Northeastern University

Department of Physics

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111 Dana Research Center
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-4240
(617) 373-2943 (fax)

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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

Northeastern University

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Applied Physics None Final-degree
Astrophysics None Both
Biophysics Both Both
Condensed Matter Physics Both Both
Low Temperature Physics None Both
Materials Science, Metallurgy None Both
Mechanics None Both
Medical, Health Physics Both Both
Optics None Final-degree
Particles and Fields Both Both
Relativity & Gravitation None Both
Statistical & Thermal Physics None Both

Departmental Research and Staff


Condensed Matter Theory

The group performs research on diverse topics that span forefront areas of hard/soft condensed matter physics and emerging areas at the intersection of physics and other disciplines. Specific research areas include the electronic structure and spectroscopy of high-temperature superconductors and other complex materials, nanotribology atomic-scale friction in crystalline and polymeric materials, theoretical/computational materials science, cardiac non-linear dynamics, and theoretical/computational neuroscience.
Arun Bansil, Albert-László Barabási, Dapeng Bi, Adrian Feiguin, Jorge José, Alain Karma, Jeffrey Sokoloff, Armen Stepanyants, Alessandro Vespignani, Paul Whitford, Fa-Yueh Wu

High Energy Theory

The faculty and students in the theoretical particle physics group are actively exploring questions concerning supersymmetry SUSY, and more specifically its local extension to supergravity SUGRA, with a view to understanding the connection between the universe at very large and very small scales. This leads to the study of supersymmetry and supergravity, possible extra dimensions beyond the usual four, and related exotic phenomena, such as mini-black holes, which may be produced at accelerators or by ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. Our formal investigations in superstring theory and M-theory are also conducted with the purpose of making connections between fundamental theory and experiment. The elementary particle theory group at NU initiated the PASCOS and SUSY series of conferences, which have become major conferences in high-energy physics.
James Halverson, Pran Nath, Brent Nelson, Yogendra Srivastava, Tomasz Taylor

Network Science

Complex network research is not a single discipline; it is highly interdisciplinary, seeking the answers to some fundamental questions about living, adaptable, and changeable systems. Several of the main disciplines are “network theory” involving the research areas of computer science, network science, and graph theory. Another is “network science (NS)” attempting to research engineered networks, information networks, biological networks, semantic networks, and social networks, whereas “dynamic network analysis (DNA)” will use traditional social network analysis, link analysis and multi-agent systems involving large amounts of electronic data. We should also add “complex adaptive systems,” which is grounded in modern chemistry, biological views on adaption, expatriation, and evolution. In all of these and more network-related areas, the study of emergence and self-organization are fundamental. Although academic disciplines are hugely diverse in complex network research, here in the Department of Physics, disciplines in statistical analysis involving physics, mathematics, and computational analysis (data mining) are its primary focus.
Albert-László Barabási, Dmitri Krioukov, Alessandro Vespignani


Experimental Biological and Medical Physics

The group performs research on multiple levels from molecules to cells to tissue Research programs include single molecule DNA-protein interactions, nanoscale biophysical interaction measurements, vibrational dynamics of biomolecules, femtosecond protein dynamics, and biomedical optics.
Ronald Aaron, Paul Champion, Nathan Israeloff, J. Sage, Carl Shiffman, Bryan Spring, Vivek Venkatachalam, Meni Wanunu, Mark Williams

Experimental Nanophysics

The faculty is actively pursuing research at the frontiers of nanoscience. The thrust areas in nanophysics include the following: left-handed metamaterials for photonic crystals, nanomedicine, spintronics, mesoscopic physics, low-dimensional electronic systems, nanomagnetism, and quantum chaos. Research is aimed at the synthesis of nanoscale materials and devices, as well as fundamental materials issues.
Donald Heiman, Nathan Israeloff, Swastik Kar, Sergey Kravchenko, Latika Menon, Srinivas Sridhar

Experimental Particle Physics

The Experimental Particle Physics group concentrates its efforts on the following activities: CMS and the Pierre Auger Observatory. Compact Muon Solenoid at LHC (Alverson, Barberis, Orimoto, Wood): The CMS detector recently resumed operations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is currently colliding protons at 13 TeV, the highest energy available in the world. At Northeastern, we are supporting the end cap muon detector and the electromagnetic calorimeter, are studying the newly-found Higgs boson, and are searching for leptoquarks (exotic particles with properties of both leptons and quarks), Dark Matter, massive new gauge bosons (Stueckelberg Z-primes), and other new physics. Post-doctoral fellows include Dr. Andreas Massironi, Dr. David Morse, and Dr. Daniele Trocino. Pierre Auger Observatory (Swain): The Pierre Auger Observatory makes use of the one accelerator bigger than the LHC-the one that gives us cosmic rays from intergalactic space. Currently taking data with a fully instrumented detector covering 3000 square kilometers.
George Alverson, Emanuela Barberis, Toyoko Orimoto, John Swain, Darien Wood

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