The strength of Purdue's Department of Physics is its internationally recognized research in the areas of astrophysics, condensed-matter physics, high energy physics, geophysics, nanophysics, nuclear physics, sensor technology, biophysics and more. The Department of Physics strives to involve students in research on all the scales of nature so they can develop into the next generation of scientists who can understand and communicate the beauty and mystery of the world that we live in.
At the smallest sub-atomic scales (10-15 meters) Purdue faculty are unraveling the structure of matter using some of the most powerful particle accelerators created by man at Fermilab in Batavia, Il, CERN in Europe, and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in New York. The high energy particle physics group is engaged in experiments at the high energy and short distance frontiers in experiments such as CDF at Fermilab and CMS at the Large Hadron Collider. These experiments involve probing the properties of heavy quarks and leptons and the search for new phenomena. Members of the high energy nuclear physics group are studying the deconfined state of matter known as the quark-gluon plasma, created in collisions between relativistic heavy nuclei.