About MIT Physics
From the Department Head
The MIT Physics Department is committed to excellence in research and education. We are also committed to continuously improving the working environment for our students, faculty, and staff through our Physics Community Values and Physics Values Committee.
The Department has about 100 faculty, 190 undergraduate majors, and 270 graduate students. Our research falls into four primary areas:
- astrophysics and cosmology;
- theoretical nuclear and particle physics;
- experimental nuclear and particle physics;
- atomic, biological, condensed matter, and plasma physics.
Our research program extends the frontiers of human understanding of space, time, matter, and energy in all its forms, from the subatomic to the cosmic and from the elementary to the complex. Fourteen of our alumni and eight of our faculty (including four current faculty) have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
The Department has been the source of innovation in physics education for decades. Eight members of our Department have been awarded the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers. The Technology Enabled Active Learning approach to freshman physics and our flexible SB degree program are signature educational achievement.
Combining research with instruction is a primary aim for the Department. Our graduate program focuses on helping our students begin original research as soon as possible. Our undergraduate majors make extensive use of the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). The Department’s fundraising prioritizes support of both programs.
Welcome to MIT Physics.
Deepto Chakrabarty ’88
Professor of Physics and Department Head
- 1866-1868: William Barton Rogers (1804-1882)
- 1868-1877: Edward Charles Pickering (1846-1919)
- 1877-1917: Charles R. Cross (1848-1921)
- 1917-1922: Edwin B. Wilson (1879-1964)
- 1922-1930: Charles L. Norton (1870-1939)
- 1930-1952: John C. Slater (1900-1976)
- 1952-1961: Nathanial H. Frank SB ’23, PhD ’27 (1903-1984)
- 1961-1966: William W. Buechner SB ’35, PhD ’39 (1914-1985)
- 1966-1972: Victor F. Weisskopf (1908-2002)
- 1972-1983: Herman Feshbach PhD ’42 (1917-2000)
- 1983-1988: Jerome I. Friedman (1930-
- 1988-1991: Robert J. Birgeneau (1942-
- 1991-1997: Ernest J. Moniz (1944-
- 1998-2007: Marc A. Kastner (1945-
- 2007-2013: Edmund Bertschinger (1958-
- 2013-2022: Peter H. Fisher (1959-
- 2022-present: Deepto Chakrabarty SB ’88 (1966-