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    Louisiana State University
  Dec 13, 2017
2017-2018 General Catalog

Physics & Astronomy (Graduate Program)


For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here.  


John DiTusa, Chair
TELEPHONE 225-578-2262
Dana Browne, Associate Chair
TELEPHONE 225-578-6843
Robert Hynes, Graduate Advisor
TELEPHONE 225-578-0466
Ilya Vekhter, Assistantship and Admissions Committee Chair
TELEPHONE 225-578-0598
FAX: 225-578-5855


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Students must submit all documents required by the Graduate School including GRE scores (a score on the GRE subject test in physics is recommended); one official transcript of all college and university coursework, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 required for all undergraduate and graduate work (“A” = 4.0); and three letters of recommendation.

The application deadline for fellowships and assistantships is January 15 for the fall semester or summer term and October 15 for the spring semester. For students starting in the fall term, the department reviews applications as late May 1 although the likelihood of acceptance with financial aid is much higher for applications submitted before January 15.

All graduate student applicants should check the Physics & Astronomy Department website for further information:

Financial Aid

The department provides about 100 teaching and research assistantships. Combined stipend and assistantship  support for PhD students entering in fall 2016 was between $20,700 and $23,000 in addition to full tuition waiver, depending upon the type of award and qualifications. Students are responsible for additional fees. The university also offers Huel D. Perkins Doctoral Fellowships, Board of Regents Graduate Fellowships, Economic Development Assistantships, and NASA Space Grant Fellowships with yearly stipends up to $30,000 plus tuition waivers.

In general, all applicants are assumed to be applying for financial assistance and essentially all incoming students are awarded either an assistantship or a fellowship. Research assistantships are typically available to students after their second year and occasionally after their first year. However, entering students are encouraged to contact individual faculty members about first-year research assistantships or summer employment prior to the beginning of the fall semester. 

Research Facilities

The NSF’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) is located 24 miles from campus, and our faculty and students were at the forefront of the recent discovery of gravitational waves. Astrophysical observation at LIGO continues, as does advanced detector technology development.

The Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) is an interdisciplinary research center advancing computational sciences and all the research and technologies they touch. It provides training and support for High Performance Computing (HPC), and provides access to several supercomputers. Those facilities together with the in-house clusters are extensively used for numerical calculations of general relativity, materials science, analysis of high-energy neutrino and gamma ray astronomy data, experimental calculations and simulations of star collisions and supernovae, and simulations of biological materials.

LSU operates the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), a 1.5 GeV electron synchrotron, and the only synchrotron light source in the southeastern US. It provides light from infrared to X-rays up to 50 keV for microfabrication, basic science investigations, and research related to energy and environmental materials as well as medical studies. The Louisiana Consortium for Neutron Scattering (LaCNS) is a groundbreaking innovative partnership between four universities (LSU, Tulane, University of New Orleans, and Louisiana Tech) exploiting modern neutron scattering techniques available at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to explore the structural, magnetic, and dynamic properties of hard and soft materials systems. Other instrumentation for condensed matter research in the Department includes image furnaces and other synthesis equipment, several PPMS/MPMS systems, scanning tunneling probes and photoemission sources/detectors, and a low-temperature (5 mK) dilution refrigerator-high magnetic field (17.5 Tesla) facility used to study unconventional superconductivity and magnetism. Our graduate students in condensed matter physics have an option to obtain the materials science certificate along with their PhD. 

Nuclear physics experiments are conducted at Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility at Oak Ridge, ISAC facility at TRIUMF, Helical Orbit Spectrometer at Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State. The high-energy and neutrino physics group participates in particle physics experiments at FermiLab (BooNE), played major roles in the K2K and Sudbury neutrino observatory (SNO) projects, now work on the Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), at J-PARC/KEK in Japan and is also involved in the deep underground experiments at DUSEL.

Members of the Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Space Science groups conduct observations using the Gemini, Cerro Tololo, Kitt Peak, Mauna Kea, and Lowell ground based observatories and the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra, Spitzer, Swift, and Fermi satellite observatories. These groups are designing X-ray and cosmic ray experiments for long duration balloon and space missions including the CALET high-energy electron experiment on the Space Station. Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays are being measured in Argentina (AUGER). Highland Road Park Observatory (HRPO), located about 8 miles from campus, includes two fully computer-controlled reflecting optical telescopes with 20” and 16” diameter primary mirrors and CCDs for imaging. HRPO is used for teaching our undergraduate and graduate observational techniques courses and public outreach.

Medical physics facilities at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center include Varian Clinac electron and X-ray beams, TomoTherapy HI-ART, BrainLab Novalis, GE PET/CT, HDR brachytherapy, comprehensive dosimetry laboratories, and Elekta Synergy and multi-vendor treatment planning laboratories.

Graduate Faculty

(check current listings by department by clicking this link)

Philip W. Adams (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Ivan Agullo Rodenas (6A) • Quantum gravity, quantum and classical cosmology
Jeffery Blackmon (M) • Experimental Nuclear Physics
Tabetha Boyajian (6A) • Observational Astronomy
Dana Browne (M) • Theoretical Condensed Matter
Emmanouil Chatzopoulos (6A) • Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics, Supernova Theory
Michael L. Cherry (M) • Gamma Rays, Galactic Cosmic Rays, High Energy Astrophysics
Geoffrey Clayton (M) • DDA Modeling of Dust Grains, Interstellar Dust in the Local Group
Thomas R. Corbitt (6A) • Experimental Gravitational Radiation
Catherine M. Deibel (6A) • Experimental Nuclear Physics
Joyoni Dey (6A) • Medical Imaging Physics
Peter Diener (3F) (CCT) • Computational Astrophysics, Numerical Relativity
John DiTusa (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Jonathan Dowling (M) • Quantum Optics, Quantum Information Processing, Photonic Band Gap Materials
Jerry P. Draayer (M) • Nuclear Shell Model, Statistical Spectroscopy, Group Theory
Juhan Frank (M) • Accretion in Close Binaries and Active Galactic Nuclei
Mette Gaarde (M) • Theoretical Ultrafast Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Joseph A. Giaime (M) • Experimental Gravitational Waves (LIGO), Low Noise Detectors
Gabriela González (M) • Experimental Gravitational Waves (LIGO)
T. Gregory Guzik (M) • Solar and Galactic Cosmic Rays, High Energy Astrophysics
William O. Hamilton (EM) • Gravitational Radiation Instrumentation
Kenneth Hogstrom (EM) • Medical Physics, Radiation Therapy Physics, Radiation Dosimetry
Robert Hynes (7M) • Multiwavelength Observational Astronomy
Mark Jarrell (M) • Theoretical/Computational Condensed Matter
Guang Jia (M) • Medical Physics, Diagnostic Imaging Physics
Rongying Jin (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Warren W. Johnson (M) • Gravitational Radiation Detectors, Josephson Devices
Richard L. Kurtz (M) • Surface Science, Synchrotron Radiation Studies
Thomas Kutter (M) • Experimental Neutrino Physics
Arlo U. Landolt (EM) • Stellar Photometry
Kristina D. Launey (6A) •Theoretical Nuclear Physics
Hwang Lee (M) • Quantum Optics
Scott T Marley (6A) • Experimental Nuclear Physics
James Matthews (M) • Extremely Energetic Cosmic Rays (Auger Project)
Kenneth Matthews (M) • Medical Physics, Gamma Ray Imaging Physics
William J. Metcalf (EM) • Neutrino Oscillations at FNAL
Juana Moreno (M) • Computational Condensed Matter
Wayne D. Newhauser (M) • Medical Physics
Robert F. O’Connell (M) • Theoretical Atomic Physics
Ward Plummer (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Jorge Pullin (M) • Theoretical Gravity
A. R. P. Rau (M) • Atoms in Electric and Magnetic Fields, Threshold Laws, Mathematical Physics
Bradley Schaefer (M) • Multiwavelength Astronomy
Kenneth Schafer (M) • Theoretical Ultrafast Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Daniel Sheehy (M) • Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Parampreet Singh (M) • Quantum Gravity, Cosmology
Phillip Sprunger (M) • Surface Science, Electronic Properties of Materials
Shane Stadler (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Joel Tohline (M) • Star Formation, Galaxy Dynamics
Martin Tzanov (M) •Experimental Neutrino Physics
Ilya Vekhter (7M) • Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
John P. Wefel (EM) • Galactic Cosmic Radiation, Solar Energetic Particles
Mark M. Wilde (6A) • Quantum Science and Technology
David Young (M) • Novel Electronic and Magnetic Materials
Edward F. Zganjar (EM) • Experimental Nuclear Physics
Jiandi Zhang (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Rui Zhang (6A) (MBPCC) • Medical Physics

Other faculty associated with Physics and Astronomy:

Robert L. Carver (3F) (MBPCC) • Medical Physics

Degree Programs

This department offers studies leading to Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of SciencePost-Doctoral Certificate