Physics

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Graduate work leading to the PhD degree is offered in the Department of Physics. Students may petition for an MA degree on their way to a PhD. Please note that the department will not consider applications from students who intend to work toward the MA degree only. In certain cases, students may petition for a terminal MA degree. Research is a major part of the PhD program, and research opportunities exist across the full spectrum of theoretical and experimental physics, including astrophysics and cosmology; atomic, molecular and optical physics; biophysics; condensed matter; elementary particles and fields; fusion and plasma; low-temperature physics; mathematical physics; nuclear physics; quantum information; space physics; and statistical mechanics.

At the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, extensive opportunities exist for research in astrophysics, elementary particle and nuclear physics, condensed matter physics and materials science, and plasma and nuclear physics. Space physics, interplanetary studies, solar plasma research, physics of the upper atmosphere, and cosmological problems are pursued both in the Physics Department and at the Space Sciences Laboratory.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant has completed a basic degree from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. Unofficial transcripts must contain specific information including the name of the applicant, name of the school, all courses, grades, units, & degree conferral (if applicable). 
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, by the recommender, not the Graduate Admissions.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:

    • courses in English as a Second Language,

    • courses conducted in a language other than English,

    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and

    • courses of a non-academic nature.

Applicants who have previously applied to Berkeley must also submit new test scores that meet the current minimum requirement from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833 for Graduate Organizations. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years prior to beginning the graduate program at UC Berkeley. Note: score reports can not expire before the month of June.

 

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

The Department of Physics ordinarily admits only those applicants who have scholastic records well above a B+ average and who have completed the equivalent of the undergraduate major in physics. This program includes upper division courses in mechanics (4 semester units), electromagnetism and optics (8 semester units), statistical and thermal physics (4 semester units), quantum mechanics (8 semester units), and advanced undergraduate laboratory (5 semester units). Courses in atomic, nuclear and solid state physics, astronomy and applied mathematics are recommended as electives. Not all courses in the major are required for admission. Some courses required for the major program but not previously taken may have to be made up in the first year of graduate work. Applicants are required to submit a list of courses taken in physics and mathematics with course number, and applicable textbook, as well as a list of courses in progress.

In determining the admissibility of a prospective graduate student the department attempts to carefully weigh all relevant factors, including transcripts of academic work, test scores, letters of recommendation, research experience, and a statement of purpose. We recognize the diverse experiences of our applicants and therefore encourage them to submit supporting materials.

The Graduate Program in Physics is designed for those intending to pursue work leading to the PhD. After completing the necessary course work and examination requirements, an MA degree can be awarded. However, the department does not consider applications from those intending to work toward the MA degree only.

Master's Degree Requirements

The master’s degree in Physics is conferred according to Graduate Division degree policies.  Students in the physics doctoral program may apply for the MA degree. The Physics MA candidate must complete:

1) Curriculum

PHYSICS 209Classical Electromagnetism5
PHYSICS 211Equilibrium Statistical Physics4
PHYSICS 221AQuantum Mechanics5
PHYSICS 221BQuantum Mechanics5

Note: Required courses (19.0 units) must be taken for a letter grade or 19 replacement units if subject waivers have been granted for prior coursework.

2) 16 additional units of approved upper division and graduate courses, which may include PHYSICS 251 and PHYSICS 375

Note: Total units required for MA degree is 35 semester units of upper division and graduate work in physics (or related fields) with an average grade of at least B. Eighteen of these units must represent graduate courses in physics. Neither upper division courses required in the Physics Major Program nor PHYSICS 290 seminars, PHYSICS 295PHYSICS 299PHYSICS 301, or PHYSICS 602 may be used to satisfy the 35 unit requirement. No more than one-third of the 16 elective units may be fulfilled by courses graded Satisfactory, and then only if approved by the head graduate adviser.

3) Pass a comprehensive examination (passing the Physics preliminary examination constitutes passing the comprehensive exam).

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time Requirements

The normative time for completing a PhD in Physics is six years.

Time to Advancement

Curriculum

Courses Required
PHYSICS 209Classical Electromagnetism5
PHYSICS 211Equilibrium Statistical Physics4
PHYSICS 221AQuantum Mechanics5
PHYSICS 221BQuantum Mechanics5
Physics electives:
Graduate11
Graduate/Upper Division8

Graduate students are required to take a minimum of 38 units of approved upper division or graduate elective courses (excluding any upper division courses required for the undergraduate major).  The department requires that students take the following courses which total 19 units: Physics 209 (Classical Electromagnetism), Physics 211 (Equilibrium Statistical Physics) and Physics 221A-221B (Quantum Mechanics). Thus, the normative program includes an additional 19 units (five semester courses) of approved upper division or graduate elective courses.  At least 11 units must be in the 200 series courses. Some of the 19 elective units could include courses in mathematics, biophysics, astrophysics, or from other science and engineering departments.  Physics 290, 295, 299, 301, and 602 are excluded from the 19 elective units. Physics 209, 211 and 221A-221B must be completed for a letter grade (with a minimum average grade of B).  No more than one-third of the 19 elective units may be fulfilled by courses graded Satisfactory, and then only with the approval of the Department.  Entering students are required to enroll in Physics 209 and 221A in the fall semester of their first year and Physics 211 and 221B in the spring semester of their first year. Exceptions to this requirement are made for 1) students who do not have sufficient background to enroll in these courses and have a written recommendation from their faculty mentor and approval from the head graduate adviser to delay enrollment to take preparatory classes, 2) students who have taken the equivalent of these courses elsewhere and receive written approval from the Department to be exempted. 

If a student has taken courses equivalent to Physics 209, 211 or 221A-221B, then subject credit may be granted for each of these course requirements.  A faculty committee will review your course syllabi and transcript.  A waiver form can be obtained from the Physics Student Affairs Officer detailing all required documents.  If the committee agrees that the student has satisfied the course requirement at another institution, the student must secure the Head Graduate Adviser's approval.  The student must also take and pass the associated section of the preliminary exam.  Please note that official course waiver approval will not be granted until after the preliminary exam results have been announced.  If course waivers are approved, units for the waived required courses do not have to be replaced for PhD course requirements.  If a student has satisfied all first-year required graduate courses elsewhere, they are only required to take an additional 19 units to satisfy remaining PhD course requirements.  (Note that units for required courses must be replaced for MA degree course requirements even if the courses themselves are waived; for more information please see MA degree requirements).

In exceptional cases, students transferring from other graduate programs may request a partial waiver of the 19 elective unit requirement. Such requests must be made at the time of application for admission to the Department.

Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is designed to ensure that students command a broad spectrum of undergraduate physics prior to their engaging in graduate research. The preliminary exam is a written exam composed of four sections, grouped by general subject areas of undergraduate physics. All four sections of the preliminary examination are offered at the beginning of both Fall and Spring semesters. A student who has passed all four sections of the exam will have passed the preliminary examination. The Department expects students to pass the examination within the first three semesters of graduate study (see further notes on this below).

The preliminary exam is intended as one tool for helping the Department evaluate that students are making adequate progress towards their PhD. The determination of a student’s academic standing in the Department will be based on a student’s entire record, including performance on the prelim exam, undergraduate coursework, graduate coursework, and research performance where appropriate. Consequently, a student would not be asked to leave the Department based solely on performance on the written preliminary exam.

The written exam has four sections, covering (1) classical mechanics, (2) electromagnetism and optics, and special relativity, (3) thermodynamics and statistical physics, and (4) quantum mechanics. Note that these divisions do not preclude the possibility of questions on one section that draw from subject matter emphasized in a different section. (For example, a question that touches on thermodynamics in the quantum mechanics section.) A student who passes any section of the written exam need not take that section again. Each section lasts three hours and covers traditional, textbook style problems, as well as more comprehensive questions that specifically test physical and numerical insight (e.g. order-of-magnitude estimates including physical constants, analyzing physical situations by application of general principles instead of complex calculations, etc.). A student’s individual performance on each section of the exam, and not ranking relative to other students, will determine whether that student has passed or failed the section. In other words, there is no predetermined percentage of students to pass/fail the exam.

Students are encouraged, but not required, to attempt the examination during their first semester. Students are required to have attempted all of the written sections in their second semester. The status of students who have not yet passed all sections of the preliminary examination will be reviewed by a faculty committee each semester, beginning in the student's third semester, and recommendations of further action will be made. The Department Chair must approve exceptions to this schedule; all exceptions, except those due to illness or emergency, must be approved in advance.

The academic record of a student in their third semester who has not passed all four written sections will be reviewed. Near the beginning of the third semester (as prelim exam results become available) a faculty committee, in consultation with the student’s faculty mentor, will review the student’s academic record and performance on the prelims to determine whether a sufficient breadth of undergraduate physics has been demonstrated. This review may include meeting with the student to ask questions to further assess the student’s understanding of undergraduate physics, focusing primarily although not exclusively on the not-yet-passed sections of the exam, to discuss the student’s background and how best to address remaining deficiencies. If their determination is that the student has a sufficient breadth of undergraduate physics, the student will be determined to have passed the prelim exam, and will be allowed to proceed with research. If the committee’s determination is that this understanding is not yet demonstrated, they will recommend that the student be sent a warning letter by the Department Chair, and will specify requirements (including a timeline) for the student to return to making sufficient academic progress. These requirements could include taking and passing with a B or better grade specific undergraduate courses during the third and/or fourth semester, and/or retaking and passing sections of the prelim exam not yet passed at the start of the fourth semester. This review could also result in additional recommendations to the student, such as serving as GSI for a course deemed appropriate to reinforce previous undergraduate coursework. The intent of this third-semester review by the faculty committee is to determine if deficiencies exist in a student’s knowledge of undergraduate physics, and if so, what actions are required of the student to address these deficiencies.

A faculty committee will then review the student’s efforts towards returning to good academic progress at the beginning of the fourth semester. This 4th semester review may also include meeting with the student to ask questions to assess the student’s understanding of undergraduate physics. This faculty committee will review the student’s entire academic record – including performance on the preliminary exam, coursework, and intended research plans – and recommend to the Department Chair whether the student is making sufficient academic progress and may be allowed to proceed with research. The Head Graduate Adviser or Department Chair will report the results to the Graduate Division. If requirements established in the 3rd semester review include undergraduate courses taken in the fourth semester, this 4th semester review can be deferred until the grades in these courses are determined, but in no case can this review be extended past the end of the student’s 4th semester. This review is not intended to create additional requirements, but to determine if previous requirements have been met, and in particular should not require any further attempts at passing any section of the preliminary exam. The intent of this fourth- semester review by the faculty committee is to determine whether a student has mastered sufficient undergraduate physics to start PhD level research by the end of the 2nd year. If the committee concludes that such mastery is not present, they will recommend to the Department Chair that the student be asked to leave the program due to inadequate progress towards the PhD.

A revision in this schedule can be granted, for one or more sections of the preliminary exam, for any student with an incomplete undergraduate physics education as determined by consultation between the student and the student’s faculty mentor. Both the Head Graduate Advisor and the Department Chair must approve this revised schedule. Any student exercising this option is expected to take one or more undergraduate physics courses at UC Berkeley during the first one or two semesters. This student should follow the regular schedule outlined above for any sections of the exam not affected by the revised schedule, and is allowed to attempt the delayed section(s) at the start of their first one or two semesters for practice, in which case the student would not be required to repeat any sections that have been passed during this period. The student would then be expected to take all sections of the exam not yet passed at the beginning of the 3rd semester, and to repeat any unpassed sections at the start of the 4th semester. A faculty committee will be asked to assess this student following this exam if there are still sections not passed, following guidelines above, and can either determine that the student has demonstrated a sufficient breadth of undergraduate physics, and hence has passed the prelim exam, or to recommend that the student be sent a warning letter with specific requirements and a timeline for being returned to making sufficient academic progress; the most likely requirement and timeline for this is to be asked to study over the following summer and to attempt the still unpassed sections a final time at the start of the 5th semester. The intent of this 4th and potentially 5th semester review by the faculty committee is that a student shall either be determined to have mastered sufficient undergraduate physics to start PhD level research by the start of their 3rd year, or else be asked to leave the program due to inadequate progress towards the PhD. Delays in this decision beyond the start of the 3rd year are highly discouraged and will only be considered under exceptional circumstances.

Qualifying Examination 

Within 2-3 semesters of beginning research, the Department expects students to take the University’s Oral Qualifying Examination covering his or her research field and related areas. This exam is required for advancement to PhD candidacy, and signifies that the student is prepared and qualified to undertake research, not that the student has already completed a significant body of work towards the PhD. It is therefore expected to occur for most students in the 3rd year, and no later than the 4th year. A student is considered to have begun research when they first register for Physics 299 or fill out the department advising form showing that a research advisor has accepted the student for PhD work, at which time the research advisor becomes responsible for guidance and mentoring of the student. The examination is administered by a four-member committee (consisting of three Physics Department and one outside faculty member, including the research advisor) approved by the Graduate Division on behalf of the Graduate Council, and may be repeated once at the recommendation of the examining committee. The Department expects that all committees include at least one theorist and one experimentalist. For students with advisors from outside the department or who are not members of the Academic Senate (e.g., with appointments at LBNL or SSL), permission for a five-member committee may be requested from Grad Division to allow both the non-faculty and faculty advisor to be on the committee; in this case, approval of the proposed research by the Head Graduate Advisor and the Chair of the Department must also be obtained before the student takes their qualifying exam.

Rules and requirements associated with the Qualifying Exam are set by the Graduate Division on behalf of the Graduate Council. The committee membership and the conduct of the exam are therefore subject to Graduate Division approval. The exam is oral and lasts 2-3 hours. The Graduate Division specifies that the purpose of the Qualifying Exam is “to ascertain the breadth of the student's comprehension of fundamental facts and principles that apply to at least three subjects areas related to the major field of study and whether the student has the ability to think incisively and critically about the theoretical and the practical aspects of these areas.” Grad Division also states that this oral qualifying exam serves a significant additional function. “Not only teaching, but the formal interaction with one’s students and colleagues at colloquia, annual meetings of professional societies and the like, often require the ability to synthesize rapidly, organize clearly, and argue cogently in an oral setting.... It is consequently necessary for the University to ensure that a proper examination is given incorporating [these skills].”

The Qualifying Exam requires that the student, in consultation with his or her advisor, identify three topics which in the Physics Department are expected to be a proposed Thesis Topic, an Area of Research, and a General Area of Research. The General Area of Research is taken to be the sub-field within physics (e.g. astrophysics, biophysics, particle physics, condensed matter physics); the Area of Research to be a still broad but more narrowly defined field within the sub-field (e.g. magnetism, or QCD). For fields where these choices are not obvious, the student should suggest appropriately broad topics contiguous to their Thesis Topic. The choice of topics is subject to the approval of the Physics Department Head Graduate Adviser, per Graduate Council Requirements. Qualifying Exams in the Physics Department begin with a presentation from the student that is expected to last approximately, but no more than, 45 minutes, during and after which questions related to the presentation are typically asked. The presentation should focus on the student's research goals and necessary background material, including the proposed Thesis Topic and the Area of Research that encompasses the thesis topic, as well as a proposed schedule for finishing the PhD and goals/milestones in that schedule. After this presentation, following a short break if desired, members of the committee will further question the student both about the presentation itself and about the broader subject areas included in the General Area of Research, testing the student’s “ability to think incisively and critically about the theoretical and the practical aspects of these areas”. The Department expects these questions to be related to the student's research field, but to be broad in nature rather than narrowly related to the thesis itself. Ability to give a coherent and organized presentation and to answer questions on the three topics in an oral setting is also required for passing this exam. Note that adjustments may be made on the basis of campus policies for cases in which an otherwise able individual is prevented from meeting an oral requirement by a physical disability.

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, Associate 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, Associate Professor. Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science.
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Heather Gray, Assistant Professor. Physics.
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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, Associate 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.
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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 Emeritus. 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, Professor. Condensed matter physics, photonics, nanoscience.
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Haichen Wang, Assistant Professor. Physics.
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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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Michael Zaletel, Assistant Professor. Physics.
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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.

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.
Research Profile

Marc Davis, Professor Emeritus. Astronomy, physical cosmology, large scale velocity fields, structure formation in the universe, maps of galactic dust.
Research Profile

Robert C. Dynes, Professor Emeritus. Condensed matter physics and materials science.
Research Profile

R. P. Ely, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
Research Profile

Roger Falcone, Professor Emeritus. X-rays, plasma physics, lasers, physics, materials, atomic physics, coherent control, ultrafast.
Research Profile

William R. Frazer, Professor Emeritus. Particle physics.
Research Profile

Mary K. Gaillard, Professor Emeritus. Elementary particle theory.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

* Charles Kittel, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Christopher F. Mckee, Professor Emeritus. Astrophysics, interstellar medium, formation of stars, astrophysical fluid dynamics, computational astrophysics, astrophysical blast waves, supernova remnants, interstellar shocks.
Research Profile

* Forrest S. Mozer, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
Research Profile

* 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.
Research Profile

Richard E. Packard, Professor Emeritus. Physics, condensed matter physics, experimental low temperature physics, quantum liquids, superfluid, surface waves in superfluid, liquid helium.
Research Profile

P. Buford Price, Professor Emeritus. Evolution, metabolism, neutrino astrophysics, microbes, climate research, volcanism, glacial ice.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Rainer K. Sachs, Professor Emeritus. Computational biology, carcinogenesis, mathematical biology, ionizing radiation, chromosome aberrations, radiation risk, cancer radiation therapy.
Research Profile

Charles L. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Theoretical physics, physics, social responsibility in science.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

Isadore M. Singer, Professor Emeritus. Mathematics, physics, partial differential equations, geometry.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

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.
Research Profile

George H. Trilling, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
Research Profile

Robert D. Tripp, Professor Emeritus. Physics.
Research Profile

Peter Y. Yu, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Physics

366 Physics North

Phone: 510-642-3316

Fax: 510-643-8497

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Professor James Analytis

366 Physics North

Phone: 510-624-3316

physics_chair@berkeley.edu

Vice Chair of Instruction

Professor Holger Mueller

366 Physics North

hm@berkeley,edu

Faculty Advisor for GSI Affairs

Marjorie Shapiro, PhD

366 Physics North

mdshapiro@lbl.gov

Equity and Inclusion Faculty Advisor

Ori Ganor, PhD

366 Physics North

ganor@berkeley.edu

Faculty Head Graduate Advisor

Holger Mueller, PhD

366 Physics North

hm@berkeley.edu

Director of Student Services

Claudia Trujillo

376 Physics North

Phone: 510-643-5261

claudiat@berkeley.edu

Assistant Director of Student Services, Lead Graduate Advisor

Joelle Miles

378 Physics North

Phone: 510-642-7524

joelle.miles@berkeley.edu

Graduate Advisor

Christian Natividad

370 Physics North

Phone: 510-642-0596

christiannatividad@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor

Kathleen Cooney

374 Physics North

Phone: 510-664-7557

kathleen.cooney@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor

Anna Hilke

368 Physics North

Phone: 510-642-0481

ahilke@berkeley.edu

Scheduler and BPIE Advisor

Isabella Mariano

372 Physics North

Phone: 510-664-5506

imariano01@berkeley.edu

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