About Us


The Department of Physics and Astronomy will continue to be the largest and most active such department in Mississippi.  As a department at the state’s leading public research university, we share the vision of the university and consequently deliver excellent programs of teaching, research, and service. 


The mission for the Mississippi State University Department of Physics and Astronomy includes the fundamental responsibility to generate and disseminate knowledge about the physical world and how mankind interacts with it.  Included in this broad area are the responsibilities to educate future generations of physicists and astronomers; to teach physics and astronomy skills and concepts to science and engineering students; and to instill in non-science majors an appreciation of science, applications of science in society, and an interest in the behavior of the physical world.


The primary goals of our educational programs are to develop informed, responsible, skilled citizens and to instill in those citizens an appreciation for the value of the pursuit of scientific knowledge.  The primary goals of our research programs are to apply critical thinking and the methods of inquiry in the pursuit of knowledge of the physical universe and to discover ways by which this knowledge can be used to enrich humanity.  The primary goals of our service programs are to provide service to people, institutions and organizations who strive to improve the economic, cultural, and social well-being of our citizens.  There is often a synergism in these goals that strengthens and reinforces e.g., undergraduate research serves both to educate as well as advance research.

We are dedicated to the notion that all of our students should receive something of real and lasting value from their experiences with us.   We strive to ensure that these students appreciate how the study of physics and astronomy can often simplify and explain a complex and fascinating world.


The Department has seventeen tenure/tenure-track faculty and three full-time instructors.  We offer B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees.  Faculty research is in the areas of Astronomy, Atomic and Molecular and Optical and Plasma (AMOP) Physics, Computational Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, and Nuclear Physics.  All faculty are involved with teaching, research, and service.