Twenty-nine Nobel Prize–winning physicists have studied, researched, or taught at Chicago, beginning with Albert Michelson, whose measurements of the speed of light earned him the Nobel in 1907. The current faculty is ranked in the top 7 of 147 physics faculties reviewed by the National Research Council. Chicago contributions to the ﬁeld include the ﬁrst controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction; the theory of white dwarves, neutron stars, and black holes; and discovery of the top quark. The program emphasizes laboratory experimentation and covers the fundamentals necessary for graduate study or careers in theoretical physics, experimental physics, astronomy and astrophysics, some ﬁelds of engineering, and interdisciplinary specialties such as biophysics, medical physics, and atmospheric and environmental sciences. Research opportunities at the James Franck Institute, Enrico Fermi Institute, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FermiLab), Argonne National Laboratory, and Chicago Materials Research Centerare numerous.
Students who are majoring in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Physics.