May 26, 2024  
2013-2014 General Catalog 
2013-2014 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics & Astronomy (Graduate Program)

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For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here. 


Michael L. Cherry, Chair
TELEPHONE 225-578-2262
Dana Browne, Associate Chair
TELEPHONE 225-578-6843
Kenneth Schaefer, Graduate Advisor
TELEPHONE 225-578-0466
Illya Vekhter, Assistantship and Admissions Committee Chairman
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 course work, 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 as May 15 though the likelihood of acceptance is 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 fellowship support for PhD students entering in fall 2012 was between $21,000 and $28,000 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 $28,000 plus tuition waivers.

In general, all applicants are assumed to be applying for financial assistance in the form of a graduate teaching assistantship. Essentially all incoming students are awarded either an assistantship or a fellowship. Research assistantships are usually available to students 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

Research resources include a 3He-4He dilution refrigerator-high magnetic field (18 Tesla) facility for materials science studies; a 1.5 GeV electron synchrotron (CAMD) for materials science, surface physics, and x-ray lithography applications; and laser optics and crystal growing laboratories. The National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) is near Baton Rouge, and the department’s gravity wave group is involved in LIGO experiments. Experimental groups are involved in nuclear physics measurements at Oak Ridge, TRIUMF and the Michigan State FRIB laboratory; the LENS, SNO, and T2K neutrino experiments; condensed matter experiments on 2-D and 3-D systems; cosmic ray studies at the Auger Observatory in Argentina and at balloon launching sites from Canada to the Antarctic; observations at Kitt Peak, Cerro Tololo, Las Campanas and other ground-based telescopes, and with the Hubble Space Telescope, Swift, FUSE, Chandra, Spitzer, and Fermi satellite missions. Medical research is conducted at the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (MBPCC).

LSU has fully staffed machine and electronic shops. LSU is connected to other national and international computing centers via the Internet and Internet2. High performance computing work in the department, including development of algorithms and computing methods, solutions of general relativity equations, particle physics detector simulations and analysis of neutrino data, simulations of stellar structure and galaxy dynamics, electronic structure calculations, analysis of satellite gamma ray data, and nuclear physics computations, is performed on the facilities of the LSU Center for Computation & Technology (CCT), which includes a 50 Teraflop machine (LONI) a 15 teraflop machine (Tezpur), and other facilities for scientific visualization and computing.

Graduate Faculty

(check current listings by department by clicking this link)


Philip W. Adams (M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Jeffery Blackmon (7M) • Experimental Nuclear Physics
Dana Browne (M) • Theoretical Condensed Matter
Michael L. Cherry (M) • Gamma Rays, Galactic Cosmic Rays, High Energy Astrophysics
Geoffrey Clayton (7M) • 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
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
Joseph P. Dugas (3P) • Medical Physics
Robert S. Fields (3P) (MBPCC) • Radiation Oncology
Jonas David Fontenot (3P) (MBPCC) • Medical Physics
Juhan Frank (M) • Accretion in Close Binaries and Active Galactic Nuclei
Mette Gaarde (7M) • Theoretical Atomic/Optical Physics
Joseph A. Giaime (7M) • Experimental Gravitational Waves (LIGO), Low Noise Detectors
John Gibbons (3P) (MBPCC) • Medical Physics, Tomotherapy, Radiotherapy Quality Assurance
Gabriela González (7M) • Experimental Gravitational Waves (LIGO)
T. Gregory Guzik (M) • Solar and Galactic Cosmic Rays, High Energy Astrophysics
William O. Hamilton (EM) • Gravitational Radiation Instrumentation
Gregory C. Henkelmann (3P) • Medical Physics
Kenneth Hogstrom (EM) • Medical Physics, Radiation Therapy Physics, Radiation Dosimetry
Robert Hynes (7M) • Multiwavelength Observational Astronomy
Kurt Jacobs (3F) (MBPCC) • Quantum Optics, Quantum Information Processing
Mark Jarrell (7M) • Theoretical/Computational Condensed Matter
Rongying Jin (7M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Sheldon Johnson (3P) (MBPCC) • Radiation Oncology
Warren W. Johnson (M) • Gravitational Radiation Detectors, Josephson Devices
Maurice L. King, Jr (3P) (MBPCC) • Medical Physics
Richard L. Kurtz (M) • Surface Science, Synchrotron Radiation Studies
Thomas Kutter (7M) • Experimental Neutrino Physics
Arlo U. Landolt (EM) • Stellar Photometry
Hwang Lee (3A) • Quantum Optics
Renee A. Levine (3P) (MBPCC) • Radiation Oncology
Kevin K. Lo (3P) (MBPCC) • Radiation Oncology
James Matthews (M) • Extremely Energetic Cosmic Rays (Auger Project)
Kenneth Matthews (7M) • Medical Physics, Gamma Ray Imaging Physics
William J. Metcalf (EM) • Neutrino Oscillations at FNAL
Juana Moreno (6A) • Computational Condensed Matter
Wayne D. Newhauser (M) • Medical Physics
Robert F. O’Connell (M) • Theoretical Atomic Physics
Brent Parker (3A) (MBPCC) • Medical Physics
Ward Plummer (7M) • 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 (7M) • Multiwavelength Astronomy
Kenneth Schafer (M) • Dynamics of Strongly Driven Atomic and Molecular Systems
Daniel Sheehy (6A) • Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Polad Shikhaliev (6A) • Medical Physics, X-ray Imaging Physics, Computed-tomography
Parampreet Singh (6A) • Quantum Gravity, Cosmology
Phillip Sprunger (M) • Surface Science, Electronic Properties of Materials
Shane Stadler (7M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Joel Tohline (M) • Star Formation, Galaxy Dynamics
Martin Tzanov (6A) •Experimental Neutrino Physics
Ilya Vekhter (7M) • Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Wei-Hsung Wang (3F) (Radiation Safety Office) • Radiation Safety
John P. Wefel (M) • Galactic Cosmic Radiation, Solar Energetic Particles
Charles G. Wood (3P) (MBPCC) • Radiation Oncology
David Young (7M) • Novel Electronic and Magnetic Materials
Edward F. Zganjar (EM) • Experimental Nuclear Physics
Jiandi Zhang (7M) • Experimental Condensed Matter
Rui Zhang (3P) • Medical Physics


Other faculty associated with Physics and Astronomy:

Gabrielle Allen (M) (LSU Department of Computer Science, CCT) • Computational Science
Martha Schaefer (3F) (LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics) • Planetary Geology


Degree Programs


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Science

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