Brown University

Department of Physics

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182 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02912
(401) 863-1434
(401) 863-2024 (fax)

http://www.brown.edu/academics/physics/

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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

Brown University

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
PhD
(Theoretical/Experimental)
Master's
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Astrophysics Both Both
Biophysics Both Both
Condensed Matter Physics Both Both
Low Temperature Physics Experimental Both
Particles and Fields Both Both
Statistical & Thermal Physics Both Both

Departmental Research and Staff

THEORETICAL

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Cosmological models for structure formation and particle-physics predictions of the nature of the dark matter are analyzed. Computational and analytic tools are used to predict the distribution of matter on sub- and super-galaxy scales and to aid in the design of the next generation of cosmological experiments.
Stephon Alexander, Ian Dell'Antonio, Richard Gaitskell, Savvas Koushiappas, Jonathan Pober

Physics of Condensed Matter

Research problems currently under investigation include interference and interaction in mesoscopic systems, including the quantum Hall effect, quantum wires, and quantum phase transitions; strongly correlated electrons in layered materials; development of a non-equilibrium statistical mechanics of planetary climates; non-equilibrium transport in nanostructures; modeling actinide complexes in aqueous solution; liquid crystal physics and its interface with biology; dynamics of biopolymers in nanochannels; strain relaxation and dynamics of heteroepitaxial nanostructures; microscopic theories of friction; out of equilibrium systems in the presence of weak stochastic noise; ultra-fast dynamics in liquids.
Dmitri Feldman, J. Kosterlitz, J. Marston, Robert Pelcovits, Kemp Plumb

Physics of Elementary Particles

Current activities include studies in quantum field theory; quantum chromodynamics; gauge/gravity duality; non-perturbative methods in field theory; solitons; monopoles; spontaneous symmetry breaking; lattice field theories; renormalization group; field theoretic approaches to condensed matter; gauge theories of weak and electromagnetic interactions; grand unification theory and phenomenology; phenomenology of scattering and production processes; the quantum theory of gravitation; supersymmetry; supergravity; superstrings; cosmology; Beyond Standard Model phenomenology including supersymmetry phenomenology; Higgs physics; collider physics; dark matter models; and detection.
JiJi Fan, Sylvester Gates, Antal Jevicki, David Lowe, Marcus Spradlin, Chung-I Tan, Anastasia Volovich

EXPERIMENTAL

Astrophysics and Cosmology

The origins and evolution of the universe are being measured. We are carrying out measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background from satellite, balloon-borne and ground-based missions to understand the early Universe. We are also using the highly redshifted 21 cm line of neutral hydrogen to map out the three-dimensional structure and evolution of the universe through the epochs of reionization and first star-formation. This work is done using dedicated low-frequency radio interferometers in South Africa and Western Australia. Wide-field optical and near-infrared surveys are being carried out with telescopes in Arizona and Chile to map out the gravitational lensing signal and measure the shear correlation function and the growth of clustering over cosmic time to measure the evolution of the dark energy equation of state. Studies of mass substructure from gravitational lensing maps of clusters of galaxies taken with HST and ground-based telescopes are being used to measure the clustering properties of dark matter. Investigations using the next generation of wide-field survey instruments to map the galaxy group and cluster distribution out to high redshift are being planned. Studies of the galaxy interaction and star formation properties through optical photometry, spectroscopy, NIR photometry, and radio spectral line observations are being carried out. We are also pursuing the direct detection of dark matter using large detectors located in underground laboratories. Direct detection is at the cusp of astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics. The discovery of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles would have a major impact on all these fields. Work focuses on the world-leading LUX experiment, and the future LZ experiment, both based at Sanford Laboratory in the US. Work also continues in studying and developing new technologies for the
Stephon Alexander, Ian Dell'Antonio, Richard Gaitskell, Savvas Koushiappas, Jonathan Pober, Gregory Tucker

Biological Physics

Research problems currently under investigation include: the development of single-molecule sequencing technology for DNA and for proteins using nanopores and mass spectrometry; studies of polymer physics, electrokinetics, and fluid dynamics using nanopores and nanofluidic chips; electronic DNA barcode sequencing; biomechanics and rheology of protein networks regulated by physical mechanisms; biophysical mechanism of bacterial swimming, swarming and adhesion; biomechanics and force sensing in soft matter, including live cells.
Xinsheng Ling, Derek Stein, Jay Tang, James Valles

Condensed Matter Physics

Research interests include: superconductivity; electron correlation effects in disordered metals and nanostructures; spintronic effects in nanostructures and devices (for example, magnetic quantum tunneling and giant spin Hall effect); spin-logics and magnetic memories; strongly correlated electronic systems in epitaxial or low dimensional systems; high performance magnetic materials with enhanced spin polarization, induced magnetic anisotropies, or large spin-orbit coupling; quantum wires and dots; topological insulators and solids; electronic and magnetic processes probed by NMR; magnetic resonance studies of exotic quantum phases of matter and superconductivity in high magnetic field; spin manipulation in systems where spin is not a good quantum number; studies of ultrasonic and thermal properties of solids using picosecond laser pulses; nano-photonics.
Andrey Gromov, Jia Li, Xinsheng Ling, Vesna Mitrovic, Kemp Plumb, Derek Stein, Jay Tang, James Valles, Gang Xiao

Physics of Elementary Particles

The properties of elementary particles and their interactions are being investigated, with current effort focused on the study of proton-proton collisions at the highest available energy with the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and proton-antiproton collisions at the previous energy frontier facility: the DO experiment at Fermilab Tevatron accelerator. The CMS program is focused on searches for new particles, forces, and properties of space-time, beyond the predictions of the Standard Model of particle physics. That includes searches for supersymmetry and other heavy partners of the known particles, extra spatial dimensions, and new forces. In addition to this avenue to discovery, the CMS and DO programs include precision measurements of the properties of electroweak and strong interactions, in particular measurement of the top-quark properties. An important component of the current DO and near-future CMS program is the search for the last missing piece of the Standard Model-the Higgs boson. High-performance LHC Computing Grid networking and video conferencing facilities provide tight links between Brown, CERN, and Fermilab. Local computer cluster connected to the Grid allows for massive parallel computing support of the D0 and CMS physics program.
David Cutts, Ulrich Heintz, Greg Landsberg, Meenakshi Narain

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