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.

X-Ray Burst


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 astrophysics 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 Theory

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

Graduate student Edward Perez closing valve to the cryogenic positron moderator system.  A 22Na Source emits positrons at high energies.  The positrons are slowed down using a solid neon moderator system (far right).

Condensed Matter Physics

Faculty: Ali Koymen, J. Ping Liu, Joseph Ngai, Alex Weiss

The experimental condensed matter group is performing research at the forefront of a number of areas of emerging technological importance.

Major efforts in condensed matter physics include:

  • 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 Ngaire

Jacqueline Baeza-Rubio Time Projection Chamber

High Energy and Nuclear Physics

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.

VIDEO: UTA Center of Excellence in High Energy and Nuclear Physics

Center for High Energy Physics

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

Neutrino Physics Group

Faculty: Jonathan Asaadi

Neutrinos and Rare Event Searches

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.

Aurora Borealis

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.

Space Physics research topics include:

  • 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