Welcome to the Boston College Department of Physics. We are a community of 150 or so, including faculty, administrative staff, postdocs, visiting scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students. Devoted to our teaching, service, and research missions, all of our faculty teach lecture courses and actively involve students in their research. Our research program is focused on fundamental and applied condensed matter and nanoscale physics. Our campus home is Higgins Hall, located at the heart of the BC Chestnut Hill campus on the western edge of Boston, which boasts state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities.
As an undergraduate physics major, you will be both academically challenged and intellectually nurtured, with small class sizes (the ratio of undergraduate majors to faculty is about 4:1). We have an active Society of Physics Students chapter that is encouraged to be creatively engaged in scientific and entertaining activities. The Department of Physics strongly encourages physics majors to engage in research, and we will make every effort to find a suitable research opportunity for all interested students with our faculty members. These are paid positions, funded by either faculty grants or Boston College’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, and are available each semester and during the summer.
Our graduate program is internationally competitive within the condensed matter and materials physics communities, with emphases on: correlated electronic and magnetic systems that include topological insulators, all manner of superconductivity, and magnetism; light-matter interactions including metamaterials, plasmonics, photovoltaics, and nanophotonics; advanced thermal and thermoelectric materials and energy-converting properties; and integrated science endeavors in bio/chemical sensors (e.g. for multiplex detection of disease biomarkers). We accept about eight new graduate students each year from around the world, and our graduates go on to highly successful postdocs and academic, national laboratory, and industrial careers. In addition to our own labs, our faculty and their research groups are frequent users of both national and international facilities such as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (UK), and others.
Additionally, the Department of Physics plays a central role in the new Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society.
Our research and teaching benefit from outstanding instrumentation infrastructure, including the Integrated Sciences Nanofabrication Clean Room, and state-of-the-art STM, NSOM, AFM, SEM, TEM, XRD, high magnetic field/low temperature facilities, VUV-FTIR-THz optics and materials preparation facilities. Funding for this research has been provided through a variety of government agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Office of Naval Research, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and several private foundations, including the W.M. Keck and Sloan Foundations.
Our entire enterprise is facilitated by a professional and courteous administrative staff, including essential business support from the Morrissey College Service Center.
You are invited to peruse these pages and learn more about physics at BC.
Michael J. Graf