University of Southern California

Department of Physics and Astronomy

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825 Bloom Walk
ACB 439
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0484
(213) 740-8685

http://dornsife.usc.edu/physics/

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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

University of Southern California

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
PhD
(Theoretical/Experimental)
Master's
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Astronomy None Both
Astrophysics Theoretical Both
Atmosphere, Space Physics, Cosmic Rays Both Both
Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics Both Both
Biophysics Both Both
Chemical Physics Both Both
Computer Science Both Both
Condensed Matter Physics Both Both
Low Temperature Physics Both Both
Materials Science, Metallurgy Both Both
Optics Both Both
Particles and Fields Theoretical Both
Physics and other Science Education Both Both
Statistical & Thermal Physics Both Both

Departmental Research and Staff

THEORETICAL

Astrophysics

Theoretical solar physics uses the Sun as a plasma physics laboratory. On the one hand, this work involves state-of-the-art solar modeling and an analysis of helioseismic data. On the other hand, helioseismology is the first accurate experiment that puts strong constraints on the thermodynamic quantities of the plasma of stellar interiors. Cosmology is interested in a variety of scientific issues including dark matter and dark energy models, the early Universe, cosmological parameter determination, data analysis and interpretation. The group offers the opportunity of collaborative research with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on current and future space missions.
Elena Pierpaoli

Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics

Interactions of strong electromagnetic radiation (lasers) with matter; multiphoton processes; energy development related basic atomic transitions; many-body approach to atomic transitions; multiply excited atomic resonances; atomic optics; collective properties in atomic traps and confined Bose-Einstein condensates; atomic lithography; atoms and ions in dense stellar plasmas; interactions of high-power laser beams with matter leading to nonlinear optical phenomena; propagation of light in dense inhomogeneous plasmas; free-electron lasers; high-power unstable laser oscillators.
Tu-nan Chang, Leonid Didkovsky, Jack Feinberg, Martin Gundersen, Robert Hellwarth, Vitaly Kresin, Joseph Kunc, Robin Shakeshaft, Susumu Takahashi, Armand Tanguay, Robert Wu

Biophysics

The area is characterized by the use of quantitative methods, modeling, and physics based experimental methods to make discoveries related to biological systems. This sub-discipline anticipates the movement of both basic biological science and medical applications to areas where physics has an ever greater impact.
Orianna Bretschger, Moh El-Naggar, Robert Farley, Stephan Haas, Christoph Haselwandter, Rajiv Kalia, Anupam Madhukar

Computational Physics

Large-scale simulations of quantum spin liquids, atomic spectra, time-dependent atomic processes in intense fields, multi-scale hybrid simulations of materials, algorithm design, high performance programming environments for massively parallel machines, interactive three-dimensional scientific visualization.
Todd Brun, Lorenzo Campos Venuti, Stephan Haas, Rajiv Kalia, Aiichiro Nakano, Priya Vashishta

Condensed Matter Physics

Superconductivity, superfluidity in 3He; nonlinear transport phenomena in reduced dimensionality; electronic structures, strongly correlated metals; nonlinear phenomena in metals; high-Tc superconductors; quantum magnetism.
Gerd Bergmann, Nelson Bickers, Hans Bozler, Todd Brun, Lorenzo Campos Venuti, Daniel Dapkus, Moh El-Naggar, Christopher Gould, Stephan Haas, Rajiv Kalia, Vitaly Kresin, Eli Levenson-Falk, Anthony Levi, Daniel Lidar, Jia Lu, Anupam Madhukar, Aiichiro Nakano, Michelle Povinelli, Hubert Saleur, Priya Vashishta, William Wagner, Paolo Zanardi

High Energy Physics

Quantum field theory and unification of fundamental interactions; cosmology; superstring theory; M-theory; gauge theories; supersymmetry and supergravity; conformal field theory; statistical mechanics; mathematical physics; integrable models.
Itzhak Bars, Clifford Johnson, Dennis Nemeschansky, Krzysztof Pilch, Hubert Saleur, Nicholas Warner

Quantum Foundations

Use of quantum mechanical resources for computation, communication, and other information-processing tasks. Effect of noise and decoherence; quantum error correction and suppression, dynamical decoupling, and decoherence-free subspaces and subsystems; weak and continuous measurements and quantum trajectories; quantum random walks; quantification of entanglement; quantum information theory; algebraic description of quantum states and observables; quantum information and many-body physics; entanglement and quantum phase transitions; quantum algorithms for classical statistical physics; quantum process tomography; geometric phases; adiabatic, holonomic, and topological quantum computation; quantum computing implementations, using quantum dots, linear optics, and magnetic resonance force microscopy; quantum information.
Todd Brun, Lorenzo Campos Venuti, Stephan Haas, Eli Levenson-Falk, Daniel Lidar, Paolo Zanardi

EXPERIMENTAL

Astrophysics

Study of the overall structure, composition, origins and evolution of the Universe; analysis of cosmic microwave background data and the study of dark matter and galaxy clusters. Study of the structure and dynamics of the solar atmosphere and interior using observations and theory of solar local and global oscillations; use of helioseismology to probe properties of dense plasmas.
Leonid Didkovsky, Geraldine Peters, Elena Pierpaoli, Edward Rhodes, Robert Wu

Atmosphere, Space Physics, Cosmic Rays

Laser spectroscopy, highly excited atomic states, study of planetary atmospheres from space flight experiments; photoabsorption and emission in planetary atmospheres; vacuum ultraviolet radiation interacting with gaseous plasmas.
Leonid Didkovsky, Robert Wu

Biophysics

Research at the interface between biological and inorganic systems. Cell-surface interactions. Microbe-inorganic interactions. Bioenergy production in microbial fuel cells. Electronic and enzymatic activity of extracellular nanostructures. Intersection of information and biological sciences. Biochemical sensors and intelligent bio-mimetic coatings for neural prostheses. Optical imaging and spectroscopic studies of intracellular biochemical processes.
James Boedicker, Moh El-Naggar

Condensed Matter Physics

Electronic transport and quantum-interference in two-dimensional metals, superconducting films, magnetic surface impurities, anomalous Hall effect and spin-orbit scattering, quantum wires; quasi-one-dimensional conductors; localization; magnetoresistance. Superfluidity in 3He; transport properties of anisotropic conductors and thin alkali metal films; phase transitions in metals of low dimensionality; two-dimensional magnetism of 3He films; development of primary thermometry at ultralow temperatures. Electronic and thermal properties of size-quantized metal nanoclusters; photodissociation, transport, and particle growth in ultra-cold liquid helium clusters.
Gerd Bergmann, Hans Bozler, Jack Feinberg, Robert Hellwarth, Vitaly Kresin, Eli Levenson-Falk, Anthony Levi, Jia Lu, Michelle Povinelli, Robert Wu

Optics

Laser spectroscopy; nonlinear optical mixing; optical fibers and devices; phase-conjugation, photorefractive effect; Raman-induced Kerr effect spectroscopy; spectroscopy of glassy solids; laser plasma studies; photochemistry of simple molecular systems; interaction in wave guides.
Jack Feinberg, Robert Hellwarth

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