Condensed Matter Experimental Physics
Condensed matter experimental physics is a highly diverse area of research, ranging from studies of surprising and beautiful new states of matter that emerge from many-body systems, to new materials and nanoscale devices for the second quantum revolution, to highly nonlinear phenomena in classical and quantum systems driven far from thermal equilibrium. It forms the basis for the exploration of new materials such as graphene and other 2D materials, as well as the basis for many of the materials and devices for quantum computing and quantum sensing. Much of the modern technology that energizes today's society (e.g. electronics, magnetics, photonics) is rooted in condensed matter physics.
The advanced technology required to pursue research in this field is provided at UCSB by a number of unique shared research facilities. These include a variety of molecular beam epitaxy chambers for atomically-precise sample fabrication, a world-class clean room and nanofabrication lab for turning wafers into devices, both research and student machine shops, and a free-electron laser facility at the Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology. In addition, our students have access to the wide range of shared experimental facilities within the Materials Research Laboratory, the Quantum Foundry, and the California Nanosystems Institute.
The breadth and impact of condensed matter physics makes it a central part of any excellent physics department. The broad range of topics also makes collaborative efforts with other departments and colleges a must. Active collaborations between UCSB condensed-matter physics groups and other departments include Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry and Biology. Research topics include both pure condensed matter science as well as applied physics.