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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

Events

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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

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...

Frustration and Compromise in Flocking Cells Produce New Migration Patterns
A novel finding about migrating cells detailed in a new paper by Ajay Gopinathan and his colleagues...

Study: Quantum Vibrations Could Help Detect Nuclear Threats
National security and a beautifully resonant violin have found a surprising link

News Highlights

July 22, 2019

The Physics Department welcomes Dr. Sarah Loebman, who will join the faculty in Fall 2020 as an assistant professor! She will be the department's first astrophysicist....

Professor Strubbe stands in front of a research poster.
July 9, 2019

Durable, reliable, affordable solar power is the future of energy, and UC Merced computational physicist Professor David Strubbe is diving into a new area of science to answer the call. Strubbe’s...

Researchers stand near a large solar collection panel.
May 28, 2019

Three big UC Solar projects are poised to be the next big breakthroughs in low-cost, accessible sustainable commercial and residential energy in California and far beyond. Researchers are building...

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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.