Stanford University

Department of Physics

382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-4344

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Research Specialties and Staff

Research Specialties and Staff

Stanford University

Specialties for Degree Program

Research specialty Degree type
(Final degree/Enroute to PhD)
Astrophysics Both -
Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics Experimental -
Condensed Matter Physics Both -
Cosmology & String Theory Both -
Low Temperature Physics Experimental -
Particles and Fields Both -
Physics and Science Education Research Experimental -
Quantum Information Theoretical -
Relativity & Gravitation Both -
Solar Physics Experimental -

Departmental Research and Staff


Quantum Information

Patrick Hayden

Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology

Calculating and modeling the physics of the cosmos. First objects in the universe, relativistic astrophysics, neutron stars, black holes, inflation, cosmic evolution and structure. Current research in theoretical astrophysics and cosmology at Stanford explores a wide range of critical questions. Major topics include numerical simulations of the formation of structure from small scales (first stars) to large scales (dark matter structure), galaxy formation, black holes (evolution, jets, accretion disks and orbiting objects), neutron stars (pulsars, magnetars), particle acceleration (relativistic shocks, origin of cosmic rays), gravitational lensing, and the very early universe (inflation). For more info:
Thomas Abel, Roger Blandford, Vahe Petrosian, Roger Romani, Risa Wechsler

Theoretical Condensed Matter

Predicting the behavior of material systems based on their structure and composition. Exotic phases of matter, emergent phenomena, origin of physical law, topological phenomena. Theoretical condensed matter physics at Stanford is focused on understanding the macroscopic and collective properties of condensed matter systems. What is the relation between the macroscopic properties and the microscopic physics at the single electron or single molecule scale? In particular what are the consequences of strong correlation effects in electronic materials and devices where the low energy properties are qualitatively different from those of a noninteracting electron gas? How do new phases of matter fit into field theories that describe the collective behavior of electrons in solids and how can these be detected in experiments? Central areas of research include quantum entanglement, the quantum spin Hall effect, topological insulators, quantum spintronics, cuprate and pnictide superconductors, superfluidity, and holographic duality. For more info:
Sebastian Doniach, Steven Kivelson, Robert Laughlin, Xiaoliang Qi, Srinivas Raghu, Shoucheng Zhang

Theoretical Particle Physics

Understanding the fundamental nature of forces, particles, and space-time geometry. The origin of mass, grand unification of the forces, general relativity, quantum field theory and string theory and their applications, early universe cosmology including inflation and eternal inflation, holography, quantum gravity. Research in the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP) includes a strong focus on fundamental questions about the new physics underlying the Standard Models of particle physics and cosmology, and on the nature and applications of our basic frameworks (quantum field theory and string theory) for attacking these questions. For more info:
Savas Dimopoulos, Peter Graham, Sean Hartnoll, Shamit Kachru, Renata Kallosh, Andrei Linde, Leonardo Senatore, Stephen Shenker, Eva Silverstein, Leonard Susskind


Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics

Examining and manipulating matter at the scale of the atom and molecule. Attosecond to femtosecond processes, quantum properties of atoms and photons, testing fundamental physics. Research in atomic, molecular, laser and X-ray physics at Stanford takes place in the Physics and Applied Physics Departments and in the Photon Science Department at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. A rich set of topics are explored in the Varian Physics Laboratory, the Ginzton Lab and through the PULSE Institute for Ultrafast Energy Science. SLAC houses both the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource and the Linac Coherent Light Source. For further info:
Philip Bucksbaum, Steven Chu, Leo Hollberg, Mark Kasevich, Benjamin Lev, Monika Schleier-Smith

Experimental and Observational Astrophysics and Cosmology

Viewing the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the cosmos. Galaxy clusters, cosmic microwave background radiation, ultra high-energy sources, large scale structure in the universe and cosmic evolution. Current research in observational astrophysics and cosmology at Stanford covers a wide range of approaches to tackling the most important frontiers. Major topics include direct detection of dark matter, probes of dark energy (via gravitational lensing, surveys of galaxy clusters and supernovae), sources of gamma rays (pulsars, blazars, supernova remnants, dark matter annihilation or decay), the structure of clusters of galaxies and their use as probes of cosmology, the development of next generation detectors of photons (radio through gamma-ray), the origins of solar variability on a wide range of time scales, and experiments in gravitation (detection of gravitational waves, probes of gravity at short distance scales). For further info:
Steven Allen, Patricia Burchat, Blas Cabrera, Sarah Church, Persis Drell, Kent Irwin, Steven Kahn, Chao-Lin Kuo, Bruce Macintosh, Peter Michelson, Philip Scherrer

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Measuring the behavior of electrons in material systems. Semiconductor nanostructures, superconductivity and low-temperature physics, atomic and molecular measurement and control, novel quantum materials. News: Stanford researchers create exotic electrons that may lead to new materials, devices Research in experimental condensed matter physics at Stanford takes place in the Physics and Applied Physics Departments and has strong connections with the Photon Science Department at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. A broad set of topics are explored in the Varian Physics Laboratory, Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials and through the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science. For more info:
David Goldhaber-Gordon, Aharon Kapitulnik, Hari Manoharan, Kathryn Moler, Zhi-Xun Shen

Experimental Particle Physics

Understanding the fundamental forces and particles of the universe. Electroweak symmetry breaking, heavy flavor physics, searches for physics beyond the Standard Model, matter/antimatter asymmetry, dark matter, single-photon detection, neutrino properties, dark energy, instrumentation and detector development. At Stanford, studies of the fundamental interactions and the elementary particles are enhanced by close collaboration between the Physics Department and the SLAC National Accelerator Center. The Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) and the LUX-ZEPLIN Experiment (LZ) focus on the development and operation of new detector technologies to increase the sensitivity of searches for weakly interacting massive particles. The goal of the Enriched Xenon Experiment (EXO) is to detect "neutrinoless double-beta decay" using large amounts of xenon enriched in the isotope 136. The MINOS Experiment is a long-baseline neutrino experiment designed to observe the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations, an effect that is related to neutrino mass. The BABAR data set provides opportunities for studying matter/antimatter asymmetries (CP violation) and heavy flavor physics. SLAC plays a major role on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, focusing on the pixel detector, the high-level trigger system, detector simulations and the exploration of TeV-scale physics. For more info:
Giorgio Gratta, Jason Hogan, Lauren Tompkins

Physics and Science Education Research

Carl Wieman

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