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Cross-Disciplinary Physics

The cross-disciplinary physics (CDP) program at the University of Rochester is housed in the Department of Physics and Astronomy (PAS) and is operated in collaboration with faculty holding primary appointments in other departments in Arts, Sciences & Engineering including:

  • The Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • The Laboratory for Laser Energetics
  • The School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • A selection of distinguished industrial partner laboratories

Under this program, participating faculty and scientists with primary appointments in the affiliated departments, institutes, and laboratories advise and supervise the research and training of PhD students matriculated in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Graduate students in the CDP program are admitted as regular graduate students into the department. Like most PAS graduate students, they typically join a PAS-related research group in the second or third year of their graduate work. Students receive their PhD degree in physics and must satisfy all program requirements.

Joining an Affiliated Research Group

Students can join a research group led by a researcher with a faculty appointment (either primary or secondary) within the PAS department and continue on to a PhD thesis.

Students in this program are assigned both an internal advisor (who holds a faculty position in the department and who normally works in a closely related field) and an external advisor. In most of these cases, it is the external advisor who provides support for the student’s research and provides the day-to-day supervision of the student’s PhD research.

Current Opportunities

At present the research in the CDP program spans the following sub-fields:

  • Accelerator physics, with Fermilab
  • Atomic and molecular physics, with optics, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, electrical and computer engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and material science
  • Biological and medical physics, with chemistry, biology, optics, BCS, and the medical center
  • Chemical physics, with chemistry, chemical engineering, Kodak, and Xerox
  • Communication, computational and information, with optics, electrical and computer engineering, and Lucent
  • Physics plasma and fusion, with Laboratory for Laser Energetics and mechanical engineering
  • Condensed matter physics, with Laboratory for Laser Energetics, chemistry, optics, material science, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering
  • Low temperature physics, with electrical and computer engineering and materials science
  • Micro-electronics, with electrical and computer engineering, and optics
  • Optical and laser physics, with optics, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, and chemistry
  • Quantum Optics, with optics, and electrical and computer engineering

CDP Internal Advisors

The following primary-appointment faculty from the department typically serve as internal advisors in the various fields encompassed by the CDP program:

  • Accelerator physics: Adrian Melissinos
  • Biological and medical physics: Yongli Gao and Robert Knox
  • Low temperature physics, condensed matter physics, chemical physics and materials science: Nicholas Bigelow, David Douglass, Yongli Gao, Yonathan Shapir, Steve Teitel, and Dan Watson
  • Plasma physics and fusion: Eric Blackman and Adam Frank
  • Quantum optics and optical and laser physics: Nicholas Bigelow, Joe Eberly, John Howell, Adrian Melissinos, and Emil Wolf

Industrial Partners

Currently, or in recent years, CDP PhD students have carried out research with CDP cohorts at:

  • Kodak Research Laboratories
    • Summer internships possible in chemical physics and medical physics. For medical physics contact Rochester alumnus Xiaohui Wang at xiaohui.wang@kodak.com, and for chemical/optical physics contact Professor Spoonhower at jps@pas.rochester.edu 
  • The Xerox Corporation
  • Lucent Laboratories
    • Summer internships possible. For optical science contact Rochester alumnus George Fischer at gfischer1@lucent.com
  • KLA-Tencor
  • MIT Lincoln Labs
    • Summer internships possible. Contact Rochester alumnus Mark Dickson at mrd@ll.mit.edu 
  • National Laboratories such as Fermilab and Brookhaven

Supervising Faculty

All primary faculty can serve as supervisors for the CDP program. Secondary faculty and affiliated researchers can also serve as supervisors. See the two tables below for more information about the faculty and researchers in this group. 

Table I - University Faculty with Joint Appointments in PAS

Faculty Member

Status

Area of Research

Agrawal, Govind P.

Professor of Optics (and Physics)

Optical physics and lasers

Betti, Ricardo

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering (and Physics), and Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Plasma physics and fusion

Bocko, Mark F.

Professor of Electrical Engineering (and Physics)

Quantum information/signal processing

Boyd, Robert W.

Professor of Optics (and Physics)

Optical physics and lasers

Foster, Thomas H.

Professor of Radiology (and Physics)

Experimental biological/medical physics

Meyerhofer, David D.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering (and Physics), and Senior Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Assistant to the Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Plasma physics and fusion, and optical and atomic physics and lasers

McCrory, Robert I.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering (and Physics), Senior Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Plasma physics and fusion

Rothberg, Lewis

Professor of Chemistry (and Physics)

Chemical and condensed matter physics

Simon, Albert

Professor of Mechanical Engineering (and Physics), and Senior Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Theoretical plasma physics

Spoonhower, John

Senior Scientist, Eastman Kodak (and Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics).

Experimental condensed matter physics

Stroud, Carlos R., Jr.

Professor of Optics (and Physics)

Experimental quantum optics

Thomas, John H.

Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Science (and of Astronomy)

Theoretical astrophysics and plasma physics

Van Horn, Hugh

Director, NSF Astronomy Division (and Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Theoretical astrophysics

Zhong, Jianhui

Associate Professor of Radiology

Biological and medical physics and imaging

Table II - University Faculty with Past or Future Interest and/or Experience in Supervising CDP Students

Name

Position

Principal Area of Research

Berger, Andrew J.

Associate Professor of Optics (and Biomedical Engineering)

Medical physics

Brown, Thomas G.

Associate Professor of Optics

Optoelectronics

Chen, Shaw-Horn

Professor of Chemical Engineering

Chemical physics

Chimowitz, Eldred H.

Professor of Chemical Engineering

Chemical physics

Craxton, Stephen R.

Senior Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Plasma physics, lasers and fusion

Donaldson, William R.

Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Optical physics and lasers

Farrar, James M.

Professor of Chemistry

Chemical physics

Fauchet, Phillippe

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Optics, Senior Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Material science, biological and optical physics

Feldman, Marc J.

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Quantum information, material science, condensed matter physics

Fienup, James R.

Professor of Optics

Imaging processing, wave front sensing

George, Nicholas

Professor of Optics and Electrical Engineering

Optical physics and lasers

Goldfarb, David H.

Professor of Biology

Biological aging physics

Guo, Chunlei

Professor of Optics

Femtosecond laser-matter interactions

Hsiang, Thomas Y.

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Optoelectronics, superconductivity, ultrafast phenomena

Jacobs, Stephen D.

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Laboratory for Laser Energetics Scientist

Liquid crystal optics

Jones, Thomas B.

Professor of Electrical Engineering

High-speed microactuation of liquid for the laboratory on a chip

Jorne, Jacob

Professor of Chemical Engineering

Chemical physics

Knauer, Jim

Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Plasma physics and fusion

Knox, Wayne H.

Professor of Optics

Ultrafast optics and telecommunications

Kraus, Todd

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Spectroscopy of nanometer-scale materials

Mathews, David

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Calculational RNA

Moore, Duncan T.

Professor of Optics

Optical engineering

Ning, Ruola

Professor of Imaging Sciences

Medical physics

Novotny, Lukas

Assistant Professor of Optics

Optical physics and lasers

Ovchinnikov, Misha

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Quantum molecular dynamics

Parker, Kevin

Electrical Engineering

Condensed matter, biological physics

Pouget, Alexandre

Professor of Brain and Cognitive Science and Center for Visual Science

Biological physics, cortical mechanisms of motion and form perception, visual memory

Seka, Wolf

Associate Professor of Optics and Senior Scientist Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Optical physics and lasers

Schroder, Wolf-Udo

Professor of Chemistry

Nuclear chemistry/heavy ions

Sobolewski, Roman

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Ultrafast optoelectronics, superconductivity, quantum communication

Syphers, Mike

Senior Scientist, Fermilab

Accelerator physics

Teegarden, Kenneth J.

Professor of Optics

Optical materials

Waag, Robert

Professor of Electrical Engineering

Bio-ultrasound, tissue characterization, nondestructive testing

Wicks, Gary

Professor of Optics

Material science, condensed matter physics, nano-materials

Williams, David R.

Professor of Psychology and Professor of Optics

Psychological optics

Wu, David J. H.

Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Microbiology and Immunology

Biological and medical physics

Yang, Hong Magnetic

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Nanoparticles

Yates, Matthew Z.

Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Colloids and Interfaces

Zavislan, Jes

Associate Professor of Optics and Optical Engineering

Biomedical optics