A major focus of the physics department is Information and Computational Physics. This area of physics develops both the foundations of information theory and the computational techniques for extracting useful information from noisy or complex data. Five faculty members, Profs. Caticha, Earle, Knuth, Goyal, and Petrucelli, contribute to this area, which has rapidly lifted Albany to a level of international prominence in the field. Applications are widely varied, including the development of new understanding of the structure of quantum mechanics, the development of autonomous robotics for exploring space, and a new understanding of electronic spectra and of neurological function.
This area of development is closely tied to another rising star of the department, biophysics, which includes Profs. Earle, Khmaladze, Knuth, MacDonald, and Sharikova. In recent years the department has been expanding in particle physics, where our research ranges from experimental work on the ATLAS experiment at CERN (Profs. Ernst, and Jain) and on the LUX/LZ Dark Matter searches (Profs. Levy and Szydagis) to theoretical studies of string theory (Profs. Lunin and Robbins). ATLAS and LUX/LZ are among the world's most high-profile scientific experiments. The department has also maintained strength in two areas related to materials physics, x-ray and electron analysis (Profs. Fotso, Kuan, Lanford, and MacDonald).