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Department of Physics



Michael J. Naughton
Chairperson and Ferris Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 335

Group Website

Experimental condensed matter and materials physics and nanoscale integrated science; nanoscale manipulation of light, for high efficiency photovoltaics, subwavelength waveguides, optical metamedia, and nanoscale coaxial optical microscopy; nanoscale devices for biochemical sensing and neural optrode interfaces; molecular organic superconductivity; magnetometry in large magnetic fields. Support provided by NSF, NIH, and the W.M. Keck Foundation.

Michael Graf
Associate Chairperson and Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230B

Experimental condensed-matter physics, including: superconductivity, magnetism, and their correlation in heavy-fermion systems, quantum confinement effects in nanostructured metals and semi-metals; and quantum tunneling of magnetization in Ho3+ ions diluted into LiYF4.

Pradip Bakshi
Distinguished Research
Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330G

Theoretical plasma physics; mathematical physics; quantum field theory; atomic physics; condensed matter physics.

Kevin Bedell
Rourke Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230F

Strongly correlated electron systems; theory of local, marginal and other correlated Fermi liquids; properties of quantum fluids and solids; weak ferromagnetism and co-existence of superconductivity and ferromagnetism.

David Broido
Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230C

Theoretical condensed matter physics with emphasis on the transport properties of novel thermoelectric materials, and on carbon-based structures such as graphene, carbon nanotubes and diamond.

Kenneth Burch
Associate Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330N

Group Website

Spectroscopic studies of novel solids, interfaces and nano-materials. Materials of interest include: Topological Insulators, Unconventional Superconductors, Spin/Valleytronics, thermoelectrics and 2D atomic crystals.

Baldassare Di Bartolo
Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330D

Group Website

Solid State Spectroscopy, Flash Photolysis and Molecular Spectroscopy, Photoacoustics, Femtospectroscopy.

Jan Engelbrecht
Associate Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330C

Theory of strongly correlated electron systems, including pairing correlations in high-temperature superconductors, Fermi Liquid vs. non-Fermi Liquid metals, local Fermi liquids and the metal-insulator transition.

Ruihua He
Assistant Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230G

Experimental studies of correlated electron systems (high-temperature cuprate superconductors and other complex oxides) in forms of bulk single crystals and thin films using various techniques based on synchrotron radiations, mainly, angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, resonant soft x-ray scattering, scanning transmission x-ray microscopy, etc..

Andrzej Herczynski
Research Professor and Laboratory Director

Higgins Hall 230D

Mathematical modeling in fluid dynamics – perturbation methods for compressible flows, thermal processes under reduced gravity, similarity solutions in hydrodynamics. Physics and art – scaling properties and fluid-dynamical effects in Jackson Pollock's poured abstractions.

Gabor Kalman
Distinguished Research Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330B

Strongly coupled Coulomb systems: plasmas, electron liquid in 3 and 2 dimensions; Charged particle layered systems, bilayers; Complex (dusty, colloidal) plasmas; plasma crystals; Dense plasmas; plasma phase transitions; Linear and nonlinear response functions and fluctuation-dissipation theorems.

Krzysztof Kempa
Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230E

Electronic and electromagnetic properties of nanostructures. Plasmonics. Metamaterials and coaxial media. Application of nanostructures and nanodevices in optoelectronics, photovoltaics and biotechnology. Computational physics.

Cyril P. Opeil, S.J.
Associate Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330J

Group Website

Experimental condensed-matter and nanocomposite thermoelectric material (e.g. Bi2Te3, PbTe, BixSbyHo, FeSb2) development and characterization. Electronic structure of martensite, shape memory alloys (e.g. Ni2MnGa, AuZn, V3Si1-xMx). Experimental studies of meteorite formation in collaboration with Specola Vaticana and University of Central Florida. Supported by grants from D.O.E. and D.O.D.

Ying Ran
Associate Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330H

Group Website

Quantum condensed matter theory, electronic systems with strong interaction Frustrated magnets, high-Tc superconductors. Topological aspects of condensed matter system such as topological defects and topological band insulators.

Fazel Tafti
Assistant Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330A

Group Website

Experimental condensed matter physics, topological order, superconductivity, quantum phase transitions, spin liquids, low dimensional magnets, material synthesis, single crystal growth,  electrical, thermal, and thermo-electric transport measurements, high pressure and high field experiments.

Rein Uritam
Undergraduate Program Director and Associate Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230A

Particle phenomenology, current algebra, broken symmetries; foundations of quantum mechanics; non-Western and Medieval scientific traditions; role of history and philosophy of science in physics education; role of science in liberal education; connection between science and religion.

Ziqiang Wang
Graduate Program Director and Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 330F

Theory of correlated electron materials including high temperature superconductors and other complex oxides such as cobaltates and ruthenates. Itinerant and localized magnetism and heavy fermion systems. Quantum spin systems. Unconventional superconductivity. Emergent quantum electronic states and topologically ordered phases of matter. Fractional and integer quantum Hall systems and other mesoscopic systems including graphene.

Ilija Zeljkovic
Assistant Professor of Physics

Higgins Hall 230H

Group Website

Atomic-scale spectroscopic characterization of quantum materials (topological insulators, high-temperature superconductors, transition metal dichalcogenides) using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM); Layer-by-layer material synthesis utilizing molecular beam epitaxy (MBE); Manipulation of electronic properties via strain, electrostatic gating and magnetic field.