Graduate physics at the University of Mississippi
The Department of Physics and Astronomy
offers Master’s and PhD degrees in Physics, and all students admitted to our graduate program receive full financial support—including a tuition waiver, health insurance subsidy, and generous living stipend. The primary areas of research are atmospheric physics, condensed matter physics, gravity, high energy physics, and physical acoustics.
- The newly established Center for Multimessenger Astrophysics (CMA) brings together physics faculty members working at the interface of astronomy, gravitational, and high-energy physics. Multimessenger astrophysics is the discipline that studies celestial phenomena through various complementary physical carriers (electromagnetic waves, gravitational waves, particles, and cosmic rays). The CMA supports and coordinates related research activities and helps to ensure that our students and faculty will play a prominent role in this emerging field.
- Three faculty members work on theoretical and observational aspects of gravity. The University of Mississippi is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration that first detected gravitational waves in 2015. Active areas of research also include quantum gravity (in the causal sets and loop quantum gravity approaches), compact objects (black holes and neutron stars), theoretical modeling of gravitational wave sources, and astrophysical tests of general relativity.
- The high energy physics (HEP) experimental group has strong ties to Fermilab and is involved in several international experimental collaborations, including Muon g-2, Belle/Belle II, NOvA, and DUNE. The HEP theory group works on the properties of fundamental particles, such as quarks, neutrinos, and the Higgs boson—as well as new, predicted particles beyond the standard model. The HEP group is particularly focused on flavor physics and tests of CP (matter-antimatter) and CPT (Lorentz invariance) symmetry violations, studies of new strongly-interacting particles, and searches for sterile neutrinos.
- Our atmospheric physics group is one of only a few in the United States doing theory and field observation of thunderstorm electricity, an incredibly rich phenomenon whose study dates back 250 years but which is still not fully understood.
- In the area of experimental condensed matter physics, there are ongoing projects to characterize material structure and phase transitions using resonant ultrasound spectroscopy and to understand acoustic propagation in nanostructured ferroelectric materials. Work on the theory side is focused on strong electronic correlations, especially the numerical study of magnetic systems with competing or frustrating interactions.
- Four faculty members are cross-appointed or based at the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA), which is a unique facility located on the University of Mississippi campus. The NCPA houses its own labs and additional scientific staff. Activities at the Center are focused on using acoustics techniques to investigate problems in physics. NCPA scientists conduct research in seven focus areas, including ultrasonics, ocean acoustics, and materials characterization.
Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi is the flagship university for the state of Mississippi. A world-class public research university, the institution has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics, and innovative research. With approximately 24,000 students, the University of Mississippi is the state’s largest university, with a major medical school, a nationally recognized law school, and 15 academic divisions. The University of Mississippi carries the R1 Carnegie designation reserved for doctoral universities with the highest level of research activity. It is also ranked as one of the best places to work by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The university is located in the historic town of Oxford, in the wooded hills of north Mississippi. Oxford has a college-town atmosphere with excellent public schools, affordable housing, and an extensive system of buses and bike lanes. It also boasts a lively performing arts scene, fine restaurants, and nationally recognized independent bookstores. In terms of quality of life, it is consistently ranked as one of the best small towns in America.
Enquiries can be directed to the department's Graduate Program Coordinator <firstname.lastname@example.org>.