What starts in physics, changes the world of science.


  • Ranked 14th in the nation.
  • The best physics department within 1500 miles of Austin, Texas.
  • Ranked 4th in level of federally supported research for physics departments (2009).
  • Among national leaders in fundamental theory, high energy density research, condensed matter physics, theoretical plasma physics and other fields.
  • Women in Physics outreach program supports the advancement and retention of female physicists. 
  • Home of Alice in Wonderland program for girls interested in physics. 
  • Physics Circus takes physics to K-12 schools and communities. 
  • Minority Bridge Program for bringing more underrepresented minorities into graduate physics programs.

The Department of Physics explores and teaches the basic principles of the most fundamental of all natural sciences; discovers the fundamental laws of matter, energy and universal structure; and, trains students for careers in research, technology and many other areas.


503 Undergraduate (Fall 2014)
220 Graduate (Fall 2014)


51 faculty 
1 Nobel Prize in Physics 
1 National Medal of Science 
1 Dirac Medal 
3 members of the National Academy of Sciences 
2 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 
11 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 
24 fellows of the American Physical Society 
6 Sloan Fellowships 
6 National Science Foundation Early CAREER Awards 
4 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Awards 
4 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers 
4 members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers
1 Max Planck Award
1 WKH Panofsky Prize
1 APS Buckley Prize
1 Angiola Gili Agostinelli International Prize
1 Jurgen Moser Prize
1 fellow of the Optical Society of America
1 Jefferson Science Fellow


Atomic and molecular physics / Condensed matter physics / Cell physics / Cosmology / Elementary particle physics / Fundamental theory / Gravitation / High energy density physics / Plasma physics / Precision measurement / Short time scale physics

Affiliated Centers & Institutes

Center for Complex Quantum Systems
Center for Nonlinear Dynamics 
Center for Particles and Fields 
Center for Relativity 
Institute for Fusion Studies 
Texas Center for High Energy Density Science
Weinberg Theory Group