Academic Research Areas
What is Biomedical Physics?
An applied branch of physics concerned with the application of the concepts and methods of physics to the diagnosis, management, and treatment of human disease. It is allied with medical electronics, bioengineering, and health physics. The main areas of application are treatment of cancer by ionizing radiation (radiation oncology), imaging with x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance (diagnostic radiology), imaging and treatment with radioisotopes (nuclear medicine), and protection of occupational workers in radiation related industries (health physics). Other areas of study include electroencephalography, electrocardiography, thermography, hyperthermia, optical imaging, and RF and laser surgery.
High Energy Physics
What is High Energy Physics?
The goal of high energy physics is to understand the most fundamental constituents of matter and their interactions, and the origin, nature, and fate of the universe. Using powerful accelerators and particle detectors, we can study what comes from the small Big-Bangs to answer the deepest questions about the nature of space and time, the origin, nature, and fate of the universe. Fresno State is a member of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider of CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. ATLAS discovered the Higgs boson (“God” particle) in 2012. This discovery was named by Science magazine as the 2012 “Breakthrough of the Year” and resulted in the award of the 2013 Nobel Physics Prize to the Higgs theory. ATLAS will remain a leading player in high energy physics for many years and Fresno State is the home institution of the CSU ATLAS program.“
What is Astronomy?
Astronomy is the science of everything beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomy is the
oldest of the sciences. It is here that humankind’s interest in science began. Astronomy
still attracts more interest from the general public than any other science (except
maybe paleontology whenever there’s a Jurassic Park movie in the cinemas). Astronomy
and spaceflight are humankind’s greatest adventure. "To boldly go where no one has
gone before" isn't a cliché here: it's what we do.
“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.” – Plato
“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but is somewhat beauty and poetry.” – Maria Mitchell
Condensed Matter Physics
What is Condensed Matter Physics?
Condensed Matter Physics is the study of the properties and mechanisms in crystalline
and amorphous solids and liquids, including liquid crystals, glasses, polymer, gels,
and even live cells. Its sub-branches range from materials science, instrumentation
development, optics (laser, X-ray physics, photonics, etc.), cryogenics, and soft-matter
physics (colloidal science, biophysics, etc.). Condensed Matter Physics is the largest
field in Physics and highly interdisciplinary with Chemistry, Engineering, and the
life sciences. Most of the development in modern technology is related to Condensed
What is Physics Education?
Physics Education seeks to examine the historical, current, and possible future methods of teaching physics. It is an area of research that utilizes models and techniques to characterize and assess learning difficulties and develops measures to quantify learning gains.
What is Theoretical Physics?
Theoretical Physics seeks to take the enormous complexity of the universe that we see around us – the afterglow of the Big Bang, stars fusing hydrogen to helium, the motion planets around the Sun, the phenomenon of lighting, the binding of quarks into protons and neutrons – and tries to give a single underlying physical principle to explain all of these phenomenon. This effort has led to the Standard Model of particle physics (which explains the small scale phenomenon in the Universe) and General Relativity (which explains the large scale phenomenon in the Universe). Current efforts seek to combine these two pillars of theoretical physics into a single theory.
What is Computational Physics?
Computational physics is a new branch of physics, and it addresses the question: how can we use a computer to deepen our understanding of the laws of nature? It is a highly interdisciplinary field where fundamental physics and mathematics “join forces” with sophisticated programming techniques, artificial intelligence, design of new computers and related disciplines.
The group trains students in high level programming skills, sophisticated data analysis techniques, artificial intelligence tools, modeling of complex systems and fundamental study of quantum many body systems, with applications in atomic physics (cold atoms, exotic superfluids, quantum gases in the interior of stars) and condensed matter physics (unconventional superconductors). After the training, students are very competitive, both in academics and in companies. Paid research positions are available for students, contingent upon availability of funds. Students actively present their results at important meetings and conferences.
The group has several national and international collaborations and engages in cutting edge research about strongly correlated quantum systems. The principal investigator has more than 30 publications in top level journals and the last few of them include Fresno State students as co-authors.