Research

The UTA Department of Physics has a varied and highly regarded research program, with internationally recognized faculty leading the way in a number of fields. Our faculty have received numerous awards for their teaching and mentoring of students both in the classroom and in the laboratory, and they encourage undergraduate students to become involved in research early in their academic careers.

Our faculty’s research work is held in high esteem, and department faculty have been awarded millions of dollars in research funding from sources such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, U.S. Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and more.


Areas of research include:

Astrophysics

Faculty: Manfred Cuntz, Zdzislaw Musielak, Sangwook Park, Nevin Weinberg

The astrophysics group’s research plays an essential role in understanding the observed activity of our Sun and different stars, the existence of Earth-like planets outside the solar system, and the evolution and fate of the universe. Specific topics of current studies are:

  • Theoretical studies of stellar activity in late-type stars, including the Sun
  • Ground-based and space-based observations of solar-type stars, evolved stars and magnetic white dwarfs
  • Extra-solar terrestrial planets, stellar habitable zones, and astrobiology
  • Planning of the NASA Stellar Imager Vision Mission
  • The origin of dark energy and dark matter
  • Development of planetarium shows, among other EPO initiatives
  • Observational X-ray astronomy
  • Supernova/supernova remnants, neutron stars, cosmic rays, and hot interstellar medium

Group Research Slideshow

 

Chaos and Nonlinear Physics

Faculty: Zdzislaw Musielak

Current research in this area focuses on the following topics:

  • Routes to chaos in systems with many degrees of freedom
  • Fractal techniques and their applications to data analysis
  • Analytical methods for solving nonlinear differential equations
  • Quantum and classical descriptions of chaotic systems

 

Condensed Matter Physics

FacultyAli KoymenJ. Ping LiuJoseph NgaiAlex Weiss

The experimental condensed matter group is performing research at the forefront of a number of areas of emerging technological importance, with major efforts in:

  • Surface characterization, scanning Auger microscopy
  • Positron-solid interactions
  • Thin films, magnetic multilayers
  • Scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis (SEMPA)
  • Microwave studies in superconductors and magnetic materials
  • Nanostructured magnetic materials (see below)
  • Complex oxide heterostructures and electronics

Positron Surface Group: Ali Koymen, Alex Weiss

Complex Oxide Heterostructures Electronics (COHE) Group: Joseph Ngai

 

High Energy and Nuclear Physics

(video)

Research in high energy physics, or particle physics, involves studying and searching for the elementary particles which are the most fundamental building blocks of nature.  One of the fundamental open questions in physics is the nature of the neutrino.

Center for High Energy Physics

Faculty: Andrew Brandt, Kaushik De, Amir Farbin, Haleh Hadavand, Andrew White, Jae Yu

Neutrino Physics Group

Faculty: Jonathan Asaadi

Rare Event Searches and Techniques Group

Faculty: Benjamin Jones, David Nygren

 

Medical Biophysics

Faculty: Wei Chen, Yujie Chi, Mingwu Jin, Amir Shahmoradi

The UTA medical and biophysics research group conducts research on finding ways to solve medical and biological challenges with advanced physical concepts and techniques. Among their areas of research:

  • Development of nanoparticles for use in treatment for cancer
  • Designing and constructing microbeam irradiation facilities
  • Techniques in radiation medicine; image science, machine learning and data mining
  • Developing data science techniques for use in biomedicine and biophysics

 

Nanostructured Magnetic Materials

Faculty: J. Ping Liu

The significant increase of applications of advanced materials has created a great demand for deliberate exploration of nanostructured magnetic materials. The NMM group conducts research utilizing hard and soft magnets spanning all four dimensions – nanoparticles, nanorods and nanowires, thin films and multilayers, and nanostructured bulk magnets.

 

Space Physics

Faculty: Yue Deng, Ramon Lopez, Daniel Welling, Frederick Wilder

The focus of the Space Physics Research Group is mainly on plasma phenomena in the terrestrial environments, including the following topics:

  • Solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling
  • Magnetospheric modeling
  • Upper atmosphere (ionosphere/thermosphere) modeling  
  • Data analysis of both ground-base and satellite observations
  • Space weather application
  • Physics education with applications to space physics and geo science with a focus on visual cognition

 

Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

Faculty: Muhammad Huda, Qiming Zhang

Current research in this area focuses on the following topics:

  • Electronic structure theory of clusters, films and solids
  • Many-body theory
  • Feynman-Kac path integral formalism
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Surface physics
  • Massively parallel computing
  • Transport theory