University of Virginia

Department of Physics

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382 McCormick Road
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4714
(434) 924-6791

http://www.phys.virginia.edu/

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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

University of Virginia

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
PhD
(Theoretical/Experimental)
Master's
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Applied Physics Both Both
Astrophysics Theoretical Both
Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics Experimental Both
Chemical Physics Experimental Both
Condensed Matter Physics Both Both
Electromagnetism Both Both
Low Temperature Physics Both Both
Materials Science, Metallurgy Both Both
Mechanics None Final-degree
Medical, Health Physics Experimental Both
Nuclear Physics Both Both
Optics Both Both
Particles and Fields Both Both
Physics and other Science Education None Final-degree
Statistical & Thermal Physics Both Both

Departmental Research and Staff

THEORETICAL

Astrophysics

Theoretical studies to address unsolved problems in fundamental physics using astrophysical compact objects, such as black holes and neutron stars, that form after gravitational collapse of massive stars. Their extremely strong gravitational field allows us to test whether General Relativity is correct in the regime that is inaccessible from table-top or Solar System experiments. Their large number of population allows us to carry out high precision cosmology. Neutron star’s remarkably high density allows us to determine the correct equation of state (relation between pressure and density) for nuclear matter.
Kent Yagi

Condensed Matter Physics

Field theoretic models for solid state systems; many-body physics in ultracold atomic gases; quantum Hall effect; Bethe Ansatz systems; topological quantum computation; phase transitions and renormalization group methods in statistical physics; Bose-Einstein condensation; theory of macroscopic quantum phenomena; pattern formation; nonperturbative statistical mechanics.
Gia-Wei Chern, Israel Klich, Eugene Kolomeisky, Jeffrey Teo, Marija Vucelja

High Energy Physics

Theoretical studies of high-energy physics, including properties of quantum chromodynamics; lattice gauge theory; string/gauge duality; high-temperature field theory; electroweak interactions; grand unified theories; supersymmetry; neutrino physics including models of neutrino masses; dark matter; dark energy; cosmology.
Peter Arnold, Pham Hung, Harry Thacker, Diana Vaman

Nuclear Physics

Lattice gauge theory; inclusive and exclusive deep inelastic electron and neutrino scattering on nucleons and nuclei; the spin composition of quarks and gluons within hadrons; the role of QCD in hadronic structure.
Simonetta Liuti, Diana Vaman

EXPERIMENTAL

Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics

Laser manipulation and spectroscopy of atoms, ions, small molecules, and clusters, including Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute vapors; atom interferometry; quantum optics; quantum information; optical interferometry; dipole-dipole interactions between cold Rydberg atoms; ultracold plasmas; observation and control of electronic wavepackets in Rydberg atoms using microwave, THz, and optical fields; dynamics of atoms and molecules in intense femtosecond laser pulses; high-order harmonic generation in gases; spectroscopy of single and doubly excited Rydberg atoms; studies of magnetic properties of clusters; photo-detachment and photoionization; development of new techniques in laser spectroscopy; noble gas hyper polarization via spin exchange with optically pumped alkali atoms, optical control of chemical processes; cavity ring-down spectroscopy; spectroscopy using helium nano-droplet isolation; investigation of highly excited vibrational states; microwave-optical double resonance.
Gordon Cates, Thomas Gallagher, Robert Jones, Kevin Lehmann, Olivier Pfister, Charles Sackett

Condensed Matter Physics

The experimental condensed matter physics groups at UVa explore the structural, electronic, magnetic, and superconducting properties of different types of amorphous and crystalline solids including thin films. The groups are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Activities include the synthesis and characterization of amorphous alloys, quantum magnets, frustrated spin systems, multiferroics, high temperature superconductors, and strongly correlated systems. Several groups perform research at national and international neutron and synchrotron facilities. There are joint research programs with the Engineering School. Facilities accessible to the groups include photolithography lab and x-ray diffraction and electron microscopes, as well as national labs where high magnetic fields sources are available.
Vittorio Celli, Utpal Chatterjee, Seung-Hun Lee, Despina Louca, S. Poon, Bellave Shivaram, Jongsoo Yoon

High Energy Physics

The experimental group participates in major research collaborations at the world’s leading particle accelerators in the United States and in Europe where we are able to study the most fundamental interactions of matter to elicit the inner workings of the natural world. The group is housed in its own building a short walk from the main physics building. This superb laboratory has an electronics lab, mechanical shop, a large assembly area, and powerful computing capabilities.
Bradley Cox, Edmond Dukes, R. Group, Robert Hirosky, Christopher Neu

Nuclear Physics

The Physics Department and the Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics support some of the leading research groups in this basic area of physics. Faculty members are the spokesmen for experiments that test fundamental aspects of nucleon and nuclear structure. These include experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) on the origin of the nucleon's spin, the details of the charge distribution of the neutron at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), and a precision measurement of pion beta decay at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). At SLAC the inelastic scattering of polarized electrons from polarized nucleon targets allows a detailed investigation of the spin structures of the nucleon. These measurements provide the best determination of how the quarks and gluons contribute to the fundamental spin of the nucleon. There is active research and development of high-power polarized targets, using high-field superconducting magnets, low-temperature refrigerators, and high-frequency microwaves. Electron paramagnetic resonance characterization of these targets is proceeding together with theoretical and computational modeling of local hyperfine interactions that contribute to dynamic nuclear polarization. At TJNAF an extensive series of experiments has been approved, including a measurement of the electric charge form factor of the neutron. The experimental measurements are complemented by strong theoretical support in the Department. This theoretical effort involves work in relativistic chiral quark models; spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking; quantum theories based on light-front formalism; and perturbative quantum chromodynamics (QCD) phenomenology, including studies of power corrections to the nucleon/nuclear structure functions, quark-hadron duality and low Bjorken x physics.
Stefan Baeßler, Gordon Cates, Donal Day, Nilanga Liyanage, Blaine Norum, Kent Paschke, Dinko Pŏcanić, Xiaochao Zheng

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