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Designing novel materials
Designing Novel Materials
Plasmonics, displays, superlenses, electromagnetic and acoustic cloaking, and superconductivity
Physics of life
Exploring the Physics of Life
From protein machines to bacterial division and propulsion
Physics faculty and students
Controlling Light and Matter
Advancing fundamental and applied quantum information and quantum computing, understanding gravity and developing ultrafast lasers
B1 phase
Soft Matter
Understanding the complex physics of fluids, polymers, liquid crystals, statistical and nonlinear systems
Professor Roland Winston and students
Harnessing the Sun
Fundamental research into next generation solar energy materials and technology

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Centers and Institutes

CCBM: Center for Cellular and Biomolecular MachinesMACES: Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and SensingHSRI: Health Sciences Research InstituteUC Solar: UC Advanced Solar Technologies Institute

 

Research Highlights

Active nematics go three-dimensional
Daniel Beller and collaborators show that 3D active nematics flow by creating topologically neutral defect loops...

Physics students learn more from active learning than they may realize
Kristina Callaghan and collaborators measure effectiveness of active learning in physics classrooms...

Topological chaos in active nematics
The Hirst and Mitchell groups show that chaotic flows in active nematics can be understood as braiding by topological defects...

Odd waves in fluids turn topological
Kinjal Dasbiswas and collaborators show how odd viscosity affects topologically protected sound waves...

More ions could mean less screening
Kinjal Dasbiswas and colleagues explain ionic correlations in dense ionic liquids...

Triangles of quantum dots create controllable current circulation
Chih-Chun Chien, Michael Scheibner, and collaborators have discovered a simple setup...

News Highlights

Graduate student Boe Mendewala is UC Merced's 2020 Grad Slam champion.
May 21, 2020

UC Merced’s Graduate Division wrapped up its annual Grad Slam competition this week, announcing Physics doctoral candidate Boe Mendewala as its campus champion. The judges awarded two runners-up,...

May 12, 2020
The Undergraduate Physics Thesis Presentation Award is award is given annually to the student who does the finest physics thesis presentation as judged by the physics faculty.
April 16, 2020

Most people wouldn’t think physics has anything to do with baby babble and human language development. But most people aren’t Ritwika Vallomparambath PanikkasserySugasree. The graduate student, who...

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Welcome to Physics at UC Merced

Access to World Class Resources
As the 10th campus of the University of California, UC Merced draws on the outstanding resources of the UC system, a world renowned center for research and education. The research groups in this graduate group have access to major facilities, such as state of the art laser systems, an electron microscopy facility, a nanofabrication facility and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy on campus. Other large facilities, such as synchrotron light sources, located at Stanford University and UC Berkeley labs, are within two hours of driving distances. Students also have access to the extensive library holdings and journal subscriptions of the UC system.

Celebrating diversity

The second-largest program within the School of Natural Sciences, our graduate group celebrates diversity. Five of the 17 faculty members are women and 43 percent of our students are either underrepresented minorities or women, which makes our group among the most diverse in the country.

Research-focused undergraduate education

Undergraduate students at UC Merced have a rare opportunity to take part in scientific research with world-renowned research groups in cutting-edge fields such as atomic, molecular & optical (AMO) physics, biological & soft matter physics, condensed matter & nanoscale physics, and solar & energy sciences. During the senior year all students work closely with a faculty advisor to design and carry out a research project, with many starting their research work in earlier years.

Faculty

Our active, diverse group of faculty is enthusiastic, driven and invested in student success. Our team is large enough to offer rigorous and comprehensive training but small enough that students receive a lot of personal attention.

Interdisciplinary Research

UC Merced's academic structure and physical proximity make collaborative opportunities with other research groups the rule rather than the exception.

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Apply Now

If you're ready for a physics program that combines exciting research topics with close faculty interaction, why wait? Apply today.