Nathan Grau, Ph.D.

Nathan Grau, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics

Physics Department


Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, 2005, Iowa State University; B.S. in Physics, 2000, Millikin University


Dr. Nathan Grau has been a member of the physics department since 2010 after completing a postdoctoral research position at Columbia University. He involves students in research in experimental nuclear physics, studying the strong nuclear force — the force responsible for the binding of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Through Grau's lab, Augustana is an active member of three different experimental collaborations based at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory: PHENIX, sPHENIX and ePIC. The collider provides beams of nuclei for collisions with other nuclei, protons and electrons. Remnants of the collisions provide insight into the interactions of the quarks and gluons within nuclei. Grau's lab has been continuously funded since 2013, providing funding for 14 students, several of whom worked for multiple summers. Grau has taught across the physics curriculum, including modern physics, computational physics and thermodynamics, but he has a particular interest in general education courses like astronomy.