head-on photo of the front of Chamberlin Hall

Chamberlin Hall, home of the Department of Physics at UW–Madison

several young students watch in the physics museum as one student holds a spinning bike wheel while standing on a rotatable platform

The Ingersoll Physics Museum is the oldest "touch-me" museum in the country

Museum Information More
a very yellow-hued image of a person in a full-body clean suit working in a clean room

Our research spans all areas of Physics

Research Areas More

Welcome to the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison!

The UW–Madison Physics Department awarded its first PhD in 1899. Since then our students have earned degrees in virtually every area of physics, and our faculty have played key roles in myriad important research efforts. We are training over 170 PhD students as the next generation of physics researchers who are already earning recognition and making significant accomplishments in their field. Each year, our instructional teams teach introductory physics to nearly 2000 undergrads from majors across campus. And we’re proud to have the longest-running hands-on science museum in North America (the Ingersoll Physics Museum), one of the longest-running science demonstration shows (The Wonders of Physics), and the first MS in Physics–Quantum Computing program in the country.

Upcoming Events

Wed, Sep 27, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Fri, Sep 29, 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Code of Conduct


The University of Wisconsin–Madison physics department consists of members with varied national origin, ethnic background, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, gender, age, physical ability, and religion. As a community, we are committed to being positive and inclusive in all regards. We follow the University of Wisconsin–Madison code of conduct. The members of University of Wisconsin–Madison must maintain a professional environment in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect and abstain from all forms of harassment, abuse, intimidation, bullying, and mistreatment of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, sexual or crude jokes or comments, offensive images, and unwelcome physical conduct. Members must keep in mind that behavior and language deemed acceptable to one person may not be to another.


Any person who is concerned that an individual has violated the department’s code of conduct may bring the issue to the attention of the department’s climate and diversity committee who will assist in suggesting steps to resolve the issue. Issues that cannot be resolved by the climate and diversity committee may be brought to the direct attention of the department chair or associate chair. The department chair/associate chair will seek information on the nature of the problem and discuss the complaint with all parties involved and appropriately inform the parties of the outcome. If the issue cannot be resolved by the chair/associate chair or if it would be inappropriate to bring the issue to either the diversity or inclusion committee or the chair/associate chair, the individual may contact the appropriate resources outside the department depending on the nature of the issue, including the Dean of Student’s Office, the Associate Dean in the College of Letters & Science, the Ombuds Office, and the Title IX Office for Equity and Diversity.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

The Department of Physics acknowledges that the University of Wisconsin–Madison occupies the ancestral lands of the Ho-Chunk, a place their nation has called Teejop since time immemorial. In an 1832 treaty, the Ho-Chunk were forced to cede this territory. Decades of ethnic cleansing followed when both the federal and state government repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, sought to forcibly remove the Ho-Chunk from Wisconsin. We commemorate the resiliency of the Ho-Chunk and other eleven First Nations of Wisconsin. This history of colonization informs our shared future of collaboration and innovation. Today, we respect the inherent sovereignty of the Ho-Chunk Nation, along with the eleven other First Nations of Wisconsin.

graphic that says "by the numbers" and has icons with related text after each icon. grad cap icon "2900 students taught in intro courses each year." $ icon: $44.7M in annual research expenses. academic building icon: 48 full-time faculty. group of people icon: 205 graduate students. networked icon: 1st MS in Physics Quantum Computing in the US. Atom icon: 159 undergraduate Physics and AMEP majors. stars+planet icon: over 100000 people have attended a Wonders of Physics show.