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 the 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

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.
An artist representation of the hypernova.

Supernovae Shine Light on Gamma-ray Bursts

New deep space observations by Professor of Astrophysics Chryssa Kouveliotou and an international team of scientists provide insights into Gamma-ray bursts and their relations to supernova, the blindingly bright flashes from a dying star.

Neil Johnson

Simpler Parts Make for a More Efficient System

Professor Neil Johnson explores decentralized systems in a new paper. His research has the potential to inform everything from how to effectively structure a company to how to build a better autonomous vehicle.

Professor Neil Johnson sitting at a desk

Using Physics to Study Extremism

Professor Neil Johnson’s background in “many-body” physics provides the framework or his research on how extremist groups form online.