MIT Physics Department

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The Physics Department at MIT has over 120 faculty members. It offers academic programs leading to the SB, SM, PhD, and ScD degrees.

As of 2018, the department counts five Nobel Prize winners among its faculty: Samuel C.C. Ting (1976), Jerome I. Friedman (1990), Wolfgang Ketterle (2001), Frank Wilczek (2004) and Rainer Weiss (2017). A few other former faculty members have also been so honored: Clifford Shull (1994), Henry Kendall (1990), Steven Weinberg (1979) and Charles H. Townes (1964). MIT Physics alumni who have received the Nobel Prize for Physics are Adam Riess (2011), George Smoot (2006), Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman (2001), Robert B. Laughlin (1998), William D. Phillips (1997), Burton Richter (1976), John Robert Schrieffer (1972), Murray Gell-Mann (1969), Richard Feynman (1965) and William Shockley (1956).


Undergraduate academics[edit]

There are two paths to earning a bachelor's degree (SB) in physics from MIT. The first, "Course 8 Focused Option", is for students intending to continue studying physics in graduate school.[citation needed]

The second, "Course 8 Flexible Option" is designed for those students who would like to develop a strong background in physics but who do not necessarily want to pursue graduate work in the field.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name SB PhD Notability
Eric A. Cornell 1990 Bose-Einstein Condensate,
Nobel Prize in Physics (2001)
Richard Feynman 1939 Quantum Electrodynamics,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1965)
Murray Gell-Mann 1951 Quarks,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1969)
Gerald Guralnik 1958 Co-discoverer of Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson in 1964 with C.R. Hagen, SB'58, SM '58, PhD '63
J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics (2010)[1][2]
Professor of Physics, Brown University
C. R. Hagen 1958 1963 Co-discoverer of Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson in 1964 with Gerald Guralnik, SB'58
First to derive Wallis formula for pi from physics and quantum mechanics[3][4][5][6][7][8]
J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics (2010)[9][10][11]
Professor of Physics, University of Rochester
J. David Jackson 1949 Classical Electrodynamics (textbook)
Shirley Jackson 1968 1973 President of RPI
Jay Last 1956 One of the Shockley Semiconductor "traitorous eight"
Robert B. Laughlin 1979 Fractional Quantum Hall Effect,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1998)
Ronald McNair 1976 One of the Challenger astronauts
Robert Noyce 1953 One of the Shockley Semiconductor "traitorous eight",
Co-inventor of the integrated circuit,
Co-founder of Intel
William D. Phillips 1976 Laser Cooling,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1997)
Burton Richter 1952 1956 Discovery of the J/ψ particle,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1976)
John Robert Schrieffer 1953 BCS theory,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1972)
William Shockley 1936 Co-inventor of the transistor,
Nobel Prize in Physics (1956)
George Smoot 1966 1970 Structure of cosmic microwave background radiation,
Nobel Prize in Physics (2006)
Adam Riess 1992 High-Z Supernova Search Team
Nobel Prize in Physics (2011)
Carl E. Wieman 1973 Bose-Einstein Condensate
Nobel Prize in Physics (2001)


External links[edit]