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Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Cosmology and Astro Particle Physics

A unique environment exists at Ohio State between the Departments of Physics and Astronomy to pursue world-class research at the interface between high energy physics, astrophysics and cosmology. There are about 20 faculty members, 10 postdoctoral fellows and 15 graduate students involved in the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP). With a yearly CCAPP Symposium, weekly seminars and a daily “Astro Coffee,” this is a lively group with diverse opportunities for students. 

Interdisciplinary Biophysics Graduate Program

Biophysics is the application of the principles and analytical approaches of physics to solve biologically relevant problems. Some of the most exciting areas of biology and medicine fall within the domain of biophysics. Students interested in biophysics may major in physics at Ohio State and work with biophysicists within the physics department (see page 12) or they may apply directly to Ohio State’s Interdisciplinary Biophysics Graduate Program and work with one of nearly 90 biophysicists throughout the university. Physics faculty play a strong leadership and educational role in the Interdisciplinary Biophysics Graduate Program and both programs work together to individualize the best opportunities for students interested in this career direction.


The Chemical Physics Program

This is a joint PhD-granting program involving more than 30 faculty from the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Medical Biochemistry and Mechanical Engineering. About one third of the approximately 30 students in the program work with advisors in the physics department.


The Center for Electronic and Magnetic Composite Multifunctional Materials (ENCOMM), head-quartered in the Physics Research Building, addresses cutting-edge challenges in understanding and developing complex multicomponent materials. These problems are inherently multidisciplinary and require state-of-the-art facilities. ENCOMM builds teams that can tackle these problems and compete for multidisciplinary block-funded centers (such as the CEM listed below). ENCOMM meets weekly to identify opportunities and share insights; provides fabrication and characterization infrastructure (see ensl.osu.edu); and provides seed funds in fields ranging from DNA dynamics to thermal spintronics.

Center for Emergent Materials

The Center for Emergent Materials (CEM) at Ohio State is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program funded for six years with a total budget of $18 million. Twenty-five faculty, 30 funded graduate students and six postdocs in CEM comprise two teams tackling cutting-edge problems in magnetoelectronics, computing and information processing. The two MRSEC teams bring an exceptional diversity of capabilities, including advanced microscopy, new materials synthesis, novel materials probes and theory and modeling that are required for this challenging endeavor. Head-quartered in the Physics Research Building and with more than half its faculty and students from physics, the CEM offers outstanding opportunities for graduate students to do cutting-edge research in a highly collaborative environment.