The STAR Experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory is one of the premier particle detectors in the world. Using this device, an international collaboration of more than 400 physicists and skilled specialists is working hard to understand the nature of the early universe and the tiniest building blocks of matter through the study of nuclear collisions at the highest energies achieved in the laboratory. Creighton students and faculty have been working at STAR since 1994.

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ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is one of the largest experiments in the world devoted to research in the physics of matter at an infinitely small scale. Hosted at CERN, the European Laboratory for Nuclear Research, this project involves an international collaboration of more than 1500 physicists, engineers and technicians, including around 350 students, from 154 physics institutes in 37 countries across the world. Creighton students and faculty have been working at ALICE since 2002.

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Atomic Force Microscopy is a technique by which a long cantilever with an atomically sharp tip is systematically moved across the surface of a specimen. Any height changes in the tip are recorded as a function of position, resulting in a topographical reconstruction of the surface. Using a custom-made, temperature-controlled AFM for in-liquid imaging, we are able to map out a full 3-D model of gingival fibroblast cells in liquid and dry environments to observe cellular attachment.

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The use of block polymers has emerged as a powerful technique for patterning large-area nanostructure arrays in a wide range of functional materials with a huge potential for expansion. Block polymers can self-assemble into periodic nanostructures in a variety of morphologies (holes, dots, lines and rings) with controllable size and density. Through the controlled introduction of organic solvent, one can control the ordering of the phases during self-assembly. Atomic force micrographs of optimized solvent interaction reveal well-ordered, periodic structures with ~20 nm-sized features.

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This animation illustrates the effect of an optical stretcher on individual cells. Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong has recently published a paper as co-first author using this technique in a microfluidic channel to study Actin polymerization as a key novel innate immune effector mechanism to control salmonella infection. Fr. Andrew received his M.S. in physics from Creighton University and has returned as an assistant professor after receiving is doctorate from the University of Cambridge.

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Animation by Guck et al. Biophys J., 88(5): 3689–3698 (2005)


  • M.S. Physics degree with Thesis or non-thesis option 
  • Teaching Certificate alone or with M.S. Education degree
  • Teaching and Research Fellowships are available

The Laser-Cooled Atoms Group at Creighton University studies quantum mechanics using ultracold potassium atoms. Shown here is a close-up of the potassium 3D MOT and vacuum chamber. The gas of potassium atoms shown as the bright dot in the picture is trapped using the force of light and kept at temperatures of about 1 part in 10,000 above absolute zero. The pressure in the chamber is 1 part in 1014 of atmospheric pressure. We are currently working to achieve a Bose-Einstein condensate.

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Masters Research Fellowships Available for 2024-2025

Research Fellowships for Masters of Science in Physics students with full tuition remission and partial stipend are available for applicants for 2024-2025 year!

The Clare Boothe Luce Fellowship is available for excellent women scientists who are U.S. citizens.
Research fellowship available immediately in the Laser-Cooled Atoms Group
Research fellowship available immediately in the Condensed-Matter Physics Group
Research fellowship available immediately in the High Energy Physics Group
Research fellowship available immediately in the Quantum Computing Algorithms Group

Apply now!

Creighton University Physics

The Creighton University Department of Physics offers three major programs, two minor programs, an M.S. degree in physics, and an M.S. degree in medical physics. All of our degrees offer an active-learning based curriculum coupled with a diverse range of hands-on research experiences.

Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.S. PHY - major in physics : This degree program provides a strong foundation for careers in the rapidly developing high-technology industries. It is highly recommended as preparation for graduate work in physics. It also prepares students for graduate study in most engineering fields without requiring the early specialization, typical of undegraduate engineering programs, that can greatly reduce career options.
  • B.S. - major in physics : This degree program provides the necessary preparation for entry-level work as a physicist in government or industry. It also prepares students for entry-level work or graduate study in a wide variety of interdisciplinary science and engineering fields including astronomy and astrophysics, computational physics, geophysics, planetary science, electrical engineering, nuclear engineering, etc.
  • B.S. - major in biomedical physics: The biomedical physics major offers three areas of specialization: Pre-Biomedical Engineering, Pre-Medical Physics, and Pre-Biophysics. Each area of specialization is designed for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in those fields or closely related ones.
  • B.S. - major in physics and engineering: In collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis, we offer a B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Engineering 3-2 program. During your first three years at Creighton you establish the foundation for a lifetime of learning and problem solving. Follow this up with two years of engineering at Washington University and you earn two degrees and a broad set of skills.
  • B.S. - major in applied physical analysis : The Bachelor of Science program in Applied Physical Analysis is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to prepare students for a career involving the quantitative analysis of data. Generally students in this major go on to graduate work in engineering or medicine. The program includes courses in physics, mathematics and computer science.
  • Minor in physics
  • Minor in biological physics

Graduate Degrees

  • M.S. in physics : we offer degree tracks for students wishing to learn physics in more depth than typical of an undergraduate degree. Students who graduate with our M.S. degree may go into graduate school in physics, graduate school in engineering or directly into industry.
  • M.S. in medical physics : The M.S. in Medical Physics program offers CAMPEP accredited training for individuals interested in pursuing a career in medical physics. As you gain a solid foundation in advanced physics, you’ll learn how to apply that science to serve the needs of patients and providers in a health care setting.

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