Faculty Research Advisors

The following is a representative list of Duke professors and their research interests. It is updated at the beginning of each semester. If you are interested in some professor not listed here, please feel free to contact that professor directly. The "Coursework Topics" column refers to topics that could be topics for an advanced reading course supervised by the faculty member (PHYSICS 491). The "Research Topics" column refers to possible topics for original research projects supervised by the professor, for credit (PHYSICS 493 or 495) or, in some cases, paid work. Either or both may be available in a given semester.  

Research Area: High Energy/String Theory/Astrophysics

Professor Coursework Topics
(PHYSICS 491)
Research Topics
(PHYSICS 493/495)
Prerequisites
Suggested Background
Availability 2020*
Arce, Ayana N/A

LHC measurements with ATLAS detector; high-energy physics detector development.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor No
Goshaw, Alfred The standard model of elementary particles; Applied relativistic mechanics.

A research program at the CERN Large Hadron Collider designed to test the Standard Model and search for new phenomena emerging from multi-TeV proton-proton collisions. The measurements use the Higgs boson and the massive electroweak bosons to study their self-interactions and search for new particles and force carriers. The research is done both at Duke at the with ATLAS detector at CERN.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Yes
Kotwal, Ashutosh Elementary particle physics

Analysis of experimental data at highest energies - investigating the origin of mass of fundamental particles, new forces and additional dimensions of space; Development of analysis techniques; Designing detectors for particle physics experiments.

Laboratory work available

Familiarity with LINUX operating system, C++ and Python programming languages is helpful. Yes
Kruse, Mark Experimental elementary particle physics

Data analysis from high energy proton-antiproton collisions (looking for Higgs and other new particles, measuring top quark properties); Statistical techniques for new particle searches; Characterizing silicon vertex detector resolution using cosmic rays.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor No
Mehen, Thomas Effective field theory; Heavy quark physics; Quantum chromodynamics.

Two- and three- body nuclear systems at low energies; Heavy particle production at colliders; Heavy quark physics, Application of EFT to hadronic physics.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Yes
Oh, Seog Experimental elementary particle physics.

Analysis of experimental data from CDF and ATLAS - Search for Higgs and particles beyond the Standard Model; Detector development for particle physics experiments.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor TBD
Plesser, Ronen String theory N/A Consult instructor No
Scholberg, Kate Experimental elementary particle physics, particle astrophysics, nuclear physics.

Topics in neutrino physics: data analysis and detector studies, neutrino oscillation physics with atmospheric, beam and supernova neutrinos, non-standard interaction searches, detection of supernova neutrinos, neutrino scattering.

Laboratory work available

Programming experience, in any language, is helpful Yes
Scolnic, Dan Cosmology and machine-learning

Astrophysics and cosmology (e.g., measurements of the expansion rate of the universe)

Theory opportunities only

Experience in programming useful, particularly python. PHYSICS 264, 305, 362; MATH 212 useful Yes
Springer, Roxanne Effective Field Theory, Heavy Quark Physics, QCD, SU(N)

Parity violation, few nucleon EFTs, chiral perturbation theory, charm physics, SU(N)

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Maybe
Troxel, Michael Gravitational lensing and cosmology

Astrophysics and cosmology (e.g., measurements and modeling of large-scale structure and weak lensing)

Theory opportunities only

Experience in programming useful, particularly python. PHYSICS 264, 305, 362; MATH 212 useful Yes
Walter, Chris N/A

Cosmology/ astrophysics/neutrino physics

Laboratory work available

Programming helpful; PHYSICS 264 and 305 helpful Maybe

Research Area: Nuclear/OCD/Quark-gluon Plasmas

Professor Coursework Topics
(PHYSICS 491)
Research Topics
(PHYSICS 493/495)
Prerequisites
Suggest Background
Availability 2020*
Bass, Steffen Heavy ion physics; Quark-gluon plasma; Numerical modeling of complex systems in nuclear physics.

Phenomenology and signatures of the quark-gluon plasma; Transport theory of relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor No
Chandrasekharan, Shailesh Quantum field theory; QCD; Statistical Mechanics, Monte-Carlo methods, correlated fermionic systems.

Cluster Algorithms and Sign Problems; Phases transitions and critical phenomena; Lattice QCD.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Maybe
Gao, Haiyan Experimental medium energy (nuclear and particle) physics

Nucleon and nuclear structure (proton charge radius, deuteron charge radius, three-dimensional imaging of the nucleon, etc.), fundamental symmetry studies, search for quantum chromodynamics (QCD) exotic states, polarized few-body photodisintegration processes and Compton scattering, development of polarized gas targets and gas Cherenkov detectors.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Yes
Mueller, Berndt N/A

Relativistic heavy ion collisions; Quark-Gluon Plasma; Quantum Chromodynamics; Chaos; Thermalization.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor No
Vossen, Anselm N/A

Simulation and analysis of experiments to access proton structure and study the hadronization of quarks in deep-inelastic scattering and electron-positron annihilation.

Theory opportunities only

Familiarity with C++ or Java programming helpful Yes

Research Area: Optics and Atomic/Acoustics/FEL/Medical Physics

Professor Coursework Topics
(PHYSICS 491)
Research Topics
(PHYSICS 493/495)
Prerequisites
Suggested Background
Availability 2020*
Edwards, Glenn Biological physics: Tissue dynamics and pattern formation during early development.

Biological physics: Tissue dynamics and pattern formation during early development.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Yes
Everitt, Henry N/A

Plasmonics, Ultrafast spectroscopy of wide bandgap semiconductors, Gas phase molecular spectroscopy, Terahertz holography and radar

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Maybe
Kapadia, Anuj MEDPHYS 791 — Independent Study in Medical Physics 

X-ray imaging, neutron and gamma spectroscopy, computed tomography, radiation dosimetry, Monte-Carlo simulations, GEANT4, MCGPU

Laboratory work available

X-ray and EM physics, Electronics and programming helpful  Yes
Warren, Warren N/A

Advanced laser imaging methods for cancer diagnosis, materials characterization, and cultural heritage studies; magnetic resonance techniques for improved MRI and dark matter detection

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Yes
Wu, Ying Charged particle optics; Nonlinear beam dynamics; Lie Algebra and Differentiation Algebra.

Designing next generation electron microscope optics; Study of ultrafast electron and laser pulses; Advanced computer control and feedback systems; Development of Free Electron Lasers and novel light sources.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor No

Research Area: Condensed Matter/Nonlinear Dynamics/Biological Physics

Professor Coursework Topics
(PHYSICS 491)
Research Topics
(PHYSICS 493/495)
Prerequisites
Suggested Background
Availability 2020*
Baranger, Harold N/A

Nanoscale physics; quantum emergent phenomena (tunneling in a dissipative environment; light-matter interaction (waveguide QED).

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Yes
Beratan, David N/A

Research Topics: Quantum dynamics associated with electron and exciton transport, emphasizing signatures encoded in 2D electronic-vibrational spectroscopy; Molecular biophysics of energy transduction and molecular machines.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Yes
Brown, Robert Dynamical critical phenomena; Multiple scattering theory; Computational statistical mechanics; Neural networks; Genetic algorithms for optimization; random numbers; Bayesian methods of inference; programming in C; quantum mechanics N/A Consult instructor Yes
Brunel, Nicholas Theoretical neuroscience

Theoretical neuroscience

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Yes
Finkelstein, Gleb Nanoscale physics

Nanoscale physics: electronic properties of carbon nanotubes and graphene; self assembled DNA nanostructures.

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Maybe
Greenside, Henry N/A

Theoretical neurobiology and biological physics.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor No
Haravifard, Sara Experimental condensed matter physics

Quantum Phase Transition; High-Temperature Superconductivity; Frustrated Magnetism; Material Design, Synthesis and Characterization; Single Crystal Growth; X-ray and Neutron Scattering Techniques at National /International Facilities; Measurements at Extreme Environments (Ultra-Low Temperature, High-Magnetic Field, High-Pressure).

Laboratory work available

Background in condensed matter physics or inorganic chemistry or material science is helpful. Yes
Mikkelsen, Maiken N/A

Nanoscale physics, light-matter interactions, nanophotonics, quantum information science

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Yes
Rubinstein, Michael Soft matter, polymer physics, biological physics

Soft matter, polymer physics, biological physics

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Yes
Socolar, Joshua N/A

Quasicrystals and limit-periodic materials,mechanical metamaterials, hyperuniformity and substitution tilings,network dynamics.

Theory opportunities only

Consult instructor Yes
Teitsworth, Stephen Condensed matter physics, nonlinear dynamics

Experimental, computational, and theoretical studies of noise-induced transitions in nonlinear dynamical systems drawn from condensed matter physics; energy science

Laboratory work available

Consult instructor Yes

Note on availability: "No" means a professor is not taking new undergraduate students in the given semester, because he or she is already advising students or some other reason. However, this list includes professors who frequently work with undergrads, and who may be able to take students in future semesters. So please feel free to contact faculty members to discuss future opportunities even if "No" is listed.