Condensed matter physics is one of the most diverse field of physics, covering everything from mechanics to optics, quantum mechanics to statistical physics to quantum field theory. Condensed matter interfaces with devices and applications on the one side and has most recently come close to merging with biological physics.
Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Moore’s Law is the observation that computing speed doubles every 18 months; we expect our computers to become smaller, faster and cheaper. In the last few years, Moore’s Law appears to be reaching its physical limit. Electronics cannot get any smaller. Physicists at the University of Utah are conducting fundamental research on materials that could hail the next advance in electronics: organic semiconductors, non-linear optical solids, high-Tc superconductors, spin electronics, quasicrystals, etc. The University of Utah is recognized as a leader in developing techniques for understanding the properties of these materials, including atomic force microscopy and tunable infrared lasers. Our condensed matter experimentalists also study other exotic materials, such as hyperpolarized noble gases, atomically thin materials, and low temperature quantum solids. View the current experimental condensed matter physics faculty.
Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Research topics of the condensed matter theory group cover essentially all problems of current interest: transport and optical properties of disordered interacting electron systems, 2-D electron gas with spin-orbit interactions, physics of graphene, the integer and fractional quantum Hall effect, correlated electron systems, quantum phase transitions and various frustrated spin models. Transport properties of strongly correlated systems subject to various external perturbations are also being investigated. View the current theoretical condensed matter physics faculty.
Experimental Condensed Matter Physics Faculty
Eric is an experimental condensed matter physicist working in the areas of magnetism and spin physics. With expertise in sample growth and nanofabrication techniques, Eric focuses on magnetic materials and spintronic devices. Eric and his group study the impact of spin-orbit interaction on magnetization and spin dynamics, spin transport, and spin torques. His group is also interested in harnessing these effects for creating novel spintronic and spin-orbitronic devices.
Andrey spans topics in mesoscopic superconductivity, magnetism, quantum phase transitions, superconductor-insulator transition, nanoscience, nanotechnology, electron transport, noise in disordered systems, structures devices, and precision measurements.
Yan (Sarah) Li
Sarah and her group use optics to study spin-dependent electronic and magnetic phenomena in semiconductor materials, in hopes of discovering new mechanisms for future electronics and computations. Currently she is focusing on two material systems, organic-inorganic perovskite semiconductors with remarkable optoelectronic properties and mysteries related to the hybrid nature, and layered magnetic semiconductors as potential two-dimensional magnetic materials.
Shanti is an experimental physicist, focused on studying the matter at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. She is interested in several topics including correlated electron systems and physics of quantum solids.
Vikram and his group use low-temperature electrical transport spectroscopy to study nano-fabricated devices from Dirac materials to develop novel hybrid experimental tools, using high-frequency and optical techniques. Their goal is to explore the rich physics arising in these materials due to the combination of symmetry, topology, and electronic correlations. He and his group are also interested in potential applications resulting from the remarkable physical properties of these quantum materials.
Christoph focuses on the exploration of spin-dependent electronic processes in condensed matter, including spin-dependent charge transport and recombination but also spin-injection and spin-transport in presence or absence of charge transport. The goal of these efforts is to allow for coherent spin motion detection of small spin ensembles as needed for materials research and single electron or nuclear spin readout devices as needed for quantum information science.
Jordan's experimental optics research group develops ultrahigh-resolution imaging and spectroscopy techniques to study nanoscale systems such as quantum dots, nanowires, thin films, and biological cells.
Jordan's science education efforts span multiple scales and include individual course reform, development of instructional support programs, building an interdisciplinary science education research cluster, and national-scale education collaborations.
Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics Faculty
Oleg's research focuses on frustrated magnetism, quantum spin liquids and strongly correlated systems with significant spin-orbit interaction.
Mikhail (Misha) Raikh
Misha works in the field of disordered systems. His research interest include spintronics, the field which studies spin transport and spin dynamics, e.g. magnetic resonance. His expertise with disordered systems has enabled him to discern certain delicate features of spin dynamics in a random magnetic field.
Eugene's research covers topics in spin-polarized transport in low-dimensional systems, electron-electron interactions in one- and two-dimensional systems, fluctuations in mesoscopic conductors disordered optical media, and superconductivity of cold atom systems.
Research Experiences for Undergrads
The Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah offers a research experience program in physics and astronomy that allows undergraduate students to work closely with a faculty mentor and their research group on an individual project.
All interested students are invited to apply for this 10-week summer program.