Welcome to the Department of Physics
As a department, we are a community of more than 150, including faculty, administrative staff, postdocs, visiting scientists, and graduate and undergraduate students. Devoted to our teaching, service, and research missions, all of our 19 faculty teach lecture courses and actively involve students in their research.
Our research program is “decidedly noncomprehensive,” with intentional foci on fundamental and applied condensed matter and nanoscale physics. Our campus home is Higgins Hall, located at the heart of the BC Chestnut Hill campus at the western edge of Boston, and fully renovated in 2002 with state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories.
Featured Recent Publications
Visualization of bulk and edge photocurrent flow in anisotropic Weyl semimetals
Quantum sensors reveal that the anisotropy in the thermoelectric properties of Weyl semimetals generates spontaneous, circulating photocurrents.
First demonstration of tuning between the Kitaev and Ising limits in a honeycomb lattice
Magnetic materials with a honeycomb lattice structure have been intensely studied in search of a quantum spin liquid phase, where the electron spins are entangled instead of ordered. In such materials, the coupling between spin and orbital moments is believed to create an effective spin-1/2 state known as the J=1/2 state. This work shows that a subtle change in the lattice structure known as trigonal distortion has a major influence on magnetism. The data seen in the figure are taken from the X-ray synchrotron source at the American Photon Source, where a change in the X-ray absorption enables us to find the structure of spin-orbital structures.
Suppression of crosstalk in multielectrode arrays with local shielding
Electrical crosstalk between unshielded pixels in current microelectrode arrays used for electro- and neurophysiology limits device spatial resolution. In this BC physics & neuroscience collaboration, we show that arrays of Faraday-shielded electrodes, prepared by micro- and nanofabrication techniques in a vertically-oriented coaxial geometry, demonstrate at least a 400 times improvement in spatial resolution over the conventional unshielded case.
Radio-frequency manipulation of state populations in an entangled fluorine-muon-fluorine system
Entangled spin states are created by implanting muons into single-crystal LiY0.95Ho0.05F4 to form a cluster of dipole-coupled magnetic moments. The time evolution of the muon spin polarization can be manipulated by a radiofrequency field, and calculated via a model of a quantum cluster interacting with a classical, oscillating magnetic field.
Chern Fermi pocket, topological pair density wave, and charge-4e and charge-6e superconductivity in kagome superconductors
We find that the pairing of electrons on the Chern Fermi pockets leads to a superconducting state with an emergent vortex-antivortex lattice and the formation of a complex triple-Q pair density wave.
High-frequency phonons drive large phonon-drag thermopower in semiconductors at high carrier density
Unexpectedly large electron-phonon drag enhancements of the thermopowers are found in certain heavily-doped semiconductors, even at room temperature from first principles calculations.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The Department of Physics at Boston College offers a 100% guarantee that a research opportunity will be made available to all physics majors that seek one, providing they meet the required criteria.
We go to great lengths to honor this commitment.