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Vincent Meunier, Ph.D.

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Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street, Troy, New York 12180-3590

Telephone: (518) 276-6310
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Rensselaer’s department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy prepares undergraduate students to contribute to new concepts and technologies through innovative teaching methods that combine student-faculty interactions, computer-based education, and “hands-on” experience in modern laboratories.

Our graduate programs lead to the M.S. and the Ph.D. in physics. These degrees are available in several research areas.

For graduate students specializing in Astronomy and Astrophysics, the M.S. degree is available either in astronomy or physics with specialization in astrophysics.

The department conducts both fundamental and applied research, often in collaboration with researchers from other Rensselaer departments, other universities, industry, or the National Laboratories.

As an important part of their education, graduate students collaborate with faculty members to make original research contributions in their area of specialization.

Department News
A Detector Shines In the Search for Dark Matter

Results of the XENON100 experiment are a bright spot in the search for dark matter.

A team of international scientists involved in the project—including Rensselaer researcher Ethan Brown—have demonstrated the sensitivity of their detector and recorded results that challenge several dark matter models and a longstanding claim of dark matter detection. The results are published in two papers in the journals Science and Physical Review Letters.

Dark matter is an abundant but unseen matter in the universe considered responsible for the gravitational force that keeps the Milky Way galaxy together, said Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at Rensselaer.

“Dark matter, which is the cosmic glue responsible for the formation of galaxies, is all around us,” said Brown. “Most of the time it passes right through the tiny spaces between the subatomic particles that make up our bodies and the Earth, but occasionally it will bump into an atom, knocking it backward ever so slightly.”

For more details see: Press Release

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