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Physics & Astronomy Faculty Research Areas

Students are welcome to contact faculty regarding opportunities for study in the following special topic areas, beyond the department's standard curriculum.

Opportunities for study may take the form of a special topics course, lecture series, seminar, or directed reading, depending on the scope of material, student interest, and faculty availability.

Students who are interested in studying a topic that does not appear on this list should feel free to ask individual faculty if this is an option, or contact the Graduate Chair for advice.

Markus Boettcher

  • High Energy Astrophysics (X-ray, Gamma-Ray)
  • Radiation Mechanisms
  • Radiation Transfer
  • Relativistic Astrophysics

Carl Brune

  • Early Universe/Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis
  • Other Nuclear Astrophysics Topics
  • R-matrix Description of Nuclear Reactions
  • Detection of Nuclear Gamma Rays

Horacio Castillo

  • Supercooled Liquids and Gasses
  • Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics
  • Soft Condensed Matter Physics (including Polymers, Colloids, Liquid Crystals
  • Foams, Granulars)

Gang Chen

  • X-ray Characterization of Materials
  • Nanostructured Materials by Self Assembly
  • Glass and Disordered Materials

Douglas Clowe

  • Topics in Cosmology (Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Structure Formation)
  • Gravitational Lensing
  • Astronomical Data Reduction

David Drabold

  • Practical Electronic Structure
  • Computational Physics/Numerical Analysis
  • Amorphous Materials
  • Electronic Structure of Matter: Character of Electron States in Molecule
  • Crystalline and Disordered Solids

Christian Drischler

  • Neutron stars
  • Equation of state of neutron-rich matter
  • Chiral effective field theory
  • Many-body perturbation theory
  • Bayesian methods for uncertainty quantification
  • Emulators for nuclear physics and model (order) reduction
  • Computational physics

Charlotte Elster

  • Any Topic of Few-Body Physics
  • Quantum Mechanical Scattering Theory (nonrelativistic/relativistic)
  • Many-Body Scattering
  • Relativistic Quantum Mechanics
  • Three-Body Problem, Field Theory (mostly as applied to nuclear physics)
  • Numerical techniques as applied in Scattering Problems

Justin Frantz

  • Computing/Simulation Methods
  • Particle Physics
  • Experimental Methods in Particle Physics
  • Statistics/Handling of Statistical Uncertainties

Alexander Govorov

  • Physics of Nanostructures
  • Optical Phenomena in Solid State Physics
  • Many-body Effects in Condensed Matter Physics

Steve Grimes

  • Neutron Physics
  • Level Densities
  • Optical Model

Saw-Wai Hla

  • Organic and Molecular Electronics
  • Nanostructures on Surfaces

David Ingram

  • Academic Integrity for Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants

Martin Kordesch

  • Acoustics
  • Microscopy
  • Thin Film Physics

Mark Lucas

  • Physics Education Research
  • Technology in Education

Alexander Neiman

  • Theory of Oscillations
  • Bifurcation Theory
  • Chaos Theory
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Information Theory
  • Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics
  • Biophysics of Neural Systems
  • Models of Sensory Systems

Daniel Phillips

  • Non-Abelian Gauge Theories, especially QCD
  • Effective Field Theories
  • Chiral Perturbation Theory
  • Strongly Interacting Systems near the Unitary Limit
  • Structure and Dynamics of Few-nucleon Systems
  • Electron- and Photon-induced Reactions on Nucleons and Nuclei

Madappa Prakash

  • Computational Physics
  • Physical Kinetics
  • Physics and Astrophysics of Compact Objects
  • Physics of Heavy Ion Collisions
  • Many-Body Physics
  • Advanced Topics in Nuclear Theory
  • Mathematical Methods

Andrea Richard

  • Statistical nuclear physics
  • Experimental nuclear astrophysics
  • Synthesis of heavy elements in the universe
  • Neutron-capture cross section measurements for radioactive nuclei
  • Applied nuclear physics
  • Nuclear Structure

Julie Roche

  • Statistical Treatment of Data
  • Experimental Method in Particle Physics
  • Computing in High Energy Physics (FORTRAN, C++)

Nancy Sandler

  • Many-Body Techniques in Condensed Matter Physics

Hee-Jong Seo

  • Cosmology: Large Scale Structure Study using Galaxy Surveys and Week-lensing Surveys

Arthur Smith

  • Surface Physics
  • Surface Analytical Techniques
  • Magnetism at Surfaces, Atomic-Scale Magnetism
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Spin-Polarized STM
  • Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), Pulsed Laser Epitaxy (PLE)
  • Semiconductors and Metals: Growth and Surface Structure
  • Nitrides, including Transition Metal Nitrides: MBE Growth and Properties

Eric Stinaff

  • Optics
  • Photonics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Semiconductor Physics
  • Semiconductor Nanostructures
  • Quantum Dots
  • Quantum information

David Tees

  • Cell and Molecular Biophysics
  • Diffusion/Brownian Motion (with lab demos)
  • Life at Low Reynolds Number
  • Overview of Intermolecular (van der Waals) Forces
  • Adhesion and forced Unbinding Techniques
  • Molecular motors

Sergio Ulloa

  • Physics of Nanostructures