Open slide 1 link Dr. Cavaglia in his office, working on the computer
Astrophysicist Dr. Marco Cavaglia researches gravitational waves and is the head of the S&T LIGO group.
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Dr. Yew San Hor is among the world's most highly cited researchers.
Open slide 3 link A professor writing a formula on the board
Dr. Ulrich Jentschura is the author of a new book on Quantum Electrodynamics.
Open slide 4 link Two persons working in the red glow of the laser lab
Dr. Daniel Fischer studies the ionization of laser-cooled lithium atoms.
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Dr. Julia Medvedeva is one of the researchers developing ultra high-strength and lightweight steel.
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Physics department chair Dr. Thomas Vojta branches out into neuroscience research.

Why study physics?

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Physics is the most fundamental of sciences and lies at the foundation of nearly all technical fields. All objects, from the smallest elementary particle to the universe itself, obey the laws of physics. As a physics student, you will learn how to design and run experiments, develop theories and simulate nature on computers. You will have the opportunity to work on a research project under faculty guidance. A physics degree will provide you with critical thinking, problem-solving and programming skills that are valued in a variety of careers.

The department offers an undergraduate BS degree in physics as well as graduate MS and PhD degrees. For questions about the undergraduate program, please contact Dr. Thomas Vojta, chair of the physics department, at For graduate admission, please contact Dr. Alexey Yamilov, director of graduate admissions, at

Our Department

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Our department has strong research programs in astrophysics; atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics; as well as condensed matter and materials physics and is uniquely positioned within the University of Missouri System and the entire state. Our AMO physics program is the only such program in the University of Missouri System. Our astrophysics program houses the only LIGO (gravitational wave) research group in the state. The department is heavily involved in interdisciplinary activities, in particular in materials research and high-performance computing.

Three of our faculty members are Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS), and two carry the title of Curators' Professor within the University of Missouri System. Department research is funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the US Department of Energy, and other agencies.