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.


“[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.”

Chryssa Kouveliotou
Professor of Astrophysics

Chryssa Kouveliotou

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

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Simpler Parts Make for a More Efficient System

Professor Neil Johnson explored decentralized systems in a new paper. His research has the potential to inform everything from how to effectively structure a company to...

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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.

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Astrophysicists Identify 'Monumental' Kilonova Blast

Four Department of Physics astrophysicists are part of a group of scientists who confirmed the first observation of a kilonova — two neutron stars merging in an explosive event 1,000 times...

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Solving the Proton Puzzle

A riddle at the heart of the atom is confounding scientists and suggesting a new model of physics.