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PHYS-PHD - Physics (PhD)

Physics Physics PHD - Doctor of Philosophy

Program Overview

Graduate students find opportunities for research in many areas of Physics. Faculty advisors are drawn from many departments, including, but not limited to, Physics, Particle Physics, and Astrophysics at SLAC, Photon Science at SLAC, Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Biology.

The Russell H. Varian Laboratory of Physics, the Physics and Astrophysics Building, the W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL), the E. L. Ginzton Laboratory, the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM) together house a range of physics activities from general courses through advanced research. Ginzton Lab houses research on optical systems, including quantum electronics, metrology, optical communication, and the development of advanced lasers. GLAM houses research on novel and nanopatterned materials, from high-temperature superconductors and magnets to organic semiconductors, subwavelength photon waveguides, and quantum dots. GLAM also supports the materials community on campus with various characterization tools: it is the Stanford Nanocharacterization Lab (SNL) site and the NSF-sponsored Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN). The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is just a few miles from the Varian Laboratory. SLAC is a national laboratory funded by the Offices of Basic Energy Sciences and High Energy Physics of the Department of Energy. Scientists at SLAC conduct research in photon science, accelerator physics, particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. The laboratory hosts a two-mile-long linear accelerator that can accelerate electrons and positrons. The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source (SSRL) uses intense X-ray beams produced with a storage ring on the SLAC site. The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), completed in 2009, is the world’s first x-ray free-electron laser and has opened new avenues of research in ultra-fast photon science.

The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), formed jointly with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, provides a focus for theoretical, computational, observational, and instrumental research programs. A wide range of research areas in particle astrophysics and cosmology are investigated by students, postdocs, research staff, and faculty. KIPAC is heavily involved in two significant projects: the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope (FGST) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). KIPAC members also participate fully in the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the EXO-200 double beta decay experiment, the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the NuSTAR and Astro-H X-ray satellites, and several cosmic microwave background experiments (BICEP, KECK, QUIET, and POLAR-1).

Students may also be interested in research and facilities at two other independent labs: the Center for Integrated Systems focused on electronics and nanofabrication, and the Clark Center, an interdisciplinary biology, medicine, and bioengineering laboratory.

The Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics is devoted to investigating the basic structure of matter (particle theory, string theory, M-theory, quantum cosmology, condensed matter physics).

Admissions Information

The number of graduate students admitted to the Department of Physics is strictly limited. Students should submit applications by Friday, December 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time for enrollment the following autumn quarter. Graduate students may generally enter the department only at the beginning of autumn quarter.