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EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

Physics

Physics at Northeastern invites you to join an exciting journey to explore, discover, and apply the fundamental principles that run the universe. Take a front-row seat as you visualize everything from the collisions of sub-atomic particles to the dance of the galaxies.

Explore Our Options for Undergraduate Students

Physics

physics
physics
150 Years of Science in a Cosmic Web of Paper Trails
The One Network to Rule them All
This Exotic Crystal is Fueling the Quantum Revolution

Everything (In Theory)

Why can’t light escape a black hole? What exactly is dark matter? Why is the gravitational force so weak? In physics, we know everything is bound by the same rules and happens for a reason. It’s the “why” of every action and reaction that keeps us curious.

The College of Science physics program equips you with what we know about our universe — theories on matter, the forces, space, and time — so you can reach into the unknown and answer the question… why?

Degree Options

Coursework and Requirements
A sampling of the types of courses you could take here.
Biological Physics
PHYS 4621

Offers an introduction to biophysics focusing on development and implementation of physical models for various biophysical processes that occur in living organisms and in living cells.

Modern Physics
PHYS 2303

Reviews experiments demonstrating the atomic nature of matter, the properties of the electron, the nuclear atom, the wave-particle duality, spin, and the properties of elementary particles, and introduces the special theory of relativity.

Advanced Physics
PHYS 3600

Introduces research through experiments that go beyond the simple demonstration of basic physical principles found in introductory physics courses. Experiments focus on lasers, fiber-optic communication, spectroscopy, Faraday rotation, speed of light, semiconductor physics, Hall effect, fuel cells, and Fourier analysis of music and sound.

From Theory to Practice

Northeastern Physics students value their experiences in a variety of work settings ranging from research and technical positions in corporations to research assistantships in cutting edge labs on campus or abroad. Our signature co-op experience provides a great opportunity to strengthen technical and professional skills.

Jameson O’Reilly, S’19

Physics and Math combined major Jameson O’Reilly had the opportunity of a lifetime with two of his classmates to spend his co-op at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, more commonly known as CERN. While there, O’Reilly had the chance to work hands-on building and testing prototype miniature cathode strip chambers, miniCSCs. His work helped to design prototypes that would use gas mixtures that are less likely to contribute to greenhouse gases, like the current chambers do. Even after his co-op ended, O’Reilly was able to continue working for CERN on an extension of his project remotely, through an undergraduate research grant

Faculty Labs

Physics
Spintronics & Nanomagnetics Group
Professor Heiman’s research group focuses on several challenging and technologically important areas: (1) topological materials; (2) nanomagnetism; and (3) novel spintronic materials. 
Physics
Emergent Epidemics Lab
Samuel Scarpino
Research in the Emergent Epidemics Lab spans a broad range of topics in complex systems and network science, with an emphasis on infectious disease dynamics and forecasting/predictive models.
Physics
Israeloff Lab
Nathan Israeloff
Professor Israeloff’s approach in the understanding of disordered systems, critical phenomena, and non-linear dynamics is to probe model complex materials with novel mesoscopic techniques, with an emphasis on noise measurements and analyses.
Physics
Whitford Research Group
Paul Whitford
Professor Whitford’s research probes the energetic properties of biomolecular dynamics through a combination of theoretical modeling and high-performance computing (HPC). His investigations of biomolecular order-disorder transitions and energy transduction processes span from protein and ribo..
Physics
Kravchenko Lab
Sergey Kravchenko
Professor Kravchenko is studying low temperature (millikelvin) properties of low-dimensional electron systems by means of transport, capacitance, thermopower, and magnetization measurements.
Physics
Sage Lab
J Timothy Sage
Professor Sage’s research is motivated by a fascination with the physical basis for the function of proteins. He develops and applies novel spectroscopic approaches to understand the structure, dynamics, and function of biological macromolecules.
Physics
Batischev Lab
Oleg Batishchev
Prof. Batishchev’s main research areas are Plasma Physics applications in fusion energy, laser-matter interaction, space, electric propulsion, and industry, and Computational Physics with focus on high-performance computing.
Physics
DK Lab
Dima Krioukov
DK-Lab research focuses on the theory and fundamentals of complex networks. Research topics of particular interest to the lab are latent network geometry, maximum-entropy random graph ensembles and random geometric graphs, causal sets, navigation in networks, and fundamentals of network dynamic..
Physics
Menon Lab
Latika Menon
Professor Menon is the Principal Investigator of the Advanced Nanomaterials Research laboratory at Northeastern University where she conducts and supervises research in the area of nanomaterials, specifically porous alumina, titania nanotubes, gallium nitride nanowires, etc. She is particularly..
Physics
Wanunu Lab
Meni Wanunu
Professor Wanunu’s research involves studying biosystems at the nanoscale (macromolecular and sub-molecular levels).
Physics
Theoretical Soft Matter and Biophysics Group
Max Bi
This reearch group is interested in understanding collective and emergent behavior in out-of-equilibrium and disordered systems. The research employs methods in theoretical and computation condensed matter physics and applies to a wide range of biological and non-biological systems.
Physics
Kar Lab
Swastik Kar
Professor Kar’s interests lie in the investigation of electronic, optical, and electrochemical properties of graphene and development of graphene-based applications, including energy generation and storage.
Physics
Spring Lab
Bryan Spring
Professor Spring’s group bridges biophysics, biomedical optics and cancer biology to selectively target micrometastases left behind by standard therapies that limit our ability to cure many cancers.
Physics
CIRCS
Alain Karma
Research at CIRCS falls within the areas of biomolecular systems, cardiac systems, neural systems, and nanosystems. Research projects are continuously evolving as members develop new collaborations both within and outside the center.
The Minds Behind COS Physics
Faculty Spotlight
Arun Bansil
Physics
Bansil and a team of researchers have discovered new properties in the chemical element bismuth that conduct electricity efficiently, and could prevent supercomputers from frying. Bansil, who found these properties of bismuth concealed within the quantum world, says the discovery will rock modern technology harder than the internet revolution in the 1960s.
Toyoko Orimoto
Physics
“The Standard Model only describes a small fraction of the universe we know,” says Orimoto. Her work within CERN’s particle collider has given her the chance to study particles such as the Higgs Boson.
Alessandro Vespignani
Phsyics
Vespignani is the Director of the Modeling of Biological and Socio-technical Systems Lab (MoBS Lab) at Northeastern University. Prediction is an integral component of the work Vespignani and his colleagues perform at MoBs, where the team develops innovative mathematical models and computational tools to better understand, anticipate, and control large-scale complex network systems. In 2016, Vespignani was awarded the Aspen Institute Italia Award for his work predicting the spread of the Ebola virus in Liberia in 2014.

News

January 6, 2020

Superconductor or Not? They're Exploring the Identity Crisis of This Weird Quantum Material.

December 19, 2019

You are What You Eat. But What are You Eating?

The USDA tracks only a fraction of the chemical compounds in our food. Giulia Menichetti, an associate research scientist at Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research, is trying to map…
physics
November 15, 2019

150 Years of Science in a Cosmic Web of Paper Trails

An analysis of Nature’s database by Barabási’s team reveals that interdisciplinarity has been increasing in science overall for the past 110 years. No longer are the scientific disciplines being siloed off…
October 22, 2019

Cancer Tumors Aren’t Always as ‘Tough’ as They Seem

Ph.D. student Xinzhi Li and Assistant Physics Professor Max Bi applied a model to study the rigidity of cancer tumors to help researchers understand how to treat them.

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