Research Areas

The Physics and Materials Science Department (DPhyMS) carries out research activities around five thematic axes:

 

More details on the 5 thematic research axes of the Department:

This cluster studies the physics of partially ordered and responsive materials, with structures often arising without external assistance (self-assembly and self-organization), in living systems as well as in inert materials. Our research comprises theoretical and experimental approaches, addressing problems that range from curiosity-driven fundamental research into why certain structures and peculiar behaviors arise in soft and living systems, to applied aspects where we explore means to improve society and environment through understanding adaptive, responsive or otherwise smart active materials.

We investigate the physics of materials and quantum mechanical systems that are used in the conversion of renewable energy sources like sun and wind. The research stretches from the fundamental understanding to the development of devices. We are proud to combine exciting questions in fundamental physics with societal impact.

This cluster targets the investigation of novel materials in order to unveil the fundamental processes that govern and determine the properties of matter. The research groups employ a wide range of cutting-edge spectroscopic techniques in order to understand, design and control materials with important applications in future technology. The experimental activity is accompanied by advanced modeling of the fundamental phenomena to obtain a complete picture of the functioning mechanisms of materials and relative devices.

This cluster uses and develops statistical physics and machine learning to (i) design materials that can undergo dramatic and controllable changes in their properties (e.g. magnetic, optical, rheological), (ii) develop new methodologies to accurately compute long range intermolecular forces, (iii) understand collective behaviors in interacting living systems (e.g. molecules, cells, animals, populations), (iv) design efficient and reliable quantum and classical computing schemes.

This cluster is composed of five theory groups and three experimental groups that jointly span a range of topics in quantum information science, many-body physics, statistical mechanics and machine learning, quantum chemistry, and light-matter interactions for the advancement of emergent quantum technologies.