A photographic tour of the DepartmentA photographic tour of the DepartmentProfessor John Huennekens with graduate students in Atomic and Molecular LabStudy of close, interacting binary stars. Artist's conception of U CepheiProfessor Dimitrios VavylonisProfessor Ou-Yang and students manipulating cell organelles with laser tweezersProfessor Biaggio works with a graduate student in one of his laser labsProfessor and Chair, Volkmar Dierolf in condensed-matter physics labStudents in engaged in REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) ProgramUndergraduate students in a first-year labStudents view the moon through telescopes in introductory astronomy labLehigh graduate student assists a third-grade student in the construction of an electric motor

Department of Physics at Lehigh University


Our Department offers programs leading to the B.A. in Astronomy, the B.S. in Astrophysics, and to the B.A., B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics, as well as a summer research program for undergraduates.

Research Opportunities are available in the following areas...

The Department of Physics is housed in the Sherman Fairchild Center for the Physical Sciences, containing Lewis Laboratory, the Sherman Fairchild Laboratory for Solid State Studies, and a large connecting research wing.


Lehigh University Physics - Sherman Fairchild Center for the Physical Sciences



Please contact Prof. Michael Stavola at mjsa@lehigh.edu.










Lehigh University’s Department of Physics begins a new semester with much to be excited about.  After a year of remote instruction, it will be fun to have undergraduate students back on campus along with a new slate of graduate students who will be joining us.  We should no longer take these ordinary renewals in our annual cycle for granted.

Many thanks are due to Professor Volkmar Dierolf for the 12 terrific years he has been Chair of Physics.  He has made a highly positive imprint on the Department of Physics that will last for decades.  Professor Dierolf’s ideas for attracting diverse faculty candidates along with his strong involvement in every search has brought exceptional people to Lehigh.  The job of his successor will be to help this new group of junior faculty launch their careers in research and teaching and to guide them through tenure and promotion.

The success of our faculty in winning funding to support our research programs has been remarkable.  The following is a selection of recently funded, major research programs:

  • Ivan Biaggio, DoE, Singlet and triplet exciton interaction and dynamics in molecular crystals
  • Volkmar Dierolf, NSF, Next generation rare earth based light-emitters for solid-state display & quantum information technology applications
  • Aurelia Honerkamp-Smith, Kauffman Foundation, Full sail ahead: How do cells sense and decode flow?
  • Rosi Reed, NSF Career, Using jets as a probe of the quark gluon plasma
  • Ariel Sommer, NSF, Non-equilibrium interfaces in strongly interacting Fermi gases
  • Dimitrios Vavylonis, NIH, Modeling mechanisms in cytokinesis, cell polarization and motility
  • Timm Wrase, NSF, Research in string theory, supergravity and cosmology

A glance at this list reveals multi-agency support in excess of $4.5M for new Lehigh research programs across a broad range of topics at the frontiers of physics.  You can find particle physics, atomic physics, cellular biology, condensed matter physics, and astrophysics all at Lehigh! 

The Department has also been the recipient of generous donations for which it is grateful.  There has been a gift from a former student to support our astrophysics program and another gift to seed exploratory research.

This is an exciting time for Lehigh Physics.  Many thanks for your interest in the Department of Physics.  Don’t hesitate to visit us.

All the best,

Michael Stavola