A Student-Centered Program with State-of-the-Art Research

Though the Auburn campus is large, the Physics Department maintains a surprisingly high ratio of faculty members to our physics majors and graduate students.  There are 23 full-time faculty and approximately 40 undergraduate majors and 40 graduate students.  This means that each student receives the sort of individual attention that is usually only available at much smaler schools.

Research projects are currently underway in plasma physics, condensed matter physics and surface science, atomic physics, radiative physics and space physics.  The research is done in teams that include faculty, postdoctoral students, graduate and undergraduate students.

In the past few years, Auburn has invested millions of dollars in labs and computational facilities where students and faculty do research.  These include:

  • The Semiconductor Lab, equipped with extensive state-of-the-art diagnostic instrumentation for the discovery of new materials;
  • The Surface Science Lab with facilities for complete analysis of surfaces both in a static and time-dependent mode;
  • The newly commissioned Compact Toroidal Hybrid, a magnetic confinement fusion device used to test theories of plasma containment and to help understand the intricacies of plasma transport and dynamics;
  • The Accelerator Lab with two-megavolt Tandem Ion Accelerator, applies the techniques of nuclear physics to probing the structure of solids, surfaces, and their interfaces;
  • The Plasma Science Laboratory for simulating space environments, studying fundamental plasma processes, and investigating dusty plasmas;
  • The Laboratory for NanoPhotonics provides for the use of advances in solid state physics and optics to manipulate, utilize, and study light-matter interaction in a reduced dimension;
  • The AMO Physics Laboratory houses instruments for studying the interaction of atoms and molecules with ionizing radiation.  In particular, Cold Target Recoil Ion Momentum Spectroscopy is used to simultaneously measure the momenta of multiple particles produced in collisions of ion, electrons and photons with atoms and molecules;
  • A local Beowulf cluster, PRISM, is constructed from 45 dual processor, ATHLON machines and allows students and faculty to explore the world of parallel processing.


Auburn University - The main campus had an enrollment during fall of 2006 of 23,333. Auburn University offers degrees in 13 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.

College of Sciences and Mathematics - The College is comprised of 5 departments: Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geology and Geography, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics. The College is one of the largest at Auburn with more than 2,000 undergraduate students and 125 M.S. and 150 Ph.D. students studying curricula offered by the College.

Department of Physics - The Department has 23 full-time faculty, approximately 40 graduate students, and approximately 40 undergraduate physics majors.  It is housed in two buildings, Allison Lab and Leach Science Center. For further information and to arrange for a visit, please call 334-844-4264 or email mailto:hanson@physics.auburn.edu.