Department of Physics Research

Theoretical Physics

  • Information Physics
    Professors Caticha, Earle, Goyal, and Knuth
    Information Physics is focused on the role that information plays in our understanding of the physical world
  • Foundations of Quantum Theory
    Professors Caticha, Earle, Goyal, and Knuth

    Foundations of quantum theory is concerned with identifying and formalizing the counter-intuitive features of quantum theory (such as non-locality and contextuality), and, more generally, in unravelling its implications for our conception of physical reality.

  • Foundations of Inference
    Professors Caticha, Earle, Goyal, and Knuth

    Foundations of inference is concerned with the systematic development of mathematical tools that formalize the process of making reasonable inferences from limited information, and with developing an understanding of the conceptual foundations, interrelations, and domains of validity of existing tools (such as Bayesian inference and the Principle of Maximum Entropy).

  • String theory and Particle Physics
    Professor Lunin and Robbins

    Theoretical particle physics develops models and mathematical tools to understand properties of elementary particles and to make predictions for future experiments. The work of UAlbany group focuses on studying duality between quantum gravity and strong interactions, as well as the connections between string theory, conformal field theory, and geometry, with a particular emphasis on applications to physics of black holes, and on exploring the space of consistent quantum theories.

  • Condensed Matter Physics
    Professor Fotso

    We are interested in strongly correlated electron systems, a family that encompasses some of the most technologically promising materials of our time. These are the high temperature superconductors, heavy fermions, colossal magnetoresistive materials, The many competing degrees of freedom that confer to these systems their most intriguing properties, have rendered the underlying mechanisms rather elusive. Roughly speaking, because the kinetic energy is of similar magnitude as the interaction strength, traditional approximations are not suitable. As a result, researchers have used a combination of analytical and computational methods with a great deal of success. However, it is worth noting that because of the exponential growth of the problem with the system size, innovative methods and algorithms are essential if we are to go beyond our current understanding.

Experimental Physics

  • High Energy Physics
    Professors Ernst, and Jain
    The high energy research group is a federally funded and active member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Current work involves Higgs studies, tracking for the Phase-2 upgrade of the ATLAS inner tracker, machine learning for both ATLAS and LUX/LZ.
  • Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
    Professor Earle

    The Earle group uses high field Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) to study the structure and dynamics of natural and artificial spin probes in systems of biophysical and chemicophysical interest. High field EPR can provide enhanced resolution of structural features analogously to high field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).  The Earle group has an active and ongoing collaboration with the ACERT National Research Resources Center at Cornell University.

  • X-ray Analysis, Optics, and Imaging
    Professor MacDonald
    The Center for X-Ray Optics was founded by Professor Emeritus Walter Gibson in 1990 to investigate the science and technology of the newly invented Kumakhov poycapillary optics.
  • Material Physics
    Professors Kuan and Lanford
    The major theme of Prof. Kuan's research program is to study the microstructure of a wide variety of materials, including metals, semiconductors, superconductors, ceramics, and polymers. Prof. Lanford's research harnesses the 4MV ion beam accelerator located on the Albany campus, which offers unique capabilities for materials physics. Current research topics include: 1. clean surfaces, interfaces, and surface-sensitive properties of materials; 2. defects in solids; 3. hydrogen in solids.
  • Astroparticle Physics
    Professors Szydagis and Levy
    Astroparticle physics is a subarea of particle physics which looks for new, undiscovered elementary particles of astronomical origin. It is a mix between particle physics, astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, solid state physics and detector physics. The field started with the discovery of neutrino oscillations, the first hint of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. It has since gained much momentum with the relentless search for dark matter, which is the main research area of the Szydagis and Levy Astroparticle Physics Groups.
  • Digital Holography, Raman Microscopy, and Terahertz Spectroscopy
    Professors Khmaladze and Sharikova
    The Optical Microscopy Lab specializes in developing and using laser-based optical systems for biological imaging and spectroscopy. Among the techniques we employ are digital holographic microscopy, scanning microscopy, Raman microscopy, and terahertz spectroscopy.

Computational Physics

  • Bayesian Data Analysis
    Professor Knuth

    Bayesian data analysis focuses on applying Bayesian probability theoryas well as maximum entropy techniques to develop high-quality data analysis algorithms. We offer a senior/graduate level course on Bayesian Data Analysis every other year.

  • Cyberphysics and Robotics
    Professor Knuth

    Cyberphysics is the physics of information-based control in systems that display a strong coupling between computing and control elements. Such systems are called cyber-physical systems. Here we investigate the fundamental physics governing the processes of information-driven systems.

  • Computational optical modeling and imaging
    Professor Petruccelli

    Computational optical modeling uses computational techniques to model the distribution of an optical field after spatial propagation or time evolution. Computational imaging makes use of digital sensors and computers along with optical system design to computationally recover properties of the optical field. Our work in computational modeling focuses on techniques to efficiently and exactly model wave propagation by using ray- or particle-like models, making possible computations that were traditionally computationally prohibitive. Our work in computational imaging mainly focuses on techniques to recover properties of optical waves that are undetectable with traditional imaging, such as the thickness of nearly transparent objects or the spatial distribution of refractive index (a measure of the speed of light and attenuation in a material) in a volume. Our computational imaging work also includes collaborations with the Center for X-Ray Optics.

  • Condensed Matter Physics
    Professor Fotso

    Many quantum systems with great technological promise can be appropriately described by models that are not immediately amenable to conventionally used analytical approximations. Such is the case for correlated electrons, and also for many systems that serve as “hardware” for quantum simulators and Quantum Information Processing. We harness the power of modern computers to explore suitable solutions that do not suffer from approximations that are indispensable for analytical solutions. In particular, we study strongly correlated systems away from equilibrium, many-spin systems and light-matter interaction as they relates to Quantum Computing and to the construction of scalable quantum networks.