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Angel E. García, 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
Fax: (518) 276-6680

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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
Nanostructures Expert Humberto Terrones Joins Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as Rayleigh Chair

Humberto Terrones, an expert in nanostructures, has been appointed as the Rayleigh Chair for Theoretical Physics and a tenured full professor in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Terrones joins Rensselaer from Pennsylvania State University.

"With an accomplished record of discovery on the physics and chemistry of nanostructures, including both computational and experimental breakthroughs, we are so pleased to have Dr. Terrones join Rensselaer," said Laurie Leshin, dean of the School of Science. "His research is leading to the development of new materials with astonishing properties, and is closely aligned to the Institute's signature research thrust of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials."

Terrones researches layered nanostructures - very thin materials, some with a thickness of only one atom - such as graphene and hexagonal boron nitiride. He performs theoretical modeling of the structural, vibrational, and electronic properties of these materials, as well as experimental synthesis and characterization, which is used to validate the models. Recently, Terrones has been focusing on emerging nanomaterials such as zinc oxide. His research supports the School of Science interdisciplinary theme in materials at the nanoscale.

"The arrangement of atoms determines the properties that a material will have," Terrones said. "With different arrangements and different shapes, you create complexity and functionality. Developing these materials adds to our basic knowledge, while their unique properties offer many possible applications."


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