Faculty Research Advisors

The following is a representative list of Duke professors and their research interests. It is updated at the beginning of each semester. If you are interested in some professor not listed here, please feel free to contact that professor directly. The "Coursework Topics" column refers to topics that could be topics for an advanced reading course supervised by the faculty member (PHYSICS 491). The "Research Topics" column refers to possible topics for original research projects supervised by the professor, for credit (PHYSICS 493 or 495) or, in some cases, paid work.  Either or both may be available in a given semester.  

Color Key:

High Energy /
String Theory/Astrophysics
Nuclear / QCD /
Quark-gluon Plasmas
Optics and Atomic/ Acoustics / FEL/Medical Physics Condensed Matter /
Nonlinear Dynamics/Biological Physics


Theory or
Theory opportunities only Laboratory work available

 The colors give a rough indication of the professor's area of research. Use these to identify other professors who are likely to have similar interests, but note that many professors do some work outside their primary area.

Coursework Topics (PHYSICS 491)
Research Topics (PHYSICS 493/495)
Suggested Background
Availability   2020

(see note below about future semesters)

Arce, Ayana N/A LHC measurements with ATLAS detector; high-energy physics detector development. Consult instructor No
Baranger, Harold N/A

Nanoscale physics; quantum emergent phenomena (tunneling in a dissipative environment; light-matter interaction (waveguide QED).

Consult instructor Yes

Bass, Steffen

Heavy ion physics; Quark-gluon plasma; Numerical modeling of complex systems in nuclear physics.

Phenomenology and signatures of the quark-gluon plasma; Transport theory of relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

Consult instructor No
Beratan, David N/A

Research Topics: Quantum dynamics associated with electron and exciton transport, emphasizing signatures encoded in 2D electronic-vibrational spectroscopy; Molecular biophysics of energy transduction and molecular machines.;

Consult instructor Yes
Brown, Robert Dynamical critical phenomena; Multiple scattering theory; Computational statistical mechanics; Neural networks; Genetic algorithms for optimization; random numbers; Bayesian methods of inference; programming in C; quantum mechanics  N/A Consult instructor Yes
Brunel, Nicholas Theoretical neuroscience Theoretical neuroscience Consult instructor Yes
Chandrasekharan, Shailesh Quantum field theory; QCD; Statistical Mechanics, Monte-Carlo methods, correlated fermionic systems. Cluster Algorithms and Sign Problems; Phases transitions and critical phenomena; Lattice QCD. Consult instructor Maybe
Edwards, Glenn Biological physics: Tissue dynamics and pattern formation during early development. Biological physics: Tissue dynamics and pattern formation during early development. Consult instructor Yes
Everitt, Henry N/A Plasmonics, Ultrafast spectroscopy of wide bandgap semiconductors, Gas phase molecular spectroscopy, Terahertz holography and radar Consult instructor Maybe
Finkelstein, Gleb Nanoscale physics. Nanoscale physics: electronic properties of carbon nanotubes and graphene; self assembled DNA nanostructures. Consult instructor Maybe
Gao, Haiyan Experimental medium energy (nuclear and particle) physics

Nucleon and nuclear structure (proton charge radius, deuteron charge radius, three-dimensional imaging of the nucleon, etc.), fundamental symmetry studies, search for quantum chromodynamics (QCD) exotic states, polarized few-body photodisintegration processes and Compton scattering, development of polarized gas targets and gas Cherenkov detectors.

Consult instructor Yes
Goshaw, Alfred The standard model of elementary particles; Applied relativistic mechanics.

A research program at the CERN Large Hadron Collider designed to test the Standard Model and search for new phenomena emergin from multi-TeV proton-proton collisions.  The measurements use the Higgs boson and the massive electroweak bosons to study their self-interactions and search for new particles and force carriers.  The research is done both at Duke at the with ATLAS detector at CERN.

Consult instructor  Yes
Greenside, Henry N/A Theoretical neurobiology and biological physics.  Consult instructor No
Haravifard, Sara Experimental condensed matter physics Quantum Phase Transition; High-Temperature Superconductivity; Frustrated Magnetism; Material Design, Synthesis and Characterization; Single Crystal Growth; X-ray and Neutron Scattering Techniques at National/International Facilities; Measurements at Extreme Environments (Ultra-Low Temperature, High-Magnetic Field, High-Pressure). Background in condensed matter physics or inorganic chemistry or material science is helpful. Yes
Kapadia, Anuj MEDPHYS 791 — Independent Study in Medical Physics  X-ray imaging, neutron and gamma spectroscopy, computed tomography, radiation dosimetry, Monte-Carlo simulations, GEANT4, MCGPU X-ray and EM physics, Electronics and programming helpful  Yes
Kotwal, Ashutosh Elementary particle physics Analysis of experimental data at highest energies - investigating the origin of mass of fundamental particles, new forces and additional dimensions of space; Development of analysis techniques; Designing detectors for particle physics experiments. Familiarity with LINUX operating system, C++ and Python programming languages is helpful. Yes
Kruse, Mark Experimental elementary particle physics Data analysis from high energy proton-antiproton collisons (looking for Higgs and other new particles, measuring top quark properties); Statistical techniques for new particle searches; Characterising silicon vertex detector resolution using cosmic rays. Consult instructor  No 
Mehen, Thomas Effective field theory; Heavy quark physics; Quantum chromodynamics. Two- and three- body nuclear systems at low energies; Heavy particle production at colliders; Heavy quark phyiscs, Application of EFT to hadronic physics.  Consult instructor Yes
Mikkelsen, Maiken N/A Nanoscale physics, light-matter interactions, nanophotonics, quantum information science Consult instructor Yes
Mueller, Berndt N/A Relativistic heavy ion collisions; Quark-Gluon Plasma; Quantum Chromodynamics; Chaos; Thermalization.  Consult instructor No
Oh, Seog Experimental elementary particle physics. Analysis of experimental data from CDF and ATLAS - Search for Higgs and particles beyond the Standard Model; Detector development for particle physics experiments. Consult instructor  TBD
Plesser, Ronen String theory  N/A  Consult instructor No
Rubinstein, Michael Soft matter, polymer physics, biological physics Soft matter, polymer physics, biological physics Consult instructor Yes
Scholberg, Kate Experimental elementary particle physics,  particle astrophysics, nuclear physics. Topics in neutrino physics: data analysis and detector studies, neutrino oscillation physics with atmospheric, beam and supernova neutrinos, non-standard interaction searches, detection of supernova neutrinos, neutrino scattering. Programming experience, in any language, is helpful Yes
Scolnic, Dan Cosmology and machine-learning Astrophysics and cosmology (e.g., measurements of the expansion rate of the universe) Experience in programming useful, particularly python. PHYS 264, 305, 362; Math 212 useful Yes
Socolar, Joshua N/A

Quasicrystals and limit-periodic materials,mechanical metamaterials, hyperuniformity and substitution tilings,network dynamics.

 Consult instructor Yes
Springer, Roxanne Effective Field Theory, Heavy Quark Physics, QCD, SU(N) Parity violation, few nucleon EFTs, chiral perturbation theory, charm physics, SU(N)  Consult instructor Maybe
Teitsworth, Stephen Condensed matter physics, nonlinear dynamics Experimental, computational, and theoretical studies of noise-induced transitions in nonlinear dynamical systems drawn from condensed matter physics; energy science  Consult instructor Yes
Troxel, Michael Gravitational lensing and cosmology Astrophysics and cosmology (e.g., measurements and modeling of large-scale structure and weak lensing) Experience in programming useful, particularly python. PHYS 264, 305, 362; Math 212 useful Yes
Vossen, Anselm N/A Simulation and analysis of experiments to access proton structure and study the hadronization of quarks in deep-inelastic scattering and electron-positron annihilation. Familiarity with C++ or Java programming helpful Yes
Walter, Chris N/A Cosmology/astrophysics/neutrino physics Programming helpful; Physics 264 and 305 helpful Maybe
Warren, Warren N/A Advanced laser imaging methods for cancer diagnosis, materials characterization, and cultural heritage studies; magnetic resonance techniques for improved MRI and dark matter detection Consult instructor Yes
Wu, Ying Charged particle optics; Nonlinear beam dynamics; Lie Algebra and Differentiation Algebra. Designing next generation electron microscope optics; Study of ultrafast electron and laser pulses; Advanced computer control and feedback systems; Development of Free Electron Lasers and novel light sources. Consult instructor  No

Note on availability: "No" means a professor is not taking new undergraduate students in the given semester,  because he or she is already advising students or some other reason.  However, this list includes professors who frequently work with undergrads, and who may be able to take students in future semesters.  So please feel free to contact faculty members to discuss future opportunities even if "No" is listed.