Physics has been in the Brown curriculum since 1772, back when the discipline was called “natural philosophy” and Wolfram Alpha was not around to solve our problems. Today, we have a vibrant department of over 40 faculty, joint faculty, and affiliated faculty, all pursuing the frontiers of physics.

Distinguished Research Across Disciplines

Some of our faculty members are developing advanced theories to explain phenomena as grand as the origin of our universe and the nature of matter. Others are pushing the limits of physics to detect new fundamental particles and dark matter, as well as building incredibly sensitive devices based on quantum physics. Fear not if you are a beginner with a sense of curiosity; Brown physics will build you from the ground up. Our research is distinguished across the discipline – high-energy, cosmology/astrophysics, condensed matter and biophysics.

Empowering Curiosity: Inside and Beyond the Classroom

Every faculty member teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Learning is not limited to the classroom but also continues in state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops, conferences, and international and multidisciplinary collaborations.

Every undergraduate concentrator enjoys the opportunity to work with a professor in either theoretical or experimental research. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are trained to become next-generation physicists and future leaders in academia, government, NGOs or the private sector.

Highlights of Excellence

Nobel Prize in Physics, 1972


Leon N. Cooper, Nobel laureate in superconductivity theory and the father of the “Cooper pair”

Fritz London Memorial Prize, 2011


Humphrey J. Maris, Professor Emeritus

Higgs Mechanism and Higgs Boson Co-Discovery, 2012


Gerald Stanford Guralnik: Co-discoverer of the Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson

Nobel Prize in Physics, 2016


J. Michael Kosterlitz, Nobel laureate in topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter

Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Physics

Our department is committed to actions that cultivate diversity, equity and inclusion and promote racial justice for all. We strive to build a stronger and more vibrant physics community.