Duke University

Department of Physics

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Physics Building, Box 90305
120 Science Drive, Duke University
Durham, NC 27708-0305
(919) 660-2502
(919) 660-2525 (fax)


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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

Duke University

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics Experimental -
Biophysics Both -
Geometry and Theoretical Physics Theoretical -
High Energy Physics Experimental -
Medical, Health Physics Both -
Nanophysics Both -
Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems Both -
Nuclear and Particle Theory Theoretical -
Nuclear Physics Experimental -
Photonics and Quantum Information Experimental -
Physics of Beams Both -
Relativity & Gravitation Theoretical -

Departmental Research and Staff


Computational Physics

Computational physics; numerical techniques for solving non-linear partial differential equations; Monte Carlo algorithms in field theory and statistical mechanics; molecular dynamics; networks; large-scale computations on vector and parallel computers. Computational methods in fluid dynamics, material sciences, plasma physics, and geophysical flow; emergent behavior in flocking and swarming; numerical analysis and scientific computing.Tensor network state techniques for quantum man-body systems right after "Monte Carlo algorithms in field theory and statistical mechanics."
Harold Baranger, Thomas Barthel, Steffen Bass, Robert Brown, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Patrick Charbonneau, Stefano Curtarolo, Henry Greenside, Jian-Guo Liu, Weitao Yang

Geometry / Theoretical Physics

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


Coherence and correlations in nanoscale systems like quantum dots and carbon nanotubes; coulomb blockade; quantum impurity effects; quantum phase transitions; quantum computing quantum entanglement; quantum information; thermodynamics of materials; density functional theory. Quantum many-biody theory and numerics, strongly correlated systems, quantum informatio, phase transitionss, response functions, nonequilibrium phenomena, open systems, tensor network state techniques.
Harold Baranger, Thomas Barthel, David Beratan, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Albert Chang, Patrick Charbonneau, Stefano Curtarolo, Gleb Finkelstein, Sara Haravifard, Jianfeng Lu, Maiken Mikkelsen, David Smith, Joshua Socolar, Stephen Teitsworth, Weitao Yang

Polymer Physics/Science

Michael Rubinstein

Quantum Information Science

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; Quantum many-body theory, strongly correlated systems, entanglement, phase transitions, response functions, nonequilibrium phenomena, simulation using DMRG and tensor network states; Theoretical and numerical investigation of ultra-cold atoms in optical lattices, phase transitions, nonequilibrium, thermometry; Mathematical analysis and algorithm development for problems from computational physics, theoretical chemistry, material sciences and others.
Harold Baranger, Thomas Barthel, Kenneth Brown, Jianfeng Lu, Iman Marvian

Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

Non-linear and complex systems; computational studies of non-linear and biological systems including genetic networks, heart and brain dynamics; collective behavior in matter and dynamical systems; spin glasses and glasses; adaptive algorithms; static and dynamic critical behavior in optics and magnetism; granular materials network dynamics; fractal growth; granular matter; in- and out-of-equilibrium dynamical properties of materials self-assembly; microphase formation; protein aggregation; glass and gel formation; stochastic dynamics of far-from-equilibrium systems.
Nicolas Brunel, Patrick Charbonneau, Henry Greenside, Jian-Guo Liu, Joshua Socolar, Stephen Teitsworth

Theoretical Neuroscience

Dynamics of networks of spiking neurons: irregular activity, oscillations; Models of synaptic plasticity, learning and memory; fixed point attractors, temporal sequences.
Nicolas Brunel, Henry Greenside

Theoretical Theoretical Nuclear and Particle Physics

Study of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD); nuclear matter at extreme energy density; physics of the Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) and ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions used to create such a QGP under controlled laboratory conditions; effective field theory for hadronic physics and weak interactions; soft-collinear effective field theory; heavy quark physics; qubit and lattice techniques for quantum field theories and many body physics; quantum critical behavior.
Steffen Bass, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Thomas Mehen, Berndt Mueller, Roxanne Springer


Astrophysics and Cosmology

Direct searches for dark matter; Experimental Nuclear & Particle Astro-Physics, Double Beta Decay, Neutrinos and Dark Matter; Astrophysical neutrinos; Experimental particle physics and particle astrophysics; neutrino physics with beam, atmospheric and supernova neutrinos (Super-K, T2K, LBNE, HALO, SNEWS); Measuring dark energy and the Hubble constant with Type Ia Supernovae as part of DES, Pan-STARRS, SH0ES, LSST and WFIRST. Follow-up of EM counterparts to GW events; Observational and theoretical cosmology. Constraining cosmological models with weak gravitational lensing and large-scale structure in DES, LSST, and WFIRST; Cosmology and Particle-astrophysics; Experimental Particle Physics, Observational Cosmology, studies of Dark Energy, Neutrino Physics, Particle-Astrophysics. (LSST, The Dark Energy Science Collaboration, Super-Kamiokande).
Philip Barbeau, Hubert Bray, Arlie Petters, Kate Scholberg, Daniel Scolnic, Michael Troxel, Christopher Walter

Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics

Quantum optics; single photon switching; quantum information; new technologies for optical communication; single photon sources; electromagnetic properties of materials; photonic crystals and metamaterials; molecular and biomolecular imaging.
Kenneth Brown, Jungsang Kim, Maiken Mikkelsen, David Smith, Warren Warren


Emergent properties and tissue dynamics; fast thermodynamics in laser-tissue interactions; applications of free-electron lasers to biology and medicine; characterization and control of heart dynamics; stochastic processes in biological systems; optical analysis of molecular dynamics in single synapses; optical stimulation of single synapses; development of high-resolution imaging techniques; evolution of bistable and oscillatory dynamics in gene networks.
Glenn Edwards, Christoph Schmidt, Warren Warren

High Energy Physics

Precision tests of the Standard Model using the top quark,B-mesons, W, Z, and Higgs bosons;searches for new fundamental symmetries and extra dimensions; tests of the QCD hadron production models; studies of neutrino properties; neutrino oscillations; neutrino scattering; neutrino astrophysics; research program based at Fermilab, CERN, ORNL, and in Japan; state-of-the-art wire chamber and silicon detector development and construction; electronics design for high-energy physics experiments.
Ayana Arce, Philip Barbeau, Alfred Goshaw, Ashutosh Kotwal, Mark Kruse, Seog Oh, Kate Scholberg, Christopher Walter

Medical, Health Physics

Biomedical imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance microscopy, X-ray microscopy, tomography, and microPET; X-ray imaging, breast tomosynthesis, dual-energy imaging, Monte Carlo simulation; radiation dose and image quality; imaging optimization.
James Dobbins, Bastiaan Driehuys, Allan Johnson, Anuj Kapadia, Ehsan Samei

Nano Science and Technology

Electronic properties of carbon nanotubes, nanocrystals, semiconductor quantum dots, and self-assembled DNA structures; physics of Luttinger liquids; scanning tunneling; capacitance and atomic force microscopy; optoelectronic processes in semiconductor microstructures; subpicosecond optical characterization of nanostructures; nanometer-scale photonic, plasmonic, and phononic band engineering; solid-state spintronics, quantum information science, nanophotonics; non-linear electronic transport in semiconductor nanostructures.
Thomas Barthel, Albert Chang, Henry Everitt, Gleb Finkelstein, Sara Haravifard, Maiken Mikkelsen, David Smith, Stephen Teitsworth

Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Systems

Non-linear and complex systems; granular materials; dynamics of granular flow; chaotic networks; pattern formation and spatio-temporal chaos in far-from-equilibrium fluids and electronic systems; noise-induced dynamics in far-from-equilibrium systems.
Joshua Socolar, Stephen Teitsworth

Nuclear Physics

QCD and weak interactions in nuclear physics; nucleon structure hadronization, few-nucleon systems, and nucleon-nucleon interactions; electromagnetic nuclear physics; testing QCD using real photon beams; fundamental symmetry studies with ultra-cold neutrons, e.g., search for neutron electric dipole moment; Coherent neutrino scattering, double beta-decay searches; nuclear astrophysics.
Philip Barbeau, Haiyan Gao, Calvin Howell, Anselm Vossen, Ying Wu

Photonics and Quantum Information

High-data-rate quantum key distribution; high-brightness hyper-entangled sources; multi-mode quantum communication; multi-element photon counting detector development; solid-state spin qubits.
Kenneth Brown, Henry Everitt, Jungsang Kim, Maiken Mikkelsen, David Smith, Adam Wax

Physics of Beams

Beam physics; FEL and novel light source development; high-intensity gamma-ray source; FEL applications; plasma accelerators.
Ying Wu

Quantum Materials

Synthesis and measurement of emergent critical behavior in correlated electron systems, particularly frustrated quantum spin compounds and high temperature superconductors. Neutron scattering studies of novel materials.
Olivier Delaire, Sara Haravifard

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