Tracks How Hate Spreads and Adapts Online

A team of GW researchers led by Neil Johnson is studying hate on social media. The latest findings outline the challenges to dismantling online hate groups worldwide.

GW students standing with their research posters at Research Days 2019

Student Innovation Shines at Research Days 2019

Eric Boulter, a junior majoring in astrophysics and music, is using virtual reality technology to bring the solar system to life. Wearing a headset, users can stand among the stars and study how they are formed.