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Message from the Chair

Portrait photo of Physics Chair Werner U. Boeglin

Welcome to the FIU Department of Physics!

As the most fundamental of all the sciences, Physics seeks to understand how nature operates, from the smallest-scale world of subatomic particles (nuclear and particle physics), to complex molecules that form the basis of life (biophysics), to the largest-scale structure of space and the universe (astrophysics). Physics provides the building blocks for many other disciplines, such as Chemistry, Engineering, Biology, Geology, and the new emerging sciences of artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

At FIU, we engage in groundbreaking research while teaching the fundamentals of science. Our research is regularly published in some of the highest impact journals in the field, including Nature, Science, the Astrophysical Journal, and Physical Review. Our faculty are committed to innovative teaching and scholarship in areas such as astrophysics, atomic and molecular physics, fusion energy, medical and biophysics, nanotechnology, nuclear and particle physics, plasma physics and quantum optics. The department also houses the Center for Imaging Science, a research-dedicated MRI facility supporting an integrated community of national investigators at the forefront of neuroimaging science.

Our students have completed internships, led research experiments and found employment around the world, from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) to the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA and the Very Large Array radio telescope facility. Our partnerships are global and include the Sandia National Laboratory, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Large Hadron Collider/CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Culham Center for Fusion Energy near Oxford University (UK), home to the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST) fusion device.

A central feature of FIU’s campus is the Stocker AstroScience Center, a fully equipped, modern observatory with a 24-inch telescope. We train students to make astronomical observations and carry out research on objects ranging from the nearby solar system to distant galaxies. As a member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) consortium, students can remotely access and operate telescopes in Arizona, Chile and the Canary Islands directly from the center’s “Star Trek Bridge” control room. Star Parties take place every semester and weekly observing events are held by the FIU Astronomy Club. Special events such as the 2017 Solar Eclipse have garnered over 1000 participants from the university and local South Florida community.

Physics faculty promote active learning classrooms, new technologies and peer learning. Students can be a part of FIU’s premier student organizations, including the Society of Physics Students, Sigma Pi Sigma, and the Society for the Advancement of Women in STEM. From our research to advance women and minorities in the sciences to our involvement with the American Physical Society Bridge Program, the Department of Physics is working to establish links between underrepresented minorities and doctoral-granting institutions.

Whether you are a prospective or current student, a community member, or one of our many alumni, we look forward to your joining with us to continue exploring the universe, from the tiniest atomic particles to the farthest reaches of space!

Werner U. Boeglin
Professor and Chair | 305-348-1711