Department of Physics

East Hall, 2 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881

contact@phys.uri.edu – 401.874.2633/34 (ph); 401.874.2380 (f)

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Research

Graduate studies in physics at URI began in 1949, when the department was first authorized to grant master’s degrees. The doctoral program was started in 1964. The department has active research programs in a broad range of areas, and each research program is headed by a faculty member. Some programs have overlapping components because of intra-departmental collaborations.

The research groups are listed below for both theoretical and experimental areas.

Research Interests of URI Physics Faculty

Astrophysics: high energy extragalactic radio astrophysics.

Biological physics: membrane biophysics; membrane-associated folding/unfolding; molecular motors; steady-state and kinetics fluorescence and circular dichroism studies; calorimetry; small angle x-ray scattering on biological objects (at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble); fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence polarization microscopy; spectral analysis from cells; electric cell substrate impedance sensing on cells.

Computational physics: classical and quantum Monte Carlo methods, large-scale parallel computations, optimization, many-body interactions and invariants, finite-size scaling.

Experimental condensed matter physics: electronic and structural properties of surfaces and thin films studied via low-energy electron diffraction, Auger electron spectroscopy, photoemission techniques (in-house and at the Brookhaven National Laboratory synchrotron facility); surfaces and interfaces in thin films and multilayers studied via X-ray and neutron reflection and diffraction (in-house and at the National Institute of Standards and Technology reactor facility); epitaxial growth, magnetism in nanoparticles and on surfaces via neutron and X-ray scattering; characterization of Lithium Ion Batteries using Hard X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (HAXPES), Rutherford backscattering, and scanning tunneling microscopy; ultrafast dynamics of hot carriers in 2-dimensional materials studied with multi-color femtosecond spectroscopy; phonon decay and vibrational dynamics in traditional and soft condensed matter studied by coherent Raman spectroscopy techniques; sub-optical cycle waveform generation.

Experimental neutron physics: ultracold neutrons used to study beta-decay, neutron optics (at the Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble).

Medical physics, physics oncology and nanotechnology: novel approaches in drug delivery and tumor targeting; whole-body and ex vivo fluorescence imaging; gold and magnetic nanoparticles; laser and x-ray radiation; hyperthermia; liposome delivery.

Statistical physics: Bethe ansatz, density functional theory, fractional exclusion statistics, applications to spin systems, quantum gases, granular matter, and biological matter.

Theoretical condensed matter physics: surface physics, phase transitions and critical phenomena, critical dynamics, superconductivity, quantum transport, systems with random rough boundaries, nano-scale films and clusters, disordered systems, low-dimensional systems, spin dynamics, nonlinear optics.

Theoretical low-temperature physics: Fermi and Bose quantum liquids, solids and gases; spin-polarized quantum systems, ultracold neutrons in quantizing gravity field.

 

Theoretical Research Groups

Leonard M. Kahn Theoretical condensed matter physics

  • Surface physics
  • Superconductivity
  • Hydrogen in metals
Charles Kaufman Theoretical physics

  • Weak interactions
  • Chaos
  • Quantum electrodynamics
  • Turbulent media
Alexander E. Meyerovich Theoretical low temperature physics

  • Spin-polarized quantum systems
  • Quantum crystals
  • Quantum gases
  • Fermi and Bose liquids
  • Macroscopic quantum phenomena
  • Superfluidity
  • Helium and hydrogen systems
  • Quantum diffusion
  • Quantized states of ultracold neutrons in gravity field
Theoretical condensed matter physics

  • Quantum transport
  • Transport and interference effects in nanosystems
  • Ultrathin multilayer films
  • Systems with random boundaries
  • Disordered quasi-2D systems
  • Non-local hydrodynamics
  • Surface physics
Gerhard Müller Theoretical condensed matter physics

  • Low-dimensional magnetism
  • Spin dynamics
  • Bethe ansatz
  • Recursion method
Nonlinear dynamics and chaos

  • Hamiltonian chaos
  • Integrability and nonintegrability in quantum mechanics
Peter Nightingale Condensed matter theory

  • Phase transitions and critical phenomena
  • Critical dynamics
  • Surface physics
  • Van der Waals clusters
  • Random number validity tests
Computational Physics

  • Classical Monte Carlo methods
  • Quantum Monte Carlo methods
  • Large-scale parallel computations
  • Finite-size scaling
  • Optimization
  • Many-body interactions and invariants
Michael Tammaro Physics Education

  • Digital text development
  • Animation and video in assessment
  • Interactive problem solving
  • Digital feedback protocols

Experimental Research Groups

Oleg A. Andreev Biological Physics

  • Membrane biophysics
  • Molecular motors
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Fluorescence polarization imaging
  • Spectral analysis from cells
  • Electric cell substrate impedance sensing on cells
Medical Physics, Physics Oncology and Nanotechnology

  • pH-imaging
  • Novel approaches in drug delivery and tumor targeting
  • Clinical fluorescent imaging and instrumentation
  • Delivery of nanopores to cancer cells
  •  Hyperthermia
Michael Antosh Medical Physics

  • Use of nanomaterials to enhance radiation effects on cancer
  • Biological effects of low dose radiation
  • Analysis of gene expression data
Feruz Ganikhanov
  • Nonlinear optics, microspectroscopy and imaging of soft condensed matter
  • Ultrafast phonon and carrier dynamics in 2D structures
  • Single- and few- optical cycle laser sources
David R. Heskett Experimental condensed matter physics

  • Experimental surface physics
  • Thin films
  • Electron spectroscopies
  • Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Hard Xray Photoemission Spectroscopy (HAXPES)
Surendra S. Malik Experimental neutron physics

  • Slow neutron cross sections
  • Neutron optics
Yana Reshetnyak Biological Physics

  • Membrane-associated folding/unfoldingSteady-state and kinetics fluorescence and circular dichroism studies; calorimetry
  • Small angle x-ray scattering on biological objects (at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble)
  • Protein fluorescence and structure
 Medical Physics, Physics Oncology and Nanotechnology

  • pHLIP mediated delivery
  • Whole-body and ex vivo fluorescence imaging
  • Cancer treatment
  • Liposomes/niasomes as delivery vehicles
  • Gold nanoparticles for enhancement of radiation
Albert Steyerl Experimental neutron physics

  • Ultra-cold neutrons
  • Neutron optics

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