Carnegie Mellon University

Research at Carnegie Mellon Physics

At CMU Physics, traditional strengths such as Particle Physics and new initiatives such as our Nanoscience Initiative and Biological Physics complement each other. Most recently, we have strongly increased our activities – and have been able to attract exciting young faculty – in the area of Astrophysics and Cosmology. This growth is well reflected by the recent formation of the Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology, one of the newest Research Centers on campus.

Research at Carnegie Mellon is characterized by a strong component of interdisciplinarity, and the research driven by many of our faculty and associates is no exception. Whether it is Biological Physics where faculty collaborate closely with biomedical groups at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and others around the country or our Condensed Matter group which interacts strongly with colleagues in the Engineering School, whether our Astrophysics researchers adopt and refine machine learning tools together with folks from the CMU School of Computer Sciences or Particle Physicists who perform their experiments at facilities around the globe between Beijing and Geneva – our exciting and highly motivated student body is always challenged to think outside the box.

There are currently five major focus areas in the department – Astrophysics/Cosmology, Biological Physics, Condensed Matter Research/Nanophysics, High Energy Physics and Quark Interaction Research. However, these areas are not distinct. Indeed, they are rather closely linked by structures such as the McWilliams Center or our Computational Physics thrust which enjoys a close relationship with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. And because Physics as a fundamental science spans huge regimes of length scales and time scales, it should not come as a surprise that our High Energy Physics and Biological Physics theorists occasionally cross-fertilize each other with trailblazingly new ideas.