The Physical Sciences Area seeks to understand the fundamental physics of the universe at scales ranging from the infinitely small, inside the world of subatomic particles and nuclei, to the infinitely large, in the structure and evolution of the universe. To tackle these two infinities, we develop cutting-edge tools and technologies, coupled with creative scientific insights, that advance scientific knowledge and ultimately benefit society.

Compact S-filter at Bldg. 53

The Accelerator Technology & Applied Physics (ATAP) Division invents, develops, and deploys particle accelerators and accelerator-based photon sources to explore and control matter and energy.

Engineer and intern inspecting blue tubing

The Engineering Division builds advanced scientific instrumentation that enables many of the research breakthroughs achieved by Berkeley Lab. These discoveries are the direct result of the integrated coordination and deployment of professional engineering and specialized technical resources.

Solenoidal Tracker at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and the Time Projection Chamber, project field cage

The Nuclear Science Division conducts basic research aimed at understanding the structure and interactions of nuclei and the forces of nature as manifested in nuclear matter.

ATLAS pixel detectors in clean room

Interactions between matter and energy shape our world and the universe around us. Physics Division researchers are studying these interactions from the innermost confines of subatomic particles to the outermost reaches of the cosmos.

Xin-Nian Wang 2024-0514 - Pappas - SciAm feature image by Quarternative 2024 ATLAS Masterclass - Group Photo Brian Greene and Michael Levi - May 10, 2024, World Science Festival video

In this interview with Brian Greene, DESI Director Michael Levi discusses new observations that may change our understanding of dark energy and the expansion of the universe.

DESI VR Flight Stereoscopic

Researchers have used the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to make the largest 3D map of our universe and world-leading measurements of dark energy, the mysterious cause of its accelerating expansion

5000 eyes video still

This documentary film about the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) – which was released to planetariums worldwide after its Bay Area premiere on March 8, 2024 – is now available in a ‘flat screen’ format for free viewing on YouTube.