Physics

Granular Sand by Julien Chopin, PhD Candidate in Physics

Ph.D. Program

Clark Physics Ph.D. program - application forms and information about the graduate admissions process.

Physics Graduate Program Poster.


Clark's style of graduate education is best suited for students who have a desire to be independent, are willing to work hard, and who wish to have close ties with the faculty, Clark offers opportunities seldom found elsewhere.

The Clark graduate program in physics differs from most other physics graduate programs in the United States because our size and style encourage graduate students to become involved in research as early as their first semester. As a result, most students make an early transition from classroom work to the more active learning processes involved in doing research. Our formal courses are used to develop competency in the core areas of physics and to help the faculty evaluate student proficiency in formal classwork. Instead of a written qualifying examination, we rely on a series of oral examinations to encourage the development of the students' intuition and ability to think simply. As a result of our emphasis on early research participation and our style of teaching and evaluation, many students who might not do well in a bigger graduate program find that they thrive in our supportive environment.

As a result of early research involvement, frequent contact with diverse visitors, and collaborative relations with others, graduate students at Clark gain an unusual degree of self-reliance. Consequently, our Ph.D. and M.A. recipients regularly obtain attractive positions in academia and industry.

Program Emphasis

The emphasis of our graduate program is on condensed matter physics. Our faculty has active research interests ranging from organic superconductivity, novel magnetic materials, theoretical biological physics to granular matter and statistical mechanics and computer simulations. Other research interests include polymer physics and nuclear physics. The Department has six faculty members, approximately twelve graduate students, and a ever changing number of undergraduate majors.

Collaborative Research

Both faculty and students collaborate in research with colleagues at other institutions. In addition to theoretical research being done with colleagues at Boston University and Kalamazoo College, Princeton University, and University of Connecticut, Clark faculty are currently doing experimental work in collaboration with colleagues at the following universities and organizations:

Department Colloquim

Every Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. during the academic year all members of the department attend the colloquium on a subject of current research interest. These visits are easily arranged because of Clark's proximity to the many universities and industrial research laboratories in the New England area. In addition, faculty and graduate students attend colloquia and seminars at other institutions within an hour drive of Clark. These institutions include Boston College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MIT, Northeastern University, and WPI.