Research Overview

Physical Science Building at Dusk

The Physics Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a breadth of outstanding research, probing the structure of matter, fundamental symmetries and forces of nature through complementary experiments and theoretical studies.

Experimental Particle and Nuclear Physics

Particle Table of the Elements

We explore the properties of nature's fundamental building blocks through diverse experiments including the DarkSide and LZ experiments to search for dark matter, the nEXO experiment to look for neutrinoless double beta decay, the g-2 experiment to measure the magnetic dipole moment of the muon, the PRIMEX experiment to measure the neutral pion lifetime, pion and proton polarizability experiments at Jefferson Lab and Mainz, and the ATLAS experiment at CERN to explore a wide array of fundamental interactions.

Fundamental Interactions Theory

Time Lapse Universe

We are a group of faculty members, postdocs and students whose research spans a continuum from the interface of nuclear and high energy physics through Standard Model physics and new phenomena beyond the Standard Model into theoretical cosmology and classical and quantum gravity. 

Quantum Matter and Quantum Information

Quantum Matter Research at UMass Amherst

Quantum condensed matter physics studies the collective behavior of interacting quantum objects (such as atoms, electrons, and photons) and the resultant new phases of matter.  Quantum information science studies the design and manipulation of  composite quantum systems to exploit their superposition and entanglement properties for information technology.  Our research encompasses theoretical and experimental efforts addressing fundamental questions in the fields of quantum condensed matter and quantum information, and in particular at their interface.  We have a broad range of interests and expertise including low dimensional materials, quantum fluids, topological phases, spin liquids, quantum Monte Carlo techniques, non-equilibrium quantum dynamics, superconducting qubits, trapped ion qubits, and quantum error correction.

Soft Matter and Bio-inspired Materials

Soft Matter and Biophysics at UMass Amherst

Soft matter physics and biophysics are relatively new and inherently interdisciplinary fields, connecting physics with biology, chemistry, engineering, and applied mathematics. They comprise a variety of systems that are readily deformed by thermal or mechanical stress and whose properties emerge from organization at size scales between molecular and macroscopic. The fundamental principles of soft matter and biophysics underlie materials and phenomena that we encounter every day, and scientists in these fields find careers in a variety of companies, national labs, and universities. Our experimental and theoretical research in Soft Matter and Bio-inspired Materials spans a broad spectrum of cutting-edge topics that include fluids, colloids, sheets, filaments, polymers, bubbles, foams, granular materials, liquid crystals, active matter, bacteria, cellulose, as well as a number of other biological materials.