ACC 104
(773) 834-
berge@uchicago.edu

Erez Berg

Associate Professor of Physics

The Berg group is interested in quantum matter. These are systems of many quantum particles, such as electrons, where inter-particle interactions have a fundamental effect on the physics. Understanding the possible behaviors of such systems is one of the major outstanding challenges in theoretical physics. We study the behavior of strongly correlated materials, such as high temperature superconductors. We are interested in exotic, topologically ordered states that can emerge in such systems. And we study how such states can be engineered by perturbing the system with either static or time-dependent fields. We use a variety of theoretical tools, from quantum field theory to numerical experiments.

Topics: Superconductivity, topological properties of matter, quantum dynamics of many-body systems

Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological And Geometrical Aspects Of Matter
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GCIS E133
(773) 834-9879
berkelbach@uchicago.edu

Timothy Berkelbach

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

The Berkelbach Group uses theory and simulation to understand the electronic and optical properties of nanoscale materials. To this aim, we develop new techniques for accurate quantum dynamics, spectroscopy, and excited-state electronic structure. We are especially interested in the phenomenology of anisotropic and low-dimensional materials, which exhibit a complex interplay of disorder, vibrational coupling, and strong electronic interactions.

Topics:

Research Areas
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E129
(773) 702-7021
berry@uchicago.edu

R. Stephen Berry

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

The Berry Group studies the behavior of small clusters of atoms and molecules with an emphasis on the properties that distinguish them from bulk materials. From this, we move to the broader problem of matching macro and micro descriptions of phenomena, focusing on those for which the macro description loses its validity. Specifically, we look for “boundary sizes,” the maximum size of small systems for which such breakdown would be observable experimentally. We also have a continuing interest in dynamics of biomolecules and finite-time thermodynamics.

Topics: Clusters, Thermodynamics

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Statistical Physics
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GCIS E211
(773) 702-7206
l-butler@uchicago.edu

Laurie Butler

Professor of Chemistry

The Butler Group uses state-of-the-art molecular beam and velocity map imaging techniques in conjunction with theoretical modeling to investigate the dynamics of chemical reactions. We are particularly interested in reactions involving open-shell species that are important in combustion and atmospheric chemistry. Our studies develop physical insight into the evolution of nuclear and electronic dynamics during chemical reactions, and benchmark emerging electronic structure methods.

Topics: Molecular Beams, Photochemical Dynamics

Research Areas
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E107
(773) 702-7192
cchin@uchicago.edu

Cheng Chin

Professor of Physics

The Chin Group explores the quantum world at the lowest temperatures scientists can achieve—nearly a billionth of a degree Kelvin above absolute zero. Ultracold atoms and molecules are incredibly versatile tools for creating designer science experiments. Their versatility stems from the many forms of precise control that physicists have developed over recent years. This exquisite control has opened up a world of new opportunities for learning about fundamental physics as well as simulating complex systems of interest. We harness these powerful tools in order to learn about a wide variety of topics in modern science.

Topics: Laser Cooling and Trapping, Ultracold Atoms and Molecules, Bose-Einstein Condensation, Quantum Information Processing

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
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GCIS E139E
(773) 702-2330
dinner@uchicago.edu

Aaron Dinner

Professor of Chemistry and Director of JFI

In the Dinner Group, we seek to develop our theoretical understanding of how complex biological behavior arises from molecular interactions. Because the defining properties of living systems (growth, movement, and directed response to environmental stimuli) rely on irreversible energy consumption and dissipation, much of our research centers on stochastic processes far from equilibrium. We quantitatively analyze experimental data on living systems, construct physical models to interpret the observed statistics, and implement algorithms for efficiently simulating the dynamics of such models.

Topics: Cellular Dynamics, Computational Biology, Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics, Rare Event Algorithms

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Statistical Physics
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RY 260
(773) 702-3485
dupont@cs.uchicago.edu

Todd Dupont

Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics

My research deals with the analysis, evaluation, and construction of numerical methods to approximate the solutions of partial differential equations (PDEs). The question of how to make effective use of computers with multiple processing units is being investigated in several ways. I have recently produced several projects that involve decomposing the computational domain into subregions and organizing the computation so that the work on each of these subdomains can be done almost independently of one another. This work was for parabolic PDEs. I am studying its extension and have found that including adaptivity in numerical methods can make them more robust and efficient. Most simulations of time-dependent problems use adaptivity for the control of the time step, and substantial progress has been made by many people in understanding how to control the spatial mesh when approximating PDEs. I have worked on this for several years. I am also collaborating with physicists and mathematicians on questions related to instabilities and singularity development in the flow of fluids and pseudofluids.

Topics: Numerical Analysis of Partial Differential Equations, Hydrodynamics

Research Areas
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
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GCIS E119
(773) 834-0818
gsengel@uchicago.edu

Greg Engel

Professor of Chemistry

The Engel Group strives to understand, characterize, and, ultimately, control electronic dynamics. We take our inspiration from biological systems such as photosynthetic complexes and photoenzymes, which control electronic dynamics with enviable precision. We use femtosecond spectrometers of our own design to help us engineer excited-state dynamics to transfer energy efficiently and to perform chemical transformations.

Topics: Ultrafast Dynamics, Photosynthesis, Quantum Information

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Polymers
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E231
(773) 702-7202
k-freed@uchicago.edu

Karl Freed

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

The Freed Group researches several modeling areas, including polymer physics, glass formation in polymers, protein folding, equilibrium self-assembly, and implicit solvent models. We study the influence of monomer molecular structures and interactions on the thermodynamic properties of polymer systems, with special emphasis on glass formation and miscibility. Other projects underway in the group consider theories of the competitive solvation of polymers by mixed solvents, and systems with unusual phase diagrams. Work is progressing on conversion of our protein folding methods to ones using continuous statistical potentials that are applicable to Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. Several applications of our theory of polarization effects on the properties of charged particles in a dielectric medium are being pursued.

Topics: Proteins, Molecular Electronic Structure

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Polymers
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GCIS E233
(773) 834-5871
gardel@uchicago.edu

Margaret Gardel

Professor of Physics and Director of MRSEC

My research interests focus on understanding the mechanics and dynamics of materials constructed out of mechanochemically active proteins. Specifically, our group works on classes of materials that form the ”skeleton” of living cells and regulate cell shape, adhesion, migration, division, and morphogenesis. We are interested in how these physical properties inform the biophysical regulation of cell physiology as well as the fundamental design principles used to build matter far from thermodynamic equilibrium.

Topics: Cell Adhesion, Cell Migration, Active Matter, Confocal Microscopy, Rheology

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Polymers
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GCIS E111
(773) 702-7461
pgs@uchicago.edu

Philippe Guyot-Sionnest

Professor of Chemistry and Physics

Research in the Guyot-Sionnest Group is driven by physical concepts and enabled by synthesis. Chemistry and physics share tremendous potential at the nanoscale. This is where chemistry excels and where physics predicts that many properties can be tuned. For example, quantum states, charging, spin, phonons, and plasmons show large effects at the nanometer scale, which can be investigated by using colloidal synthesis to chemically precipitate nanostructures.

Topics:

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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HGS 541
(773) 702-3046
heinz@uchicago.edu

Dion Heinz

Associate Professor of Geophysical Sciences

I study Earth’s core using laser-heated diamond anvil cell and synchrotron radiation. The physical and chemical properties of iron and iron alloys are studied with a variety of spectroscopic techniques.


Topics: Mineral Physics

Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
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GCIS E127
(773) 702-7197
wtirvine@uchicago.edu

William Irvine

Associate Professor of Physics

The Irvine Group’s research spans soft condensed matter, optics, and topological fluid mechanics. Many phenomena in nature, from complex flows to the ways materials self-assemble and break, are underpinned by elegant geometric and topological mechanisms. One of our focuses is to seek and unravel the presence of these powerful interpretative keys that can be used to control the properties and assembly of materials. One example is the experimental and theoretical study of knotted fields. We seek to understand the physics and broader role of these fascinating excitations through experiments on knotted and shaped vortices in water as well as the mathematical structure of knots in fields. Similarly, geometric and topological constraints can provide a powerful interpretative key for understanding the behavior of many condensed matter systems, such as topological defects in ordered phases, the self-assembly of structures driven by the geometry of the constituents, and the relationship between chiral geometry and physical response.

Topics: Knotted Fields

Research Areas
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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GCIS E103
(773) 702-7021
isaacs@uchicago.edu

Eric Isaacs

Professor of Physics and Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories

My work involves the study of novel electronic and magnetic materials. I am interested are strongly-correlated condensed-matter systems, and quantum antiferromagnets and hydrogen bonding; and the development of synchrotron-based X-ray nanoprobes, and magnetic and inelastic scattering techniques that can be used especially to bridging macroscopic length and time scales, as well as plasmonic meta-materials for RF and photonics. I also work on developing and instituting combinatorial approaches to new materials discovery.

Topics: Electronic and Magnetic Properties of Condensed Matter, Synchrotron-Based X-Ray Scattering

Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter

GCIS E037
(773) 702-6074
h-jaeger@uchicaog.edu

Heinrich Jaeger

Professor of Physics

A main theme of my research is the investigation of materials under conditions far from equilibrium. Such conditions give rise to a wealth of complex phenomena, while the insights gained can be used to control properties as well as design new classes of smart materials. One of our focuses is macroscopic granular matter, which exists almost exclusively under far-from-equilibrium conditions. The jamming/unjamming transition of macroscopic granular matter has become a model for understanding glassy behavior while also providing a path to discovering new types of high-efficiency particulate materials and enabling novel soft robotic systems. We also focus on the rheology of dense suspensions. Our third focus is drying-mediated self-assembly of nanoparticles, a process that we use to produce freestanding nanoparticle monolayer sheets. Such sheets can form ultrathin membranes with a tunable pore size.

Topics: Nanoparticle, Suspension, Colloid, Self-Assembly, Electron Microscopy, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Video Imaging, Particle Tracking, 3D Printing, Lithography, Rheology, X-Ray Tomography, Ultrasound

Research Areas
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Soft Condensed Matter
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GCIS E113
(773) 702-5244
wkang@uchicago.edu

Woowon Kang

Professor of Physics

In recent years, my group has been pursuing research on the fractional quantum Hall effect in connection to topological quantum computation. Topological quantum computing is a fascinating interplay of topology, quantum field theory, physics of fractional quantum Hall effect, and theories of quantum computing. The fractional quantum Hall effect is presently the most promising platform among various candidate systems for a topological quantum computer. The global topological protection afforded by the fractional quantum Hall effect produces fault tolerance in a topological quantum computer. A topological quantum computer consequently becomes immune to the effects of local quantum decoherence. A fault-tolerant qubit can be constructed by taking advantage of the non-Abelian braiding statistics of elementary excitations (called anyons), which are thought to exist in certain exotic fractional quantum Hall states. Experimental goals include detection and manipulations of the postulated non-Abelian anyons in quantum interferometers that are constructed from high-quality semiconductor heterostructures.

Topics: Quantum Hall Effect, Organic Superconductors

Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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GCIS E139B
(773) 702-7068
kayeelee@uchicago.edu

Ka Yee Christina Lee

Professor of Chemistry and Senior Associate Vice President for Research

Centered at the interface between biology, chemistry, and physics, the Lee Group utilizes surface-sensitive techniques such as atomic force microscopy, neutron and X-ray scattering, and Langmuir techniques to understand fundamental interactions between biomolecules and cellular membranes. Two-dimensional lipid monolayers, supported bilayers, and giant vesicles serve as model systems to probe medically-relevant topics that include lung surfactant functionality, antimicrobial peptide interactions, cell-protective and cell-permeable polymers, and lipid-antigen recognition observed by immune system proteins.

Topics: Cell Membranes, Lipid Interactions, Microscopy, X-Ray Scattering

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Soft Condensed Matter
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GCIS E109
(773) 702-7186
k-levin@uchicago.edu

Kathryn Levin

Professor of Physics

My research is on the theory of superfluidity and superconductivity. This includes studies of high-temperature superconductors and ultracold trapped Fermi and Bose (atomic) superfluids. More recently, I have become interested in superfluidity in the presence of spin orbit coupling, which is a platform for addressing topological superconductivity.

Topics: Solid State Physics, Bose-Einstein Condensates

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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ACC 102
(773) 702-7286
malevin@uchicago.edu

Michael Levin

Associate Professor of Physics

Currently my research focuses on understanding topological phases of matter, such as quantum Hall liquids and topological insulators. I am also interested in the nature of entanglement in many-body ground states.

Topics: Quantum Hall Effect




Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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GCIS E213
(773) 702-7196
d-levy@uchicago.edu

Donald Levy

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Our research involves the laser spectroscopy of molecules entrained in supersonic molecular beams. This supersonic expansion cools the vibrations and rotations of a molecule without condensing the molecule out of the gas phase. This greatly simplifies the spectrum of the molecule and allows us to probe the structure and dynamics of large molecules, the spectra of which would be hopelessly complicated in a normal environment.

Topics: Supersonic Molecular Beams

Research Areas
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E103
(630) 252-5858
littlewood@uchicago.edu

Peter Littlewood

Professor of Physics

We are interested in the development of quantum coherence in condensed matter, including superconductivity and superfluidity. Particular systems of interest are superfluids of strongly interacting photons within materials and cold atomic gases, as well as doped transition metal oxides including cuprates and titanates. Separately, we are working on the applications of novel materials to energy technologies. We use theoretical methods ranging from quantum field theory to ab initio electronic structure.

Topics: Quantum Condensed Matter Theory , Superfluidity, Superconductivity, Materials for Energy

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
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GCIS E115
(773) 702-7185
g-mazenko@uchicago.edu

Gene Mazenko

Professor Emeritus of Physics

We are currently interested in the nature of defect structures in pattern-forming systems and how those structures form naturally under experimental circumstances. Our guides are the recent experiments on microphase-separating diblock copolymer systems. Such systems grow a layered or striped phase and are fundamentally important as prototypical two-dimensional ordering systems and building blocks on the nanoscale. Previously, we developed numerical techniques for looking at the nature of kinetic models intended to describe systems of this type.

Topics:

Research Areas
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • and Statistical Physics

GCIS E105
(773) 834-1762
damazz@uchicago.edu

David Mazziotti

Professor of Chemistry

The Mazziotti Group studies many-particle quantum mechanics with applications to chemistry and condensed matter physics. The computational complexity of traditional many-particle quantum mechanics scales exponentially according to the number of particles. We are developing new approaches to many-particle quantum mechanics based on reduced density matrices that capture strong electron correlations at a computational cost that adjusts polynomially with the number N of particles.

Topics: Quantum Chemistry

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
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GCIS E221
(773) 834-3146
amurugan@uchicago.edu

Arvind Murugan

Assistant Professor of Physics

I work on problems in quantitative biology, materials design, nonequilibrium dynamics, disordered systems, and theoretical computer science. Recent advances in computational intelligence have relied on the emergent collective behavior of simulated dynamical and statistical systems. I aim to implement such smart collective behaviors usually seen in “software” (error correction, neural networks, associative memory) directly into ”hardware” (biochemical reactions, self-assembly, robotics). Bringing such emergent learning and adaptive behavior back home to physical and chemical systems can shed light on underlying principles, reveal completely novel behaviors, and lead to new forms of designer matter.

Topics: Neural Networks, Theoretical Computer Science, Designer Matter

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Statistical Physics
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GCIS E217
(773) 702-7190
s-nagel@uchicago.edu

Sidney Nagel

Professor of Physics

My group is interested in understanding the bahavior of systems that are far from equilibrium. Such out-of-equilibrium behavior can occur in disordered materails, such as glasses which form from supercooled liquids, where thermal energy is insufficient to allow an exploration of the relevant phase space. Understanding the jammed or glassy state of matter relies to a large extent on simulations. In fluids and granular materials external energy input can drive the system into transient or steady-state dynamics that allows new structures and patterns to form that wold not exist in equilibrium. One can also find important far-from-equilibrium behavior in systems which remember certain aspects of how they have been formed or manipulated. The work in our lab tries to address these issues via experiment.

Topics: Jamming, Instabilities and Pattern Formation, Singularities, Memories, and Splashing

Research Areas
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Statistical Physics
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GCIS E219
(773) 834-3179
jwpark@uchicago.edu

Jiwoong Park

Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering

The Park group studies the science and technology of nanoscale materials, currently focusing on atomically-thin materials. For this, we develop new growth, control, and characterization techniques, aiming to discover novel physical properties and to realize them in technologically relevant, large scale devices. The group actively engages in tight collaborations with multiple research groups in chemistry, physics and institute for molecular engineering.

Topics: Nanomaterials, Nanotechnology, Optical and Transport Spectroscopy

Research Areas
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E235
(773) 702-7199
s-rice@uchicago.edu

Stuart Rice

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry

Currently, my research interests lie in two broad areas: active control of quantum dynamical processes, and the properties of confined liquids. In the first category, the goal is to develop theoretical understanding of methods in order to achieve control of quantum dynamics, with specific application to selectivity of product formation in a chemical reaction. At present, the focus of the research effort is on extending the theory of control to reactions in condensed media and developing a version of the general theory that is useful when applied to large molecules. In the second category, the aim is to understand the structure and transport properties of confined liquids (e.g., liquids constrained to occupy a quasi–two-dimensional domain). Questions of interest are: How do the structures of the liquid and solid in a confined system, and the phase changes that occur in the confined system, depend on the intermolecular potential and geometry of the confinement? How do the structural and dynamical properties of quasi–one- and quasi–two-dimensional liquids differ from each other and those of a three-dimensional system? What interesting far-from-equilibrium structures (e.g., novel phases) are supported in confined liquids?

Topics: Chemical Physics

Research Areas
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
  • Statistical Physics
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ACC 203
(773) 702-
ryuu@uchicago.edu

Shinsei Ryu

Associate Professor of Physics

I am broadly interested in theoretical condensed matter physics, in particular, quantum mechanical aspects of condensed matter systems. My past research highlights coherence, entanglement, and topology---unique features in quantum systems. To this end, I have investigated the quantum Hall effect, unconventional superconductors, graphene, topological insulators, and topological superconductors.

Topics: Topological phases of matter, Quantum entanglement

Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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GCIS E139A
(773) 702-7069
n-scherer@uchicago.edu

Norbert Scherer

Professor of Chemistry

Research in the Scherer group addresses a broad range of questions in three areas: function and transport in cellular biophysics, dynamics and excitations in driven nonequilibrium spatially-confined dense colloidal fluids, and optical trapping to assemble nanoplasmonic materials in order to realize long-range coherence. The research is problem oriented so that a wide range of proven and new experimental methods are applied or developed. Depending on the system and problem, the measurements may be taken with femtosecond time resolution or they may take days. Each experimental problem has a corresponding theory component that is done either within the group or through collaborations. Our research has always involved development of experimental methods, including advances in ultrafast lasers and nonlinear spectroscopy, pointillist and nonlinear microscopy, and image analysis.

Topics: Cellular Transport, Nanophotonics, Nanoplasmonics, Microscopy Development, Optical Matter

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E131
(773) 702-7191
david.schuster@uchicago.edu

David Schuster

Assistant Professor of Physics

Quantum mechanical effects form the basis of nearly all modern electronics and methods of light generation. The discreteness of energy transitions underlies the remarkable stability of lasers and atomic clocks, which can be precise to an astonishing degree of 1e-17. It is used as the basis of nearly every standard of measurement, including voltage, resistance, current, temperature, and, soon, mass. It also provides the nonlinearity exploited by transistors. Interference is employed by the most exquisite modern sensors, including the SQUID, atomic magnetometers, and gravity gradiometers. Although these devices rely on quantum mechanics, they operate on classical signals and information. Systems that are fully quantum-mechanical could, in principle, exploit entanglement to solve certain problems exponentially faster than classical systems and enhance metrology. My group studies fully-quantum systems experimentally, employing a technique known as circuit quantum electrodynamics. In this method, microwave photons are manipulated by superconducting circuits that maintain quantum coherence. These circuits are readily manipulated and have the potential to interact with many quantum systems. In particular, I plan to use them as a "quantum bus" to explore other quantum systems and connect them together.

Topics: Quantum Computing

Research Areas
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Soft Condensed Matter
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GCIS E215
(773) 702-7193
s-sibener@uchicago.edu

Steven Sibener

Professor of Chemistry

The Sibener Group’s research interests lie in the broadly-defined categories of chemical physics and physical chemistry, surface and materials chemistry, polymer dynamics, nanoscience, and water sustainability. Innovative use of sophisticated gas–surface scattering instruments and atomic-resolution scanning probe microscopes combined with appropriate theory and numerical simulations have led to advances in these areas of research. The unifying mission in the Sibener Group is to expand understanding of interfacial phenomena at the molecular level to applications such as energy and water systems, and hypersonic flight systems.

Topics: Surface Reaction Dynamics and Energy Transfer, Surface Metallurgy and Metallic Oxidation, Self-Organization of Molecular and Polymer Films including Chiral Systems, Surface Dynamics of Polymers, Superconducting Radio Frequency (SRF) Materials for Advanced Accelerators, National Security with Focus on Trace Gas Detection and Chemical Defense, Water Purification, Ice Chemistry in Terrestrial and Astrophysical Environments, Functional Nanomaterials for Energy Applications, and Electronic and Vibrational Structure of Nanoscale Electronic Interfaces.

Research Areas
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Polymers
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E207
(773) 702-9661
simonjon@uchicago.edu

Jonathan Simon

Assistant Professor of Physics

My research interests span condensed matter physics, quantum optics, and atomic physics. A consistent theme in my work is the effort to understand how the wonderfully bizarre laws of quantum mechanics imbue materials with exotic properties. This is important both technologically and fundamentally, as emergent physics in strongly interacting quantum systems is truly the wild west of modern condensed matter physics. The tools of atomic physics provide an exciting new route to building and understanding quantum materials. Honed through decades of precision measurement work, these tools offer extraordinary control of laser-cooled atoms and a deep understanding of how such atoms interact with one another. My work employs this approach to build designer synthetic materials from cold atoms and probe their properties at the level of individual quantum particles. Building quantum systems from the ground up provides a wonderful opportunity to move from the simpler, few-body realm of quantum optics to the exquisite challenges of many-body quantum theory. This complements the more traditional route taken in condensed matter, where both the underlying microscopic physics and emergent behaviors must be teased from observations. In the laboratory, I study ultracold atoms in optical lattices and strongly interacting photonic quasi-particles called Rydberg polaritons with an emphasis on single-particle readout and manipulation. Exploring how quantum systems organize and respond to external stimuli will provide inspiration for the next generation of quantum devices and a deeper understanding of phenomena, from high-temperature superconductivity to topological ordering.

Topics: Quantum Optics

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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ACC 201
(773) 834-9032
dtson@uchicago.edu

Dam Thanh Son

Professor of Physics

I have a broad research focus encompassing several areas of theoretical physics. The first area is string theory, to which we apply gauge-gravity duality in the physics of the quark-gluon plasma and other strongly interacting systems. Another is nuclear physics, where we research properties of the hot and dense states of matter, such as the quark gluon plasma and dense quark matter (color superconductors). We also research condensed matter physics, specifically physics of the quantum Hall system, graphene, and Weyl semimetals, and applications of quantum field theory. In the area of atomic physics, we research many-body physics with cold trapped atoms, BCS-BEC crossover, and applications of quantum field theoretical techniques.

Topics: Theoretical Nuclear Physics, Black Holes, Atomic and Condensed Matter Particle Physics

Research Areas
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
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GCIS E205
(773) 834-2607
dvtalapin@uchicago.edu

Dmitri Talapin

Professor of Chemistry

Our research interests revolve around inorganic nanomaterials, the synthesis of new materials, self-organization phenomena at nanometer length scales, charge transport in granular systems, and device applications of solution-processed semiconductors. Our current goal is to turn colloidal nanostructures into competitive materials for electronics and optoelectronics.

Topics: Materials Chemistry, Nanotechnology

Research Areas
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
  • Soft Condensed Matter
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GCIS E139C
(773) 702-8749
btian@uchicago.edu

Bozhi Tian

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

The Tian group is dedicated to an integrative view of the sciences, taking inspiration from a variety of fields, including physical chemistry, materials science, cell biology, biophysics, medical sciences, and multiple engineering disciplines. The Tian group is interested in probing the molecular-nano interface between biological and semiconductor systems, placing an emphasis on novel material synthesis and device conception. This interest is focused around three areas: synthetic cellular interactions, nanoelectronic exploration of cellular systems, and the development of biomimetic nanoscale materials and devices.

Topics:

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Nanomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
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GCIS E139D
(773) 834-7696
tomakoff@uchicago.edu

Andrei Tokmakoff

Professor of Chemistry

The Tokmakoff Group studies molecular dynamics in aqueous solutions using ultrafast spectroscopy. Research topics include hydrogen bond rearrangements and proton transfer in water, protein and DNA conformational dynamics, and protein–water interactions.

Topics: Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Molecular Dynamics, Molecular Biophysics, Water Chemistry

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E117
(773) 702-7256
svaikunt@uchicago.edu

Suri Vaikuntanathan

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

The Vaikuntanathan Group develops and uses tools of equilibrium and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics to understand the behavior of complex systems in physical chemistry, soft condensed matter physics, and biophysics. Specific research interests include statistical mechanics of driven systems and self-assembly out of equilibrium, information processing and control in biology, and studies of aqueous fluctuations in heterogeneous environments with the goal of developing coarse grained models for efficient multiscale chemical and biophysical simulations.

Topics: Statistical Mechanics, Self-Assembly

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Statistical Physics
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SCL 231
(773) 702-9092
gavoth@uchicago.edu

Gregory Voth

Professor of Chemistry

The Voth group develops and applies powerful multiscale theoretical and computational methods to the study of biophysical, liquid-state, and materials systems. This work utilizes features of both statistical and quantum mechanics.

Topics: Multiscale Theory and Simulation, Liquids, Charge Transport




Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
  • Statistical Physics
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Eckhart 224
(773) 834-1916
weare@math.uchicago.edu

Jonathan Weare

Assistant Professor of Statistics

I make use of tools from probability theory, the theory of partial differential equations, and numerical analysis to analyze interesting physical phenomena and to design, analyze, and apply new computational techniques to challenging problems that arise in the physical sciences and engineering. My current areas of interest include the dynamics of crystal surfaces, molecular simulation problems in chemistry and bio-chemistry, power systems, extreme climate and weather events, and geophysical data assimilation.

Topics: Stochastic analysis, Stochastic Algorithms, Statistical Mechanics

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Statistical Physics
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GCIS E121
(773) 702-4208
p-wiegmann@uchicago.edu

Paul Wiegmann

Professor of Physics

My research interests are in various areas of theoretical physics. In quantum condensed matter theory, I am interested in electronic physics in low dimensions, correlated electronic systems with strong interactions, topological aspects of quantum states that include the quantum Hall effect, hydrodynamics of quantum liquids, and nonequilibrium phenomena. In mathematical physics, my interests are in integrable models of quantum field theory and statistical mechanics, anomalies in quantum field theory and condensed matter, conformal field theory, quantum gravity and stochastic geometry, and random matrix theory. Topics in nonlinear physics that I am interested in include nonlinear systems out of equilibrium, interface dynamics, integrable aspects of nonlinear physics, and singularities in hydrodynamics. The current unifying theme of my research is geometry in physics.

Topics: Condensed Matter Theory, Mathematical Physics, Hydrodynamics and Physics out of Equilibrium, Nonlinear Physics

Research Areas
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Quantum Condensed Matter
  • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Matter
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GCIS E227
(773) 702-0947
t-witten@uchicago.edu

Thomas Witten

Professor Emeritus of Physics

Witten studies new forms of kinetic self-organization such as crumpling, jamming, and fiber growth. He studies elastic singularities induced by forced confinement of elastic membranes. He also studies forcing protocols for creating ordered states in colloidal dispersions.

Topics: Chiral Responses of Colloidal Dispersions, Singular Structures in Deformed Sheets, Capillary Shaping of Solutes, Multi-polymer Self Assembly

Research Areas
  • Biophysics
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Polymers
  • Soft Condensed Matter
  • Statistical Physics
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GCIS E103
(630) 252-8878
lindayoung@uchicago.edu

Linda Young

Professor of Physics

We are interested in exploring the creation and control of novel states of matter produced by ultraintense x-ray pulses where field strengths exceed the atomic scale. This involves extending the toolkit of nonlinear spectroscopies from the optical to the x-ray regime. In addition, we are interested in developing ultrafast x-ray methods to track electronic coherences and energy transfer induced by coherent optical excitation. Our research uses x-ray free-electron lasers and synchrotron sources.

Topics: Functional Polymers, Molecular Electronics, Supramolecular Chemistry, Self-Assembly, Ferroelectrics

Research Areas
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Nonequilibrium Phenomena
  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Dynamics
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GCIS E419A
(773) 702-8698
lupingyu@uchicago.edu

Luping Yu

Professor of Chemistry

Research in the Yu group focuses on interdisciplinary areas between chemistry and materials science. We are interested in the development of new polymerization methods for the synthesis of functional polymers. This includes the development of new materials for energy chemistry, including hydrogen storage and organic solar cells, electro-optical polymers, ferroelectric materials, and biocompatible polymers. We are actively investigating the synthesis and characterizations of molecular electronic components so that charge transport through single molecules can be manipulated via rectification and gating effect. Biomolecular electronics is a newly initiated project that deals with the interaction between molecular electronic components and living cells. New surface reactivity and supramolecular approaches were developed for self-assembly of nanostructured materials.

Topics: Functional Polymers, Molecular Electronics, Supramolecular Chemistry, Self-Assembly, Ferroelectrics

Research Areas
  • Polymers
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GCIS E209
(773) 702-0609
wzhang@uchicago.edu

Wendy Zhang

Associate Professor of Physics

We use theory and simulation to study far-from-equilibrium dynamics in fluid flows, soft condensed matter, and geophysics. Examples of our research include the impacts of Newtonian liquid drops and granular suspensions, and the instabilities and dynamic jamming of icebergs in Greenland fjords. Much of our efforts challenge the understanding of how and under what circumstances a complex particulate matter can respond to a strong force by flowing like a fluid.

Topics: Impact dynamics, Granular and Fluid Flows

Research Areas
  • Fluids and Granular Materials
  • Soft Condensed Matter
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