The faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in the Department are actively engaged in research, producing new experimental and theoretical knowledge and insights across most of the active areas of physics and astronomy. Our research activities fall within and across disciplinary boundaries, with efforts in experimental and theoretical atomic/molecular/optical physics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, astrophysics from star and planet formation to high energy processes, nuclear and particle physics in the Tom W. Bonner Laboratory, space plasma physics, and recent growth in cosmology and astroparticle physics. Topics range from very fundamental, discovery-based basic science to more applied problems and everything in between, also reflecting Rice’s long-held culture of interdisciplinary research, as in the Center for Theoretical Biophysics.
The research areas consist of faculty-lead research groups, in which faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates work together. Undergraduate involvement in research is common, often culminating in a senior thesis project. Research is performed on campus, particularly in the experimental facilities in the Brockman Hall for Physics, as well as around the world at specialized facilities such as telescopes, synchrotrons, neutron sources, the Large Hadron Collider, etc. Please explore the research opportunities in the Department by clicking on the headings at left.