Caltech's physics faculty, researchers, and students are working at the forefront of the fields of theoretical and applied physics, exploring the fundamental laws of nature and applying their insights and discoveries to help us better understand the natural phenomena that exist throughout our universe. In PMA, research and academics are closely entwined. Students are exposed to the smallest scale of elementary particles, to condensed matter physics, to the largest structures of the universe and frequently enjoy opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research endeavors.

The department supports roughly 65 faculty, 127 graduate students and 88 postdoctoral scholars. 

Quantum Optics LabThe physics academic program offer opportunities for study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Both academic tracks provide a strong foundation in the fundamentals of theoretical and applied physics, and prepare students for future academic studies or careers in a wide variety of related fields.

Research in physics is highly interdisciplinary and often done in collaboration with scientists in the departments of applied physics, astrophysics, planetary science, engineering, chemistry, and biology, as well as with collaborators at other universities and laboratories. Research areas include experimental elementary particle physics, theoretical elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, observational astrophysics, theoretical astrophysics, cosmology, gravitational wave astronomy, condensed-matter physics, and quantum optics and information.