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Faculty Research Talks

Join us for a special colloquium featuring five faculty members in the department who will tell us in about 5-10 minutes each about their research programs and available opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Lian Li

Prof. Li’s research unveils structure and property relationships of condensed matter at the atomic scale. Current interests are the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of Dirac materials (e.g., graphene, topological insulators, and Wey semimetals), Fe-based superconductors, and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides, and application of in situ low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) to gain new insights into these quantum phases of matter from the interplay of strain, proximity, correlations, and spin-orbit interactions. The research is currently supported by grants from NSF and DOE. Learn more about Dr. Li here.

Emmanuel Fonseca

Emmanuel works as a radio astronomer to understand compact astrophysical objects and the extreme physical environments that surround them. His research interests currently center on radio pulsars and fast radio bursts (FRBs); while pulsars are known to be rotating neutron stars, the origins of FRBs are largely unknown but are indicative of environments like those produced by neutron stars. Despite their lingering mysteries, both radio pulsars and FRBs have been shown to serve as high-precision laboratories for "fundamental physics", space plasma, and cosmological science. Emmanuel is largely interested in the exploration of relativistic dynamics of pulsars in orbital systems, as well as the applications of FRBs for cosmology, but works with various teams for all sorts of studies that use both types of phenomena. Learn more about Dr. Fonseca here.

Subhasish Mandal

Subhasish's area of research is in the theoretical and computational aspects of quantum condensed matter physics. Through his research, which is based on the first-principles approaches, he investigates the behavior of electrons in many classes of quantum materials like high-temperature superconductors, Mott insulators, multiferroics, topological insulators, and topological superconductors, by predicting electronic, optical, and magnetic properties. To capture the physics of a wide range of phenomena in quantum condensed matter and quantum computing, he uses various first-principles theories and computations ranging from GW approximation to the dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT). He uses these quantum many-body approaches together with artificial intelligence for modeling and designing new correlated materials, with the aim to significantly accelerate the pace of materials discovery toward sustainable and quantum revolution. Learn more about Dr. Mandal here.

Edward "Ned" Flagg

Prof. Flagg leads the Semiconductor Quantum Optics Laboratory in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Quantum optics is the study of light interacting with matter at the level of single photons. Researchers in the lab, both graduate and undergraduate students, investigate the quantum optical behavior of nanostructured semiconductor systems of reduced dimensionality, such as quantum dots. Current topics of interest include the coherence of single photons emitted by quantum dots, coherent control of electron spin degrees of freedom, and spin-photon interfaces. Learn more about Dr. Flagg here.

John Stewart

Dr. Stewart's primary research interest is the understanding physics class functioning, how that function can be improved, retention of STEM majors, and the description of the knowledge state of physics students. Through the STEM-R grant, he studies how math and science classes influence student retention and through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory grant how informal science programs shape student career decisions. His work attempts both to further understanding about how physics classes produce understanding and how physics departments and universities can work more effectively to serve and retain all students. Learn more about Dr. Stewart here.