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Physics at Oregon State University


The department has strong research programs in optics and condensed matter physics and an emerging emphasis on biophysics. Experimental, theoretical, and computational research seeks to understand the physics and applications of new materials and to answer fundamental questions about the dynamical behavior of biological and nanoscale systems. As home of the Paradigms in Physics upper-division curriculum project and an expanding program of reform in the lower-division service courses, our department has a strong culture of shared responsibility for curriculum development supported by physics education research. We particularly value collaborative interdisciplinary projects that span departments within the College of Science and with other colleges, especially Engineering and Education.

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Next three scheduled events

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Date-Timesort icon Location Type Speaker Title
2015-04-20 16:00 Weniger 116 Colloquium Prof. Kai-Mei Fu, Dept. of Physics, U of Washington Nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond for quantum information and sensing applications
2015-04-27 16:00 Weniger 116 Colloquium Prof. Tevian Dray, Department of Mathematics, OSU The Geometry of Relativity
2015-04-29 16:00 Weniger 304 SSO Seminar Liney Arnadottir TBA


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2015 Mar 27

Physics Professor Janet Tate has been named the first Dr. Russ and Delores Gorman Faculty Scholar. The three-year rotating award recognizes faculty who bring distinction to the College of Science, connect with industry and have a strong record of innovative research with practical impact.

This award will support Tate’s novel research on transparent semi-conductors with the potential for real-world application. Currently, she is working to develop a new kind of semiconductor with electrical and optical properties to help solve some of the world’s pressing problems such as efficient conversion of solar energy and light emission.

The Dr. Russ and Delores Gorman Faculty Scholar Fund honors the legacy of Dr. Russell Gorman, who was chair of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation departments at the University of Nebraska, Mankato State University (Minnesota) and Illinois State University. Dr. Gorman resided in Corvallis with his wife of more than 65 years, Delores, until his death in January 2015.

More details at:


2015 Mar 12

Daniel Lin wins the Undergraduate Research Presentation Award at the American Physical Society Meeting for work with Prof. Bo Sun

Physics Major Daniel Lin has received the Undergraduate Research Presentation Award at the March American Physical Society meeting for his poster "A Novel Approach to Line Detection using Image Integration Method”. Lin is a Senior with a dual major in Physics and Computer Science.

Daniel's research project is part of Prof. Bo Sun's group’s effort to understand the structure and properties of biopolymer networks. They have developed an image line detection algorithm based on a similarly score with respect to a precalculated image library. Unlike other methods, which typically rely on image gradients, their algorithm uses integration, and therefore is robust even for noisy images. His work has already attracted substantial interest.

A picture of the award ceremony

2015 Feb 6

OSU Physics is now @OSU_Physics on twitter. Please follow us to see breaking news from the Department.

2015 Feb 4

Congratulations to Henri Jansen on receiving the College of Science's Olaf Boedtker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising!

2015 Jan 20

Congratulations to Zhong Chen, who was given a URISC award to work with Prof. Weihong Qiu on the proposal "Mechanism of the Enhanced Long-Distance Transport by Kinesin-4."

2015 Jan 12

Who said physics is not fun? Prof. Ethan Minot certainly had some 50 elementary school children very engaged in physics activities, see the Corvallis Gazette Times on Monday January 12, 2015.

2015 Jan 2 Starting January 1, 2015, the chair of the Department of Physics is Prof. Heidi Schellman. She can be reached at Physics.Chair@science.oregonstate.edu by e-mail. If you need to reach the previous chair, Prof. Henri Jansen, please use jansenh@physics.oregonstate.edu for the e-mail address.
2014 Dec 18

OSU Physics has been selected to host one of the 2016
Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics. We look forward to an exciting program in January 2016.

2014 Nov 25

Congratulations to Brian Johnson, who was selected to receive the Graduate Student Travel Award, to be used to fund travel to the 2014 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting and Exhibit in Boston, MA.

2014 Nov 21 Congratulations to Prof. Janet Tate, who was one of seven international scientists and former Technical University of Munich research alumni awarded the title of "TUM Ambassador" for 2014. See https://www.together.tum.de/en/research-alumni-forum/ for more information.