Faculty Research

Flying Circus of Physics, 2nd Edition

Dr. Jearl Walker

Experimental Biological Physics:
Study the role of sensory cilia in cellular mechanosensation and optical probes of matter. Experimental tools used include epithelial cell culture and electrophysiology, microscopy and laser tweezers, microfluidics and analytical modeling of fluid flow in porous tubes. Biological systems under investigation include renal and airway epithelial tissue, and physical systems studied include colloids and gels. - Macromolecular crystallography study of proteins involved in pyrimidine biosynthesis using x-ray crystallography.

Dr. Andrew Resnick Dr. Jacqueline Vitali

Experimental Solid State Physics and Optoelectronics:
The ability to electrically and optically gate the fundamental properties (energy bandgap, occupation number) of quantum confined systems, i.e. quantum dots and nanowires , is explored using time resolved techniques. Large arrays of patterned ferromagnetic nanowires and nanodots are used to experimentally investigate magnetization switching mechanisms, and in particular how the long range dipolar interactions in ordered structures affect the magnetization state of individual elements of the arrays. Current topics in the electronic properties and possible applications of novel materials include intercalated graphite fibers, conductor- insulator composites, and thin- film materials. Most measurements involve low-temperature and/or high pressure techniques. Investigation of basis physics and applications of transparent electronic materials.

Dr. Petru Fodor

Experimental Optics:
Laser spectroscopy is being used to study diffusional processes that result in the formation of fractal aggregates and phase transactions in liquid mixtures, complex fluids, and micro emulsions are under investigation. The optical properties of various polymer solutions, micelles, and microgels also are being studied using laser techniques.

Dr. Kiril Streletzky

Theoretical Optics:
Mie scattering calculations are presently being undertaken on artificially produced and natural aerosols for the purpose of understanding a number of atmospheric and basic scattering phenomena. The structure of optical caustics produced by liquid droplet lenses also is being investigated both experimentally and theoretically. Light scattering methods are being applied to the operation of laser tweezers.

Dr. James Lock

Statistical Physics:
Methods from statistical physics, such as the renormalization group technique, and computational tools are used to study liquids, polymers, superconductors, magnets and biopolymers (proteins). Statistical Physics methods and stochastic processes are applied to cognitive science, polymer processing and problems from biology.

Dr. Miron Kaufman
Dr. Ulrich Zurcher

Surface Physics:
Scanning probe microscopy is being used to examine nanoscale physics at surfaces. Surfaces are interesting because surface atoms do not have as many bonds as atoms in the bulk of a crystal, which can affect their properties, including magnetism and electronic conductivity. Further, the arrangement of atoms on a surface has profound implications for devices because how new atoms arrange on a surface can affect how abrupt an interface between two materials is or how ordered the next layer of atoms are. Of particular interest is: (i) How we can use surface structures to control self-assemble of nanostructures and molecules; and (ii) How do molecules diffuse and move across a surface? This experimental work is paired with computer simulations to better understand the physics of these surfaces.

Dr. Jessica Bickel

Atmospheric Physics:

The Earth's atmosphere exhibits many different aspects of physics, ranging from radiative transfer to fluid dynamics and thermodynamics. Our group uses high resolution computer simulations (LES), as well as observational data, to study atmospheric flow, in particular the turbulent structure of the atmospheric boundary layer and boundary layer clouds. 

Dr. Thijs Heus

Medical Imaging Physics:

Currently radiation dosimetry in medical imaging is largely patient-generic. Methods are being developed to assess organ dose for individual patients. Monte Carlo techniques are used to simulate the process of radiation transport in the imaging device and the patient anatomy. A large number of virtual procedures are being performed to provide a fundamental understanding of how organ dose in medical imaging depends on patient and device characteristics.

Dr. Xiang Li