University of California, Berkeley

Department of Physics

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366 Le Conte Hall
MC 7300
Berkeley, CA 94720-7300
(510) 642-3317
(510) 643-8497 (fax)

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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

University of California, Berkeley

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Astrophysics Both -
Atmosphere, Space Physics, Cosmic Rays Both -
Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics Experimental -
Biophysics Both -
Chemical Physics Both -
Condensed Matter Physics Both -
Low Temperature Physics Experimental -
Nuclear Physics Experimental -
Particles and Fields Both -
Plasma and Fusion Both -

Departmental Research and Staff


Condensed Matter and Materials Physics

Uncover new states of matter and understand their physical properties. Theoretical and computational studies of the behaviors of novel materials and nanostructures, including electronic, vibrational, optical, thermal, transport, magnetic, and superconducting properties; emergent phenomena, quantum phase transitions, and strongly correlated electron systems; many-body effects in bulk, reduced-dimensional, and nanostructured systems; surface, interface, phase transition, and alloy properties.
Ehud Altman, Marvin Cohen, Dung-Hai Lee, Steven Louie, Joel Moore, Jeffrey Neaton, Ashvin Vishwanath, Norman Yao

Nonlinear Dynamics, Plasma and Beam Physics, and Complex Systems

Dynamics of neutral and nonneutral plasmas with applications to antihydrogen trapping, laser-plasma interaction and particle acceleration; Chaos and approach to chaos; bifurcation theory; pattern formation; fluid dynamics; semiclassical mechanics; climate change.
Joel Fajans, Edgar Knobloch, Robert Littlejohn, Jonathan Wurtele

Dynamics of ionized gases far from thermal equilibrium and dominated by long-range electromagnetic fields with applications to controlled fusion, astrophysics, and space science.
Joel Fajans, Edgar Knobloch, Robert Littlejohn, Jonathan Wurtele

Particles and Fields

Gauge theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions and perturbative QCD; theories of physics beyond the standard model, including grand unification, supersymmetry, supergravity, and extra dimensions; quantum field theory; string theory; theories of gravity.
Mina Aganagic, Raphael Bousso, Mary Gaillard, Ori Ganor, Lawrence Hall, Wick Haxton, Petr Hořava, Daniel Kasen, Hitoshi Murayama, Yasunori Nomura, Surjeet Rajendran

Relativity & Gravitation

General relativity and quantum gravity.
Raphael Bousso, Robert Littlejohn

Theoretical Astrophysics

Interstellar medium; star formation; binary stars; stellar convection; pulsars; X-ray sources; active galactic nuclei and quasars; galaxy formation; cosmology.
Jonathan Arons, Wick Haxton, Daniel Kasen, Christopher McKee, Eliot Quataert, Uroš Seljak, Martin White


Atmosphere, Space Physics, Cosmic Rays

Magnetospheric physics: space plasmas and fields; auroras; isotopic and elemental composition of cosmic rays; search for new particles and antimatter in cosmic rays; spectrum and anisotropy of the universal microwave radiation; infrared astronomical spectroscopy and spatial interferometry; millimeter and submillimeter spectra; the galactic center; star formation; new astronomical detectors; automated supernova search; X-ray spectroscopy and laboratory astrophysics; high-energy gamma-ray astrophysics; experimental cosmology including particle astrophysics.
Stuart Bale

Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics

Precision measurements; ultra-cold quantum gases; quantum information; attosecond physics; X-ray lasers; tests of fundamental symmetries; variation of fundamental constants; quantum phase transitions; ion trapping; hybrid quantum systems; antihydrogen trapping and spectroscopy; optomechanical systems; magnetometry; low-field NMR; frequency combs; precision spectroscopy of atomic systems near and in bulk materials; NV-centers; novel approaches to microscopy; energy transfer in complex molecules; nonlinear interaction of light with matter; hot and dense plasmas.
Dmitry Budker, Roger Falcone, Naomi Ginsberg, Hartmut Häffner, Stephen Leone, Holger Müller, Dan Stamper-Kurn


Molecular biophysics and structural biology. Application of atomic force spectroscopy and optical tweezers to biological problems.
Eric Betzig, Carlos Bustamante, Michael DeWeese, Hernan Garcia, Naomi Ginsberg, Na Ji, Daniel Rokhsar, Ahmet Yildiz

Condensed Matter Physics

Synthesis and experimental investigation of novel condensed phase materials, including high-Tc superconductors, low-dimensional materials, strongly correlated materials, thin-film oxides, and topological insulators. Understand the fundamental electrical, magnetic, optical, superconducting, and superfluidic behavior using state-of-the-art experimental techniques, including electrical and magnetic transport, scanning tunneling microscopy, in-situ transmission electron microscopy, ultrafast laser spectroscopy, angle-resolved photoemission, and neutron scattering. Applications of superconducting devices for quantum measurements and quantum information; quantum bits; superconducting parametric amplifiers.
James Analytis, Robert Birgeneau, John Clarke, Michael Crommie, Robert Dynes, Naomi Ginsberg, Frances Hellman, Alessandra Lanzara, Joseph Orenstein, Richard Packard, Zi Qiu, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Charles Shank, Yuen-Ron Shen, Irfan Siddiqi, Dan Stamper-Kurn, Feng Wang, Alex Zettl

Energy Sources & Environment

The Center for Building Science, in the Applied Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Experimental Astrophysics

Dark matter searches; astroparticle physics; observations of the cosmic microwave background; cosmology; studies of galaxy clusters; studies of star forming galaxies; study of dark energy using supernovae, galaxy counts, and Baryon acoustic oscillations; Studies of astrophysical neutrinos, solar physics, and high-energy neutrino astrophysics.
Stuart Bale, Marc Davis, Reinhard Genzel, William Holzapfel, Adrian Lee, Daniel McKinsey, R. Muller, Saul Perlmutter, P. Price, Matt Pyle, Paul Richards, Bernard Sadoulet, George Smoot

High Energy Physics

Neutrino physics, including studies of neutrinos produced in solar, atmospheric and reactor interactions; nuclear astrophysics; studies of symmetry breaking in nuclear systems; searches for neutrinoless double beta decay; weak interactions in nuclei; heavy ion collisions.
Barbara Jacak, Robert Jacobsen, Yury Kolomensky, Kam-Biu Luk, Daniel McKinsey, Gabriel Orebi-Gann, Marjorie Shapiro, James Siegrist

Nonlinear Dynamics, Plasma and Beam Physics, and Complex Systems

Nonneutral plasmas and antihydrogen synthesis; laser-driven particle acceleration in plasmas; high-brightness electron and ion beams.
Joel Fajans

Particles and Fields

Experiments utilizing particle accelerators such as electron-positron and hadron colliders, as well as fixed target machines to test and extend the standard model and to search for physics beyond the standard model; studies of neutrino physics using neutrinos produced in accelerators and reactors; searches for dark matter and other experimental studies in the field of particle astrophysics; development and fabrication of detectors appropriately matched to these goals.
Barbara Jacak, Robert Jacobsen, Yury Kolomensky, Kam-Biu Luk, Daniel McKinsey, Gabriel Orebi-Gann, Matt Pyle, Marjorie Shapiro, James Siegrist, Michael Witherell

Plasma and Fusion

Plasma production and heating; magnetic confinement of high-temperature plasma; development and application of plasma diagnostic methods; atomic physics problems related to controlled fusion; accelerator research for heavy-ion driven pellet fusion; single species plasma.
Joel Fajans, Roger Falcone

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