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Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a rich and long history dating back to the latter part of the 19th century. Our faculty and students are exploring nature at all length scales, from the subatomic (quarks and gluons) to the macroscopic (black holes and dark energy), and everything in between (atomic and biological systems).

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XENON/DARWIN and LUX-ZEPLIN collaboration allows for next-generation dark matter detector

Most of the universe is made up of dark matter, yet dark matter still largely remains a mystery to those who study it. Two collaborations that study dark matter are now joining forces to create the next-generation dark matter detector. This unity will include the Xenon Experiment at Purdue University led by Dr. Rafael Lang.

Stored for 50 Years, Technology is Finally Advanced Enough to Analyze Apollo Moon Samples

If hindsight is 20/20, what is foresight? Foresight like that of NASA leaders in the 1970s who locked 840 pounds of moon rocks and dust in a vault until technology advanced enough to study them accurately deserves at least 20/10. Part of the Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program, Purdue physicist Marc Caffee is studying radionuclides to determine how cosmic radiation has interacted with the moon.

Wall Street Journal, place Greater Lafayette among top housing markets in U.S.

Inaugural Emerging Markets Index ranks Greater Lafayette sixth among nation’s top 300 housing markets. Lindsay Mason didn’t want to love Greater Lafayette. She just couldn’t help herself. The native Bostonian had understandable reservations about uprooting French Knot — a knitwear company she co-founded with her parents in Massachusetts — when Purdue University offered her husband, Dan Milisavljevic, a tenure-track professorship in physics and astronomy.

Soaking up the sun: Artificial photosynthesis promises a clean, sustainable source of energy

Biophysicists are studying artificial photosynthesis as a sustainable source of energy. Yulia Pushkar of Purdue University's Department of Physics and Astronomy is featured in this article from the National Science Foundation.

Still taking giant leaps from lunar small steps: Purdue scientists analyze moon dust collected by Apollo 17 astronauts

Humans have not set foot on the moon for nearly 50 years, but the Apollo moon missions aren’t over. The echoes from Neil Armstrong’s first steps are still helping scientists make giant leaps in understanding the moon’s geology. Now, Purdue University scientists including Michelle Thompson, an assistant professor of EAPS in Purdue’s College of Science, and Marc Caffee, professor of Physics and Astronomy in the Department of Astronomy and Physics, are both working on teams that will analyze some of the moon rocks and lunar soil samples from that mission.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2036 • Phone: (765) 494-3000 • Fax: (765) 494-0706

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