Physics & Astronomy
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Department of Physics & Astronomy Research Groups
The department features highly active research groups in
Astronomy/Astrophysics and Condensed Matter Physics
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Condensed Matter Physics Professors Yuri Dahnovsky (theoretical/computational) and Jinke Tang, Wenyong Wang, TeYu Chien, & Jifa Tian (experimental) are engaged in various investigations in condensed matter and materials
physics. Research projects are currently being carried out by faculty, postdoctoral
research associates and students in the follow areas: low-dimensional structures,
carbon nanotubes, magnetoresistance, and electron spin resonance
- Galaxies, Cosmology, and black holes
Professors Mike Brotherton , Adam Myers , Danny Dale and Mike Pierce. Professor Myers' mainly studies quasars and other Active Galactic Nuclei which are powered by ultra-massive black holes at the hearts of distant galaxies.
Quasars are visible across 95% of the known Universe, and visible back in cosmic history to a time when the first galaxies were forming.
Quasars trace the physics of the Universe at huge distances, large timescales and
extremes in mass and energy. Danny Dale uses space based observatories to study the spectral energy distributions and star
formation rates of galaxies from the nearby universe to the distant universe. Mike Brotherton studies active galactic nuclei using telescopes from the radio to X-ray to understand
the physics of the supermassive black holes at their centers. Mike Pierce studies gravitational lensing and the formation and evolution of galaxies using optical
and infrared camera and spectrographs in order to understand the evolution of galaxies
over cosmic times."
- Stars and Star formation
Prof. Chip Kobulnicky uses wide-field infrared surveys such as from theSpitzer Space Telescope to understand the locations and conditions of star formation in the Milky Way, especially
in regions of high obscuration that harbor massive young star clusters. His group
also uses the Wyoming Infrared Observatory 2.3 m telescope (WIRO) to make long-term spectroscopic surveys of massive stars, shedding new light on their
formation, evolution, and role in producing nature's most energetic events like supernova
and gamma-ray bursts.
- Astronomical Instrumentation
Prof. Mike Pierce designs and builds new state-of-the art astronomical instrumentation for the WIRO telescope and other facilities.
- Theoretical/computational condensed matter physics
- Many-body approach to correlated electron dynamics in quantum dot sensitized solar
- Hot electron transport and two electron transport in quantum dot sensitized solar
- Numerical solutions of ab initio Kadanoff-Baym equations for nonequilibrium Green's
- Nonlinear optics of quantum dot and quantum dot sensitized solar cells: ab initio
quantum electron dynamics
- Effect of electron-phonon interaction on the efficiency of quantum dot sensitized
- ab initio description of quantum molecular wires
- Magnetic impurities in quantum dot sensitized solar cells
- Equilibrium and non-equilibrium transport in nano-structures and molecular devices
- Role of defects in perovskite sensitized solar cells
- Experimental condensed matter physics
- Nanostructured materials and devices for photovoltaic solar cells
- Novel synthesis of nanowire arrays and deposition of quantum dots on the nanowires
- Investigations of energy transfers for improved energy conversion efficiency, including
light absorption, charge transfer, recombination and electron/hole transport in these
- Luminescent materials for PV solar concentrators and white LEDs
- Highly correlated electron systems and multiferroic materials
- Spintronic materials including half-metals and magnetic semiconductors
- Phonon transport in low dimensional nanostructures
- Thermoelectric materials for energy conversion applications
- Many-body interactions in low dimensional environment.
- Electronic properties of materials in low dimensional environment
- Mechanical properties of condensed matters
- Low-dimensional structures
- Carbon nanotubes
- Electron spin resonance
- Spin and charge transport in 2D materials and their heterostructures.
- Quantum devices and nanofabrication techniques.
- Growing 2D materials by CVD.