Chair's Message

We are a department that takes pride in offering a small-college atmosphere combined with the opportunities of a world-class research department and in an atmosphere that fosters collaborative research across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Our faculty, students and staff are also committed to holding the principles of equity, tolerance, and inclusivity central within all aspects of our departmental activities as well as to contributing to the national effort to increase diversity in our field. Our efforts to date have included hosting one of the first six APS Bridge Fellows Program, collaboration with APS-IDEAS, and frequent discussions on the climate of the field of physics for those that have been historically excluded.

Our faculty consistently rank among the best in their respective fields and frequently define the leading edge of those fields. Our particle and nuclear physics groups have frontier programs at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, RHIC, and Jefferson Lab, and they regularly play important leadership roles in this country’s most important neutrino and precision nuclear physics experiments. The world-leading IU Center for Spacetime Symmetries is home to innovative research in many aspects of subatomic physics and our Condensed Matter Physics and AMO groups frequently make important contributions in their fields including realizing the first 2-D array of trapped ions suitable for quantum simulation and many seminal contributions to many-body physics. We also have an extensive effort in Biophysics, with a particular emphasis on the Physics of Neuroscience. We are constantly working to keep our curricula relevant to today’s research frontiers and employment opportunities by building from these advances in our research.

Students in the department benefit greatly from modern and newly renovated facilities at IU Bloomington. Swain Hall West is located at the southeast corner of the oldest and most historic part of campus and is home to two departments and multiple research facilities that compliment those at the Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter (CEEM) in MES Hall. These facilities offer faculty and students the opportunity to conduct research and to develop new projects.

Our department continues to evolve in keeping with the long and distinguished history of excellence in the physical science that has made us a leader in the field. I urge you to explore what we have to offer more extensively on this website and to consider visiting us in person.  Our long list of alumni includes such luminaries as Homer Neal (first African-American president of the American Physical Society), Kumble Subbaswamy (Chancellor of U. Mass. Amherst), Kathleen Plinske (President of Valencia College), Philip Dybvig (2022 Nobel Laureate in Economics), and many others. We welcome you to join our community to help deepen our understanding of the universe and become a contributor to a thriving, engaged community shaping new frontiers in physics.  

David Baxter
Professor and Chair, Department of Physics