Graduate Catalog
2019-2020
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Physics
College of Science
Academics and laboratories; completed 1960. Building cost $992,385; 66,138 sq. ft. Known as Physics Building until 1968 when renamed Robeson Hall in honor of Frank L. Robeson, head of physics department 1923-54.
850 West Campus Drive (0435), 222F Robeson Hall Blacksburg VA 24061
Robeson Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Physics
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
• PhD
PhD Degree in Physics
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-8728
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 05
Directions
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The Graduate School
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Robeson Hall

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Department Chair : Mark Pitt
Graduate Program Director : Camillo Mariani
Professors: Nahum Arav; Lay Chang; James Heflin; Jean Heremans; Patrick Huber; Giti Khodaparast; Jonathan Link; Djordje Minic; Pendleton Montague (VT Carilion Research Institute); Seong Mun (National Capital Region); Kyungwha Park; Leo Piilonen; Mark Pitt; Michel Pleimling; Eric Sharpe; John Simonetti; Uwe Tauber; Robert Vogelaar
Associate Professors: Lara Anderson; Edwin Barnes; Sophia Economou; James Gray; Camillo Mariani; Hans Robinson; Vito Scarola; Victoria Soghomonian; Tatsu Takeuchi
Assistant Professors: ; Rana Ashkar; Shengfeng Cheng; Satoru Emori; Shunsaku Horiuchi; Vinh Nguyen; Thomas O'Donnell; Ian Shoemaker
Research Faculty: Ibrahim Ozcan (National Capital Region); Kenneth Wong (National Capital Region)
Adjunct Professors: Richard Blankenbecler; Charles Bowman; Zheng Chang; Frank Giovane; Yi-Gao Liang; Zoltan Toroczkai
Affiliated Faculty: Levon Asryan; Stephen Eubank; Louis Guido; Rolf Mueller; Alexey Onufriev; Mark Paul
William E. Hassinger, Jr., Senior Faculty Fellow in Physics: Robert Vogelaar
Luther and Alice Hamlett Junior Faculty Fellow:

Physics Introduction

The Department of Physics offers program coursework and research leading to M.S. (thesis optional) and Ph.D. degrees.  Details about the M.S. and Ph.D. degree options can be found in our graduate program policies document available at https://www.phys.vt.edu/Graduate/GraduateProgram.html

The Department has internationally recognized excellence in experimental and/or theoretical aspects of astronomical, biological, condensed matter, nuclear, and particle physics.  This research is supported by collaborations with researchers across Virginia Tech and at outside institutions of higher learning. Please visit the Department at https://www.phys.vt.edu/Research.html/ for more information.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 600.0
    • Computer
      • 250.0
    • iBT
      • 90.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :
  • GRE
    • Subject
      • Physics :
Degree requirements include courses, both required and elective, and a qualifying examination. There are two options, thesis and non-thesis, both of which require 32 credit hours of coursework. Thesis Master’s students must also write and defend a thesis, roughly comparable to a prelim exam.
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 600.0
    • Computer
      • 250.0
    • iBT
      • 100.0
  • GRE
    • General Test
      • Verbal :
      • Quantitative :
      • Analytical :
  • GRE
    • Subject
      • Physics :
Degree requirements include courses, both required and elective, dissertation research, and examination(s). The credit requirement for a Ph.D. is 92 hours, including a minimum of 60 hours of research and dissertation, plus 32 hours of coursework. Ph.D. students are required to attempt a qualifying exam by the end of their third semester, and a prelim exam by the end of their fifth semester.

Physics Facilities Introduction

Experimental laboratories within the Department of Physics include facilities employing Raman scattering, far-infrared to near-ultraviolet spectroscopy, conventional and superconducting magnets, thin-film electron scattering, susceptometry, sol-gel studies, laser holography and spatial filtering, and pulsed laser nonlinear optical measurements such as harmonic generation and degenerate four-wave mixing, and clean-room. Other techniques and materials are available via collaborative programs with the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science.

Facilities are maintained in the Department of Physics to prepare experiments and analyze data collected by the radio astronomy and elementary particle groups which are currently working at national and international research centers, including FermiLab (FNAL, Illinois), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL, New York), Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF, Virginia), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL, Tennessee), Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS, Italy), Kou Enerugii Kasokukikenkyuukikou (KEK, Japan), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL, New Mexico), Kimballton underground science and engineering facility (Virginia), and National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO, including the VLA and VLBA). Housed in the department is the university's Center for Neutrino Physics (CNP), as well as the Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics.

Virginia Tech university computing offers multiple high-performance computing systems. The Physics department has two dedicated clusters and a distributed collection of about 200 limited-availability nodes, all running Linux. Access to supercomputers is available through national and international networks.

The Physics department operates a professional machine shop, a computer shop, and a student shop.

Physics Facilities

The faculty in Virginia Tech's Physics Department conducts research in astronomical, mathematical, medical, nuclear, elementary particle, and condensed-matter physics. Medical and neuroscience research is conducted at sites in Arlington and Roanoke, Virginia. Much of the research activity in astronomy and experimental nuclear and particle physics utilizes off-campus facilities, while most of the instrumentation and data analysis are performed on-campus. These facilities include Brookhaven National Laboratory, Daya Bay, Fermilab, KEK, LANL, ORNL, TJNAF, NRAO, Gran Sasso, and the nearby Kimballton Underground Research Facility (KURF). Telescopes used by the astronomy group include the Hubble Space Telescope, the Very Large Telescope, the Chandra X-ray satellite, the Spitzer IR satellite, and the XMM-Newton X-ray satellite.

Experimental facilities in condensed-matter physics include low-temperature facilities and variable-temperature high-magnetic-field magneto-transport systems, low-temperature optical systems, pulsed near- and mid-infrared lasers, visible-ultraviolet lasers, spectrometers, confocal microscopy and related optical characterization facilities, nanofabrication systems, thin-film materials deposition systems, materials synthesis, room-temperature and low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, and various other microscopy systems. More analytical and nanofabrication systems (e.g., X-ray, Auger, TEM, AFM, SIMS, SQUID, and FIB) are housed in on-campus facilities. Research is also performed off-campus, for example, at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Housed in Robeson Hall is the University's Center for Neutrino Physics (CNP). Many theorists are members of the University Center for Statistical Mechanics, Mathematical Physics, and Theoretical Chemistry, composed of faculty from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics.

The Department of Physics is also home to the Center for Soft Matter and Biophysics at Virginia Tech. This interdisciplinary research Center was established in February 2016, and is administered by the Department of Physics in the College of Science. Its mission is to advance the rapidly growing research areas of soft matter and biological physics. Special attention will be extended to how these developments can address many of the most significant problems currently facing society, for example effective drug design and delivery, next generation materials, programmable biology, and models for human disease.

Virginia Tech University computing offers multiple high-performance computing systems. The Physics Department has two dedicated clusters and a distributed collection of about 200 limited-availability nodes, all running Linux. Access to supercomputers is available through national and international networks.

The Physics Department operates a professional machine shop, a computer shop, and a student shop.
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