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Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
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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with a donation to UC Merced

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

Bacteria can propel themselves while stuck together
Writing in Communications Biology (Nature Publishing Group),  Yu Zheng and Bin Liu show that aggregating bacteria can use their flagella to propel and roll themseleves...

Twisted filaments sense bacterial shape
 Writing in Nature Communications, Ajay Gopinathan and collaborators show that bacteria shape is regulated by twisted filaments....

Filling a void in the understanding of amorphous solar cells
David Strubbe and his student Enrique Guerrero study voids in solar cells in a recently published work in Physical Review Materials......

Active nematics go three-dimensional
In their recent work published in the Science magazine, Daniel Beller and collaborators show that 3D active nematics flow by creating topologically neutral defect loops...
Topological chaos in active nematics
In their Nature Physics article, the Hirst and Mitchell groups show that chaotic flows in active nematics can be understood as braiding by topological defects...

News Highlights

AFM of chitin
November 8, 2020

Molecular biology Professor Chris Amemiya and his former graduate student Molly Phillips have collaborated with Physics Professor Linda Hirst to make a discovery that upends traditional ideas about...

November 8, 2020

Physics Professor David Strubbe's lab participated in and distinguished themselves recently at the SACNAS (The National Diversity in STEM Virtual Conference)  held on October 19th-24th....

October 17, 2020
We are pleased to share with you that University of California Merced's application to become an APS Bridge Program Member Institution has been accepted! This program from the American Physical...
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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.

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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.

Celebrating diversity

The second-largest program within the School of Natural Sciences, our graduate group celebrates diversity. Seven of the 20 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.