Physics

University of California, Berkeley

Overview

Physics at UC Berkeley has long been at the forefront of discovery and achievement. In 1931, Ernest O. Lawrence invented the cyclotron at Berkeley, ushering in the era of high-energy physics and a tradition of achievement that continues today. Nine of Berkeley’s 20 Nobel Prizes were awarded to Berkeley physicists. The most recent National Research Council nationwide rankings identify the department as one of the best in the nation.

In the last 50 years, Berkeley physicists have made many of the significant discoveries that support today’s science. These discoveries extend from fundamental properties of elementary particles to spin echoes—the basis of magnetic resonance imaging to cutting-edge breakthroughs for building an accurate model of how the universe took shape following the monster explosion commonly known as the Big Bang. Today, faculty members are leading the way in scientific research and discovery in ways that may challenge the fundamental laws of physics particularly in the areas of gravitation, matter, and energy. At the same time, undergraduate and graduate teaching—through formal courses and research activity — is an integral part of the faculty’s commitment to the development of tomorrow’s scientists.

In their pursuit of original research, physics faculty members collaborate with postdoctoral fellows, PhD graduate students, undergraduate students, and visiting scholars. Research opportunities include a wide range of topics in theoretical and experimental physics, astrophysics, atomic physics, molecular physics, biophysics, condensed matter, cosmic rays, elementary particles and fields, energy and resources, fusion and plasma, geochronology, general relativity, low-temperature physics, mathematical physics, nuclear physics, optical and laser spectroscopy, space physics, and statistical mechanics.

Undergraduate Programs

Physics: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

Physics: MA, PhD

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Courses

Physics

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Mina Aganagic, Professor. Particle physics.
Research Profile

Ehud Altman, Professor. Atomic, molecular, and optical physics, ultracold atomic physics, atomic quantum gases, .
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James Analytis, Assistant Professor. Experimental Condensed Matter Physics.
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Stuart Bale, Professor. Experimental space physics, plasma astrophysics, low frequency radio astronomy.
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Eric Betzig, Professor. Biophysics.

Robert Birgeneau, Professor. Physics, phase transition behavior of novel states of matter.
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Raphael Bousso, Professor. Physics, quantum mechanics, gravity, unified description of nature, string theory, quantum properties of black holes, the geometry of spacetime, covariant entropy bound, cosmological constant.
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Carlos J. Bustamante, Professor. Nanoscience, structural characterization of nucleo-protein assemblies, single molecule fluorescence microscopy, DNA-binding molecular motors, the scanning force microscope, prokaryotes.
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Michael F. Crommie, Professor. Physics, electronic properties of atomic-scale structures at surfaces, atomic-scale structures, morphology and dynamics of mesoscopic systems, atomic manipulation, visualizing low dimensional electronic behavior.
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Michael Deweese, Associate Professor. Machine learning, computation, systems neuroscience, auditory cortex, neural coding.
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Joel Fajans, Professor. Astrophysics, plasma processing, physics, basic plasma physics, non-neutral plasmas, basic plasma physics experiments, pure electron plasma traps, cyrogenic plasmas, plasma bifurcations, basic non-linear dynamics, autoresonance.
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Ori J. Ganor, Associate Professor. Physics, string theory, -theory, F-theory, matrix-models, noncommutative geometry, six-dimensional theories and their large N limit, supersymmetric field theories, coupled quantum systems, nonperturbative and strong-coupling, nonlocal behavior, space.
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Hernan G. Garcia, Assistant Professor. Biophysics.
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Naomi Ginsberg, Assistant Professor. Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Biophysics; Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science.
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Hartmut Haeffner, Associate Professor. Quantum information and computation, precision measurements, ion traps, quantum state engineering, decoherence, quantum simulations, quantum energy transport, quantum chaos, cryogenic electronics.
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Lawrence J. Hall, Professor. Physics, standard model of particle physics, symmetries of nature, the symmetry of the electroweak interaction, spacetime symmetries: weak scale supersymmetry, constrained theories for the quark and charged lepton masses, supersymmetric theory.
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Oskar Hallatschek, Assistant Professor. Biophysics, random mutational events, genetic diversity, genome architecture, statistical physics, stochoastic reaction-diffusion systems, .
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Wick Haxton, Professor. Astrophysics, neutrino physics, nuclear astrophysics, tests of symmetries and conservation laws in nuclear and particle and atomic physics, many-body theory, effective theories.
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Frances Hellman, Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Professor. Condensed matter physics and materials science.
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William L. Holzapfel, Professor. Cosmology, physics, measurement and interpretation of anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background, the universe, density of energy, baryonic matter in the universe, the degree angular scale interferometer, the arcminute cosmology bolometer array.
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Petr Horava, Professor. Cosmology, physics, quantum geometry, particle physics, string (and M-) theory, quantum gravity.
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Barbara Jacak, Professor. Nuclear physics, particle physics, quark gluon plasma.
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+ Bob Jacobsen, Professor. Physics, high energy physics, LEP collider and detectors, CKM matrix, B meson decays, CP violation in the B system.
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Na Ji, Associate Professor. Physics, molecular and cell biology.

Daniel Kasen, Associate Professor. Astrophysics, nuclear physics .
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Edgar Knobloch, Professor. Astrophysics, geophysics, physics, nonlinear dynamics of dissipative systems, bifurcation theory, low-dimensional behavior of continuous systems, the theory of nonlinear waves, pattern formation in fluid systems, reaction-diffusion systems.
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Yury G. Kolomensky, Professor. Particle physics, precision measurements, electroweak interactions, neutrino physics, QCD, BaBar, E158, CUORE, Mu2e.
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Alessandra Lanzara, Professor. Nanostructures, physics, solid-state physics, complex novel materials, correlated electron systems, temperature superconductors, colossal magneto-resistance manganites, organic material, fullerenes, nanotubes, nanosphere, nanorods.
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Adrian T. Lee, Professor. Physics.
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Dung-Hai Lee, Professor. Physics, theoretical condensed matter, organization principles enabling microscopic degrees of freedom to behave cooperatively, matter and their formation mechanisms, low dimensional quantum magnets, strongly correlated Fermi and Bose fluids.
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Stephen R. Leone, Professor. Physical chemistry, molecular dynamics, atomic, molecular, nanostructured materials, energy applications, attosecond physics and chemistry, radical reactions, combustion dynamics, microscopy, Optical physics, chemical physics, soft x-ray, high harmonic generation, ultrafast laser, aerosol chemistry and dynamics, neutrals imaging.
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Robert G. Littlejohn, Professor. Plasma physics, nonlinear dynamics, physics, atomic, molecular, optical, and nuclear physics, dissipation in many-particle systems, semiclassical treatment of spin-orbit forces in nuclei, normal form theory for mode conversion or Landau-Zener transition.
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Steven G. Louie, Professor. Nanoscience, nuclear magnetic resonance, semiconductors, metals, physics, fullerenes, nanotubes, condensed matter theory, surfaces, defects, nanostructure materials, clusters, many-electron effects in solids.
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Kam-Biu Luk, Professor. Physics, particle physics, neutrinos coming from the nuclear processes in the sun, neutrino oscillation, anti-neutrinos, neutrino mixing parameters, nuclear instrumentation, data mining.
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Chung-Pei Ma, Professor. Astrophysics, dark matter, cosmology, formation and evolution of galaxies, cosmic microwave background radiation.
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Daniel Mckinsey, Professor. Dark matter, noble gases, cryogenics, high voltages, particle physics, astrophysics, low temperature physics, detector physics, neutrinos.
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Joel E. Moore, Professor. Physics, nanotubes, condensed matter theory, the properties of, electron-electron interactions, zero-temperature phase transitions, interaction effects in nanoscale devices, quantum phase transitions.
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Holger Mueller, Associate Professor. Atomic, molecular, and optical physics.
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Hitoshi Murayama, Professor. Physics, particle physics, the universe, fundamental constituents of matter, Higgs boson, anti-matter, neutrino oscillations, finite value of the cosmological constant, triple coincidence of energy densities.
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Jeffrey B. Neaton, Professor. Condensed matter theory, Materials Physics, nanoscience, physical chemistry, Electronic Structure Theory, Transport, Hard-Soft Interfaces, Complex Oxides, renewable energy, energy conversion.
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Yasunori Nomura, Professor. Electroweak symmetry, developing new ideas and building realistic models in particle physics, particle physics theory and cosmology, hidden extra spatial dimensions and supersymmetry, physics of the multiverse, multiverse and quantum gravity.
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Gabriel Orebi Gann, Assistant Professor. Particle physics.
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Joseph W. Orenstein, Professor. Physics, optics, electromagnetic radiation, probe condensed matter systems, light waves, transmission and reflection coefficients, high-Tc superconductors organic molecular crystals, quasiparticles, origin of superconductivity, terahertz spectroscopy.
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Saul Perlmutter, Professor. Cosmology, dark energy, physics, astrophysics experiments, observational astrophysics, supernovae, accelerating universe.
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Matt Pyle, Assistant Professor. Astrophysics, nuclear physics, dark matter, detector technology, massive low temperature calorimeters, SuperCDMS.
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Zi Q. Qiu, Professor. Physics, novel behavior of the quantum magnetism in magnetic nanostructures, oscillatory interlayer coupling, the giant magnetoresistance, condensed matter experiment, technology applications, molecular beam epitaxy, artificial structures.
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Eliot Quataert, Professor. Compact objects, theoretical astrophysics, theoretical physics, black holes, accretion theory, plasma physics, high energy astrophysics, galaxies, stars.
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Surjeet Rajendran, Assistant Professor. Theoretical Particle Physics, precision metrology.
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R. Ramesh, Professor. Processing of complex oxide heterostructures, nanoscale characterization/device structures, thin film growth and materials physics of complex oxides, materials processing for devices, information technologies.
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Daniel S. Rokhsar, Professor. Biology, collective phenomena and ordering in condensed matter and biological systems, theoretical modeling, computational modeling, behavior of quantum fluids, cold atomic gases, high temperature superconductors, Fermi and Bose systems.
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Bernard Sadoulet, Professor. Astrophysics, cosmology, physics, condensed matter, particle physics, developing sophisticated detectors, UA1 central detector, ubiquitous dark matter in the universe, searching for dark matter, development of advanced phonon-mediated detectors.
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Uros Seljak, Professor. Astrophysics, theoretical cosmologist, weak lensing, galaxy clustering, CMB anisotropies, lyman alphy forest.
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Marjorie D. Shapiro, Professor. Physics, particle physics, particle experiments, probing the most basic interactions in nature, quarks, leptons, collider detector, the atlas experiment, electroweak symmetry breaking, mass, design of the silicon strip detectors, pixel detectors.
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+ Irfan Siddiqi, Professor. Condensed matter physics, superconducting qubits, quantum limited amplifiers, quantum circuits.
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Dan M. Stamper-Kurn, Professor. Atomic physics, the use of ultra-cold neutral atoms, studies of microscopic and macroscopic quantum phenomena, cavity quantum electrodynamics, Bose-Einstein condensation, precision and quantum measurement.
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Ashvin Vishwanath, Professor. Theoretical physics, physics, condensed matter theory, quantum condensed matter, systems of many quantum particles, dilute atomic gases, optical lattices, strongly correlated materials, fractionalization, unconventional quantum phase transition.
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Feng Wang, Associate Professor. Condensed matter physics, photonics, nanoscience.
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Martin White, Professor. Cosmology, formation of structure in the universe, dark energy, expansion of the universe, cosmic microwave background, quasars, redshift surveys.
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Michael Witherell, Professor. Particle physics, dark matter particles, LUX, LUX-ZEPLIN, neutrinoless, neutrinoless double beta decay.
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Jonathan Wurtele, Professor. Physics, stability, plasma theory, advanced accelerator concepts, intense laser-plasma interaction, the basic equilibrium, radiation properties of intense charged particle beams, simulation and the development of proof-of-principle experiments.
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Norman Yao, Assistant Professor. Atomic, molecular, and optical physics.
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Ahmet Yildiz, Associate Professor. Single molecule biophysics, molecular motors, telomeres.
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Alex Zettl, Professor. Physics, condensed matter physics, fullerenes, condensed matter experiments, characterize novel materials with unusual electronic and magnetic ground states, low-dimensional and nanoscale structures, superconductors, giant magnetoresistance materials, nanotubes, graphene, boron nitride nanostructures, neural probes, NEMS.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Catherine Bordel, Lecturer.

Terrence Buehler, Lecturer.

Andrew Charman, Lecturer.

Austin J. Hedeman, Lecturer.

Matthias Reinsch, Lecturer.

Achilles Speliotopoulos, Lecturer.

Steven W. Stahler, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Korkut Bardakci, Professor Emeritus.

Dmitry Budker, Professor Emeritus. Modern atomic physics, discrete symmetries, samarium, dysprosium, ytterbium, spectral line broadening, parity nonconservation, magnetometry, atomic collisions, NV diamond, fundamental physics.
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Geoffrey Chew, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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William Chinowsky, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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+ John Clarke, Professor Emeritus. Nuclear magnetic resonance, physics, noise limitations, applications of superconducting quantum interference devices, low-transition temperature, axion detectors, sensing of magnetically-tagged biomolecules, nondestructive evaluation.
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Marvin L. Cohen, Professor Emeritus. Social cultural anthropology, medical and psychiatric anthropology, critical gerontology, lesbian and gay studies, feminist and queer theory.
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Marc Davis, Professor Emeritus. Astronomy, physical cosmology, large scale velocity fields, structure formation in the universe, maps of galactic dust.
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Robert C. Dynes, Professor Emeritus. Condensed matter physics and materials science.
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R. P. Ely, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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Roger Falcone, Professor Emeritus. X-rays, plasma physics, lasers, physics, materials, atomic physics, coherent control, ultrafast.
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William R. Frazer, Professor Emeritus. Particle physics.
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Mary K. Gaillard, Professor Emeritus. Elementary particle theory.
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Reinhard Genzel, Professor Emeritus. Physics, existence and formation of black holes in galactic nuclei, the nature of the power source, the evolution of (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies, gas dynamics, the fueling of active galactic nuclei, the properties evolution of starburst galaxies.
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Allan N. Kaufman, Professor Emeritus. Physics, fundamental aspects of plasma physics, application to plasma heating in tokamaks, interaction between positive and negative energy waves in nonuniform plasma, conversion of magnetosonic waves to ion-hybrid waves in tokamak geometries, heating.
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+ Charles Kittel, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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Richard Marrus, Professor Emeritus. Physics, spectroscopy of one- and two-electron ions, beam-foil method, measurement of the hyperfine structure, hyperfine structure of the ground state of hydrogenic bismuth, atomic experiments.
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Christopher F. Mckee, Professor Emeritus. Astrophysics, interstellar medium, formation of stars, astrophysical fluid dynamics, computational astrophysics, astrophysical blast waves, supernova remnants, interstellar shocks.
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+ Forrest S. Mozer, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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+ Richard Muller, Professor Emeritus. Astrophysics, geophysics, physics, elementary particle physics, cosmic micro wave background, supernovae for cosmology, origin of the earth's magnetic flips, Nemesis theory, glacial cycles, red sprites, lunar impacts, iridium measurement.
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Richard E. Packard, Professor Emeritus. Physics, condensed matter physics, experimental low temperature physics, quantum liquids, superfluid, surface waves in superfluid, liquid helium.
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P. Buford Price, Professor Emeritus. Evolution, metabolism, neutrino astrophysics, microbes, climate research, volcanism, glacial ice.
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Frederick Reif, Professor Emeritus.

Paul L. Richards, Professor Emeritus. Physics, utilizing far infrared and near-millimeter wavelength radiation, infrared physics, experimental cosmology, MAXIMA experiment, cosmic background radiation, far infrared spectroscopy, astrophysics experiment.
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Rainer K. Sachs, Professor Emeritus. Computational biology, carcinogenesis, mathematical biology, ionizing radiation, chromosome aberrations, radiation risk, cancer radiation therapy.
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Charles L. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Theoretical physics, physics, social responsibility in science.
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Yuen Ron Shen, Professor Emeritus. Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science.

James L. Siegrist, Professor Emeritus. High energy physics, particle experiments, large hadron collider, ATLAS, high center of mass energies, collider detectors, development of instrumentation and software, dark matter direct detection, non-proliferation, physical sciences and oncology.
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Isadore M. Singer, Professor Emeritus. Mathematics, physics, partial differential equations, geometry.
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George F. Smoot, Professor Emeritus. Cosmology, physics, astrophysics experiments, observational astrophysics, observing our galaxy, the cosmic background radiation, ground-based radio-telescope observations, balloon-borne instrumentation, satellite experiments, the NASA cosmic background.
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Herbert M. Steiner, Professor Emeritus. Physics, particle experiments, experimental particle physics, high energy fission, experiments with antiprotons, pion-nuleon and nucleon -nucleon scattering with polarized targets, pi-N phase shift analyses, the spin and intrinsic parity of hyperons.
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M. Lynn Stevenson, Professor Emeritus.

Mark Strovink, Professor Emeritus. Physics, discrete symmetries, particle experiments, absolute predictions fundamental tenets of the standard model, charge parity, nonconservation in K meson decay; establishment of upper limits on the quark charge radius, effects of gluon radiation.
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Mahiko Suzuki, Professor Emeritus. Physics, chiral symmetry, particle theory, electroweak symmetry, supersymmetry, standard model of particle interaction, heavy quark symmetry, B meson physics, disoriented chiral condensate, semileptonic D and B decays.
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George H. Trilling, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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Robert D. Tripp, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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+ Eyvind H. Wichmann, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
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Peter Y. Yu, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Physics

366 LeConte Hall

Phone: 510-642-3316

Fax: 510-643-8497

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Wick Haxton, PhD

431 LeConte Hall

Phone: 510-664-4321

haxton@berkeley.edu

Vice-Chair

Irfan Siddiqi, PhD

331 Birge

Phone: 510-642-5620

irfan_siddiqi@berkeley.edu

Student Services Manager

Claudia Trujillo

376 LeConte Hall

Phone: 510-643-5261

claudiat@berkeley.edu

Lead Graduate Adviser

Joelle Miles

372 LeConte Hall

Phone: 510-642-7524

joelle.miles@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Adviser

Kathy Lee

368 LeConte Hall

Phone: 510-642-0481

kathyl@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Adviser

Amanda Dillon

374 LeConte Hall

Phone: 510-664-7557

amjdillon@berkeley.edu

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