School of Humanities and Sciences
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Vahe Petrosian
Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics
BioHow do things evolve in the universe? How are particles accelerated in the universe?
Professor Petrosian’s research covers many topics in the broad area of theoretical astrophysics and cosmology, with a strong focus on highenergy astrophysical processes.
Cosmological studies deal with global properties of the universe, where the main focus is the understanding of the evolution of the universe at high redshifts, through studies of the evolutions of population of sources such as galaxies and quasars or active galactic nuclei, gammaray bursts, using new statistical techniques developed in collaboration with Prof. B. Efron of the Department of Statistics. Another area of research is the use of gravitational lensing in measuring mass in the universe.
Highenergy astrophysics research involves interpretation of nonthermal astronomical sources where particles are accelerated to very high energies and emit various kinds of radiation. These processes occur on many scales and in all sorts of objects: in the magnetosphere of planets, in the interplanetary space, during solar and stellar flares, in the accretion disks and jets around stellarsize and supermassive black holes, at centers of galaxies, in gammaray bursts, in supernovae, and in the intracluster medium of clusters of galaxies. Plasma physics processes common in all these sources for acceleration of particles and their radiative signature is the main focus of the research here. 
Xiaoliang Qi
Professor of Physics
BioMy current research interest is the interplay of quantum entanglement, quantum gravity and quantum chaos. The characterization of quantum information and quantum entanglement has provided novel understanding to spacetime geometry, and relate the dynamics of chaotic manybody systems to the dynamics of spacetime, i.e. quantum gravity theory. Based on recent progress in holographic duality (also known as AdS/CFT), my goal is to use tools such as tensor networks and solvable models to provide more microscopic understanding to the emergent spacetime geometry from quantum states and quantum dynamics.
I am also interested in topological states and topological phenomena in condensed matter systems.
You can find my recent research topics in some talks online:
http://online.kitp.ucsb.edu/online/chord18/opgrowth/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__9VBaLfC6Y&t=42s
http://online.kitp.ucsb.edu/online/qinfo_c17/qi/ 
Stephen Quake
Lee Otterson Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Bioengineering, of Applied Physics and, by courtesy, of Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSingle molecule biophysics, precision force measurement, micro and nano fabrication with soft materials, integrated microfluidics and large scale biological automation.

Srinivas Raghu
Professor of Physics
BioI am interested in the emergent behavior of quantum condensed matter systems. Some recent research topics include nonFermi liquids, quantum criticality, statistical mechanics of strongly interacting and disordered quantum systems, physics of the halffilled Landau level, quantum Hall to insulator transitions, superconductormetalinsulator transitions, and the phenomenology of quantum materials.
Past contributions that I'm particularly proud of include the cofounding of the subject of topological photonics (with Duncan Haldane), scaling theories of nonFermi liquid metals (with Shamit Kachru and Gonzalo Torroba), Euclidean lattice descriptions of ChernSimons matter theories and their dualities in 2+1 dimensions (with JingYuan Chen and Jun Ho Son), and 'dual' perspectives of quantum Hall transitions (with Prashant Kumar and Michael Mulligan). 
Monika SchleierSmith
Associate Professor of Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsIn between the fewparticle realm where we have mastered quantum mechanics and the macroscopic domain describable by classical physics, there lies a broad swath of territory where quantum effects are relevant but still largely out of our control and partly beyond our comprehension. This territory includes metrological instruments whose precision is limited by the quantum projection noise of millions of atoms; and materials whose bulk properties emerge from manybody interactions intractable to simulation on classical computers. Professor SchleierSmith’s research aims to advance our control and understanding of manyparticle quantum systems by engineering new quantum states and Hamiltonians with ensembles of lasercooled atoms.

H Schwettman
Professor of Physics, Emeritus
BioAlan received his PhD from Rice University. He has acted as a research associate, associate professor, and professor at Stanford University. Research interests include the development of optical techniques that exploit the unique capabilities of the Free Electron Laser (FEL) in materials and biomedical research.

ZhiXun Shen
Paul Pigott Professor of Physical Sciences, Professor of Applied Physics, of Physics and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Shen's main research interest lies in the area of condensed matter and materials physics, as well as the applications of materials and devices. He develops photon based innovative instrumentation and advanced experimental techniques, ranging from angleresolved photoemission to microwave imaging, soft xray scattering and time domain spectroscopy and scattering. He has created a body of literature that advanced our understanding of quantum materials, including superconductors, semiconductors, novel magnets, topological insulators, novel carbon and electron emitters. He is best known for his discoveries of the momentum structure of anisotropic dwave pairing gap and anomalous normal state pseudogap in high temperature superconductors. He has further leveraged the advanced characterization tool to make better materials through thin film and interface engineering.

Stephen Shenker
Richard Herschel Weiland Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProfessor Shenker’s research focuses on quantum gravity, in particular string theory and M theory, with an emphasis on nonperturbative aspects.

Eva Silverstein
Professor of Physics
BioProfessor Silverstein conducts research in theoretical physics  particularly gravitation and cosmology, as well as recently developing new methods and applications for machine learning.
What are the basic degrees of freedom and interactions underlying gravitational and particle physics? What is the mechanism behind the initial seeds of structure in the universe, and how can we test it using cosmological observations? Is there a holographic framework for cosmology that applies throughout the history of the universe, accounting for the emergent effects of horizons and singularities? What new phenomena arise in quantum field theory in generic conditions such as finite density, temperature, or in time dependent backgrounds?
Professor Silverstein attacks basic problems in several areas of theoretical physics. She develops concrete and testable mechanisms for cosmic inflation, accounting for its sensitivity to very high energy physics. This has led to a fruitful interface with cosmic microwave background research, contributing to a more systematic analysis of its observable phenomenology.
Professor Silverstein also develops mechanisms for stabilizing the extra dimensions of string theory to model the accelerated expansion of the universe. In addition, Professor Silverstein develops methods to address questions of quantum gravity, such as singularity resolution and the physics of black hole and cosmological horizons.
Areas of focus:
 optimization algorithms derived from physical dynamics, analyzing its behavior and advantages theoretically and in numerical experiments
 UV complete mechanisms and systematics of cosmic inflation, including stringtheoretic versions of largefield inflation (with gravity wave CMB signatures) and novel mechanisms involving inflaton interactions (with nonGaussian signatures in the CMB)
Systematic theory and analysis of primordial NonGaussianity, taking into account strongly nonlinear effects in quantum field theory encoded in multipoint correlation functions
Longrange interactions in string theory and implications for black hole physics
 Concrete holographic models of de Sitter expansion in string theory, aimed at upgrading the AdS/CFT correspondence to cosmology
 Mechanisms for nonFermi liquid transport and $2k_F$ singularities from strongly coupled finite density quantum field theory
 Mechanisms by which the extra degrees of freedom in string theory induce transitions and duality symmetries between spaces of different topology and dimensionality 
Jon Simon
Associate Professor of Physics and Applied Physics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsJon's group focuses on exploring synthetic quantum matter using the unique tools available through quantum and classical optics. We typically think of photons as noninteracting, wavelike particles. By harnessing recent innovations in Rydbergcavity and circuit quantum electrodynamics, the Simonlab is able to make photons interact strongly with one another, mimicking collisions between charged electrons. By confining these photons in ultralowloss metamaterial structures, the teams "teach" the photons to behave as though they have mass, are in traps, and are experiencing magnetic fields, all by using the structures to tailor the optical dispersion. In total, this provides a unique platform to explore everything from Weylsemimetals, to fractional quantum hall puddles, to Mott insulators and quantum dots, all made of light.
The new tools developed in this endeavor, from twisted fabryperot resonators, to Rydberg atom ensembles, Floquetmodulated atoms, and coupled cavity optical mode converters, have broad applications in information processing and communication. Indeed, we are now commissioning a new experiment aimed at interconverting optical and mmwave photons using Rydberg atoms inside of crossed optical and superconducting millimeter resonators as the transducer. 
Todd Smith
Professor (Research) of Physics, Emeritus
BioTodd received his PhD from Rice University. He acted as an assistant professor of physics and electrical engineering, senior research physicist, and professor of physics. Research interests include experimental accelerator physics, laser physics, and superconductivity. His specialty is free electron lasers.