Message from the Chair

Julio Gea-Banacloche

Welcome to the Physics Department at the University of Arkansas! Please take some time to explore this site and acquaint yourself with the many areas of excellence of the Department, and the accomplishments of our faculty and students.

Old MainThe Department is internationally known for research in nanoscience, condensed matter physics, computational physics, quantum optics and quantum information, and physics education. We are a relatively small group (20 regular faculty), yet we bring about $6.5 million a year in external support. Our roster includes several Fellows of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, an associate editor for Physical Review A, an editor of the Einstein Papers Project, and the current vice-president of the American Association of Physics Teachers! Faculty and graduate students publish consistently in leading scientific journals, and are regularly invited to present their work at national and international meetings.

About 120 undergraduate physics majors and 49 graduate students are currently enrolled in our various degree programs. Class sizes are typically small and offer students close personal interaction with the faculty. Physics undergraduate students have won prestigious Goldwater, Marshall, and NSF Graduate fellowships. Past graduate students have gone on to successful careers as educators and researchers, in academia, the private sector, and government laboratories.

The physics department offerings are augmented by several interdisciplinary programs and centers, including the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences (SPAC), and the Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering. The latter just saw, in the summer of 2011, the dedication of the Nanoscale Material Science and Engineering Building, a state-of-the-art facility for atomic-level research. The department also benefits from the use of the High Performance Supercomputing Facility on campus.

The University is located in Fayetteville, a town of about 70,000 people on the edge of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, which enjoys a moderate climate with extended spring and fall seasons and a few snow days in the winter. The various cities of Northwest Arkansas are regularly listed among the best places to live in the U.S.; Fayetteville itself is an environmentally friendly town with an extensive system of bicycle trails, and a vibrant cultural life. An important addition to the latter, on a national scale, will be the opening, in November 2011, of the Crystal Bridges art museum in nearby Bentonville. Yet, in spite of all these attractions, the cost of living in Fayetteville remains low, which removes much of the financial strain often associated with the pursuit of an advanced degree.

Thank you for your time and interest! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the University, the Department, or anything else.