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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.


Emeriti: (Professors) Steven Chu, Alexander L. Fetter,* Stanley S. Hanna, William A. Little, David M. Ritson, H. Alan Schwettman, Robert V. Wagoner, John Dirk Walecka, Mason R. Yearian; (Professors, Research) Todd I. Smith,* John P. Turneaure; (Professors, Courtesy) Peter A. Sturrock (Applied Physics), Richard Taylor (SLAC)

Chair: Patricia Burchat

Professors: Roger Blandford, Phil Bucksbaum, Patricia Burchat, Blas Cabrera, Savas G. Dimopoulos, Sebastian Doniach, Giorgio Gratta, Shamit Kachru, Steven Kahn, Renata E. Kallosh, Aharon Kapitulnik, Mark Kasevich, Steven A. Kivelson, Robert B. Laughlin, Andrei D. Linde, Peter F. Michelson, Douglas D. Osheroff, Vahé Petrosian, Roger W. Romani, Zhi-Xun Shen, Stephen Shenker, Eva Silverstein, Leonard Susskind, Stanley G. Wojcicki, Shoucheng Zhang

Associate Professors: Tom Abel, Steven Allen, Sarah Church, David Goldhaber-Gordon, Kathryn Moler

Assistant Professors: Stefan Funk, Chao-Lin Kuo, Hari Manoharan, Risa Wechsler

Professors (Research): John A. Lipa, Phillip H. Scherrer

Courtesy Professor: Rhiju Das, Richard N. Zare

Lecturer: Rick Pam

Consulting Professors: Gerald Fisher, Barbara Jones, Greg Madejski, Alan Title

Visiting Professors: Francois LeDiberder, Jaemo Park, Sandip Trivedi

* Recalled to active duty.

Department Offices: 382 Via Pueblo Mall

Mail Code: 94305-4060

Phone: (650) 723-4344

Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Physics have the subject code PHYSICS, and are listed in the "Physics [PHYSICS] Courses" section of this bulletin.

The Russell H. Varian Laboratory of Physics, the new Physics and Astrophysics Building, the nearby W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL), the E. L. Ginzton Laboratory, and the Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM) together house a range of physics activities from general courses through advanced research. Ginzton Lab houses research on optical systems, including quantum electronics, metrology, optical communication and development of advanced lasers. GLAM houses research on novel and nanopatterned materials, from high-temperature superconductors and magnets to organic semiconductors, subwavelength photon waveguides, and quantum dots. GLAM also supports the materials community on campus with a range of characterization tools: it is the site for the Stanford Nanocharacterization Lab (SNL) and the NSF-sponsored Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN). The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) is just a few miles from the Varian Laboratory. SLAC is a national laboratory funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences and High Energy Physics of the Department of Energy. Scientists at SLAC conduct research in photon science, accelerator physics, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. The laboratory hosts a two-mile-long linear accelerator that can accelerate electrons and positrons. Until very recently, the PEP-II asymmetric-energy electron-positron storage ring was used to study CP violation in the B meson system. The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) uses intense x-ray beams produced with another smaller storage ring on the SLAC site. Construction of the world's first x-ray free electron laser, called the Linac Coherent Light Source, is nearing completion at SLAC. The facility is expected to be operational in 2009.

The Ginzton Laboratory, HEPL, GLAM, SLAC, and SSRL are listed in the "Academic Programs and Centers, Independent Research Laboratories, Centers, and Institutes" section of this bulletin. Students may also be interested in research and facilities at two other independent labs: the Center for Integrated Systems, focused on electronics and nanofabrication; and the Clark Center, a new interdisciplinary biology, medicine, and bioengineering laboratory.

The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), formed jointly with the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), provides a focus for theoretical, computational, observational, and instrumental research programs, including the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope (FGST, formally known as GLAST), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM). KIPAC members are also involved in several microwave background experiments, new x-ray telescopes, TeV gamma ray astronomy, the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) and the EXO-200 double beta decay experiments. Stanford is a member of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Consortium, operating an innovative 9.2 meter-equivalent telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas. These are research opportunities for students in this growing interdisciplinary field. The CDMS (cryogenic dark matter search) experiment is operated in an underground laboratory on the Stanford campus and in the Soudan mine in Minnesota. Stanford is taking a lead role in the EXO-200 double-beta decay experiment that is expected to start taking data in 2008 at a deep underground site in southern New Mexico. There are research opportunities for students in the growing interdisciplinary field of particle astrophysics and cosmology.

The Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics is devoted to the investigation of the basic structure of matter (string theory, M-theory, quantum cosmology, condensed matter physics).

The Physics Library, a center for the reading and study of physics and astronomy at all levels, includes print and electronic access to current subscriptions and back sets of important journals together with textbooks, dissertations, scholarly monographs, and the collected works of the most eminent physicists.

Course work is designed to provide students with a sound foundation in both classical and modern physics. Students who wish to specialize in astronomy, astrophysics, or space science should also consult the "Astronomy Course Program" section of this bulletin.

Three introductory series of courses include labs in which undergraduates carry out individual experiments. The Intermediate Physics Laboratories offer facilities for increasingly complex individual work, including the conception, design, and fabrication of laboratory equipment. Undergraduates are also encouraged to participate in research; most can do this through the honors program and/or the summer research program.

Graduate students find opportunities for research in the fields of astrophysics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, experimental particle physics, theoretical particle physics, intermediate energy physics, low temperature physics, condensed matter physics, materials research, atomic physics, laser physics, quantum electronics, coherent optical radiation, novel imaging technologies, and biophysics. Faculty advisers are drawn from many departments, including Physics, Applied Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Biology. Opportunities for research are also available with the faculty at SLAC in the areas of theoretical and experimental particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, accelerator design, and photon science.

The number of graduate students admitted to the Department of Physics is strictly limited. Students should submit applications by Tuesday, December 16 for the following Autumn Quarter. Graduate students may normally enter the department only at the beginning of Autumn Quarter.

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