Research

In addition to working with colleagues to tackle the Big Questions regarding physics, our faculty concentrates its research in 10 key areas. These areas, listed below, include the focus of the research and the affiliated faculty member leading the initiative. Our various Research Labs further advance our research programs.

Research Areas

Astrophysics

 

Biological Physics

  • Molecular mechanisms and the evolution of switches and oscillators in gene networks; systems biology; comparative genomics — Nick Buchler
  • The transduction of light to vibrations to heat and pressure in biological systems and how biology harnesses physical mechanisms during pattern formation in early Drosophila development — Glenn Edwards
  • Electronic transport in carbon nanotubes and graphene; Inorganic nanostructures based on self-assembled DNA scaffolds — Gleb Finkelstein
  • Theoretical neurobiology in collaboration with Dr. Richard Mooney's experimental group on birdsong — Henry Greenside
  • Measurement of the neutron-neutron scattering length, carbon and nitrogen accumulation and translocation in plants — Calvin Howell
  • Organization and function of complex dynamical networks, especially biological networks, including electronic circuits and social interaction networks — Joshua Socolar
  • Novel pulsed techniques, using controlled radiation fields to alter dynamics; ultrafast laser spectroscopy or nuclear magnetic resonance — Warren Warren

Condensed Matter Physics

  • Theory of quantum phenomena at the nanometer scale; many-body effects in quantum dots and wires; conduction through single molecules; quantum computing; quantum phase transitions — Harold Baranger
  • Quantum many-body theory, strongly correlated systems, entanglement, phase transitions, response functions, nonequilibrium phenomena, simulation using DMRG and tensor network states — Thomas Barthel
  • Experiments on instabilities and pattern formation in fluids; flow, jamming, and stress patterns in granular materials — Robert Behringer
  • Molecular underpinnings of energy harvesting and charge transport in biology; the mechanism of solar energy capture and conversion in man-made structures — David Beratan
  • Theoretical studies of quantum phase transitions using quantum Monte Carlo methods; lattice QCD — Shailesh Chandrasekharan
  • Experiments on quantum transport at low temperature; one-dimensional superconductivity; dilute magnetic semiconductor quantum dots; Hall probe scanning — Albert Chang
  • In- and out-of-equilibrium dynamical properties of self-assembly. Important phenomena, such as colloidal microphase formation, protein aggregation — Patrick Charbonneau
  • Nanoscale/microscale computing systems & Quantum Information — Stefano Curtarolo
  • Experiments on quantum transport at low temperature; carbon nanotubes; Kondo effect; cryogenic scanning microscopy; self-assembled DNA template — Gleb Finkelstein
  • Exploring novel phenomena in quantum magnets and superconductors by means of neutron and x-ray scattering techniques; Investigating quantum critical phenomena at extreme environmental conditions.  Materials by Design: synthesis, single crystal growth and characterization — Sara Haravifard
  • Mathematical analysis and algorithm development for problems from computational physics, theoretical chemistry, material sciences and others — Jianfeng Lu
  • Experiments in Nanophysics &  Condensed Matter Physics — Maiken H. Mikkelsen
  • Theory of dynamics of complex networks;  Modeling of gene regulatory networks;  Structure formation in colloidal systems;  Tiling theory and nonperiodic long-range order — Joshua Socolar
  • Theory, simulation and characterization of unique electromagnetic structures, including photonic crystals and metamaterials — David Smith
  • Experiments on nonlinear dynamics of currents in semiconductors — Stephen Teitsworth
  • Developing methods for quantum mechanical calculations of large systems and carrying out quantum mechanical simulations of biological systems and nanostructures — Weitao Yang

Experimental Nuclear Physics

  • Study of few nucleon systems with hadronic and gamma-ray probes — Mohammad Ahmed
  • Experimental Nuclear & Particle Astro-Physics, Double Beta Decay, Neutrinos and Dark Matter — Philip Barbeau
  • Neutron EDM, Precision measurement of proton charge radius, Polarized Compton scattering, neutron and proton transversity, search for phi-N bound state, polarized photodisintegration of 3He — Haiyan Gao
  • Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) description of structure and reactions of few-nucleon systems, Big Bang and explosive nucleosynthesis, and applications of nuclear physics in biology, medicine and national security — Calvin Howell
  • Weak-interaction physics, especially in double-beta decay studies and in neutrino oscillation physics using large scale detectors at the Kamland project in Japan — Werner Tornow
  • Nonlinear dynamics of charged particle beams, coherent radiation sources, and the development of novel accelerators and light sources — Ying Wu

Geometry & Theoretical Physics

  • String theory is hoped to provide a theory of all fundamental physics encompassing both quantum mechanics and general relativity — Paul Aspinwall
  • Geometric analysis with applications to general relativity and the large-scale geometry of spacetimes — Hubert Bray
  • String Theory, the most ambitious attempt yet at a comprehensive theory of the fundamental structure of the universe — Ronen Plesser
  • Problems connected to the interplay of gravity and light (gravitational lensing, general relativity, astrophysics, cosmology) — Arlie Petters

High Energy Physics

  • Searches for top quarks produced in massive particle decays, Jet substructure observable reconstruction, ATLAS detector simulation software framework — Ayana Arce

  • Study of Nature's most massive particles, the W and Z bosons (carriers of the weak force) and the top quark — Alfred T. Goshaw
  • Experimental elementary particle physics; instrumentation, Precisely measure the mass of the W boson, which is sensitive to the quantum mechanical effects of new particles or forces — Ashutosh Kotwal
  • Higgs boson, production of vector boson pairs, and model-independent analysis techniques for new particle searches — Mark Kruse
  • High mass di-lepton search, WW and WZ resonance search, A SUSY particle search, HEP detector R&D — Seog Oh
  • Experimental particle physics and particle astrophysics; neutrino physics with beam, atmospheric and supernova neutrinos (Super-K, T2K, LBNE, HALO, SNEWS) — Kate Scholberg
  • Experimental Particle Physics, Neutrino Physics, Particle-Astrophysics, Unification and CP Violation — Chris Walter

Imaging & Medical Physics

  • Advanced imaging applications to improve diagnostic accuracy in clinical imaging, scientific assessment of image quality, developing lower cost imaging for the developing world — James T. Dobbins III
  • Developing and applying hyperpolarized gases to enable fundamentally new applications in MRI — Bastian Driehuy
  • Engineering physics required to extend the resolution of MR imaging and in a broad range of applications in the basic sciences — Allan Johnson
  • Design and utilization of advanced imaging techniques aimed to achieve optimum interpretive, quantitative, and molecular performance — Ehsan Samei
  • Novel pulsed techniques, using controlled radiation fields to alter dynamics; ultrafast laser spectroscopy or nuclear magnetic resonance — Warren Warren

Nonlinear & Complex Systems

  • Experiments on instabilities and pattern formation in fluids; flow, jamming, and stress patterns in granular materials — Robert Behringer
  • In- and out-of-equilibrium dynamical properties of self-assembly. Important phenomena, such as colloidal microphase formation, protein aggregation — Patrick Charbonneau
  • Theory and simulations of spatiotemporal patterns in fluids; synchronization and correlations in neuronal activity associated with bird song — Henry Greenside
  • Applied mathematics, nonlinear dynamics, complex system, fluid dynamics, computational sciences — Jian-Guo Liu
  • Theory of dynamics of random networks with applications to gene regulation; stress patterns in granular materials; stabilization of periodic orbits in chaotic systems — Joshua Socolar
  • Experiments on nonlinear dynamics of currents in semiconductors — Stephen Teitsworth
  • Nonlinear dynamics of charged particle beams, coherent radiation sources, and the development of novel accelerators and light sources — Ying Wu

Quantum Optics/Ultra-cold Atoms

  • Theoretical and numerical investigation of ultra-cold atoms in optical lattices, phase transitions, nonequilibrium, thermometry — Thomas Bartel
  • Quantum Information & Integrated Nanoscale Systems — Jungsang Kim
  • Experiments in Nanophysics &  Condensed Matter Physics — Maiken H. Mikkelsen

Theoretical Nuclear & Particle Physics

  • Physics of the Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP) and ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions used to create such a QGP under controlled laboratory conditions — Steffen A. Bass
  • Quantum Critical Behavior in Fermion Systems, Using the generalized fermion bag algorithm, Applications to Graphene and Unitary Fermi Gas — Shailesh Chandrasekharan
  • Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and the application of effective field theory to  hadronic physics — Thomas Mehen
  • Nuclear matter at extreme energy density; Quantum chromodynamics — Berndt Müller
  • Weak interactions (the force responsible for nuclear beta decay) and quantum chromodynamics (QCD, the force that binds quarks into hadrons) — Roxanne P. Springer