Members of the department conduct research in a wide range of subfields. If you are interested in joining a research group, we encourage you to make an appointment to speak with a member of the faculty. Major funding for research in the department in provided by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Energy, the US Air Force, Research Corporation and many others.
Astronomical facilities include the rooftop observatory, rooftop radio telescope, Leuschner observatory, and a starball-projecting planetarium. Experimental facilities include the machine shop, cryogenic test device facility and thin film lab, and the optics laboratory. The GPU-enabled SFSTAR cluster is the high-performance computing hub of the department.
Cryogenic Electronics Group
Barbara Neuhauser and Fred Lipschultz lead a team that develops superconducting devices such as microrefrigerators and advanced X-ray detectors.
Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies
Ron Marzke and Andisheh Mahdavi lead independent research groups investigating the evolution of the largest structures in the universe using groundbased and spaceborne telescopes.
Globular Star Clusters
Adrienne Cool leads a research group focused on the stellar populations of galactic globular clusters such as Omega Centauri, M15, and NGC 6397.
Optics Research Labs
Zhigang Chen heads a quantum optics group that specializes in spatial solitons, waveguide arrays, discretizing light and nonlinear optics; Weining Man leads a laboratory focused on photonic quasicrystals and other nanomaterials. Huizhong Xu leads a laboratory focused on the optical properties of nanoscale materials and the development of advanced biophysical imaging techniques.
Physics and Astronomy Education Research
Kim Coble leads a group in physics and astronomy education research, specializing in understanding student ideas about cosmology, the importance of using "real data" and active learning in the classroom, and the strengths of the urban learner. She is the author of The Big Ideas in Cosmology.
Quantum Materials and Nanodevice Laboratory
AKM Newaz leads a hard condensed matter physics group focused on the electronic, optical and electro-optical properties of complex systems and nanoscale materials with reduced dimensions.
Theoretical Particle Physics
Jeff Greensite, Maarten Golterman and Kristan Jensen lead research groups focused on lattice gauge theory, quark confinement, gauge theory dynamics, the QCD phase diagram, QCD phenomenology, anomalies and string theory.
Professor Roger Bland is the lead researcher for this project, which monitors the underwater environment with passive accoustic devices.